Switching budgies to a fresh-food diet...

Discussion in 'Caged Birds - Finches, Canaries, Cockatiels, Parro' started by TheWeeBee, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. TheWeeBee

    TheWeeBee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2012
    St. Petersburg, FL
    I was thinking that, having to prep my CBBQ's food (starter crumble/egg food/millet/dried greens/mealworms), that I should start putting more effort into my 8 budgies' diets.

    I know there are plenty of things they can and cannot eat, and I know they LOVE fresh turnip greens. So I went to the store and picked up some frozen shredded turnip greens & a bag of frozen mixed veg (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, peas and squash). i thawed out both bags of veggies, ran them through the food processor to chop them up (along with some eggshells) and gave them to my birds. Once they got over the initial freak-out of having scary substances in their regular dishes, they seemed to tuck into it with enjoyment. At least they seemed to like it, as every time I looked over at the cage, at least one bird was thoughtfully nomming away.

    I'm planning on adding some boiled egg and cooked oats to their fresh mix as well as their regular seed. Will all of this meet/exceed their nutritional requirements? They already have access to hi-calcium grit (especially my hens who like to drop eggs) and enjoy the occasional broccoli floret or fruit I put in their cages. I want to prevent them from forming lipomas as they age, which I've had in other, older birds.

    I'm keeping the two pints of veggie mix in the fridge, and it looks like two spoonfuls per day will be plenty for each set of 3 birds (I have them separated to prevent fights amongst each other).
     
  2. AquaEyes

    AquaEyes Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would recommend getting some China Prairie and making sprouts. I've been feeding it (along with Harrison Pellets) as a base for my amazon for almost 14 years. I get both seed mixes and combine them, but for budgies, I'd stick to just the micrograin mix. Also, don't bother with the multiple jars and tower. I use one jar.

    I put a half-cup of each mix into a cleaned jar, fill with water, and leave overnight. I rinse in the morning, drain, and scoop some out for feeding. Then I leave the jar at room-temp for the rest of the day, rinsing again before I go to bed. The next morning, I again rinse and serve, but then place in the fridge, and just rinse and serve until it's gone. Then I wash the jar and lid and start a new batch.

    In the dish, I add about a small amount of the green supplement powder and mix it up. Any time I've tried giving the sprouted seeds to new birds, they eat it right away.
     
  3. theparrotletdude

    theparrotletdude Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2011
    I'm so glad you are started on a fresh diet. You will be amazed at the difference it will be making to their health and feather condition.
    They need to have a blend of two different kinds of fruits daily too :) Pellets are needed also. I reccomend Volkman's- they have a great budgie seed mix with pellets mixed in.
    If you want, mineral blocks and cuttlebones help out with minerals and vitamins too :)

    Good job on starting your budgies' days off fresh. It will make a big difference in their lives, believe me.
     
  4. TheWeeBee

    TheWeeBee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2012
    St. Petersburg, FL
    Thanks guys! Since budgies are an arid/grassland-dwelling species, I was under the impression that they didn't need to have any fruits in their diet (although they would no doubt be thrilled to eat it). Not saying I won't include fruit, but it won't be an every day thing.

    One of my eldest budgies (10 1/2!) is a bit cranky about having his food switched over. He loves veggies and fruits (and lasagna, if he can get to it--he's the Garfield of budgies) but I think he is expecting me to put a tray of seed down along with the veggies, lol. I'm spooning some of the veggie/greens mix in their dish each morning, and sprinkling seed and grit over it. Depending on what we've got in the cupboard, I'll probably cook up a small batch of oats or pasta to give them as well.

    How often do wild budgies eat milk thistle seeds? I've heard it's great for liver health. Are the milk thistle seeds the same ones which are sold for wild bird feeders? Long and thin black seeds?

    I'm ambivalent about pellets. In my mind, they're as nutritious as dry dog food (which is to say, meet the minimum standard nutrition), and about as unnatural as one can get from an animal's optimal diet.
     

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