Feeding a budgie

What does a budgie eat?

In their natural habitat, budgies would normally eat seeds and leaves from grasses, flowers, and nibble on bark and branches to keep their beaks short. Pet budgies can be given commercial small bird seed mixtures, plus some fruit — but not too much as this can cause diarrhoea — and raw vegetables such as carrot, lettuce and leafy greens in small amounts. Avoid watery lettuces such as iceberg and cabbage as these will also cause diarrhoea and stick to dark green and purple lettuces, which will be full of nutrients.

Fresh fruit and veg should be given to your budgie every few days chopped into small pieces amongst their own food — ensure all fresh veg is thoroughly washed to avoid harming your budgie with any chemicals and pesticides.

Other commercial bird seed treats such as sprouted seeds and millet can also be given, and oats are good for during the winter months. All food should be mixed with grit which contains oyster shells, charcoal, ground eggshell, calcium, cuttlebone and mineralised lime which helps them digest their food. 

Pellets are an alternative to seeds, and have the same nutritional balance that budgies would have in the wild. You will still need to give your budgie fresh fruit and vegetables with the pellets to keep their vitamin levels up. 

Foods to avoid with your budgie

There are foods that you should always avoid giving to your budgie, such as fruit seeds, avocado, tomato leaves and stems, rhubarb, uncooked beans and sugary foods like chocolate. Fruit seeds are toxic to birds, so when feeding them fruit make sure you remove the seeds before you feed it to them — strawberry seeds are okay. You should also avoid any dairy products as budgies cannot digest lactose. 

Cuttlefish and budgies

A cuttlefish bone should be put into the cage for your budgie to peck at — this will give him an important source of calcium and also keep his beak from becoming overgrown. A  mineral block is also great to put into the cage as this too will be something for your budgie to peck at, and keep him topped up with all the right nutrients for him to thrive. 

Budgies will usually pick at seeds and leave behind the shells, which can pile up on top of any uneaten food below. So cleaning out their food bowl and replacing with new food throughout the day is important. 

Pet care advice