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Budgie Diet: How To Make It Healthy

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If you love your budgie, then you want him to have a long and happy life by your side. Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion and ignorance about what constitutes a healthy budgie diet. And as we all know, a balanced and nutritious diet is essential to staying healthy.

When you’re a new budgie owner, it’s easy to get the impression that all a budgie needs is birdseed. After all, everyone knows that you feed birds seeds, and no one at the pet store will tell you otherwise.

The truth is that budgies need the same diet as humans to be healthy. Where we eat wheat, corn or potatoes they may have seeds or pellets instead, but they need a good mix of fresh fruit and veg just like us.

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Budgerigars in the wild feed almost exclusively on maturing grass seeds and wheat germ, with maturing seeds having a different nutrient content than fully mature ones. Green seeds are low in fat and packed with vitamins and minerals, but when ripe, they’re packed with fats and poor in nutrients.

To make matters worse, seeds lose even more of their nutritional value during transportation and storage. Your budgie’s seed mix may say it contains vitamins, but that just means spraying them on the outside of the seeds, the part your budgie peels off before eating.

Without fruits and vegetables to their seed, budgerigars quickly become malnourished and, unfortunately, many birds die agonizingly each year from diseases caused simply by a lack of vitamins.

A slightly healthier alternative to seeds are pellets. Birdseed manufacturers have designed these pellets to have roughly the same nutritional content as your budgie would get in the wild. That’s why you hear many bird experts fanatically preaching that everyone should switch their birds to pellets.

While pellets are healthier than seeds, they’re not a panacea. A budgie that is fed with pellets still needs fresh fruit and vegetables – after all, you don’t just eat breakfast cereal because the manufacturer has added extra vitamins to it; it would not be healthy.

And the truth is, many seed-fed budgies live long and healthy lives because their overall diet is balanced.

When it comes to fruit and vegetables, the brighter the color, the more nutritious they are for your bird. The deep colors of apple peel, broccoli, and spinach mean they’re packed with goodies. Apple meat, grapes and lettuce, on the other hand, are not so healthy.

Starting your budgie on the greens can be difficult, especially if he has been fed exclusively seed for years. But your patience and perseverance will be worth the effort when your pet lives to be ten or fifteen years old, instead of the five years that the average budgie lives.

If you’re having trouble getting your budgie to eat its greens, you can give it a short-term vitamin supplement. These supplements can be added to your budgie’s water, however, budgies that prefer seeds rather than pellets will not overdrink as they get their water from their diet.

The lesson to take away from this is that variety and balance in their diet is just as important to your budgie’s well-being as it is to your own.

Thanks to Josh Holland

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