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Budgie Parakeet Food and Feeding Recommendations

Parakeets should eat vegetables, fruit and sprouts.

Parakeets should eat vegetables, fruit and sprouts — not just seed or processed pellets.

Do you already know that you want to order our organic bird food mixes? Go here!

The Problem With An All Seed Diet

Don’t let your feathered friend become a seed junkie. Mass-produced bird seed has too much fat and not enough vitamins, minerals and proteins. Budgie parakeets fed seed-only diets have a much shorter life span — in fact, malnourishment is a leading cause of premature death in pet birds! Furthermore,Avian veterinarians estimate that poor nourishment is the underlying cause of about 75 to 80 percent of the medical problems they see. (Source: Bird Talk April 2010)

Mass-produced dry seed parakeet food should constitute no more than about 20 percent of your budgie’s diet. If offered dry seeds as a free-choice diet component, budgies and other parrots will usually eat it to the exclusion of everything else offered. In other words, don’t put a dish of just dry seeds in your bird’s cage and expect them to eat their vegetables, too!

The Problem With Pellets

So if a seed-only diet is lacking in nutrition, should you feed those “complete nutrition” pelleted diets instead? In a word, NO. Avoid processed foods whenever possible and feed “live”, enzyme-rich whole foods as nature intended. Heck, I don’t feed my family a daily diet of processed meal bars or bowls of boxed cereal just because they’re packed full of synthetic vitamins! I feed my family whole, natural, enzyme-rich, unprocessed foods. Likewise with my birds. Feeding pellets exclusively can lead to health problems, especially with the kidneys and liver. A diet of cooked and processed food does not contain as much nutritional value or enzymes as fresh raw foods.

So What SHOULD You Feed Your Parakeet or Parrot?

Sprouts: Sprouted seeds, grains, legumes and peas provide your bird with nutrient and enzyme-rich food as nature intended. Sprouting offers the opportunity to give birds the live food that they are biologically adapted to consume. Sprouting changes and enhances the nutritional quality of vegetable proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and chlorophyll. Research at the University of Minnesota found that sprouting increases the total nutrient density of food. For example, sprouted whole wheat was found to have 315% more vitamin B2, 300% more vitamin C, 278% more folic acid, 111% more biotin, 66% more vitamin B3, 65% more vitamin B5, and 28% more thiamin than non-sprouted whole wheat. There is also a significant increase in beneficial enzymes after sprouting. And this phenomenon isn’t limited to just wheat — ALL grains are substantially transformed by sprouting!

Keep reading to learn how to make your own sprouting parakeet food (see below) or buy an organic sprouting mix from me.

Vegetables: For optimal health, organic vegetables should be offered daily. Vegetables are best fed raw. For the biggest nutritional punch, focus mostly on dark green leafy vegetables (some favorites are dandelion leaves, parsley, cilantro, kale, spinach) and orange veggies (carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, pumpkin). Herbs and spices are excellent as well – keep reading for details.

Fruit: Offer fruit only occasionally (perhaps 1-2 times weekly) as it contains more sugar.

Keep reading for lists of safe vegetables and fruits to feed your birds (see below).

Egg Food: Once a week (or 2-3 times weekly for molting or nesting birds); see my  EGG FOOD RECIPE below.

Jen’s Daily Feeding Routine

Sprouts, vegetable and fruit mix

Feed sprouts and vegetables daily.

Breakfast: 1-2 teaspoons (per budgie) of an organic, sprouted mix of seeds, grains, and legumes. (Note: I provide the ingredients and directions below so you can make your own. Or for your convenience, I sell an organic sprouting mix) Add 1 tablespoon of chopped, organic vegetables and/or fruit.

Afternoon Meal: Throw away breakfast meal remains and wash the food dish with soap and hot water. This meal is identical to the breakfast meal however it is important to offer a fresh batch to avoid spoilage or bacterial infection.

Bedtime: An hour before you tuck your budgie(s) in for the night, remove the afternoon meal remains and wash the dish. Provide 1 scant teaspoon (per budgie) of a dry seed or pellet mix for late night munching. Avoid products that contain color dyes, artificial flavors, chemical preservatives, and other additives. Try Kaylor of Colorado, Harrison’s, or Dr. Harvey’s. Remember to limit processed convenience foods to 20% of your parakeet’s total diet.

Note: Parakeets hull their seeds, which means they take the “skin” off the outside of the seed before eating it. This “skin” normally drops back into the dish, so it may look like their dish is full. Don’t be fooled by a dish of empty seed hulls!

Keep in the cage at all times:

Once a week (or 2-3 times weekly for molting or nesting birds), feed this EGG FOOD RECIPE:

budgie parakeet egg food

Feed egg food once a week (more often if molting or raising babies).

  1. Wash an organic egg.
  2. Drop the entire egg into a food processor or blender. The shell is a good source of calcium. Whir it all up to mince the shell into the egg.
  3. Cook thoroughly. DO NOT USE TEFLON OR NON-STICK COOKWARE as the fumes are toxic to birds! It’s fine to use a little vegetable oil in your skillet to prevent sticking.
  4. Mix in finely diced vegetables and/or herbs and diced whole grain bread cubes.
  5. Serve lukewarm. Remove remains from dish within 1-2 hours to prevent spoilage.


One of my favorite treats to use during handling and training is organic hulled millet. Using hulled seeds means there’s no shell mess to clean up afterward, yay!

Sprouts (The Main Course)

Sprouting Instructions

  1. INGREDIENTS: Below, I provide a list of suitable ingredients so you can make your own sprouting mix. For your convenience, I also make and sell an organic sprouting mix – order it directly from me here.
  2. CLEAN: Place 4 days worth of an organic sprouting mix into a small stainless steel fine mesh strainer. Rinse the mix with cool water until the water runs clear. (Note: 1 budgie fed twice daily will typically consume about 8 teaspoons in 4 days.)
  3. SOAK: Spoon the mix into a clean glass container. Cover the mix with cool water. Soak the mix for 8-10 hours at room temperature.
  4. RINSE and DRAIN: After soaking for 8-10 hours, pour the soaked mix into a clean, small stainless steel fine mesh strainer. Using cold water, rinse the mix in the strainer until the water runs clear. Drain thoroughly.
  5. SPROUT: Place the strainer over a bowl to catch water drips. Keep the strainer at room temperature (70° is optimal), away from direct sunlight, and where air circulates (not in a cupboard). While sprouting, make sure to thoroughly rinse and drain the mix in the strainer AT LEAST TWICE DAILY (up to 4 times per day in dry climates). Let the sprouting progress for at least 8 hours and up to 4 days. Long sprout tails are NOT necessary, in fact, most birds prefer to eat them while the sprout tails or roots are barely visible.
  6. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR and SERVEAdding a short apple cider vinegar soak right before serving is beneficial as it helps to guard against bacteria and fungi. Buy your apple cider vinegar from the natural food store — it should be organic, raw, and unfiltered. “Bragg” is a good brand. Right before serving each meal portion, rinse the sprouts in the strainer, then soak one meal portion of the sprouts in 1/2 cup water containing 1/2 teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar for 10 minutes. Drain well and serve the food immediately.
  7. CLEANLINESS AND FRESHNESS: To avoid toxic bacterial infections, remove old food and replace with a fresh batch at least every 8 hours (feed twice daily). If you live in a hot or humid climate without air conditioning, you may need to remove the remains as soon as 1-2 hours. Scrub all feeding and sprouting utensils, strainers, dishes and jars with hot, soapy water after each use. I keep twice as many feeding dishes as I have cages so that I can run the used ones through the dishwasher for easy sterilization. If your cage doesn’t have a bottom grill, remove and replace the newspapers on the bottom of the cage EVERY DAY so that your birds won’t have access to old, rotting food that has fallen from their food bowl.
  8. REFRIGERATE: I feed the sprouted mix straight from the strainer, at room temperature, within 4 days. However, if you still have some leftovers after sprouting for 4 days, then thoroughly rinse, drain, and refrigerate the leftovers. Smell the sprouts before feeding — if it smells musty or sour, toss it out and start a new batch.

Sprouting Ingredients

Jen's Organic Sprouting Parakeet Food

Jen’s Organic Sprouting Parakeet Food

You don’t need to buy every ingredient listed below all at once. Instead, provide a variety over time. Mix a few types of ingredients from each subcategory. For example, buy 2+ herb seeds, 2+ grains, 2+ oil seeds, and 2+ legumes. The diversity and balance of seeds, grains and legumes are complementary so that by feeding a variety, the blend is capable of providing the nutrients parrots require.

The weighted ratio I typically aim for in the total mix is roughly 50-60% grains, 20-25% legumes (peas, beans, lentils), 8-12% herb seeds, and 8-12% oil seeds.

Buy seeds for sprouting from reputable sources. To take a standard mass-produced birdseed mix and attempt to sprout it may be asking for trouble. I use only human-grade, organic, vacuum-bagged seeds, legumes and grains that I buy from a natural health food grocer. If you don’t have access to a natural health store or don’t care to mix your own, I do offer my organic sprouting mix for sale — it contains a variety of at least 16 ingredients, all human-grade and organic.

Note: All sprouting ingredients need to be raw and whole or “hulless” (not hulled). Do NOT used canned or roasted ingredients.

Herb Seeds

Combine 2 or more from this subcategory:

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

Grain Seeds

Combine 2 or more from this subcategory:

  • Amaranth
  • Barley (whole; NOT unhulled or pearl)
  • Brown Rice (short grain is best as the seed is more likely to be intact/unbroken)
  • Buckwheat (whole; NOT toasted)
  • Canary
  • Hemp Seed
  • Kamut
  • Millets (yellow, red, white)
  • Niger
  • Oat (whole; NOT rolled or groat)
  • Quinoa
  • Rape
  • Rye Berries
  • Spring Rye
  • Triticale
  • Wheatberries (winter)
  • Whole kernel corn (popcorn)

Oil Seeds

Combine 2 or more from this subcategory:

  • Flax Seeds (brown, golden)
  • Sesame Seeds (black, white, brown; NOT toasted)
  • Sunflower Seeds (raw, hulled or unhulled; NOT roasted or salted)

Legumes (Beans, Peas, Lentils)

Combine 2 or more from this subcategory:

  • Adzuki Beans
  • Black-eyed Peas
  • Garbanzo / Chick Peas (yellow, brown, black)
  • Green Whole Peas
  • Lentils (french, red, green)
  • Mung Beans
  • Speckled Peas
  • Yellow Whole Peas

Herbs and Spices (Nature’s Pharmacy)

Herb and spice food ingredients

Herb and spice food I make for my budgie parakeets.

Following is a list of antioxidant-rich herbs and spices known to be beneficial in a wide variety of ways. Keep a mixed teaspoonful available in your bird’s cage, in a separate dish, and refill with a fresh spoonful once or twice weekly. Your budgie will select the ingredients it wants or needs at the time. It’s as close to foraging nature’s pharmacy our captive birds will experience!

Make your own from the ingredients listed below or purchase the organic Herb and Spice Mix from me.

  • Alfalfa Leaf
  • Anise
  • Astragalus
  • Barberry
  • Barley Grass
  • Basil
  • Bee Balm
  • Bee Pollen Granules
  • Calendula Flowers
  • Cayenne
  • Chamomile
  • Chickweed
  • Chili Flakes
  • Cinnamon
  • Cumin Seeds
  • Dandelion Leaf
  • Dill
  • Dulse Leaf
  • Echinacea
  • Eucalyptus Leaf
  • Fennel Seed
  • Ginger
  • Hibiscus Blossoms
  • Kelp
  • Lavender
  • Licorice
  • Marshmallow
  • Milk Thistle
  • Oatstraw
  • Olive leaf
  • Oregano
  • Papaya leaf
  • Parsley Flakes
  • Pau d’arco
  • Peppermint Leaf
  • Plantain
  • Red Clover Blossoms and Leaf
  • Red Raspberry Leaf
  • Rosehips
  • Rosemary Leaf
  • Sage
  • Spirulina
  • Thyme Leaf
  • Turmeric
  • Wheat Grass
  • Yarrow

Safe Vegetables

For optimum health, feed your budgie parakeets vegetables daily. Buy fresh or frozen organic, pesticide-free produce. Do NOT use cooked or canned vegetables.

  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Chard
  • Cilantro
  • Collard Greens
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Dark Green Lettuce (not Iceberg)
  • Green Beans
  • Kale
  • Mustard Greens
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Peppers (any color; spicy is fine, even jalapenos)
  • Pumpkin
  • Rapini
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomato
  • Turnip Greens
  • Yams
  • Zucchini

Safe Fruits

Feed fruit in small amounts and less often than vegetables because fruit contains mostly sugar and water. Buy fresh or frozen organic, pesticide-free produce. Do NOT used cooked or canned fruit. Don’t include the fruit seeds or pits because they contain trace amounts of Cyanide.

  • Apple
  • Apricot
  • Banana
  • Berries (Blackberry, Blueberry, Cranberry, Raspberry, Strawberry)
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries
  • Dried fruit (unsulfured)
  • Grapes (half a grape per day per parakeet maximum)
  • Kiwi
  • Lemon
  • Mango
  • Melons
  • Oranges
  • Papaya
  • Passion Fruit
  • Peach
  • Pears
  • Pineapple

Misc Foods

  • Cuttlebone: should be available in your bird’s cage as it is a good calcium supplement. Buy it at your local feed or pet store.
  • Dried Fruit (no sulfur dioxide): banana chips, apples, mango pieces, coconut shreds, orange peel granules
  • Dried Vegetables (no sulfur dioxide): see list of safe vegetables above.
  • Eggs: hardboiled or scrambled eggs including the clean, crushed shell. Offer animal protein in smaller amounts. See this page (above) for egg food recipe.
  • Human Baby Food: containing fruits, vegetables, pasta, grains
  • Mealworms: small, available at pet stores
  • Millet Sprays: in moderation or as a training reward
  • Nuts: high in fat so give them to your bird only in moderation; macadamia, brazil, almond, filbert, cashew, pecan, pistachio, pignolia, walnut
  • Pasta: preferably whole grain
  • Pumpkin Seeds: Soak “naked” or hulled raw pumpkin seeds for an hour, during which time they turn into a nutrition packed living food.

UNSAFE Foods For Parakeets and Other Parrots

  • Conventionally grown produce: Stick to organic products because the bird’s body is too small to handle even small doses of pesticides and herbicides. I once made the mistake of feeding our pet gerbils conventionally-grown (non-organic) mixed greens and within 12 hours, they were dead!
  • Spoiled or Soiled Food: Remove all uneaten food and replace with a fresh batch at least twice daily to avoid deadly internal bacterial infections.
  • Grit: It has been known to cause impaction. Parrots don’t need grit because they don’t eat hard seed hulls that need to be broken down by the digestive system; they hull their seeds with their beaks before eating them.
  • Supplements in their water: Your bird should have fresh water every day. Don’t add supplements unless your veterinarian tells you to; they can be a medium for bacteria to grow and can cause a bird to turn up his nose at his water bowl, leading to decreased water intake and kidney damage.
  • ANY food that has been in your mouth: Human saliva contains many toxic and bacterial substances that can be deadly to your bird.
  • Avocado, including guacamole.
  • Mushrooms: Mushrooms are a fungus and some species are toxic.
  • Onion:  Excessive amounts can cause digestive discomfort and anemia.
  • Garlic:  Garlic has many health benefits, however overindulgence can reportedly cause anemia. I choose to feed my birds a little garlic occasionally and haven’t had any problems.
  • Raw meat and poultry: May carry salmonella and other bacteria.
  • Deli foods: Too many additives and preservatives like sulfites, sulfates, nitrites, nitrates, etc.
  • Milk or raw-milk (non-pasteurized) cheese: Parrots do not digest dairy products containing lactose (the type of sugar contained in milk). Parrots are not mammals and so are not fed milk as babies — they feed their young by regurgitating food to them. Yogurts or low-fat cheese in very small amounts are okay because their initial lactose has been transformed.
  • Potatoes: Potatoes are not toxic in themselves, but certain parts of them are: the skin as well as the green parts you sometimes see on their flesh. These green bits contain solanine, a toxic alkaloid that forms when potatoes are overexposed to light. This alkaloid can affect the central nervous system if ingested in significant quantity. It also is necessary to remove the germinated parts and potato eyes, since these also contain solanine.
  • Eggplants: Another member of the solanaceae family (with the potato), eggplants contain toxic solanine.
  • GREEN tomatoes: Contain tomatine, a substance like solanine. The plants and the leaves of GREEN tomatoes are toxic.
  • Apple seeds or pear, plum, cherry, apricot and peach pits: Contain cyanhydric acid (cyanide).
  • Honey: Can contain a toxic bacterium that produces the neurotoxin botulin: clostridium botulinum.
  • Chocolate: It’s toxic to many animals, birds included.
  • Junk Food: Ritz crackers, chips, Cheetos, candy, etc.
  • Alcohol, Caffeine Tobacco, Soda: Duh, right?

How To Encourage Your Budgie Parakeet To Eat New Foods

Parakeet eating parsley

Parakeets often bathe in wet vegetables before eating them.

The key to optimum parakeet nutrition is variety, however if your parakeet has eaten little except prepackaged mass-produced dry seed before, she will need time to get used to different foods. Sometimes the transition to a new, better diet takes many weeks, but don’t give up — keep her longterm nutritional health in mind. Don’t change foods suddenly; do so gradually and make certain that she is eating the new food before removing all of the old. Here are some tips on encouraging your parakeet to eat new foods:

  • For the first week or two, sprinkle her favorite seeds on top of the new food. After this initial introduction, mix a small amount of the seeds into the new food to encourage exploration.
  • Offer the new food items as an appetizer — BEFORE breakfast when she is most hungry.
  • Many budgies will be encouraged to try new foods by peer pressure — observing another bird eating the food. Lacking another bird, try placing the new food on a mirror. If your bird is bonded with you, be his role model.
  • Try moistening leafy green vegetables before offering as budgies often like to bathe on them, then eat them.
  • Try serving large chunks of veggies for them to chew pieces off, as well as finely grated and mixed into their sprouts.
  • If after several weeks your budgie continues to pick out her favorite ingredients and leaves the rest, try coarsely grinding a mixture of her normal food with the new food items (right before serving) to make it difficult for her to be picky. A coffee bean or spice grinder works well for small batches; a food processor for large batches. But you will need to remove uneaten ground-up foods from the cage within 30-60 minutes (depending on your climate) because it will spoil much faster than whole foods and sprouts will.

Thank you for reading this far, and for your investment in helping your feathered friend enjoy a healthy, long life! I realize I’ve provided a lot of information to absorb, but I promise you, once you establish a daily feeding routine, it is easy. I’ve been told that the most difficult part is shopping for such a wide variety of ingredients — but I can do the leg work for you! Order my organic and homemade bird food mixes.

More Budgie Parakeet Pages

Nutrition and Food Recommendations: Birds fed seed-only diets have a much shorter life span. We provide lists of healthy foods and show you how to grow your own sprouts.

Colors, Varieties, Mutations, Genetics: Budgie Parakeets come in a rainbow of colors. This page has beautiful photos with variety and mutation descriptions.

How To Care For Your Budgie Parakeet: What is the best cage and how should I set it up? How do I keep my budgie healthy and safe? What are the best toys and playtime activities? How do I trim their wing feathers?

FAQ (frequently asked questions): What is a budgie parakeet’s personality like? What are the differences between American parakeets and English budgies? How do you tell a male from a female? Should you keep one, two or more? How long do they live? Where did the species originate?

Training, Tricks, Talking: A step-by-step guide for finger-training, trust-building, and bonding. Watch informative and entertaining video demonstrations. Find out how many words they can learn to say.

Play gyms, Stands and Perches: How to make your own (or order a custom one from us).

Homemade Aviaries and Flight Cages: How to converted used furniture into large flight cages and beautiful indoor aviaries.

Parakeet Food and Supplies Market: We offer organic, homemade bird food plus other essential bird supplies.

Budgie Parakeet Breeder in Colorado: Our family raises, hand-feeds, trains and adores budgie parakeets! Learn more about our selective breeding program and view our gorgeous, tame birds.

Inside Our Aviary: See where our birds live — flight enclosures, breeding room, play gyms.

Our Flock of Budgie Parakeets: Take a peek at our gorgeous feathered friends. Lots of photos with color mutations listed!

Adorable Pictures of Our Hand-fed Babies: Come ooh and aahh over all the cuteness and watch them grow up!

Pre-Adoption Questionnaire: If you are interested in adopting one (or more) of our parakeets, please respond to these questions.

Budgie Baby Waiting List: I know how hard it is to wait when you’re excited but I promise you, the wait is worth it!


132 comments… add one

  • karen rager

    after reading the information on your web site I have realized all I have been doing wrong with my budgies. I lost my budgie Winkie last week and am broken hearted, especially knowing that it was ALL my fault. thank you for sharing your knowledge and I hope to learn from it and adopt another budgie some day (once I know more and am ready for the responsibility).

  • So sorry about the loss of your budgie, Karen. Don’t beat yourself up about it — most pet store staff don’t know about proper care and nutrition, so they don’t pass along this important info to new owners. Your next budgie will benefit from your new-found knowledge!

  • Caleb & Sally Cramer

    Just found your site this evening and all the terrific information. We’ve had adorable budgies in our home for 17 years, each with a unique personality. And we’ve had to learn some hard lessons along the way, but have been able to provide better and better care over the years to this wonderful birds. However, we wish we had found your site years ago. We just lost one of our precious little guys three weeks ago at the age of 12 and have been debating about the best thing to do for his 10 year old cage mate who was left behind.

    Unfortunately, the 10 year old has had repeated crop infections for several years that has baffled the team of avian vets we worked with regularly in another state (and who still provide consulting services long-distance). The underlying cause has never been found. We’ve had to become very proficient in administering oral medication over the years.

    While we’ve been very tempted to find a new cage mate for the 10 year old, we are wary of exposing a new bird to whatever the 10-year-old may have that has eluded a useful diagnosis. We try to give him as much attention as possible but can’t be with him as much throughout the day as we know he needs, particularly in the wake of losing his cage mate. Given his health history, we are amazed that he has lived this long and is as active and vocal as ever (in fact, he has improved dramatically after a set back a few months ago). He’s much more of a seed junkie than the 12-year old ever was and has seemed to hit the seeds more in the aftermath of losing his little friend.

    We honestly thought our very robust, strong and always healthy 12 year-old would outlive the 10-year old by a few more years, and were stunned at how his health failed so unexpectedly and so quickly, in spite of our diligent monitoring on a daily basis, including daily weighing. (We’re fairly certain his death was due to kidney failure). If you have any suggestions or recommendations as to what would be best for our surviving 10-year-old, we would appreciate it.

    Thank you.

    The Cramers

  • @Cramers: I’m glad you like the information I’ve provided. Most parakeet owners are woefully uneducated when it comes to proper care, as most pet shop staff are, too. I do hope to make a difference in the lives of as many budgies as I can!

    So sorry about the loss of your budgie, although clearly he lived a long and well-cared-for life.

    Hmmm, what would I do with the surviving 10 year old cage mate…. Assuming that his crop infections didn’t affect your other bird (non-contagious), you could find an older budgie at a local rescue organization — one who would provide companionship without being too young and rambunctious. Alternatively, get a young budgie and cage it right next to the older one. They can interact when out on a play gym. This way he can have the companionship AND get the rest he needs.

    If you don’t get another budgie, play music in the room where he is or keep a TV on for him when you are away. Keep his cage in a part of your home where you and your family spend the most time.

    Curious — are his crop infections due to a slow moving crop? If so, have you tried removing his food for 10-12 hours every night so it can completely empty? Or is something he’s eating, like food that may have spoiled? Have you tried rinsing/soaking his food in organic apple cider vinegar before feeding? Did your other bird ever get crop infections, too?


  • Caleb & Sally Cramer


    How we wish we’d had access to a breeder who gave the little ones such great care and trained them to eat the good stuff as you do. It’s quite an uphill battle with older birds, as we’re sure you know, and not always a resounding success. When the time comes to open our doors to two new little ones, we do plan to check with you.

    Thanks for your suggestions. Andy, our little 10 year-old guy has had a hard-to-diagnose underlying condition for years that has resulted in repeated yeast and bacterial infections showing up in his crop, along with bouts of vomiting. Some feather problems began showing up in the last 18 months but they don’t match what you typically see in one of the serious diseases. We (and the vets) suspect an underlying liver issue is behind the myriad of problems and we’ve been treating Andy for this.

    Alex, our 12-year-old we lost last month, was incredibly healthy right up until the last few weeks and only had to see the vet for his annual exams. In stark contrast, Andy was a regular visitor – if we managed a 3 month stretch between visits we felt fortunate. Ironically, Andy’s health issues had no apparent effect on hearty Alex.

    We’ve always provided stimulation for our birds, usually through music when we’re gone during the day. Our precious Alex came to us when he was 1-1/2 already a movie buff! He loved action movies, musicals (especially those with Julie Andrews or Judy Garland) but his hands-down all-time favorite was How The West Was Won. We even once tried just playing the CD of the soundtrack with the TV turned to whatever was on. Within a few minutes Alex was raising a fuss. We put on the real movie and Alex was a happy camper for the next 3 hours. We miss our little guy’s enthusiasm during family movie times (he’d realize it was “movie time,” leap into his swing and start swinging and chirping waiting for the movie to start – he was utterly adorable!).

    The last couple of years we’ve started putting the TV on for our little guys so they have visual as well as aural stimulation while we are gone during the day, and they seemed to respond to that.

    We’re introducing more organic produce to Andy to see if that improves matters. We’re also going to try the Dr. Harvey’s brand of seed while we continue to work to get Andy off of his seed addiction (no easy task with a 10 year-old). Harrison’s organic products have been part of our birds diets for years, as well as fresh veggies. However, Andy has a strong competitive streak and can’t stand to be left out of anything. He ate a much healthier diet before we lost Alex because he saw Alex eating the healthier foods and couldn’t stand to let Alex have something he wasn’t getting. Now that he doesn’t have Alex to compete with over food, his “interest” in the healthier foods has diminished significantly.

    Again, thanks for your suggestions and we’ll explore some more of these options to see if matters improve. We’re also keeping an eye out for an older bird to adopt if Andy’s health remains stable.


    The Cramers

  • Erin rodriguez

    Hello! I just got a young parakeet about 2 weeks ago. He is very reluctant to try fruits and veggies. He picks put the seeds from his bowl and leaves the pellets. However, the pellets appear too large and hard for his young beak to chew. I want him to eat more nutritious! Do you suggest i buy a softer pellet, a smaller pellet, should i grind them up, or should i skip them all together? Best case would be for him to switch to sprouted seeds. Lastly, what percentage of seeds, veggies, grains, and fruits should be part of his diet? Should he be mostly eating fresh fruits, veggies, and grains and only having sprouted seeds sparingly? Thanks!

    • Dry seed mixes are like a McDonald’s Big Mac… yummy junk food that is okay in moderation only. Limit seed consumption to 20% of your bird’s daily intake of food by only offering it AFTER he eats the healthy stuff all day. (I put a small amount of seeds in my budgie cages overnight only.) Pellets are like fortified breakfast cereal… again, okay in moderation. Overall, make the main part (80%) of his diet germinated organic seeds, grains, peas, lentils and fruits and veggies.

      • Adrie

        I am a young bird owner and I was wondering if you have to sprout your seeds, grains, and legumes. I love your blog and it’s very helpful.


        • Yes, you’ll need to soak/sprout this mix. You could feed the seeds and grains without soaking/sprouting, but legumes MUST be sprouted first.

  • ellen vineski

    Hi Jen,

    We adopted Woody and Ivy from you last spring (formerly Dumbledore and Rawling). They are doing great and we love them. I go to the store to buy the food ingredients that you list, but forgot my list last time. I bought organic dandelion root instead of leaf, and burdock root. Are they ok to feed to the birds?



    • So happy to hear that Woody and Ivy are doing well and that you are enjoying them :>) I honestly don’t know about feeding the roots vs the leaf. Birds don’t typically dig up roots so they might be untested.

  • Noshin Rahman

    Please help! I have 5 budgies and one of ours Toby was diagnosed with a tumour in his belly that is already 4g and quite large whats surprised us is that he is VERY active and playful eats properly and drinks but he has trouble flying because the tumour is heavy but he can balance perfectly fine. we feed our birds seeds only is this the cause of his tumour in his belly? is there ANYTHING we can do to stop or even shorten the growth of the tumour PLEASE PLEASE HELP we have had him for 3 years now and I love him so much!

    • So sorry to hear of your budgie’s tumor. Can your avian veterinarian safely remove it? Good nutrition never hurts so yes, do feed him other things besides just seed!

  • Marsha Jones

    I’d like to buy some of your herb mix and wondered if you could give me a some times that are convenient for you. I bought two boys from you last April.

  • Amy

    Hi. I had a parakeet that laid 5 eggs. They all hayched and they were doing fine. I heard that I should get some mealworms for them so I did. I put a couple in the cage to try them. My husband and I went out for the day and when I woke up for work the next day the mother bird and all the babies were dead. The male is still alive. The babies were doing so good. Did I do something wrong by giving them mealworms? I read in another place that they can kill your parakeets and should not give the mealworms to them. I feel so bad because I may have done this by giving them mealworms. The last batch also died but there were only two. She just stopped feeding them after 4 weeks. I do not have time to hand feed baby birds while working all day. Any information would be nice. Thanks!

    • So sorry for your loss, Amy. I know many breeders feed budgies and other parrots mealworms as a source of high protein without any problems (except that they are initially afraid of them if they move). Personally, when my birds need extra protein, I feed the egg food I mention in this post, though I have offered mealworms a few times without any issues. I highly doubt that the mealworms had anything to do with it (unless the mealworms were fed or coated in something toxic). Was there any evidence of aggression from the male towards the hen and chicks?

  • Jenna Burton

    Hi, I am thinking about getting a budgie and I was wondering what kind of seed and pellet you would recommend. Also, which seed will fit my budget which is about $10 a month.

    • A seed only or pellet only diet is not optimum. For $10 a month, you should be able to feed your new budgie sprouts, vegetables, etc. as I outlined in this post.

  • Lynnsey Dunson

    Hey there! Thank you so much for this .. it’s really helped a lot. However, I have to disagree about the ‘No honey” .. my budgie was at the vet yesterday for his first nail clipping and I asked her how to get him to try new foods and she recommended rolling veggies in honey and then putting their seeds on it to encourage them to try it. She also mentioned peanut butter but said that honey works best. Just thought I’d let you know what the vet said! thanks again!

    • Pye

      Honey and peanuts or peanut butter should never be fed. Would you try to get a 2 year old child to eat their veggies by coating them in honey? I would hope not, as there are spores and fungi in raw honey that should not be fed to children under three but which our adult systems handle just fine. Budgies are too small to overcome harm from these substances. Peanuts also harbor aflatoxin which could kill a budgie. You might get away with it for months or even years and then one day POOF! A whole cage full of birds just gone.

      Three things I never feed any of my birds are honey, peanut butter, and corn. Yet nearly all treats and bird bread that you find recipes for on the internet are composed of mainly these three items. Peanut butter, aside from the issue of aflatoxin, is extremely high fat – and the major problem of pet budgies is fatty liver disease which comes of being kept in cages that are far too small (less than 30″ to 36″ in width with a clear flight path from one end to the other) and being fed on diets far to high in fats and sugars (from honey and too many fruits and berries). These things are poison to birds, and yes, veterinarians – even “avian” vets – are far too often just as ignorant of what constitutes a healthy diet for a bird, especially budgies, as just anybody walking down the street.

      So you are doing your budgie no favors whatsoever feeding them honey.

  • Karuna

    I love your website – I just found it, it is perfect for my new pair of parakeets (I got them less than a week ago). I totally agree of feeding them LIVE food instead of that lifeless food sold in packages. The only thing that surprised me was… how come in one part you say to either warm or “microwave” certain food?!!! Microwave?!!! C’mon, this goes against every single principle of good nutrition, for god’s sake! No microwave for me or my pets, parakeets included. For the rest, your website is superb. Thank you so much for all the valuable info!

    • Never cook the sprouts, veggies or fruit (feed them raw) but yes, you should cook the egg food. I don’t find any mention in my post about “warming” anything.

  • Maryanna Dua

    Thank you for such great information! We were given a little parakeet a few weeks ago and I’m just starting to actually pay attention to it’s needs (better late than later I suppose). It has been eating a seed mixture since we received it, and I just gave it a champagne grape an piece of clementine, which was basically it’s first fresh food since we received it. I was surprised how accepting it was, it especially liked the clementine. I was so intrigued to find this article because I actually love sprouting, and think it would be a great way to bond with the bird and grow closer. I may have missed it, but for the recipe are there specific measurements or ratios to follow, or does it really matter? Also for a one bird household how much would you suggest sprouting at a time? I’m actually pregnant at the moment so I’ve been cautious with the bird, and actually have left all of the handling to my husband. I have read a lot of contradicting information, so I was wondering if maybe you could tell me at all whether handling a parakeet is safe during pregnancy. Thanks so much!

  • Liz

    I’m trying to change my two parakeet’s diet and am finding it particularly difficult. They were both raised on dried seeds and refuse, absolutely REFUSE to touch the lovely seed/grain/etc. mix I made for them. I have tried giving it to them before their dry seed mix, mixing the two together, with and without the cider vinegar soak, wet and dry, and they won’t touch it at all. Do you have any ideas?

  • Rachel Smith

    Wow!! Your budgies eat better than I do!!! I am embarrassed. I am a new bird person, and it is a big learning curve. Thanks for the great ideas. Maybe feeding my bird will inspire me to eat better too. 😀

  • Sherry

    Hello, I have two 9 yr. old parakeets and trying your feeding recommendations for the first time. I hope I’m doing it correctly, I have rinsed all the ingredients, and now have them soaking overnight( covered bottle, and water covering all the ingredients until morning) my question is after rinsing in the morn. And I spread them in the jar, is the jar to stay uncovered? Or do I spread them and cover the jar again? I want to do this properly do Para and Keet get the full benefits, I certainly don’t want to compromise they’re health. Thank- you, Sherry B.

  • Debi

    About the Herb/Spice Mix:
    Can I use regular herb/spices like (McCormick’s) to feed my birds or should they be fresh?

  • Marisol

    My lovebird has a hard time on some occasions with delivering his droppings. We are sometimes helping him out by offering him grit. It helps a bit, but I know it isn’t healthy. It isn’t severe anymore, with the help of grit.

  • Brianna

    I have two parakeets and one of them doesn’t eat many treats. But every week she looks a little over weight. What could be causing this?

  • marian

    I lost my budgie Tweety on December 22 of 2012 he was 17 years old a Harlequin Budgie yellow lime color with a long turquoise tail he was very playful very loving a good little guy with a big heart> When someone tried to break into my fathers car he was alerting us to let us know danger was abound he let out a ear piercing scream it took twenty minutes to settle him down he was 15 years old when this happen hewas very protective of me and extremely playful he died before Christmas I cried for three days. After Christmas I decided to get another Budgie his name is Michiko it means beautiful child intelligent since he is young he is 8 weeks old nothing in character like the old bird but he is colorful in personality

  • marian

    I finally decide to get a Budgie named Michiko its a japanese name he is 8 weekso old and very colorful personality he watches as i go to sleep at night in the morning he flits on his perch looking for me he is a very playfulbird he likes to talk and make budgie sounds . I have not owned him for a long time only since December 27 of 2012 he is now adapting to a older female budgie named Fritizie she is common budgie turquoise color and has become friendlier since I
    got Michiko we call Michiko Michi for short he is a mauve with a very white face
    and dark blue on thebottom of his face. Well I know that I cannot live without my budgies they are fun loving little birds who love to play. Michi my little budgie watches over me when I sleep and lets me know in the morning its time to get up

  • janet carliske

    I have a new parakeet because my other one died after having him for 17 yrs. I also have another one that is 13. My question is the new parakeet keeps tossing the food out of the container, I dont know what to do? Any answers?

  • marian

    Brianna Hello I have a young budgie who does not eat his veggie treats and I have tried different things he likes his honey sticks he goes crazy for it like he zooms in on hit feed your bird plain vitaminize seeds till hes about six months old your bird maybe getting fat because of the oats and groats are in his seeds that you are feeding your young bird. Oats and groats should be fed to young birds never for older birds as they will get very fat. Try mixing his seed with a little of veggie fruit treat in his regular bird seed just sprinkle a little each day
    Feed oats and groats a little on his reguar food twice a week

  • marian

    Feeding your bird less or when he asks for it. Mine asks for his food by dumping the food from his food cup on the cage floor he likes his honey sticks and his moulting and condition food since he is only 3 months old now read on the books the care of foods that your bird eats keep a journal write down what he likes and dislikes you may have a bird thats finicky eater wait till hes older try the vitaminize food and try to give budgie a little of the veggie treats honey sticks does a good job to try that a teaspoon of food three times a day and the honey stick helps in digestion as well good luck

  • marian

    Feeding your bird less or when he asks for it. Mine asks for his food by dumping the food from his food cup on the cage floor he likes his honey sticks and his moulting and condition food since he is only 3 months old now read on the books the care of foods that your bird eats keep a journal write down what he likes and dislikes you may have a bird thats finicky eater wait till hes older try the vitaminize food and try to give budgie a little of the veggie treats honey sticks does a good job to try that a teaspoon of food three times a day and the honey stick helps in digestion as well good luck

  • marian

    Feeding your bird less or when he asks for it. Mine asks for his food by dumping the food from his food cup on the cage floor he likes his honey sticks and his moulting and condition food since he is only 3 months old now read on the books the care of foods that your bird eats keep a journal write down what he likes and dislikes you may have a bird thats finicky eater wait till hes older try the vitaminize food and try to give budgie a little of the veggie treats honey sticks does a good job to try that a teaspoon of food three times a day and the honey stick helps in digestion as well good luck

  • marian

    Feeding your bird less or when he asks for it. Mine asks for his food by dumping the food from his food cup on the cage floor he likes his honey sticks and his moulting and condition food since he is only 3 months old now read on the books the care of foods that your bird eats keep a journal write down what he likes and dislikes you may have a bird thats finicky eater wait till hes older try the vitaminize food and try to give budgie a little of the veggie treats honey sticks does a good job to try that a teaspoon of food three times a day and the honey stick helps in digestion as well good luck

  • marian

    Feeding your bird less or when he asks for it. Mine asks for his food by dumping the food from his food cup on the cage floor he likes his honey sticks and his moulting and condition food since he is only 3 months old now read on the books the care of foods that your bird eats keep a journal write down what he likes and dislikes you may have a bird thats finicky eater wait till hes older try the vitaminize food and try to give budgie a little of the veggie treats honey sticks does a good job to try that a teaspoon of food three times a day and the honey stick helps in digestion as well good luck

  • marian

    Hi Janet
    Either yiour new parakeet does not like the food you give him or he is not happy with his food cup try to get him a new food cup feed him a tablespoon of bird food feed him less of the food keep a journal on what you are feeding the bird which type of food try the honey sticks they come in different kinds my budgies like the honey sticks try to be adventurous with yoyur birds food regular vitaminize bird food with some sporinkled veggie treats a sprinkle on his bird food should do the trick

  • caroline learnan

    Hi i have notices on my boy budgie that he has got these marks come up on both sides of his wings,i dont know if he has got something wrong and i should take him up the vets. He is one and a half the female is fine they is two months different in there age. My husband said that he is fine but a i am worried.

  • Jenna Berry

    Oh thank goodness I thought I was the only one that commeted in 2013. I am a parakeet freak 😉 and i am new to this website and i just love it

  • marian

    Hi Jenna;
    Thanks for commenting on your budgie that you are a parakeet freak I love
    budgies and they make great pets my new bird is a little nuts this morning he ripped his sandpaper that you put on his perch and this morning he took it off
    an d decided to dunk it in the drinking water what a mess he did he was being
    a little nasty he just kept shoving his perch paper in the water the whole cage was water soaked there is his drinking water too it was put in his drinking water
    as well then he decided to dump his food on the floor after he had finished eating talk about being in a nasty mood he flits from perch to perch trying to get my attention but yeasterday and today he was in this mood. Was he angry at me
    or was he having a off day someone tell me what this behaviour is all about

  • james

    Sir, I have 2 pair in breeding cages. Been there 7 weeks.They are molting,,,,,seems that as they came from an outside aviary into my indoor bird room caused the molting.
    They are seed junkies….can not get them to eat vegies…..I try carrots shredded and broccoli……..They have just started to peck at egg food which I offer with garlic added…….I take such care….drinking vessels sterilised every day,cages cleaned every day……Millet sprays are just ignored……My millet sprays are soaked in Vanodine to kill any spores and then quickly dried….thats how much I care for their health.
    How can I get them to eat veggies ??????
    Thank you for listening.

  • Jenna Berry

    Hi Marian

    Your parakeet sounds like a little rascal and his behaviour that you described sounds like he is having a bad day or he is tryng to test your patience LOL

    When did you buy your parakeet from this family? My mom is wondering if they are still in business.

  • marian

    Hi jenna:
    The storm is over and my bird id fine he is just fliting perch to perch now and
    sits on his swing
    .He was bought at a local pet shop he is a cobalt blue budgie a dark mauve he was trying to show me he is strong and what a character. Budgies can be tempermental a breeder told me this they have their own little characters he is colorful in personality. He behaves like nothing has happened he is cheerful and happy today

  • Jenna Berry

    Hi Marian

    I am glad that the storm is over and most of the times parakeets will be deprissed when they are the only budgie in the cage no matter how much time you spend with it

  • marian

    Hi Jenna
    My bird is not depressed he is with a older female her name is Fritizie is his
    Mommy for the time being he is very insecure he gets agitated even when the wind is blowing he is afraid of noises as he is so young he is now 4 months old I
    think he is a joy but he is a big scardey cat of everything weve had severe winter storms here lots of snow and the blowing winds/ When I come home
    from somewhere he greets me with a call who is that he does not like change
    but he is still so young this morning he was anxious for me to get up. Hes changed Fritizie she is more friendkly comes to cage when I call her I rub her scratch her head she used to bite all the time so tell me if younger birds can change older birds in behaviour this is start she is more open to me now thanks to this little guy

  • Jenna Berry

    Hi Marian
    Oh your new parakeet sounds like my dog he is a scardy cat too. Fritizie sounds like a cute bird.
    PS thanks for chating with me it is fun

  • marian

    Hi Jenna:
    The previous bird I had was exceptional harlequin he was lime yellow with a
    turquoise tale he was 17 years old when he died on December 22 2012 he was fantastic little guy he would cackle at night watch over me when I slept fly to me when he was called he would give me a kiss at night before he went to bed and
    he literally made sure he stuck close to me at night he would check on me and in the morning he would bob his head and wake me up. Fritizie is a female she has changed thank god withy the new bird Michiko she takes care of Michiko when he is scared she is right by his side she is loving she kisses him and she
    cackles softly to him when she wants him close to her she takes care of the little bird actually michiko seems small for his size and he does have a good appetite
    and can be quite funny with his antics intelligent child and beautiful he is all of the above but he does behave like a five year old kid always demanding I try not to spoil him to much write me about your birds and what you like to do

  • Jenna Berry

    Hi marian

    17!! years old!!!! he is older then me WOW you are lucky to have a sweet bird like that. my 2 birds died in 2010 there names were bluebell and ceibra and ever since I have been begging for another 1 but then we moved so i had to wait longer but now my sister wants a parakeet so now my mom finally said yes so we will be getting 2 parakeets in april. I could not train ceibra but bluebell was so easy he could play hide and seek with me and he was good at it

  • marian

    Hi Amy:
    It is never agood idea to feed mealworms to your young budgies. My birds survived and I used seeds and used different types of food it is possible the mealworms were the cause or your young budgies had a virus they have a virus that chickens get the parakeets are know for this. You could have gone to a vetrinarians office and had a autopsy done on your bird this would indicate what was the cause think about it the male survived next time check with a veterinarian find out what killed your birds and make sure you thoroughly sterilise the cage or buy a new cage always sterilize the cage after the death of a bird remember your birds were dying what happened did they eat the mealworms or did they die of a virus of somekind autopsy would have been the answer

  • marian

    My 17 year old bird died on December 22 2012 he was a great bird surly you think that all birs live a good life if you take care of them properly he livesd a long life because he had the will to live and he loved us as his owners we took good care of our tweety he will be sadly missed good food playing with him and being the happy bird he was happy Fritizie now has a new mate Michiko hes replacing weety You stated you are getting budgies in april buy two young ones three months old and not younger tell me where are you getting your birds from
    a breeder or [pet shop

  • Jenna Berry

    Hi Marian

    We are geeting 2 baby parakeets at petco they are just like petsmart anyway petco has parakeets 2 months up to 1 year and we tried 2 different breeders but they never responded

  • marian

    Hi Jenna:
    Make sure when you buy two budgies you ask them for a health guarantee some places give this lik where I bought Michiko sometimes its 3 months or they will exchange the budgie for another one make sure that your bird has a tag on its leg with id number this should cost 5.oo dollars if you lose your bird you will get him back easily I did with mine he came back when I called him outside this was when I was 10 years old Today I am 54 years old and I will try to breed budgies I have friends who want little budgies. My bird Michiko still young to breed he is 3 to 4 months old and he did something yesterday which is funny he sat on his perch and was hanging upside down checking Fritizie bird vent her bottom hes done this for two days checking to see if she is a female bird this was strange that he would do this hes never done this before I guess he
    wants to know if she is a female bird Fritizie is very patient with him Michiko
    I have two names for your budgies kiwi if its green or if its blue Bo for the male and the female should be called Tia if its white it should be called jett I believe you can order budgies to there is a magazine called bird talk gives all the information on budgies you should try this magazine I believe its aroung 6.oo or 7 dollars you can get it at any magazine store. Ask for a guarantee of health on your bird make sure you check out the stock of budgies in the store sometimes they have healthg issues Michiko picked me out he chose me he came to me first he sofly cackled to me he wanted out of thje cage hes very loved here even though hes a little nutty sometimes he plays with his toys he loves his toys and swings take the time to choose right sometimes budgies are sold to cheaply they have health issues. Where do you live I have never heard of petco or petsmart are you living in Ottawa Look in the magazine you can order food toys budgies they can be aitr shipped to your home too no mealworms for your budgie good food like oats and groats and always give your budgie a variety of good food you may need several different kinds try this idea write me

  • Jenna Berry

    Hi Maian

    Hi right now i am 13 but i have had a lot of exspirnce with birds for 2 years i had a mating pair tangerine doves they were so cute and i had parakeets since i was 8 but they had to go when we moved. petco and petsmart are the to most poupler pet stores in the U.S.A and I live in colorado,U.S.A me and my sister have picked out some names Sunset Lollypop and Skylar and Sundrop and Lulu and I love the name Kiwi
    PS i will look into the magizine

  • marian

    For everyone who owns budgies parrots love birds cockatoos theres a magazine on tnhe market that can help you with bird diseases what foods to give to your birds and how to train them ITS CALLED BIRD TALK MAGAZINE
    find it at your favourite magazine stores everything you need is inside. jenna please write to me let me know if you got your parakeets yet? Have you chosen some good names yet

  • Jenna Berry

    Hi marian

    I did tell you my ideas for names I wonder if it did not show up on your computer
    that chat on my computer is right abuve your chat I wonder why you did not see it or get it? :o)

  • marian

    Hi Jenna:
    How are you. I read somewhere that you can give budgies fresh fruit like strawberries or apples I tried this and my budgies had a liquidy stool droppings I wonder if you had ever given your budgies fresh vegetables like celeryt or apples did this ever happen to you. I think once a month is a good idea to give veggies to your bird right. Write me to tell me what can I do to give fresh veggies since you have experience let me know if I am doing something wrong.

  • Jenna Berry

    Hi Marian

    Yes I have fed parakeets fruits and veggies and they were fine but if your bird never had them then that would make them have bad droppings so I would chop veggies up and slowly introduce them in the food.

  • marian

    Hi Jenna:
    I wonder if you can help me with Michiko he seems to be losing his baby feathers hes losing huis feathers and I am giving him moulting conditioning food it seems to have slowed down any other information you can give me on this. I hjave another question if there is budgie food that enhances the color of the budgie michiko is cobalt blue like a dark mauve is there any food that enhances his color or brings out his natural color I know that canaries have color enhancing food can you tell me if there is such athing canaries have it so if there is one can you give me the name of this food or vitamin

  • Jenna Berry

    Hi Marian

    I am so happy you chated back and your questions you asked i have no idea!!!! Sorry

  • marian

    Hi Jenna:
    Did you get your budgie.? What color are they? Do they have names? Did you take my advice and called your budgie Kiwi? Michiko has been developing in to
    a real nice bird hes losing his baby feathers and this drives me crazy——— its.everywhere everywhere. Michiko has stop his papersanding washing I took one of his bird swing out of his cage and l left one he sits on it every night, he
    seems alittle upset because this swing had a mirror on hit a beautiful pinkish mauve swing with a bell at the bottom he has started this habit of ringing the bell
    for food and he started ringing it all trhe time it got to be too much he is into this
    and he seems surprise his swing is no longer their. Fritixzie is quiet these days no action on her part. Did you mean what you said about being happy to hear from me? My budgies are a bit on the nervous side today we are expecting one of the biggest snow storms of the century we live in Chateauguay and we are 30 miles from Montreal we have been expecting a snowstorm lets hope the weather man is wrong we need no more snow.Hope that you are happy with your birds I would like to open an avian veterinary clinic for the birds I love birds
    especially budgies and canaries. This ghas been a passion of mine a bird sanctuary you have no idea how many birds land up at the spca in Montreal. The last time I was there there were 40 cages of birds budgies especially rescuing them is another matter there were canaries cockatails doves finches if there is anyone out there who wants a pair of budgies or other pets please try the spca in your area they sometimes get birds people no longer want and you may get it for free all you have to doi is try and go to see what they have

  • marian

    Caroline Learman;
    Hello Thanks for writing about your birds problem. I recently purchases a cobalt blue budgie after Christmas of 2012 my bird has these strange markings on his wings in color he is cobalt blue with a very white face his wing is dark or grey in coloring I took him to this vet he stated my bird is small for his size good food healthy food he is healthy like a horse he eats like a pig but I did show the veterinarian a marking on my birds neck he has like a little necklace going around his neck like baby feathersand it stops in the middle it looks cute the vet said a chain around his neck but they are feathers he still has it. My bird scratches himself a lot dry skin he gets vitamins maybe you should take your bird to ther avian clinic vets and try to see the problem he could have dry skin or
    crusts as they are dark and this could b e from scratching a form of skin disorder
    if its a male he could develop tumours or this could be a form of eczema or dry skin. Waitr and see what the vet tells you it maybe nothing could be vitamin deficiency in something try to change his food. A bird has strange markings did he change his color if his color changes he could have cancer like my bird did
    we took him to the vet and she was diagnosed with cancer her coloring changed from blue to gray and she had trouble breathing we had spent 280.00
    on medical care this was many years ago but I learned a lot from this veterinarian It takes a few minutes take the bird to the vet and have him or her tested he may have unusual markings for a bird or it could be something else
    Take the time to have him or her tested.

  • marian

    Dear Karen Rager
    Sorry to hear the loss of your bird . I had a friend who lost her parrot a year ago
    she did everything that you do to try to find her bird she placed ads in the newspaper reported her bird loss to0 the SPCA she knew where her bird was but could not seem to ge to him he was out all winter with the blue jays they took care of him and she left food out in case he or she returned but she went on a web site and someone call this number phone number and she found the bird on her fence she was tired of roaming free this old lady put her hand out and took himin the house and eventually was returned to its owner after one year place ads put pictures up the ads are free if you find a bird or lose one go to the spca tell them if someone finds it offer a reward you may get your bird back I have found countless budgies like this unfortunately there owners never came forward try to start a lost page website for lost birds starty with this you may get your bird back give it a try what have you to lose try it.

  • Louisa Allbritton

    Thank you, for the parakeet Information. I have eight parakeets in a 60×40-72- high. Health, happiness and safety are very imported to me. I do let them out. And they will get even a bigger enclosure. I would like to subscribe to your News letters. Ladybugabc123@att.net Thank you again, Louisa Allbritton

  • Maureen Russell

    I tried to email you about your food. I love your website and information and I realize you are not a retail breeder but could I buy some of your food. I love how your treat your babies. I have several birds a Senegal, YS green cheek conure, two young English budgies, and canaries. I would love to start my babies out on a great diet. Please consider! Look forward to hearing from you. I read on your website that you are taking a break from breeding til late in the year. Maybe someday I would love to breed English budgies. I would like to stay in touch.

  • Kate

    I have a parakeet and she doesn’t seem healthy. She eats only seeds and we’re too busy to think about changing her water every day, and ever since the loss of our other parakeet, she just stayed in one place and doesn’t sing anymore. Any advice?

  • marian

    Hi? Is there anyone out there who could tell me if you can mate a 10 year old budgie with a 10 month old younger budgie. He seems to mount on her and tries to breed with her . Michiko mounts Fritizie daily and he seems very excited. I need some answers on this budgie matter

  • marian

    Your bird is in mourning let her be.Your budgie maybe depressed also. I
    try to give my budgies healthy seeds klike oats and groats mix and vitaminized treats like honey sticks they come in all sorts of variety of foods . I take vitaminized food and mix with honey food that budgies have alternate the foods daily. give different types of food make it adventuress for your bird. give him a toy a swing with a bell he will play with it a small mirror where he can be vain and look at himself and talk and cackle, Always have the clean cage scrubb it after the death of your previous budgie clean the feeding cups with soap and water. Give plenty of water and change it daily its important for your budgie
    to feel this lack of water dehydrates a bird so if you cannot look after him properly
    please give the bird to someone who can and wants a budgie
    and its simple care with the budgies.

  • marian

    Get a new budgie he misses his mate

  • Gemma

    Hi there, maybe you can help me… I thought budgies were only supposed to moult a few times a year maximum, yet mine seem to be moulting once a month… I have two male budgies who are coming up to two years old, they are healthy and happy. I got them from the same breeder as babies. I feed them a seed mix and they get fresh vegetables/fruits most days… Thanks in advance for your advice!

  • martyna

    Thanks for help, this link is really good I shared it to friends and family. What happens if a bird is scared of your hand all the time when you give him food he bites me, but how should I give him food then? If he is so scared I don’t want him have a heart attack.

    • Feed your bird twice daily in a bowl in the cage. If you want to hand-train your bird, please refer to my training page for detailed instructions.

  • Amy

    This has helped me a lot and now I know what to feed my budgies.


  • Christopher Pina

    I live in a very rural area in Oklahoma and would need to drive hours out of my way to visit the nearest organic food store. I was trying to locate how I could order your germinating and sprouting mix so I can keep my budgie in optimal health

  • kamileen khan

    Excellent .i like very much

  • Debi

    I went to the health food store got what they had on your list. I mixed up some herbs and she went right too them. Am I understanding everything right all the grain , herb,oil, and legumes seeds must be soaked for 8 hours at least? They have no seeds than? I am sorry this is all new to me all my life it has just been seeds
    Please reply as soon as you can

  • Leilani

    thank you so much for building this website, i have learned so much from it, like not to make up your parakeet’s diet of all seed, and that i need to feed it organic vegetables

  • Wendy Shankin-Cohen

    Great article. Thank you! You should take a look at our wonderful Avian Blends that contain only human grade ingredients and no dyes, coloring agents, preservatives, or synthetic ingredients of any kind. I think you will like them! We also encourage feeding fresh foods to birds and have for over 30 years.
    Thanks again for your informative article.

  • Kara


    I’m in the middle of trying to save one of my parakeets. I own two parakeets. So, I really want to feed my birds like you suggest but I’d like to know if you could email me the portions to make the germinated and sprouted seed mix. I printed off the list of what to add to the mix but do I add like a teaspoon of each ingredient.



  • pat

    hi, i would like to put a leafy branch in with my birds but can you recomend which.idont want to poison them.regards pat

  • Sandra jones

    I just lost one of my 3 bungies yesterday to unknown causes. She was 20oz and extremely weak and famished in spite of me seeing her eat. She preferred to not be handled much and her low weight sadly went unnoticed by my inexperience. I am devastated. I feel terrible guilt.
    I have 2 others, one I’ve had for 12 years, yes 12 years. I want to really give it the best chance at continued longevity. Mostly sees diet and occasional bouts with cilantro, oranges and apple. I want to purchase your mix. How can I do that? Which one would you prefer I purchase based on my 12 year old male bungy, Toby & my girl, Diamond?
    I would greatly appreciate a response.

  • Diana L Smith

    Very good information. My problem is finding organic, stores are 2 hours away. Sprouting seeds makes me nervous. I have just purchased 5 Pedigree show English Budgies. Want to learn as much as I can so I can breed then and show them. I also have 4 cockatiels for a yr. thank you for info!

  • Kishor Verma

    Hi its 1week now I’m trying my best to give veggies leafy & fruits to my Budgies but still they are not even trying to eat please tell me which is the easiest way to make them eat veggies & fruits .
    Thanks & Regards
    Kishor Verma

  • marian

    Losing ones pet bird budgie named michiko means beautiful child intelligent he died of a stroke with epileptic seizures he was paralyzed in the end he could not walk his toes curled his feet and leg turned red he went to the botto mo the cage I told him he was a good boy he said I love you and he died he was a joy with his beautiful personality he was loved

  • marian

    please send me on how I can get to join in the comment forum of budgie talk chat again

  • marian


  • Jenny Steer

    Hello, I would like to sprout some millet seeds for my budgies. I don’t seem to be able to buy organic millet anywhere.



  • VS

    My budgies are not eating the soaked ingredients that I served them this morning.

    I had bought some seeds from the pet shop and they tend to eat that most, in addition to having a fondness for apples.

    While I make an attempt to ‘change’ their diet to what is recommended here, is it possible they starve themselves?

    • When changing your budgies’ diet, it is important that you do so gradually. Please read the section titled: How to encourage your budgie parakeet to eat new foods” for suggestions on how to make the transition.

  • Julia

    Wow, thanks for all of the detailed information. My grandma is unable to take care of her 3 parakeets and has given them to me, so I’m in a mad rush to learn their care. They’ve been kept outside in a small cage with only seed for about a year, so I’ve got some work to do!! Thanks for the information!

  • M.B.Mag

    Where can I purchase your parakeet food?

  • Deboragh

    Thankyou so much for all this knowledge information for budgies I have 4 budgies and have changed there diet with organic germinated sprouted seeds,nuts,grains and legumes and vegetables what a difference this diet has made for my budgies they seem heaps happier and much more energy thankyou so much

  • Amanda Berry

    Hello, i am getting my first parakeet for my 17th birthday and would like some advice. Mainly like what to feed the bird. As i am reading on how to feed it, and the nutrition. But i was wondering if apples were ok?


    HI. Please call me 083… in regards to buy budgie mix food. I started to bread budgies.


  • Patricia

    Can your mix be feed to Conures and Quakers?

  • Maria

    Hello! I learned a lot from your post. We used to have 2 budgies and we were feeding them one of those seed mixes from the store for years until one of our birds started looking unhealthy. Then we took him to the vet and the vet told us that seed shouldn’t be fed all of the time!! We felt so bad that we had been undernourishing our birds. We switched to a pellet only diet (grains and fruit in it). Unfortunately one of our budgies died a few months ago and we miss him terribly. Our sole budgie eventually adjusted and he is eating and singing and playing but I just noticed yesterday that his blue thing above his nose is starting to turn brown. I’ve been googling it and getting very worried. It looks like it could be a whole bunch of different things wrong but I’m gurssing he should definitely have some fresh veggies added this diet so we are going to start there. Thanks for all of the recommendations!

  • Danielle Sida

    hello i’m in serious need of help i have a canary you say you give your birds the sprouts but how many times a week? sorry i don’t understand that’s just me also you note you don’t feed your birds cooked veg i cook my pumpkin parsnip cauliflower ect can she eat veg raw im confused????? please help me someone

  • Melissa

    Just received my first shipment of both the sprouting mix and the herb mix. I gave our birds each a serving of the herb mix as directed by the instructions in the box. 1 from each cage (we have 4 birds 2 per cage) started to eat the herb mix within minuets of it being placed in their cage. I hope that is a good sign. 4 days of the sprouting mix is soaking in water as I type. Hopefully they like that as well. 1 pair were rehomed so they are a bit more friendly, where the other pair were purchased at the local pet store, they aren’t as friendly yet but today is 2 weeks for the re-homed and Saturday will be 2 weeks for the pets store pair. So I hope I am starting them all off right in our home.

  • Adriana Holland

    Great info. Thank you so much. I am just sprouting some seeds so we will see how long it will take for our budgie to get used to his new food.

  • Adriana Holland

    Hi, If I leave the seeds in a strainer without water, wont’t bacteria settle in? Usually for sprouting you need a small amount of fresh water, during the whole sprouting time, so the seeds can sprout and grow. I do not need to do that here, is that right? Thank you!

    • Rinse the sprout mix in the strainer 2 or more times per day to keep them moist and clean, plus follow the rest of the detailed instructions on this page, and you’ll do great.

  • shae

    Loved reading this article! So well laid out and i am delighted to be able to sprout seeds as we do it for ourselves.

    I recently adopted an 8 week old, is it too small to start trying to feed it this way?

    • The earlier you start your birds on a variety of healthy foods the better! All of my baby budgies are fed these foods from day one.

  • Gail Killick

    I can’t regularly get my hands on organic food for my budgie how can I give him ‘ordinary food’? I have given him silverbeet that hasn’t had pesticides on it ever. He loves it. I give him that once a fortnight as I am afraid of giving him too much. I intend to grow some herbs. Is it safe to buy some already slightly grown? I would like to buy your mixtures but don’t know where you are or your E-Mail address. I live on my cousins property in a caravan so am limited as to how much I can grow. Please reply to my E-Mail.

  • Carly

    I just bought a few organic herbs/spices to use for a “salad” for my pearly conure- I have:
    Alfalfa Leaf, Calendula Flowers, Cayenne Pepper, Chamomile Flowers, Whole Cloves, Dandelion Leaf & Root, Fenugreek Seed, Hibiscus & Rosehip Blend, Licorice Root.
    Are all of these safe for my 2 month old conure and are there any I should give only in moderation? Please can you tell me what ratios of each to use in the blend as I don’t want to “overdose” him on anything as I know a few of them have medicinal properties..
    He has a huge appetite and also gets chop with mixed veggies, fruits, beans, legumes, pasta and rice twice daily as well as pellets and I am working on perfecting sprouting mung beans etc at the moment!
    Thanks in advance!

    • I haven’t fed cloves before so am unfamiliar with them. I do include the rest of the ingredients on your list. I mix at least 16 varieties into my organic herb and spice mix and place 1 teaspoon per bird into the cage about once a week. This gives you an idea of the ratio I use. Besides budgies, I have a green-cheek conure who has thrived on this mix for many years.

  • rajat

    i have 2 parakeets (blue and cookie)
    about 6-7 months old. they only eat seed . i tried to give them fruits and vegs but they dont eat. blue eats them very little but cookie just bites them and dont eat. please i need help.

  • Lydia McCann

    I am planning on getting a parakeet and I appreciate the article/advice. Thank you for writing this

  • Abdul

    Thanks for this wonderful information.

    Can we use the same diet for African love birds as well ? Please advise

  • Sally Smith

    Hi, would this diet be appropriate for Green Cheeked Conures? I assume the amounts would be larger, but would the ratios be the same?

    • Yes. I feed our Green Cheek Conure this diet, same ratios as I feed our budgies. He consumes about 1 tablespoon twice daily of the sprouted mix. He also loves the herb and spice mix.

  • Ahmed

    Hello this information is so great but I want to make sure after feed my budgie-parakeet this diet daily. It may have diarrhea is that true and how to avoid it

    • Sprouts, vegetables and fruits contain water (unlike dry seed) so their droppings will contain more moisture. They shouldn’t have diarrhea though. Make all diet changes gradually to allow them to acclimate to the new foods being introduced.

  • Juani

    Wow thank you!
    This is a really useful article for me and my budgie!

    ~sincerely juani

  • Susan Tidebeck

    One big piece of advice for new budgie buyers:
    It’s fairly common for stores to use antibiotics to keep their budgies alive in the less-than-optimal conditions.
    Many store bought birds get sick because they need their usual meds, especially during a transition.

  • can you make little pastries for birds by using seeds, veggies (that they can eat), and a bit of honey?

  • Blessy

    This was very very useful for me. Thanks a lot☺️

  • Steven

    What a wonderful article I just read today. Since last few week after getting my new babies, I have been searching a lot on the internet, something like this. I am glad I finally found it. Detailed information and written so beautifully and systematically. I would definitely recommend my friends to come hear and read this. Thanks a ton. ♥️

  • Shay

    Hi ! Love all your information super helpful ! But I’m a little confused , can I boil these ingredients instead of the sprouting process?? I’ve seen online that u can boil them for 15 mins and it’s perfectly fine ! Please help thanks

    • Boiling the ingredients would eliminate the healthy enzymes found in “live” foods — hence the benefit of sprouting.

  • Thanks for all the super helpful and useful information about how to successfully keep and feed our avian friends in our home. I truly appreciate all of this helpful information and resources listed. Kind regards, Peachy.

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