What Do Parakeets Eat?

Being a bird owner isn’t easy, but it can be very fulfilling. Even though owning a bird can be easier than owning a dog, they still need close care and monitoring. Birds have a lifespan that ranges largely, and that’s because they often die from illness or improper care. To ensure that your pet bird lives a long and healthy life, learn everything that you can about the bird you own and work closely with your vet.

Parakeets are one of the most popular birds to have as a pet. They need a lot of attention and care so they don’t succumb to a variety of infections. Part of ensuring that your parakeet is healthy is watching what it eats closely.

What Do Parakeets Eat

Fruits

Parakeets can eat many fruits. Fruits are a great thing to add to your parakeet diet because they have a lot of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your bird needs. The best thing you can do for your parakeet is ensure that their diet has antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, alpha lipoic acid and superoxide dismutase.

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A lot of these antioxidants can be found in fruits, so adding fruits to your parakeets meal can be a great choice to make sure that any nutrition that isn’t found in their food can be found in the fruits that you feed them.

The following list is composed of fruits that your parakeet can eat:

  • Apples
  • Banana skin and bananas
  • Figs
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi
  • Apricots
  • Lemons
  • Passion fruit
  • Oranges
  • Nectarines
  • Persimmons
  • Pineapple
  • Plums
  • All varieties of lemon
  • Tangerines
  • Raisins
  • Watermelon

In captivity parakeets can enjoy a wide variety of fruits. Make sure you remove anything that could be a choking hazard to your parakeet. Certain fruits like tomatoes need the leaves to be removed. Other fruits like figs need to be eaten sparingly because of their sweetness. you also want to make sure you’re removing the seeds of fruits that are poisonous to them. While pomegranate seeds are fine, other seeds need to be removed. Apple seeds and the pits of many fruits need to be removed because they can be very toxic to your parakeet.

You also want to make sure that your parakeet has servings of fruit that fits their diet. Make sure you weren’t feeding them too much or too little fruit. Too much fruit is more of a danger because of how much sugar is found in it. Even though the sugar is all natural, you still need to watch how much fruit your parakeet consumes.

If your parakeet is new to eating fruits, and might be hesitant to eat it. You could always try to mix it into food that they already eat to get them used to it. You can also try to give them bright colored fruits that are orange or yellow because these will attract their attention. A lot of people take a bite of the fruit and then give some to their parakeet because watching you eat is enough temptation to get them to eat.

25% of their diet should be fresh food so make sure that you tried to introduce fruit to them early on and ensure that they have a balanced diet. Also, many birds love through so even though you might be tempted to give them more because they love it, make sure you limit it to a fairly small portion.

Vegetables

Vegetables are also a great food category to add to your birds diet. Not all vegetables are great in your parakeets diet. Some vegetables, like celery and lettuce are great for fiber and water, but they aren’t nutritious otherwise. Usually, if you feed them dark yellow and leafy green vegetables, this is a nutritious addition to their diet.

If you give your bird vegetables in different forms, they will be more interested in eating them. You can feed them vegetables slightly warm, chopped or freshly whole. You should also try hanging them from the side of the cage in a cage clip (view on Amazon) or giving them chunks so that they can pick it up with their feet and eat it. You might need to get creative to ensure that they always eat their vegetables and always try to change up the vegetable variety that you feed them.

Leafy greens that you can feed your parakeet include collards, kale, mustard greens, beet greens, dandelion greens, turnip greens, and swiss chard. You can also feed them small amounts of romaine or green and red leaf lettuce. Other green vegetables like the head and leaves of broccoli or green beans are also great for your parakeet. Make sure you wash all of the leafy vegetables that you give your parakeet because they can hold dirt or organisms that can harm them.

The roots and tops of carrots and sweet potatoes are very great for your parakeet. They will also likely love the carrots and sweet potatoes because of their sweet taste. You can also feed your parakeet sweet yellow, red and green peppers. Mixing these into their food is a great way to ensure that they eat any new food that you’re trying to feed them because of the sweetness.

Eggplant, squash and cauliflower are usually vegetables that are hard to get your parakeet to eat. Mixing them into their seed mixtures or with some fruits would be a great way to introduce these into their diet. Parakeets are also known for loving corn kernels. Feeding them the corn on the cob might be too large for them, but you can try to if you think they’d like that.

Good greens are also a great source of protein for your parakeet. The high fiber amount will make sure your parakeets digestive system runs smoothly. You need to ensure that the beans are cooked well because raw beans are very toxic for birds.

Make sure you do not feed your parakeet avocado because it can be very toxic for them.

Seeds

Parakeet seeds should only be 10% of their diet. It needs to be fresh and you need to be aware of its shelf life. Store-bought seed has a limited shelf-life and once it’s used- by date has passed, the nutrients will disappear. Also make sure that their seed is not exposed to direct light or too much heat. It will be leached of its nutrients if this happens. It’s a good idea to ask pet forums or local parakeet breeders to see what’s the best mix in your neighborhood. You can always choose to buy online also.

If you want to know how old a batch of seed is, a good tip is to soak it in water for 6 hours. Place the drained seeds on wet cotton wool or kitchen paper after and leave it in one place for 24 hours. 50% of the seeds should be sprouting after 24 hours pass. A good batch of seed will show 80 to 100% of sprouting.

If nothing happens after 36 hours and you’re sure the seeds were kept moist, you have a dead batch of food. Dead batches of food will make your parakeets malnourished, so make sure you feed them a high quality seed mix.

Supreme Parakeet (view on Amazon) food is a great seed mix to feed your parakeet. It’s a naturally fortified seed mix made from a very reputable company. Kaytee is a veterinarian recommended brand for parakeets.

This particular mix has a lot of DHA omega-3 to support your parakeets brain, heart and visual functions. It also has prebiotics and probiotics to support your parakeet’s digestive health. It’s rich in antioxidants for general health and immune support in your parakeet. This brand has a lot of different food that would benefit your parakeets health. You have to use this food within 30 to 45 days so you might want to buy it in smaller amounts.

Higgins Vita Seed (view on Amazon) is also a great seed mix for your parakeet. It’s naturally preserved so you don’t have to worry about adding more preservatives to your parakeets diet. It also has DHA and Omega 3 for your parakeet’s digestive health. There’s a lot of added vitamins and minerals to this bird seed, so you don’t have to worry about supplementing much. It also has no artificial colors or flavors. It has very high ratings and many people noticed that their parakeets love this food.

Pellets

Good quality parakeet pellets should be essential in your bird’s diet. Parakeets preferred Seafood to pellet food so you should move them so we from seeds to pay. This can be very difficult and take several weeks to accomplish. Changing to pellets is worth it for your parakeets health. Pellets can be made into a mash and mixed with seed to make it more appealing to them during the food transition, but over time your parakeet should get used to pellets.

Pellets give your parakeet a rounded diet but they’ll likely find it unpalatable unless you started them off on pellets. They were popular in the past in the 1980s and 90s as a complete nutritional solution for parakeet food. A mixture of seed and fresh foods with a pellet to eat is the perfect parakeet diet. Pellets are not harmful and it’s true that they add nutrition to the diet. If you want to give them pellets, you can, but you can also just focus on giving the mineral blocks, fresh food and seeds.

ZuPreem Natural with Added Vitamins (view on Amazon) is an appetizing pellet option to give your parakeet. It’s a great seed for medium and large birds because of all the nutrients it provides and all of these food related needs it can cover. This is a great product that will help your parakeet be healthy and have delicious nutrition daily.

It’s a nugget shaped food that is made from grains and vegetables that will be easy for your parakeet to digest. It’s all so naturally preserved and it maintains the vitamin potency and freshness that your parakeet needs to thrive. Since it is fortified with the essential minerals and vitamins that your parakeet needs, this should be a daily addition to your parakeets diet. It’s recommended that you give your parakeet 1 to 3 tablespoons of this a day.

Snacks

Kaytee Forti- Diet Oat Groats

This exact is a great source of protein for your parakeet. It adds great variety to their meals and they’ll really enjoy it as a snack. If you find that your parakeet is bored with their meals, then you can add this to it so you can increase their appetite again. It comes in a small digestible form so beating it to your parakeet shouldn’t be an issue. You can likely feed it to them right out of your hand if you choose to.

Lafeber’s Classic Nutri-Berries

This snack will likely be unlike anything that’s already in your parakeets diet. It’s a very nutritious snack. It gives your bird if necessary nutrients in a form that they’ll love. It contains a lot of the vitamins, minerals and amino acids that are needed to complete your parakeets diet. Many reviewers said that it was a great snack for the parakeet. It’s also perfect for you if you don’t want to have to add any vitamins to their food or water. These are already perfectly safe for your parakeet so you don’t have to worry about sorting through it.

Parakeets are not hard birds to feed, but you have to know alot about their diet to ensure they’re healthy. Working with your vet and ensuring that you have variety in what you’re feeding them is a good way to ensure your bird lives a long life.