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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 05-24-2015, 04:18 PM
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Default Protein and Budgies

I have heard that Budgies are one of the species that do better on a lower protein diet. I thought I'd ask you budgie experts to find out more about this . Is there any truth to this?
I'm only asking about pet birds, not breeding or egg laying birds.

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Old 05-24-2015, 05:01 PM
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Budgies need adequate protein or feather, bone, hormone, muscle, and enzyme production as well as energy.

Providing your budgie with a well-balanced diet of a good seed mix along with pellets and a variety of vegetables is best.

If a budgie's diet is too high in proteins, it can cause
increased sex drive, kidney and liver problems, dehydration and has been linked to some cancers.

High protein foods include:
Egg
mung beans
legumes
peas
corn
spinach
broccoli
kale
millet
quinoa
oat groats
flax seed
chia seed
hemp seed

Low protein vegetable and fruit choices include:
carrots (and carrot tops)
chilis
sweet peppers
celery
parsley
basil
thyme
rosemary
cilantro
chickweed
apples
grapes
oranges

Again, providing a variety of good foods for your budgie is most important.
All the vegetables listed as "high protein" vegetables are just fine in moderation.

I hope this helps.

https://www.cutelittlebirdiesaviary.c...gies-diet.html

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Old 05-24-2015, 05:59 PM
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There have been a number of studies done on birds and what protein level they can cope with. I was involved in a study on Lorikeets back in 1999 and Lorikeets even though they are nectar eating birds it was found that like seed eating birds they can only cope with about 20% protein. The only time they need higher protein is during breeding and during moult when the extra resources are needed. It was as a result of this study that I started making my own lorikeet mix as I was not happy with the protein levels of the commercial foods available. You can imagine how proud I was at a recent parrot show where I was complimented on the health and condition of my Rainbow Lorikeet by an Avian Vet who is doing much research on nutrition in birds. She said that my lorikeet was the healthiest looking, with the tightest and glossiest feathers she had seen in a long time and that included the birds that I was competing against. She could not understand why my bird did not win.
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Old 05-24-2015, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Kate C View Post
There have been a number of studies done on birds and what protein level they can cope with. I was involved in a study on Lorikeets back in 1999 and Lorikeets even though they are nectar eating birds it was found that like seed eating birds they can only cope with about 20% protein. The only time they need higher protein is during breeding and during moult when the extra resources are needed. It was as a result of this study that I started making my own lorikeet mix as I was not happy with the protein levels of the commercial foods available. You can imagine how proud I was at a recent parrot show where I was complimented on the health and condition of my Rainbow Lorikeet by an Avian Vet who is doing much research on nutrition in birds. She said that my lorikeet was the healthiest looking, with the tightest and glossiest feathers she had seen in a long time and that included the birds that I was competing against. She could not understand why my bird did not win.
That's awesome Kate!
Would you possibly have a picture of your Lorikeet that you could share with us in the "Other Birds" section of the forum?
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Old 05-24-2015, 07:45 PM
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Thank you . I'm trying to get the budgies to eat more like the parrots with their variety of fresh produce and pellets, (some seed as a treat). The budgies are the most stubborn little things!

I realize they need some protein, like any of us , but I know my Pionus is another species that can develop gout and other health issues when the protein levels are too high long term. So it does sound like budgies may be the same way with the sensitivity to too high a level.

Anyone know if sprouts are high or low protein? I mean from seeds, not legumes or beans.

Deb, increased sex drive LOL, I'll for sure not give Twigs too much, he doesn't need any help!
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by RavensGryf View Post
Anyone know if sprouts are high or low protein? I mean from seeds, not legumes or beans.
It's going to depend on if the seed used for sprouting is considered to be a high protein seed -- there were a few on the list.
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:43 PM
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Thanks for that list, Deborah...that's quite the complement, Kate - would love to see a photo of your Lorikeet, too...we have two visiting here each afternoon eating the new leaves on our wattle trees. I saw a TV show of these birds eating meat a man had placed out in his garden for other birds - interesting, as I thought yrs back, they only ate nectar.
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Old 05-25-2015, 01:28 AM
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It also depends on the stage of the sprouting that you give it to them. Just sprouted I believe are higher, and if you develop the seeds fully into plants, while they are still green and the seed heads are formed they are higher as well, when fully ripe the protein level should be down lower, as in Millet Sprays etc.

All parrots will eat some meat or insects. Budgies have been known to even eat road kill. My Cockatoos will catch flies and eat them and some of the Black Cockatoos need to be fed meal worms when they are weaning. One of the funniest is the Gang Gang Cockatoo. A friend had one and a mouse got in the cage one night, the mouse never got out of the cage. Some breeders will feed them pinkie mice (humanely euthanased the same as is fed to snakes) when they are breeding.

I did take some pictures but like all lorikeets they are hard to get good pictures of, they just don't stand still and it is very hard to take a good picture when they are hanging from the roof or side of the cage. I will upload them later. I don't know how good it will show him as it was taken inside a hall. If things go well I may have some other pictures that will be a bit of a surprise. Not saying anymore for the time being.
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Old 05-25-2015, 02:28 AM
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Kate, I've heard that too, about the different growing stages of sprouts having different nutrients. Just sprouted is supposed to be most nutritious, but it makes sense that it's probably higher protein too. I've also heard the longer they grow, the more prone to mold which makes sense... Even though the use of acidic additive to the water is supposed to help that, I'm just a little paranoid about mold.

My Red Bellied parrot has always loved chicken. My other guys not so much. Pampered indoor guys they are, no bugs for them .

I'd love to see wild parrots in Australia. Actually we do have some Amazon and Conure species here in this area, probably up from Mexico I'm thinking.
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Old 05-25-2015, 04:38 AM
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I can't imagine you have to worry about sprouts having too much protein though. It is what they are designed to eat so I think high protein levels would be from feeding things with much higher protein.
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