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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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  #1  
Old 10-25-2017, 10:31 PM
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Default Question about diet

I've always understood that budgies should have 1 and 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of seed each day. However I was reading over the articles about diet and found something interesting. One article states that budgies can be maintained on 1 and 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of seed per day. But then it goes on to talk about pelleted diets, separately.

Both articles state that pellets should make up 75 - 80% of the birds diet, and veggies should make up 20 - 25% of the diet. This leaves no room for a seed mix in the diet.

So it seems that the measurements for seed are only referring to seed based diets, as in, if you are just feeding your budgies seed and veggies. Both articles state that having your budgies on a pellet based diet is preferable.

I also have linked here a website from an avian vet here in Australia. If you scroll down you can download a pdf about budgie diets.

It states that pellets should make up 50% of the birds diet, as well as veggies, and then 1 teaspoon of seed mix a day. This would roughly end up at 50% pellets, 25% veggies and 25% seed.

My point is that, while talk budgies says that pellets should make up a bigger portion of the diet than seed, it seems that by giving 1 and 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of seed each day, we are actually giving most of the birds daily intake through seed, and then veggies, and then pellets as a small supplement. I've noticed in my birds that, they seem to be full from the 2 teaspoons of seed they get. They will eat a small amount of veggies, and maybe a tiny amount of pellets, but they aren't hungry. They love veggies so if they were hungry they would be eating more.

I also noticed both articles saying seeds can be a small part of the diet, but not that they have to be.

So would it be safe to conclude that we could actually give our budgies a diet of pellets and veggies, and only use seed as a treat for training? Thats what these articles appear to say. However I have also heard claims of pelleted diets in large amounts like that causing issues for small birds because of the high protein content. Since budgies are seed eaters in the wild, it would make sense for them to have a seed mix as the diet base, then veggies, and pellets available as a supplement. This is what is described by many talk budgies staff in saying that budgies should have 1 and 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of seed each day, with pellets available 24/7 and veggies daily. But then they also say that pellets should make up a larger portion of the diet...

Not trying to call anyone out but I'm kind of confused since there seems to be conflicting information here.


Last edited by iHeartPieds; 10-25-2017 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 10-25-2017, 11:45 PM
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Oh this is very interesting new information. I'm really interested to hear everyone's input on this, as I don't have a lot of experience in the matter. It's definitely worth taking a look deeper down the rabbit hole as animal nutrition is one of my favorite things to learn about.
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Old 10-26-2017, 12:11 AM
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There ARE conflicting recommendations out there.
IMO Talkbudgies concludes a sensible compromise between seed and pellets.
When you search for research to back up pellet claims, youíll find that what there is, is often studies on African greys, and the studies tend to compare pellet diets with all seed diets rather than a diet of seeds plus a range of vegetables/fruit/sprouts and other supplements.
Budgies are naturally seed eaters, evolved to crack seeds and we should also consider their mental health and enjoyment of food.
Itís all quite confusing and at the end of the day, itís an educated guess based on the limited research available at present.
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Old 10-26-2017, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by JRS View Post
There ARE conflicting recommendations out there.
IMO Talkbudgies concludes a sensible compromise between seed and pellets.
When you search for research to back up pellet claims, you’ll find that what there is, is often studies on African greys, and the studies tend to compare pellet diets with all seed diets rather than a diet of seeds plus a range of vegetables/fruit/sprouts and other supplements.
Budgies are naturally seed eaters, evolved to crack seeds and we should also consider their mental health and enjoyment of food.
It’s all quite confusing and at the end of the day, it’s an educated guess based on the limited research available at present.
I definitely agree that a variety of pellets, seeds and fresh food is a good balance when it comes to budgies. It was just interesting to me that the articles listed on this forum gave different information to what is commonly promoted on here, being a mix of both seeds and pellets in the diet.
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Old 10-26-2017, 03:39 AM
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Ah, I see what you mean.
Iím not sure where the 1&1/2 to 2 tsp arose from, whether it was the article https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/budgies-feeding or from other unstated reports.
Rereading that, it does appear to be perhaps using that quantity as a base from which to begin conversion. It isnít very clear.

My birds are given 1& 1/2 tsp and they do still eat the pellets (though itís nowhere near 75% of what they eat). They are pretty good at eating a variety of fresh foods though, so Iím not that concerned. Were they fussier eaters, I would put more weight onto the value of the pellets.
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Old 10-26-2017, 06:58 AM
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You've certainly raised a good question and, at this point, I don't have a definitive answer for you.

I'm going to need to dig through the articles and archives to see if I can locate exactly where we came up with the "1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons of seed" per day recommendation that the forum has been promoting.

My budgies are very active and using that amount of seed they always partake of their pellets and veggies so I didn't question the validity of the advice myself.
However, I certainly understand the confusion and concern.

We may need to revise the recommended amount once additional research on the matter has been completed.
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Old 10-27-2017, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by FaeryBee View Post
You've certainly raised a good question and, at this point, I don't have a definitive answer for you.

I'm going to need to dig through the articles and archives to see if I can locate exactly where we came up with the "1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons of seed" per day recommendation that the forum has been promoting.

My budgies are very active and using that amount of seed they always partake of their pellets and veggies so I didn't question the validity of the advice myself.
However, I certainly understand the confusion and concern.

We may need to revise the recommended amount once additional research on the matter has been completed.
Considering that many members have kept budgies for a long time on the recommended diet with 1 and 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of seed, I don't think there would be a reason to change this. I feel as though the information in the articles may be coming from research that has been done on larger birds. I've seen Avian vets say that for smaller, seed eating birds such as budgies and cockatiels, the diet shouldn't consist of more than 25-30% pellets, due to high protein, and the fact that seed is the base of these birds diets in the wild. From looking at the diets people have raised their budgies on and other information, I feel like a 50/25/25 ratio of seeds, pellets and veggies is suitable, which is roughly what we get with the recommended seed amounts. (give or take) That is just my personal opinion, so I don't feel the recommended amount of seeds should be changed, but my concern is that members looking for info about diets will find conflicting information on here due to 2 of the articles shown.
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Old 10-27-2017, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by iHeartPieds View Post
Considering that many members have kept budgies for a long time on the recommended diet with 1 and 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of seed, I don't think there would be a reason to change this. I feel as though the information in the articles may be coming from research that has been done on larger birds. I've seen Avian vets say that for smaller, seed eating birds such as budgies and cockatiels, the diet shouldn't consist of more than 25-30% pellets, due to high protein, and the fact that seed is the base of these birds diets in the wild. From looking at the diets people have raised their budgies on and other information, I feel like a 50/25/25 ratio of seeds, pellets and veggies is suitable, which is roughly what we get with the recommended seed amounts. (give or take) That is just my personal opinion, so I don't feel the recommended amount of seeds should be changed, but my concern is that members looking for info about diets will find conflicting information on here due to 2 of the articles shown.
Could you please provide the links to the articles you are referencing so I can take a look at them?
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Old 10-27-2017, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by FaeryBee View Post


Could you please provide the links to the articles you are referencing so I can take a look at them?
https://nilesanimalhospital.com/files...-Pet-Birds.pdf
https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/budgies-feeding
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Old 10-27-2017, 07:51 PM
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You are correct, there is conflicting information in the two articles.
When individuals do additional research they will find conflicting information from various other Avian Veterinarians as well.
Even very well-known Avian Veterinarians do not always agree on what is the "BEST" diet.

Research into human and animal nutrition is an ongoing process where recommendations and practices evolve and change over time.

Some people feel very strongly about including pellets in a bird's diet while others may tell you that in "not natural" and unnecessary.

The Talk Budgies forum has committed (at the present time) to advising that a healthy diet for budgies should include a high quality seed mix, vegetables, pellets, egg food and perhaps a bit of fruit as an occasional treat.

The forum recognizes that for some people, 1 1/2 -2 teaspoons of seed per day (per budgie) may be too much if the budgies are not eating the other foods in addition to the seed.

If that is the case, considering cutting back the seed amount by 1/4 tsp to see if that helps.
If, after a couple weeks that is not sufficient, try cutting back another 1/4 tsp.
However, unless otherwise advised by your Avian Veterinarian for specific reasons, ensure the budgie always gets at least 1 teaspoon of seed per day in addition to pellets, vegetables (and occasional egg food).

The forum strongly suggests members do their own additional research.
Read as much information as possible, consult with your Avian Veterinarian or trusted mentors and consider what you personally believe to be the best course of action in caring for your budgies.

We advise members to look to those with knowledge and experience, weigh what you believe to be the pros and cons of each course of action and use your own intuition and common sense.

If/when in the course of your personal research, you come across articles you believe may be useful to the forum, feel free to send me the links via Private Message or through the "Contact the Staff" forum.
Please refrain from posting those links in the public portion of the forum until they have been reviewed and approved by our Talk Budgies Staff.

I'm sorry I can't provide a more definitive answer for our members when it comes to evaluating conflicting information.

Rest assured the TB staff are truly doing our best to try to give members resource guidance and advice to ensure the health and well-being of their beloved budgies.

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Last edited by FaeryBee; 10-27-2017 at 07:58 PM.
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