What Seeds Can Budgies Eat?

You do not want to feed your precious budgie a poisonous seed right? This makes it important to find the answer to the question, what seeds can budgies eat?. Find the answer here.

According to Omlet, seeds and grains are the budgie’s staple food in the wild and should make up 50% of your pet bird’s diet, with the balance made up of fresh vegetables and fruits.

With this, it becomes important to understand the kind of seeds to feed your bird. Not all seeds are fit for budgies.

In this post, you shall be learning what type of seeds to you’re your budgies can eat and what seeds to avoid.

Let’s begin!

Types of Seeds Budgies Can Eat

Budgie seeds fall into five categories, with grains and grasses being the most important (i.e. the ones that provide most of the budgie’s intake in the wild).

Grains aren’t seeds, per se, but they’re included in this category since we’re talking about items you’d find in a budgie seed sack.

So, consider the following as checklists and interesting background information rather than a set recipe for creating your seed mixture.

Grass Seeds

Grass belongs in the same category as grains, so mix it in with the other ingredients to make up 50% of the feed.

Most native wild grass seeding heads are great foods for budgies, so it’s important to learn how to spot and harvest them for your pet bird.

Some of the grass seeds are;

  • Annual meadow-grass (Poa annua)
  • Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne)
  • Orchardgrass- cock’s-foot grass (Dactylis glomerata)
  • Velvet grass (Holcus lanatus)
  • Soft brome, or soft chess (Bromus hordeaceus)
  • Meadow foxtail (Alopecurus pratensis)
  • Rough bluegrass (Poa trivialis)
  • Yorkshire Grass, aka tufted grass, Meadow soft grass, or velvet grass(Holcus lanatus)
  • Timothy grass (Phleum pratense)
  • Poverty brome, aka sterile brome or barren (Bromus sterilis)
  •  

Cockspur grass, also known as barnyard grass, barnyard millet, Japanese millet, or watergrass (Echinochloa crus-Galli), is one to avoid.

It is known to be poisonous and accumulates a high level of nitrates.

Though there are no specific warnings regarding this grass in connection to birds, anything that can make a cow feel off-color isn’t going to be healthy for your budgie.

Legumes

Beans, peas, and lentils are all members of this family. Rather than being hard and dry, they should be whole (not split) and sprouting.

It’s fine to include one or two from this list in a mix, and the total legume content should be around 15% of the seed mix.

You’ll be overdoing the proteins in the budgie’s diet if you add any more.

Remember, excess protein can increase the urge of your budgie to breed.

However, if you want your birds to reproduce, this is a useful source of hormone stimulation,

But if you don’t, you’re only asking for trouble.

Many beans are harmful to budgies, so don’t try anything that isn’t on this list.

  • Yellow peas
  • Mung beans
  • Lentils (all sorts)
  • Green peas
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Adzuki beans

Oily Seeds

Budgies love oilseeds, but if there are too many in the mix, they will exclude other seeds from the mix.

Because of their oiliness, they’re the budgie’s equivalent of burgers and chips, so keep them at a bare minimum – no more than 10% of the total seed offering.

Also, do not roast the seeds, and make sure to only buy them in small quantities since oilseeds don’t store very well.

Any oil seed older than three months is likely to turn rotten.

Due to their high-fat content, millet, hemp, niger, and rape are included here even though they are technically grains.

  • Sunflower
  • Pumpkin (soaked and allowed to germinate first)
  • Millet
  • Sesame
  • Flax (not suitable for sprouting – they acquire a slimy surface that budgies don’t approve of)
  • Poppy
  • Niger (or Nyjer)
  • Hemp (bashed about a bit, to crack the tough husks)
  • Rapeseed

Herb Seeds

A quarter of a good seed mix should be derived from herb seeds.

In any given mix, you don’t need many of these varieties.

  • Red Clover
  • Radish
  • Mustard (yellow, red, and black)
  • Kale
  • Fenugreek
  • Fennel
  • Dill
  • Clover
  • Chia
  • Canola
  • Cabbage
  • Alfalfa

Grains

As mentioned earlier, your pet bird must consume at least 50% of its diet from grass-derived seeds and grains.

Barley, wheat, rye, and oats, as well as other common corn crops, are all gotten from grass.

No pearl barley or rolled oats, and certainly no grain-based morning cereals, or anything roasted, soaked, baked, or boiled should be used in a seed mix.

They can also be used as sprays, providing the budgie with the tough but enjoyable task of breaking through the stiff husk to get the grain beneath.

Here’s a more comprehensive list of grains that are suitable for budgies:

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Sweet corn kernels
  • Buckwheat (whole)
  • Amaranth
  • Rye
  • Oats
  • Canary seed
  • Quinoa

It is fine to feed budgies a ready-made seed mix as long as the seeds are fresh, but remember that ready-made seed mix has a limited shelf life.

Foods that have passed their expiration date have little nutritional value.

Luckily, fresh seeds can be easily tested.

Soak a few seeds in water overnight, rinse and drain them, then spread them out on wet kitchen paper or cotton wool for 24 hours to keep them warm.

Throw them away if less than 50% of the seeds begin to sprout.

At least 90% of good seeds will sprout.

What seeds can budgies not eat?

Some of the seeds to be listed below are foods that your budgie may enjoy eating but are harmful to their health.

Some of the seeds that budgies cannot eat are budgie seeds that are high in fat.

This means that some of these seeds are not particularly harmful but can cause serious harm to your bird if you offer them in excess.

Only offer them occasionally and in small amounts as budgies who take it excessively can become obese therefore shortening their lifespan.

Some of these seeds should however be avoided completely.

  • Apple seeds
  • Beans – many raw beans are toxic for budgies, so it’s best to avoid them all
  • Peanuts (they very quickly grow a lethal fungus, so best to avoid altogether)
  • Millet
  • Sunflower
  • Sesame
  • Rapeseed
  • Niger
  • Flax
  • Hemp
  • Pumpkin (soaked and allowed to sprout first).

Niger, rape, hemp, and millet are grains but are worthy of mentioning due to their high fat.

Can budgies eat sunflower seeds?

Budgies can eat sunflower seeds as they are tasty, healthy, and fun for budgies to eat. They also provide energy, essential vitamins, and minerals, reduce inflammation and, boost their immune system.

Do not offer them more than 2 tablespoons per week as the black oil and striped sunflower seeds are high in fat.

Sunflower seeds are readily chewed and shelled by budgies. They see it as an opportunity to turn mealtime into playtime.

Sunflower seeds should not be roasted because the extra oil, salt, and preservatives are toxic to budgies.

Can budgies eat pumpkin seeds?

Budgies can eat pumpkin seeds as they are filled with nutrients such as vitamin A, protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, unsaturated fats, manganese, folate, and phosphorus. Only feed them in moderation as they produce dietary fat which can lead to obesity.

They however remain a great treat for budgies who consider it one of their favorite foods.

Can budgies eat sesame seeds?

Budgies can eat sesame seeds as they provide them with a stronger immune system, improved digestion, stronger bones, and healthier blood. It also improves their energy levels, fights off infections, and helps them live longer. They can be fattening, so they should be fed sesame seeds only 3-4 times monthly.

Sesame seeds can suppress your budgie’s appetite for healthy foods, and overload your bird with fiber if fed too regularly.

They can also limit your budgie’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals since they contain anti-nutrients.

Nonetheless, your budgie can benefit from the B vitamins found in sesame seeds and even develop more vitamin E as a result.

And budgies can eat sesame seeds as long as they’re offered as a treat and not roasted.

Can budgies eat flax seeds?

Budgies can eat flax seeds as they are safe for parrots to eat and are a good addition to your budgie’s diet. Most budgie owners enjoy feeding healthy flax seeds to their birds as it contributes to their bird’s overall health.

However, flax seeds should only be given to your budgie in moderation (just like any nuts or seeds) since they are high in fat.

Can budgies eat chia seeds?

Chia seeds are great for budgies as they are healthy and high in vitamins and omega 3. They are a good source of calcium and vitamin E and B. It can also help improve your budgie’s skin and feathers.

It’s best to offer your bird organic chia seeds and also avoid offering them too much of it.

Chia seeds also contain fat since they belong to the family of OLEOGENOUS seed family.

Chia seeds are however different from the other oleaginous seeds in their fat content.

Only 10% are saturated fats, and two-thirds of the chia oil is Omega 3 essential fatty acids (polyunsaturated).

Do budgies eat the whole seed?

Budgies do eat and swallow the whole seed but only after dehusking the seeds. This is so for most seeds they eat.

Before consuming the tasty seed within, they remove the hulls with their beaks.

Seeds in their shells can be placed on a food tray inside your parrot’s cage to allow them to carry out their natural wild behavior in captivity.

It’ll be something that budgies will enjoy doing every day.

How much seeds should I feed my budgie?

Depending on the size of the budgie, budgies should be fed 1.5 – 2 teaspoons of seeds daily in a shallow dish. This should be supported with a daily intake of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Separate dishes should be offered where you have more than one budgie in the cage. This ensures that birds at the bottom of the “pecking order” can also eat.

Where you have a flock, this may not be possible though.

At the end of the day, if you find any leftover seeds in the dish, this could mean that you have offered your budgies too many seeds.

Remember, Seeds should only make up a little portion of your budgie’s diet.

Can budgies survive on just seeds?

Budgies cannot survive on just seeds as seeds are nutritionally incomplete and lack some essential proteins, vitamins, and minerals. They should never be the entire diet but should only form a small part of a budgie’s diet.

This is according to VCA Hospitals.

If you gradually reduce the number of seeds you give your budgie and supplement them with healthier options like enriched pellets and a little number of fresh fruits and vegetables, your bird will eventually be eating a well-balanced diet.

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