I've got two budgies Bell and Snowy and they've been with us for over a month now .
I've been reading lots of articles and I found this article talking about food for budgies - https://pethelpful.com/birds/What-Do-Budgies-Eat. Regarding picky eaters it says:
"An alternative would be to limit the access to the food to set hours in the morning and evening. In the beginning, this will take some adjusting from your budgie, but soon he'll learn to adapt and eat as much of the food as possible, as he's learned it's not freely available. This will result in all seeds being devoured, not just the tastiest."
I'm thinking of doing this with Bell and Snowy but wanted your opinion first. The reason I'm thinking of doing it is:
1. They are picky eaters - along with their seeds I put different fruits/vegetables daily and they don't really eat them.
2. They are still scared of us - and I think having a routine of knowing that they'll be getting food at set hour in the morning and evening will help them associate us with something pleasant (at the moment I change their food daily and stick fruit/veggies but they just scatter to a different part of the cage).
3. Perhaps having set hours for food is good for them?
Now, of course they'll still have water in the cage and their favorite eucalyptus leaves (those they eat in seconds!) but will it be okay not to give them access to their food 24/7? I feel really bad about that...
Member of the Year 2016//Exceptional Service Award August 2016//MOTM May 2013
The key is to always have your budgies feel safe and know that they will always have food and water. FaeryBee is approaching a hefty volume of budgies. She has given you excellent advice. Breeders, use gravity flow ball canning jars with plastic planit feet for the seeds to flow into as the seeds are consumed. It allows budgie parents to be away for a day or so and still be sure their budgie children are well cared for and a babysitter can just check and only needs to catch any events without having to go through a whole daily feeding program. With only 2 little guys you can explore options. The other very important option is very fresh , clean water. We like lixit water bottles, with spouts and balls in the tips to replace the water pressure to up to 16 or 32 ozs. Caution always be sure there is an alternate water source and food source in case an unplanned for adventure presents it self. We also like the lixit bath that hangs in the cage or even on the cage wire but outside the cage. Our budgies line up in the AM to get first dibs on their fresh baths and each one has a particular process, great fun to watch. Many breeders use large shallow /flat vessels that allow several birds to partake all at once. The key here is monitor moisture so it does not effect dry food or treats. Keep dishes very clean and never allow mold to occur in dry vessels for food or mineral powders or blocks. We keep several examples of calcium/mineral/iodine blocks available all of the time. We even run them through a microwave for a few seconds after we wash them off, just to be sure. Our favorites are manu roses and cuttle bone with brown mineral/iodine salt wheels which are very inexpensive in bulk - like 35 cents+- each in feed stores near farms in rural areas. We buy a little case at a time. My favorite is a very fine mineral clay powder sold by LadygouldianFinch.com and their Herb salad for those who like to feed natural alternatives to support the birdy immune system. We feed this dry with alfalfa from a bale. We split a bale with a breeder that also raises rabbits. Each of our big flights has a bin the size of a large kitty litter plastic bin sprinkled thickly with fresh alfalfa from the bale. Especially the youngsters love to eat and throw and carry all over not unlike when they land on a field in the wild and forage for hidden treats on the ground. Again Fresh is the order of the day. We provide separate cups of Herb salad and sprinkle it over the alfalfa in the bins. Because budgies scatter. The bins receive all sorts of seed etc to find as the budgies forage around in the bin. Again, free flight birds could have a bin on a counter to play in. Each of us develops our own little procedures to make life interesting for our budgie/birdie friends. After watching videos of wild budgie flocks We set out to provide similar possibilities for our budgies confined to flights. For us it is an adventure that is always opening up new revelations of budgie preferences and behavior. We like to be students and let our budgies show us what they enjoy. Then we set about offering alternatives we can supply that budgies might enjoy in safety of a flight if they can not fly free in the wild. We also supply kabobs for budgies to chew and often express their emotions or hormone rushes during breeding season. All budgies need to chew and if provided with kabobs or similar chew toys like the jelly fish made of braided banana /palm leaves and and upside down coconut shell , many will not be tempted to chew on rope perches which are oh so wonderful for birdy feet to rest on and thus avoid sores on the bottom of the feet. This does not mean you do not observe and prevent chewing threads which can block the crop. So far out of the hundreds of budgies we have housed we have yet to find any that would not rather chew a kabob than strings from a rope perch. This also goes for ladders and perches they enjoy many options and so are less likely to chew up the furniture and prefer the Kabob etc. Watch and learn. It is a real adventure to learn from our budgie friends, Blessings, Jo Ann
Your two budgies are both still adjusting to new surroundings, noises, and food. It takes time for a budgie to realize greens are food don't give up on offering them. A varied and fresh diet is the best. Budgies are natural grazers, moving around to where the food is plentiful eating and then moving on. Scattering the seed helps them to fulfil this natural instinct.
Having pellets and greens available at all times is a must. I personally do not like the thought of giving a little amount in the morning then nothing till night. This will stress the budgie.
Given time your birds will become more settled and you will learn their true characters and traits then.
I leave seed out 24/7 and give veggies/fruit every so often, usually as a treat after he's been a good boy
It took my boy some time to realize all the delicious veggies I was offering were food. Stormy still won't touch carrots but goes crazy for celery and kale!
I only feed him 100% organic veggies from a local fruit stand or from my own garden. Make sure it's all chopped into birdy-bite-sized pieces and thoroughly washed.
Thank you everyone, it's great to read from your experience.
Just to clarify - there's no way I'm just giving them food in the morning/night - the plan is to give seeds in the morning/night - throughout the day they'll have veggies/fruit/ eucalyptus leaves etc.
They also have in their cage fresh water, cuttle bone, calcium block and all their perches are from an eucalyptus tree so they enjoy grazing it as well.
I gave them seeds this morning and after an hour took it away (they stopped eating after 20 minutes) - I've already placed some cabbage which they tried - and I'm going to give them a boiled egg and carrot as well... I've provided it to them in the past but without much luck... lets see if they'll try it now.
Additional questions - some sites say cabbage is ok but in small doses, some say it's bad? which one is it?
Member of the Year 2016//Exceptional Service Award August 2016//MOTM May 2013
We feed boiled egg with fresh/ frozen veggies like peas corn carrots, home made corm muffins with vegetable treats, sprouted mung beans, broccoli etc. The birds eat most veggies we eat. No avocado, chocolate, caffine, alcohol.for treats. When very hot our guys love to lick ice cubes. When they lick the iodine/salt wheel they periodically drop up or down for a long drink of water. Juices in small amounts are great treats. High sugar content is not great. Our guys have nibbled chicken breast and fresh pork as well in small amounts.We use
pasta cooked in a dash of bullion, drained and cooled. A bit of plain scrambled egg is a special treat. Whole grain toast is fun at breakfast when they pull out the seeds and throw them around, they also like the crunchy crust with no condiments. It is good to expose budgies to human food as a cross over emergency food. if seed and pellets are in low supply. We actually keep food stock for both birds and people just in case! Both you and Budgies Enjoy your adventure and discovery. Blessings, Jo Ann
P. S. We crush egg shell along with the fresh boiled eggs.
Olga, so far you've been given great advice. I think that you've got a great plan! Offering seed in the morning and night and in between, having lots of tasty veggies as well as pellets for them to munch on is great!
What I do is I give Mallorn 2 tsp of seeds in the morning, and she gets to figure out when to eat them. She has another bowl that's always full of pellets, so she's never hungry, she just doesn't get seed all day. She's figured out that she can eat seeds all day if she doesn't eat them all at once Regardless of the time of day, she also gets some veggies or veggie chop to pick through.
Best of luck!
and Princess Mallorn!
Thank you to Deb for her wonderful Faery magic