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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
Thread Description:New prev.-owned parakeets; fed seeds; switching to better diet.

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Old 07-01-2015, 01:19 PM
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Default Best feed for parakeet nutrition?

Hello, I recently adopted two male middle-aged parakeets. The previous owners only fed them seeds alone, which I know is not nearly enough for a sufficient, healthy diet. I've tried switching them to a high quality brand of pellets but no matter what I did, they refused to eat it to the point of nearly starving themselves and looking lethargic. So I've been feeding them the seeds they've always been fed just to finish up the bag, along with fresh veggies (mostly uncooked spinach and kale leaves, which they love) and millet spray as a snack. They've been doing great on this diet but I know they need something better. The bag of plain seeds that came with them just got finished up so I'm looking into healthier alternatives for seed-based food. I found a product called Dr. Harvey's "Our Best Parakeet Food"; it's all natural, organic, no dyes/additives, and it got rave reviews. It's seed-based but much healthier because it contains 11 different types of seeds and dried fruits/veggies, etc...Basically it's just packed with awesome ingredients and parakeets love it. Definitely look it up to see what I'm talking about. Does anyone have any experience with this product or brand?
I also plan on incorporating more grains (cooked rice, quinoa, etc.) and fruits/veggies into their diet. Hopefully, that'll help get them on the right track and reverse the damage done from previously living on an all-seed diet.
Any suggestions? Being a budget-savvy college student, I'd prefer to find a good product that's not too expensive. The Dr. Harvey stuff is about $14 for a 2lb. bag, which isn't terrible if it's as good as it says it is, and it's worth it if it means my parakeets will be healthier and live longer. But if you guys know of any cheaper yet still as good products, let me know!
Thanks!

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Old 07-01-2015, 02:04 PM
JWKnight (J.W.)
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This seems to always be a sensitive issue to people. Some believe that pellets are the only way to go, others believe that seeds are the best way to go...

Here's what I figured out for myself.

In the wild, they are desert birds. They live off of whatever they can find in the wild, which is seeds, and some fruits and vegetables.

My suggestion is to introduce them to Kale, Napa Cabbage and Water cress ... All three of these veggies have great nutritional value, and will be wonderful for getting them really healthy, I haven't had a budgie yet refuse to eat one of these three.

The other thing is, always let your budgies have seed, as long as they aren't getting too large. They need seed as long as they are active.

You can offer pellets, but forcing them to eat them, to me (this is my personal opinion) is cruel. They deserve to have all kinds of flavors of foods to eat. Try a bunch of different veggies and fruits ((feed fruits sparingly, it'll make their poop watery)) And stay away from too much spinach, and never feed them avacados.

If it's healthy for you ((for the most part)) it's healthy for our little friends.

A good variety of food, with seeds given all the time, is a really healthy diet for them.
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Old 07-01-2015, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWKnight View Post
This seems to always be a sensitive issue to people. Some believe that pellets are the only way to go, others believe that seeds are the best way to go...

Here's what I figured out for myself.

In the wild, they are desert birds. They live off of whatever they can find in the wild, which is seeds, and some fruits and vegetables.

My suggestion is to introduce them to Kale, Napa Cabbage and Water cress ... All three of these veggies have great nutritional value, and will be wonderful for getting them really healthy, I haven't had a budgie yet refuse to eat one of these three.

The other thing is, always let your budgies have seed, as long as they aren't getting too large. They need seed as long as they are active.

You can offer pellets, but forcing them to eat them, to me (this is my personal opinion) is cruel. They deserve to have all kinds of flavors of foods to eat. Try a bunch of different veggies and fruits ((feed fruits sparingly, it'll make their poop watery)) And stay away from too much spinach, and never feed them avacados.

If it's healthy for you ((for the most part)) it's healthy for our little friends.

A good variety of food, with seeds given all the time, is a really healthy diet for them.
Thank you! I do already offer them some veggies and fruits (such as kale, spinach, broccoli, bananas, etc.) with their seed. They also have a cuttlebone for calcium. I just need to switch them to a better seed brand because the one they've been fed and just finished is by Hartz, which isn't the best.

I read somewhere else that spinach should be given in moderation as well...why is that? I've been giving them about 2-3 small leaves of uncooked spinach a day and they love it. Is it harmful for them to eat a lot of it?
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Old 07-01-2015, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by kaycookie View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWKnight View Post
This seems to always be a sensitive issue to people. Some believe that pellets are the only way to go, others believe that seeds are the best way to go...

Here's what I figured out for myself.

In the wild, they are desert birds. They live off of whatever they can find in the wild, which is seeds, and some fruits and vegetables.

My suggestion is to introduce them to Kale, Napa Cabbage and Water cress ... All three of these veggies have great nutritional value, and will be wonderful for getting them really healthy, I haven't had a budgie yet refuse to eat one of these three.

The other thing is, always let your budgies have seed, as long as they aren't getting too large. They need seed as long as they are active.

You can offer pellets, but forcing them to eat them, to me (this is my personal opinion) is cruel. They deserve to have all kinds of flavors of foods to eat. Try a bunch of different veggies and fruits ((feed fruits sparingly, it'll make their poop watery)) And stay away from too much spinach, and never feed them avacados.

If it's healthy for you ((for the most part)) it's healthy for our little friends.

A good variety of food, with seeds given all the time, is a really healthy diet for them.
Thank you! I do already offer them some veggies and fruits (such as kale, spinach, broccoli, bananas, etc.) with their seed. They also have a cuttlebone for calcium. I just need to switch them to a better seed brand because the one they've been fed and just finished is by Hartz, which isn't the best.

I read somewhere else that spinach should be given in moderation as well...why is that? I've been giving them about 2-3 small leaves of uncooked spinach a day and they love it. Is it harmful for them to eat a lot of it?

Yes it is harmful.. Spinach can cause their little bodies to stop being able to process calcium. One leaf a week is okay, but not much more.

As far as brand of seed, i use a local fresh seed made by a local business. It's the healthiest i can get. Just look at ingredients and make sure there are no preservatives, and no dye, and that every thing in it looks natural.

EDIT: ... And safflower, and sunflower are not good for budgies, to fatty.

Last edited by JWKnight; 07-01-2015 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 07-02-2015, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by JWKnight View Post
Yes it is harmful.. Spinach can cause their little bodies to stop being able to process calcium. One leaf a week is okay, but not much more.

As far as brand of seed, i use a local fresh seed made by a local business. It's the healthiest i can get. Just look at ingredients and make sure there are no preservatives, and no dye, and that every thing in it looks natural.

EDIT: ... And safflower, and sunflower are not good for budgies, to fatty.
Oh no, I had no idea! I've been giving them 2-3 leaves a DAY for the past week and a half... I thought it was really healthy for them just cause it's spinach and all. Definitely won't be doing that anymore! Will they be okay?
Thanks again, I'm definitely gonna purchase a bag of Dr. Harvey's because it seems like the best option I can find for them!
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Old 07-02-2015, 03:38 AM
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Hi.. I used to feed Dr. Harvey's as my flock's only seed. Due to the cost, I looked for another brand to mix with it. I use Volkman's Parakeet mix and All Living Things from Pet Smart. They also get Zupreem extra small pellets and fresh veggies (they won't accept any fruits yet)... ...
Hope this helps..
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Old 07-02-2015, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaycookie View Post
Oh no, I had no idea! I've been giving them 2-3 leaves a DAY for the past week and a half... I thought it was really healthy for them just cause it's spinach and all. Definitely won't be doing that anymore! Will they be okay?
Thanks again, I'm definitely gonna purchase a bag of Dr. Harvey's because it seems like the best option I can find for them!
I would think they should be fine.. just hold back on it for a while, so that their bodies can catch up.
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