Feeding the Budgies: Dry Food

When I first broached the idea of getting a bird to Mr. Awesome, my original assumption was that said psittacine would live on a diet of cheap seed supplemented by veggies and whatever foods we were consuming that were bird safe.

But the more I read on the subject, the less pleased I was with this idea.

One of my bigger regrets concerning Giacomo is that I wish I had been more insistent and consistent with his diet. When we brought Robin and Tuck home, I saw it as a second chance to (hopefully) get it right.

Robin and Tuck (from what I could tell) were both raised on white millet and some fresh veggies. Ideally, I would like to switch them over to a predominantly pelleted diet as far as their dry food is concerned (they also get “wet food” or chop, but that is a subject for another post). However, as many a bird owner has experienced before, converting to pellets isn’t always a smooth process.

So, what to do?

After reading on a forum that a particular owner had had luck switching their bird to pellets via Lafeber’s Avi-cakes and Nuti-Berries, I came up with a plan.

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Looks like we’re getting low

The budgies don’t like big chunks of food, so in order for the Nutri-Berries to be a viable option for consumption, a little altering is required…

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I ask you, where would we be without the meat mallet? It’s such a handy form of stress release.

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After a good bit of noise, the Nutri-Berries are broken into bite sized pieces.

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Into the tub they go.

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And now for the Avi-Cakes

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The meat mallet wont help here, as the Avi-Cakes are much softer than the Nutri-Berries. Better bring out the tiny food processor.

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After some more noise, the Avi-Cakes are now broken apart and ready to go into the tub.

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Time for the pellets I would eventually like Robin and Tuck weaned onto, ZuPreem FruitBlend:

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The final step in Robin and Tuck’s dry food is to add some of that cheap parakeet seed I mentioned earlier in this post to make sure they don’t go hungry if they’re not inclined to eat the pellets.

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Then, of course, the whole thing is stirred well. Voila!

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As of right now, I believe Tuck is the only one willing to chew on the pellets, but that isn’t surprising considering Robin spent nearly a year on seed. Still, I hope as time goes on that they will both become more adventurous in their eating, and I have some comfort in the fact that they both seem to be eating their wet food well.

How about you? What dry food do you feed your birds? Did you switch your bird from seed to pellets? Any suggestions?

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4 thoughts on “Feeding the Budgies: Dry Food

  1. S Stull says:

    I’m actually writing an article on this very topic! The pellet vs seed debate is actually not as black and white as you might think – although some places will insist it is. In my own opinion (and based on my research and talking to vets), 15% pellets, 15% seed, and 60-80% fresh food are ideal, but this can vary per owner with good results.

    A ‘main-pellet’ diet for an arid-dweller like a budgie can actually cause health issues like kidney problems. These birds are naturally seed eaters. In captivity, they do need less seed (and a high quality mix at that), but it can be damaging both ways. Too much protein in pellets vs too much fat in seed. My seed eaters do not get pellets, but rather get a portion of seed for foraging toys and training rewards. Others (like Senegal, cockatoo, etc.) always have pellets in the bowl. I monitor weight, encourage exercise, and use a UV lamp and sun exposure to ensure they get all the nutrients they need without becoming overweight. (Sunlight is an incredibly important factor.)

    In terms of not wanting to spend an eternity cooking for your flock every day, grain bakes, sprouts, and chop come in handy. All are simple, fast, and nutritious options for feeding fresh. It’s a good place to start.

    Anyway…Good for you, getting your boys onto a great diet! It makes me happy to read about more and more people doing this. 🙂 Good luck!

  2. G.M. says:

    I think “S” nailed it on the head. Pellets at 15%, seed at 15% and the rest fruit and veggies seems like the perfect combination. My birds also LOVED avi-cakes. I mixed the seed with the pellets like you did, but sadly enough none of my birds really took to the pellets. Still offer it to them even if it takes some time for them to accept it. I wish you luck! 🙂

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