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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Your Budgie's Health > Diet and Nutrition


Diet and Nutrition Discuss issues related to diet and learn about encouraging your budgie to a variety of healthy foods
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Old 01-22-2015, 02:52 PM
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I've been reading quite a few posts of recent regarding seed brands and what would be the best. I'm also in this predicament as my local pet store has closed and I'm now looking for a new brand to give my flock.

So I started my research!

Quote:
Dr. Larry Nemitz of Santa Ana, California, who has been working with birds for twelve years, suggests beginning with a good quality parakeet seed, which is predominately millet and hemp, with some canary and smaller seeds in it. "Small amounts of millet spray are good too,"
Dr. Marge Wissman of Wesley Chapel, Florida, has been working with birds for 18 years and is a board certified specialist whose practice is exclusively avian and exotic. "Budgies are one of the birds that really are grass seed eaters in the wild so they do eat a fair amount of seed. In the wild they are foraging and flying around all the time, expending a lot of metabolic energy, so eating a primarily seed-based diet isn't a big deal for them because they don't tend to get obese. They balance out their diet with grasses and other things at different times of the year when seed and grains might not be available.
Quote:
Budgies in general should be given a base diet of seeds. A good seed mix will contain Canary Seeds, Millet, Linseed (also know as flax), Niger, Rape, and Groat. The owner should ensure the seeds are fresh and sealed before giving them to their pet Budgies. Old seeds will lose their oils and nutrients over time. For this reason, seeds should never be bought in large quantities unless there are a lot of Budgies present. If a lot of seed has been purchased for one bird, the owner can place the seed inside a refrigerator as this will help maintain nutritional value for longer periods of time. If the seeds contain any moths, have lost their luster, or do not smell like fresh grain; they should be discarded.
---- ----

So After reading this lets get started on brands
Please note these aren't all brands but some from the UK that you can find and buy

Living World Premium Mix For Budgies


Ingredients
Papaya, Coconut, White millet, Canary seed, Red millet, Red finch millet, Oat groats, Rape seed, Flaxseed, Hemp seed, Niger seed, Sesame seed, Carrot, Tropican egg granules which contain egg protein with vitamins and minerals.
Analysis
Protein: 13.0%
Fat: 9.5%
Fibre: 9.3% (Fibre is mainly in the shells and husks, not eaten by birds).



Hagen Budgie/ Parakeet Vitamin and Mineral Enriched Seed


Ingredients
White millet, Canary grass seed, Red millet, Oat groats, Calcium carbonate, Orange oil, Vitamin A supplement, Vitamin D3 supplement, Vitamin E supplement, Manganous oxide, Zinc oxide, Ferrous carbonate, Copper sulpate, sodium selnite, calcium iodate.
Typical Analysis
Protein 11%
Oils & Fats 4%
Fibre 8%
Ash 4%
Moisture 12%
Manganese (as mananous oxide) 70mg/kg
Zinc (as zinc oxide) 70mg/kg
Iron (as ferrous carbonate) 80mg/kg
Vitamin A 7500 I.U./kg
Vitamin D3 500 I.U./kg
Vitamin E 15 I.U./kg
Copper (as cupric) 20mg/kg
Iodine (as calcium iodate) 0.6mg/kg



Johnston & Jeff Budgerigar Seed Bird Food


Ingredients
Canary Seed, White, Red & Panicum Milletseed


Bob Martin Avia Budgie Food


I couldn't find the ingrediants for this other then what is stated below;
Golden Grains 6 Extra Nutrients
1. Vitamin A helps to prevent infection, protects eyes, essential for growth and reproduction.
2. Vitamin B aids growth and is essential to digestion.
3. Vitamin B12 not present in ordinary seed, helps to maintain general health.
4. Vitamin D3 essential to formation of strong bones.
5. Iodine helps to prevent disease.
6. Lysine improves the all important protein quality, builds a healthy body.



Vitakraft Budgie Food


Ingrediants
Cereals,Seeds ,Minerals ,Bakery Products ,Honey (0.1%) ,Oils and Fats (0.1% Cod-Liver Oil) ,Yeast
Nutrition
Protein 11.2% Oil 4.5%
Fibre 8.9% Ash 4.0%
Moisture 10.8% Calcium 0.50%
Phosphorus 0.32% Vitamin A 5936 U.I.
Vitamin D3 566 U.I. Vitamin E 17.0 mg
Vitamin C 56.0 mg Vitamin B1 3.4 mg
Vitamin B2 3.4 mg Vitamin B6 0.9 mg
Vitamin B12 7.9 g Biotin 57.0 g
Niacin 23.0 mg Pantothenic acid 9.0 mg
Copper 0.39 mg Iodine 10.0 mg



Beaphar XtraVital Parakeet Food


Ingredients
26 varieties of seeds, cereals, various sugars (honey 2%), fruit, bakery products, derivatives of vegetable origin, minerals, vegetable protein extracts, eggs and egg derivatives, oils & fats, yeasts.


Hagen Gourmet Parakeet Seed Mix
No ratings yet

Ingredients
Canary Grass Seeds, White Millet, Red Millet, Oat Groats, Red Finch Millet, Extruded Kibble (Ground Corn, Dried Egg, Brewers Rice, Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Propionate (preserviative), Salt, Zinc Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Folic Acid, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Beta Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Ascorbic Acid, Menodione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (source of Vitamin K activity), Calcium Iodate, Vitamin D3 Supplement),Rapeseed, flaxseed, Hemp seed, niger seed, Sesame Seed, dehydrated papaya, dehydrated coconut, dehydrated flaked carrot, orange oil, chlorophyll.
Analysis
Crude Protein 13% (min)
Crude Fat 19.5% (min)
Crude Fibre 9.3% (max)
Ash 4.4% (max)
Moisture 12% (max)
Calcium (As Calcium Carbonate) 0.08%
Vitamin A 9,000 IU/kg
Vitamin D3 60 IU/kg
Vitamin E 20 IU/kg
Copper (as copper sulphate) 10 mg/kg
Zinc (as zinc oxide) 37mg/kg
Manganese (as manganous oxide) 49 mg.kg
Iodine (as calcium iodate) 0.1 mg.kg.

Contains EEC Permitted Anitoxidants and Preservatives.


---- ----

Notes on a few ingrediants:
I would also steer clear of any mix that contains Honey. Honey is not natural in any birds diets which includes Lorikeets. They will eat pollen and nectar and the pollen is what the bees collect to make honey, but they would not eat the honey itself which requires enzymes produced in the gut of the bee to turn the pollen into honey. Honey can give the bird runny droppings. - Kate.C

---- ----

So from my research these were the best brands that I could find - from the ratings and quality. Not all of the brands have all the vital seeds that make up a good diet for our beloved budgies and some brands supplied scant information regarding which seeds were actually in the mix.
The two brands that did have all the recommended seeds in were Hagen Gourmet Parakeet Seed Mix & Living World Premium Mix For Budgies

The only problem I have is with the Hagen Gourmet Parakeet Seed Mix brand is that it contains Salt which isn't very good for your budgies.

So there you have it, I believe that out of the two I last stated I will probably be buying one of them
If any of you have any more to add let me know and I will update the post with the information to help for people to see in the future


---- ----

Please note that it is not advised to keep your bird on an all seed based diet and The key to a good parakeet diet is variety.
(All star ratings have been taken from Amazon.co.uk)


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Last edited by Bethanyi; 01-22-2015 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 01-22-2015, 03:33 PM
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While I don't have any experience with the above brands I will just point out that in the wild Budgies and many other birds and animals here in Australia will go to natural salt 'Licks' where they obtain many minerals including salt.

I would also steer clear of any mix that contains Honey. Honey is not natural in any birds diets which includes Lorikeets. They will eat pollen and nectar and the pollen is what the bees collect to make honey, but they would not eat the honey itself which requires enzymes produced in the gut of the bee to turn the pollen into honey. Honey can give the bird runny droppings.
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Old 01-22-2015, 03:45 PM
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I had researched about salts but what I had read is that is was very bad for budgies? So really salt isn't bad for them? If so I will take out the statement from the post as I'd like it to be accurate

Yes I'd seen the honey and that's why I hadn't chosen it myself and indicated in my statement about the scant information of the ingredients which I find suspicious - I had posted it in the tread as its one of the highly rated ones ...

(I'd also like to add what you have said about the honey into the post if that's ok)
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Old 01-22-2015, 04:36 PM
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Remember there are different types of salt. The salt licks in the wild are a rock which contains not only sodium and chloride but other things like potassium etc. So saying salt is bad is too broad a statement to make. Even humans require a certain amount of salt, without it you can get really severe cramps especially if you don't get enough iodine in your diet. Australian soil is lacking in iodine so if the seed going into any of the mixes comes from Australia then they will be lacking in iodine as well and budgies need iodine in their diet or they can be prone to Goiter which is a swelling of the thyroid glands in the neck. It is more like excessive salt is not good, not just for birds but for humans and other animals as well. Anything that has Sodium is salt, it is what the salt is combined with like Sodium Chloride.

I would be more worried about preservatives which are in many of the pellets. Calcium Propionate and another is Calcium Metabisulfite and Sodium Metabisulfite (which can hinder the uptake of Vitamin B-Thiamine). I don't like anything with preservatives in it but unfortunately it is in just about everything we eat. What is in the food that requires preservatives?

This is why I prefer to feed just normal seeds with no additives and then give fruit and vegetables and a more specific mineral supplement for things like iodine. To me fresh is best as it requires no preservatives.

Yes you can use what I said about honey, but please put all of it in. People do think because something is natural it is safe and good but that is not always the case. Over here people sometimes put honey and water out for the wild lorikeets to eat, but one of the problems is it will attract bees and the honey left out can carry disease and the bees can then take it back to their hive and it can kill off the hive. There is a world wide problem with disease in the honey bee populations and they are dying off. California has a big problem with it and Australia and New Zealand export huge quantities of honey bees there every year so they can pollinate the orange trees as we are nearly the only 2 countries left that has disease free bees, but I have recently heard that the disease may have gotten into the top part of Australia.

I am not sure about your laws over there but here in Australia it is not a government requirement to have the ingredients on many foods for animals. I make a lorikeet mix and I am not required by law to put the ingredients on the packet. I do because I think that people should know what is in the product so they can make their own decision on what they feed their birds.
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Old 01-22-2015, 05:05 PM
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I'm not sure what our stand is on for pet food ingredients but for most other foods it's a must ... Myself I don't like something that doesn't have what's in it stated as I'd like to know what I'm getting to feed myself and my birds and exactly as why you put it on yours
Although I have given my budgies a 'honey stick' previously without proper research into the product as what you said before there are some people and I have read before that it was okay in small amounts but after reading more I haven't given them anything with honey in.
And it's really interesting what you have said about the bee's - I haven't heard anyone in the UK leaving any honey out for them
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Old 01-22-2015, 05:27 PM
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Possibly because there are no Lorikeets in the UK Bethany. Lorikeets may have a beak that looks like a seed eater but they are a pollen and nectar feeder. Their tongue is entirely different to a seed eaters tongue when they unfurl it. It has little hairs on the end for lapping up the nectar. We have 7 different species here in Australia and they are very abundant around me. Many people love to entice them into their yards to watch them so they put food out for them. If I know of anyone putting honey out I tell them to change it to raw sugar and water mix, much safer for the bees and the birds. They are the craziest of birds.
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Old 01-22-2015, 05:36 PM
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Sorry I read your post wrong and thought they put honey out for the bees but no we don't I've only ever seen them sold as pet birds online in the UK - beautiful birds though!
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Old 01-22-2015, 06:10 PM
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Wow...I feel greatly educated reading this thread...great discussion ladies...
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Old 01-22-2015, 06:18 PM
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I like how your mind works. I enjoyed reading this.
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:52 PM
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Great discussion... have you considered online purchases? I know some folks are leery of buying online.. I buy through Amazon and now from Drs. Foster and Smith (a US based company).. Amazon has many many brands..
I have TRIED feeding the Hagen's seed you show above. My band of picky, picky eaters did not deem this worthy of their interest.. either of the varieties shown... LOL. They didn't like it much. Volkman's is available on Amazon and they like it... not sure of the ingredient list?... and their all time fave is Dr. Harvey's. I'll go check on that one and let you know ingredients. As we all know, it won't matter if they won't eat it.. right?


PS.. I sometimes add nyjer seed or flax seed or groats to my seed mix.. no scientific measurements.. just a sprinkling to add variety and extra protein/fat during molts, etc.
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Last edited by jrook; 01-22-2015 at 08:54 PM. Reason: add info
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