I am still in the research phase before I get my budgies and have been doing some research into diet. I found some conflicting info, so I wanted to put a few questions out there for you guys about dry seed mixes. The main conflicting info I found was on alternating seed mixes to bring birds out of and in to breeding condition vs. feeding the same mix all year. One piece of information I found seemed to infer that keeping birds on a high calorie (premium) mix all year would result in them staying in breeding condition all year which would have negative effects... This clashed with other sources I've read (i.e. articles here), so I wanted to touch base with you guys about it. Just for reference purposes, I am tentatively planning on feeding Volkman's seed since it seems to be high quality, have variety, and not be outrageously priced.
Here are the three questions I had:
1. Do you rotate your seed mix based on time of year (i.e. resting season vs. breeding), alternate regularly for variety, or feed a single high quality / energy mix all year round?
2. For those that sprout their own seeds, do you use a separate sprouting seed mix or the same as your dry mix?
3. For those that feed the same seed mix all year (don't rotate based on time of year / breeding): Do you feed a high energy / calorie mix all year or a lower calorie mix?
I don't breed my budgies.
All nine get Volkman's seed mix all year long.
None of birds have stayed in condition all year.
I ration their seeds to 2 teaspoons of seed per budgie per day
and split the rations between morning and evening.
The budgies have Roudybush pellets, Zupreem Fruity Pellets and dried Herb Salad available to them 24/7.
They also get fresh vegetables.
Egg food is limited to once a week unless they are molting.
Their daylight hours are limited to 10 hours per day.
All of my budgies are quite active and none of them are overweight.
You can sprout any fresh unhulled seed mix.
I have not tried sprouting Volkmans because it contains some ingredients (carrot granuals, spinach flakes, sunflower seed chips) that will not sprout and I'm not willing to sit and pick them out.
You can buy seed mixes specifically for sprouting for budgies or you can pick and choose what seeds you wish to sprout at any time.
The seed you choose needs to be fresh and un-hulled.
Good sprouting seeds include:
Red, White and Milo Millet
Quiona (rinse VERY well before sprouting)
Thank you! Based on your response, I think I will use that as my standard mix (along with pellets), and supplement with softfood / veggies... If limiting light and egg food is enough to keep them from coming into breeding condition (and any ill effects that may pose) then that will be good enough for me.
My birds do come into breeding condition periodically.
During those times I simply cut back on the egg food and reduce the daylight hours to no more than 8 per day.
Additionally, you can rearrange their cage and move it to a different area of the house which can help stop the breeding "cycle" when it begins.
I was feeding mine ABBA 1600 with Harrison's pellets, but I moved provinces and it's very difficult to get ABBA 1600 here. So with my remaining batch and the avian vet's recommendation I've successfully slowly switched them over to a locally made mix called 'Perroquet Charly'. It has white millet, red millet, wheat, oats, yellow and green peas, milo rouge, crushed corn, safflower, red lentils, buckwheat, and linseed. I mix that with Harrison's super fine and some chia seeds. This is for every day, they get 2 teaspoons eat split between morning and night.
When they are moulting they also get flax seed.
Every day they also get fresh vegetables, with broccoli, grated carrot, cauliflower, coriander, and dill being their favourites. They don't like fruit so I don't bother with it because it's full of sugar and my two need to lose weight.
1. I tend to regularly change up their diet. I have KayTee pellet mix available to them 24/7, I offer the seed mix that they were eating in the pet store every 2 or 3 days, fresh veggies every afternoon, and millet during training sessions. I converted my budgies to pellets in about a week of trying.
2. I buy my sprouting seeds at the Natural Grocers so I get to pick what's in it. Plus they're like $1.50 or less for a pound bag of seeds, herbs, or dried fruits/veggies!
3. I don't feed the same mix, but I think this one depends on how active your birds are. If you feed them a high calorie mix but they don't get any free-flight or outside-of-the-cage time then they'll gain weight rather quickly. So choose this depending on how often you'll exercise your budgies and whether or not they'll be flighted/clipped!
I hope I helped in any way! I'm excited for you to get budgies, and I'm proud of you for doing research before going out and getting a bird!
When you get your bird, are you buying from a pet store or have you visited any animal shelters to see if there are ones you could adopt instead? I'd encourage you to look into adoption first!
Jayfeather10121- I've been given some information on a breeder that I'm planning on contacting but I am also going to a bird show this weekend (to see what they have, but mostly for supplies). I am hoping to avoid buying from a petstore if I can. We don't have any bird rescues in my area, only a local shelter and I am not sure how healthy animals would be if purchased from them..The last time I adopted from them I got a cat with seizures, an enlarged heart, and neuro issues, so I'm a little leery lol.
More than likely I'll get my budgies from either the breeder I've been put in touch with or another breeder at the bird fair. I'm also interested in getting some finches or a canary (for a different cage) so I'm trying to feel out my options.
Thanks for your advice on diets. I'm thinking that my birds will mostly be in their cage to start, until I get them hand-tamed. At that point, I'm planning on giving them free flight time in the room the cage will be in and possibly in our screened-in back porch.