homemade parakeet food

Discussion in 'Caged Birds - Finches, Canaries, Cockatiels, Parro' started by jbugw, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. jbugw

    jbugw Out Of The Brooder

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    Does anyone feed parakeets a strictly homemade food diet? My daughter wants a parakeet very badly but she also has a severe contact reactive peanut allergy. We can't use any commercially sold bird food, same for pretty much any small pet like hamsters, guinea pigs,etc.

    I found something that says a seed diet like that isn't the best anyway and that they can be much healthier eating a variety of human foods like rice with veggies, greens, carrots, occasional fruits, seeds and nuts. This we can do. We can do almonds and other in shell nuts what we shell. I can very easily make rice and veggies to freeze as needed. The seeds we can use and are available locally- chia and flax. I can special order peanut free shelled sunflower seeds (or can they crack them and eat them without me shelling them? The peanut free seeds are costly so if I can get a in shell version locally it will be a lot cheaper) and we have our own pumpkin seeds.

    Does anybody do this? Any suggestions on what all I can feed? I found a short list that basically says they can eat almost any human food but I want to make sure we're feeding the right stuff. I had parakeets growing up but we just gave them commercial feed. When I told my daughter she could have one, it didn't occur to me that we would have such a hard time finding food. I really should have checked out the food first. But if I can feed them without commercial food and limited seed (since we're limited to what is available peanut free) then we're good to go.
     
  2. cityfarmer12

    cityfarmer12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 18, 2014
    Missouri
    Well, we have kept parakeets on a mostly homemade diet. I will share what i know.
    Ok, first, when you first get your parakeet, he will avoid new foods and be totally stuck on seeds. You have to transition him slowly by giving him seeds for a time. Nobody likes to suddenly go cold turkey. For birds, healthy food is the veggies, candy is the fruit, and seed is the junk food, and not actually good for them. Feeding just seed will shorten their life by quite a few years actually. When you first get him, you can feed him something like this:

    http://totallyorganics.com/t-seeds.php

    I would call them and make sure it is totally made peanut free, but i am pretty sure it is. It is simple seeds and stuff. It is a little costly, but hopefully, you won't have to feed it for long (or at least not much, your choice).

    We give ours a mix of veggies in the morning, which is the staple. When we can, we make it fresh each day, but when we were short on time, we prepare it for a couple days, freeze it, and then thaw it as needed. Make sure not to give just 1 veggie. Here are the most nutritious veggies to give.
    • Carrots, super finely diced or shredded
    • Romaine Lettuce, finely diced (not iceberg)
    • Peas, cut or mashed
    • Cucumber, peeled and finely diced
    • Dandelion Leaves, finely diced
    • Broccoli, Finely diced
    • Corn, Chopped
    • Spinach, Finely Diced (Serve in moderation)
    • Squash, Finely Diced
    • Parsley, Finely diced (Serve in moderation)
    • Tomato, finely Diced
    • Celery, Finely diced

    Choose 2-3 veggies each day and mix them together. You will learn what yours likes and dislikes.

    In the afternoon we give them fruits. Fruits have a high sugar content, so we would only feed a few pieces each day as a training treat. Some good ones to give are:
    • Apples, finely chopped (don't give them the seeds, core, or stem. they are poisonous)
    • Banana's
    • Peaches (No pit)
    • Grapes
    • Mango
    • Kiwi
    • Strawberries
    • Blueberries
    • Melons
    Don't give the seeds, leaves, stems, or pits from any, except the berries you can give the seeds, lol.

    In the evening we would give them seed till bedtime. By doing this, we made sure they would be getting plenty to eat. If not giving any seed mix whatsoever, then i would find some seeds that you can feed.

    You mentioned rice. You can feed rice, but not in huge quantity's. Do not make it a staple. Other things we do is we boil quail or chicken eggs and crust them up once or twice a week to give them some extra protein.

    grains that you can give are:
    Oats, Whole (this should be about 10%)
    Millet (this should be 50% of the the grains you give)
    Sunflower (they love it, but should be no more than 10%)
    Wheat (Not too much of this either)

    To make the various grains even better, sprout them.

    Well, that took forever :) If you made it to here, you are really interested :)

    I would let your daughter read this if she is going to be the primary caretaker. Feel free to ask any more questions about parakeets :)
     
  3. jbugw

    jbugw Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank You. My daughter is 7 and will be the primary care giver. Because of her food allergies (peanut is not the only one just the one keeping her from getting a small pet) she is pretty aware of nutrition which is helpful since it appears parakeets should eat the same way we do. We grow a fair amount of what they can eat including millet so that works out well for us. The seed transition to real food is going to be the most difficult. I'll have to contact the company you linked. They don't use peanuts but one other company I found that didn't use peanuts still had a peanut risk. Hopefully this one doesn't. Otherwise I am not sure how to get through the transition. Just thinking about the dust makes me nervous.
     
  4. cityfarmer12

    cityfarmer12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 18, 2014
    Missouri
    glad i could help :) You could most likely make due by using millet and some other grains to get her switched. Find out what grains you can buy (or grow) and see if they are ok for parakeets :) It's good that you grow a lot :) If you can get some of the grains i mentioned, you could make your own little see mix.

    Man, a peanut allergy that severe must be hard. When i was younger, i couldn't have gluten or dairy, and that was tough, but peanuts are in so much! Now i am mostly over it, but my little brother is like that, and he always wants stuff he see's his friends and stuff eating. :)

    I hope it works out for you guys! Parakeets are so much fun! My sister actually is gonna to start breeding them sometime in the near future :)
     
  5. jbugw

    jbugw Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 8, 2014
    Michigan
    Believe it or not peanuts are pretty easy to work around. There are few things we can't work around but this is the first time its really upset her. Dairy is one of hers as well. She takes it well because I always manage to make her what everyone else has. But the parakeet food was a major disappointment. She is really excited that we are going to be able to work around it.
     
  6. cityfarmer12

    cityfarmer12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 18, 2014
    Missouri
    cool... :) I'm glad its gonna work out :)
     
  7. Rosa moschata

    Rosa moschata Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2013
    I have been feeding my DYH Amazon China Prairie sprouts for over 15 years now (along with pellets and various fresh foods), and I highly recommend it as a base for you to try. They have two formulas -- the Psittacine, with large seeds, is for bigger birds; and the Micrograin, with small seeds, for small birds. I personally use a mix of both, but for your budgie, you'd be better off with the Micrograin. The ingredients in that are:

    Triticale, Rice, Millet, Alfalfa, Fenugreek, Buckwheat, Fennel, Flax Seed, Dill Seed, Sesame Seed, Amaranth, Quinoa, Mung Bean, Radish Seed, and Red Clover Seed.

    The benefit of sprouts is that they're still recognizable as food (since they are still seeds), but they contain more nutrition than dry seeds as the germination process starts. Additionally, being moist, you can sprinkle supplements on them which would otherwise fall off the dry seeds. I have offered these sprouted seeds to many, many different birds (parrot and finch species) over the years and have yet to find one who didn't like them right away.

    The way I feed is this: 1) Add dry seeds to sprouting jar, put on screened lid, and rinse and drain seeds several times. This is important because amaranth and quinoa have bitter saponins which should be rinsed off -- though not toxic, they probably don't taste very good. 2) Fill jar with filtered water and let sit overnight at room temperature. 3) The next morning, drain, rinse and drain again, then scoop out about a tablespoon and put in the bird's dish. Sprinkle supplement powder and mix a bit, then serve. 4) Keep jar at room temp, rinsing and draining twice a day at room temp. 5) By about the second or third day you'll see the sprouting starting. Keep the jar in the fridge at this point to slow the sprouting, and rinse and drain once a day just before feeding. 6) Continue until jar is empty, then wash the jar and start the next batch. 7) If the sprouts get to the point that they're starting to grow leaves before you empty the jar, scale back on the amount you use to start the next batch.

    If you want, you can put the jar near a bright window and the leaves will green up -- they're still very edible, but you'll have to rinse them more often to keep them from growing mold at room temp. For this reason, I aim to finish a batch before they get to this point in the fridge. You'll figure out the optimal amount of dry seeds to start a batch as you go along. For my amazon, I start with 1 cup. For your budgie, I'd probably start with half that.

    The concern for you would be the green supplement powder which is meant to be added at feeding time to the sprouts. The China Prairie formula contains peanut oil, so don't buy that. However, you can use another type of supplement powder on the sprouts if you find one without peanut oil added. There are lots of mixes out there incorporating various dried greens, spirulina, kelp, etc. Here's the list of ingredients for China Prairie's Fresh Addition:

    Spirulina Blue-Green Algae, Barley Grass, Alfalfa leaf, Montmorillonite clay, Capsicum pepper, Garlic, Ginger, Psillium Kelp, Bifidbacterium bifidum, Streptococcus faecium, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Calcium ascorbate, Peanut oil, Sea salt

    If you do some searching for supplement powders (that are meant to be sprinkled on moist food, NOT the kind to be mixed in water), I'm sure you can find some which don't contain peanuts.

    :)
     

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