For most of their lives, my birds have been fed an all-seed diet. With nothing else except water. This of course changed once I started to read up more on the proper diet for budgies and found out that this was a big no-no. An all-seed diet is bad for your bird’s health because it simply does not fulfill all their dietary needs. Their diets are said to need a balanced variety of vegetables/greens, fruits, safe wild foods (like chickweed, dandelion leaves, blossoms, etc.), nuts, and seeds.
You should also provide a source of calcium like cuttlebone or eggs, and mineral blocks help keep you bird’s beak in shape too. You may also decide to include pellets in their diet, but I usually don’t feed mine any unless they are of good quality. (Volkman’s, Totally Organic Pellets, Harrison’s, etc.) If your bird is not used to eating a variety of foods I’d start with offering only a small amount of new food each day for a while and replace more of their normal diet daily so that you can gradually transfer them to a new healthier diet.
I offer a side dish of whatever I have available at this point because my budgies can be a bit stubborn with what they like eating. (Can’t they all?) 🙂 Some of the things that I have offered to my budgies include…
- Carrot Tops
- Brown Rice (Which was totally plain, and organic.)
- Apples (Without the seeds of course!)
- Wheat Germ
- Baby Spinach
I may have offered other kinds, but I can’t recall any right now. I’d like to start making it more of a habit to feed the birds fresh foods because they deserve it after all those years of just seed. One thing I’d also like to try is the “Chop” concept that I will post below. This might get my three’s attention because of how finely chopped it has to be. Maybe I’ll get a food processor or something that will make it easier.
There are many sources of information out there that you can read through to get a better idea of what is safe, and what isn’t safe. I myself am still finding new information every day after months of reading, so you can never learn too much! 🙂
You can start by reading these links here, they have plenty of helpful information:
Vegetables and Fruits
Avian Nutrition and Dietary Requirements
I’d also recommend reading the posts on “Chop” found at the blog “Parrot Nation” which you can find under the “Blogs I Read” section to the right. This is a great way to feed your birds because it is easy and saves lots of time. You can find them here: The “Chop” Recipe. The same goes for the blog “HungryBird“. This blog is all about feeding birds better food (as stated under the blog title) and you can get great ideas here too.
I wish you luck on your journey to feeding your birds a better diet!