How to Feed a Parakeet – The Good and the Bad

February 9, 2020
The best way to feed a parakeet is to provide a food variety that's at least as colorful as they are.

Many people erroneously believe they should only feed seeds to a parakeet. These are definitely a must to add to their diet, although they merely comprise about a quarter of all the nutrients that this kind of bird requires.

In fact, a parakeet’s diet needs variety. The food variety you can offer them is huge, you just have to know what are the basic principles to maintain their well-being.

Try various fruits

Parrots may love seeds but they’re also crazy about fruit. This is the kind of food that’s most available to them in the tropical landscapes where they’re from.

The list of fruit that’s suitable for this pet is quite extensive. They can eat strawberries, apples, cherries, tangerines, oranges, bananas, grapes, and so on. However, there are many other ones you can offer them. The idea here is for the animal to try them out. Surely their health will benefit from it.

Two birds kissing.

Having said that, we suggest that you feed citrus fruit in smaller doses. In regard to the rest, the most important thing here is to wash the food thoroughly and chop it into small pieces for their convenience. Note that you must feed it raw.

Lettuce and other vegetables

Lettuce might just be the best vegetable you can feed a parrot. It’s perfect for them due to its high water content — even seeds contain this vital liquid. The most important thing is to wash the food well and to drain it afterward.

There are other vegetables that are quite suitable for this pet such as broccoli, pumpkin, zucchini, spinach, and carrots. Similarly, you must chop them into small pieces and then place them in the animal’s food dispenser.

Grains are another great option

Fruit and vegetables aren’t the only natural products that can complement a parrot’s diet. There’s a wide variety of grains you can cook and feed to this bird.

Rice, cracked wheat, quinoa, and barley are highly recommended for this species. You must soak the grains beforehand to keep the animal from choking with them.

This is also because grains soften during soaking and are easier on the digestive tract. As you can see, a parrot’s diet must be fresh, hydrating, and, above all, varied.

Vital supplements to feed a parakeet

There are some commercial products sold in pet shops which you can give them as treats. For example, there are fruit bars, vitamins, and even hone – a bird would definitely like these.

Also, these stores carry supplements such as cuttlefish and mineral blocks. The first one is a shell made of calcium carbonate and is an ideal dietary supplement for all types of birds.

Likewise, the mineral blocks are food supplements made of vitamins, calcium, zinc oxide, and other nutritional compounds. All these products are aimed at complementing the nutrition of these pets.

Don’t feed this to a parakeet

Parrots shouldn’t eat certain types of fruit and vegetables. The most harmful ones are onions, fruit seeds, avocados, mushrooms, tomato stems, grapefruits, and limes.

Some herbs like parsley are also of concern because they lead to varying degrees of toxicity to these birds. Of course, you should avoid the usual suspects: chocolate, refined sugars, and artificial colorings.

Note that not all these food types will produce the same effect or level of toxicity. However, it’s always safer to avoid them all, just in case.

Three parrots on a perch.

Food presentation

The food dispenser must always be full of fresh food ready for the bird to eat. This is because these kinds of small birds tend to eat at different times. Thus, they must always have a good supply. Keep in mind that a parakeet that doesn’t eat for 24 hours is at great risk.

However, due to the nature of fruit and vegetables, you must change what you place on the feeder often. As you know, it’ll spoil in a few hours and could have a negative impact on the animal’s delicate digestive system.

In addition, don’t allow the bird to get obese. They’ll lose their shape and it’ll lead to obvious health problems. You must, therefore, have full control over your parakeet’s diet.

Finally, make it a point to check the state of your pet’s bowel movements often. If they’re very watery or seem like diarrhea, then lower the amount of wet food. As you can see, you must be your pet’s nutritionist all throughout their life.