Giving a budgie a treat does not only make your budgie happy, it also makes you happy. However, you should know that not all treats are healthy. That´s why we created a list with the 12 best treats for budgies!
A Quick Word On Treats
Before we show you the best treats, there are a few things you should know.
Budgies enjoy a wide variety of foods. Even though pet budgies are fed a primarily a seed-based diet, it could get boring for budgies to eat the same thing day in and day out.
A budgie that is tired of its mundane diet might show its displeasure by scattering the seeds in and around its cage.
A varied diet not only gives an interesting twist to the budgie’s diet, but it also takes care of the budgie’s overall nutritional needs. However, remember that your budgie’s favorite treats might not always be healthy.
Also, a budgie’s diet should be 60-70% grain. So, careful moderation in giving treats is required and you should be well aware of which treats are unhealthy for your budgie.
And of course, if you are planning on making drastic changes to your pet’s diet, it is recommended that you consult an avian vet first.
A routine bird diet consisting of seeds usually lacks in essential nutrients such as certain vitamins and minerals.
Since a nutritional deficiency can sometimes cause serious health issues in budgies, a few tasty treats not just add variety but can also provide the required nutrition.
And of course, treats are a great way to bond with your budgies!
The 12 best treats you can give your budgie
1. Millet Spray
This is a much-loved treat among the parakeet family and your pet budgie will go crazy for some millet spray. If your budgie hasn’t tasted millet yet, introduce it to some and it will soon come to love this treat.
Millet Spray holders are easily available in most pet stores, but putting an entire stick of millet spray in the cage is a bad idea. It is a fattening treat and you don’t want your budgie to have too much of it.
Also, budgies that have easy access to this delicious treat might gorge on it and completely ignore other food such as their regular seed mix.
Hence, about 1-2 inches in a day should be more than enough for your budgie.
You can hang the spray in the cage and remove it when you feel the budgie has had enough. The upside is that when the budgie tries to get to the millet underneath the husk, it is quite a treat for you to watch its acrobatics.
Also, nothing like working some of the calories off while having a fattening treat! Millet spray is a very effective treat for taming and training your budgie.
Budgies usually love a bit of fruit in their diets, and why not! Budgies in the wild very often feed on fresh fruits which occur in their habitat naturally.
Hence, fruits that are readily available in your home can become tasty as well as a healthy treat for your feathered pets. Fruits such as apples, mangoes, cherries, currants, bananas, melons, all kinds of berries, etc. are excellent variations to the usual seed mix.
It is better to not give grapes to your budgie due to its high sugar content. Also, avoid avocados because they may not agree with the budgie’s digestive system.
All fruits should be thoroughly washed to get rid of any pesticide residue and should be given uncooked, in their raw form.
Remove the seeds before putting it in the cage because many fruit seeds are harmful to the budgies’ digestive systems, and sometimes even poisonous.
Give fruits in moderation since fruits have sugars in them and budgies can quickly overfeed themselves. Using 2-3 types of fruits in small quantities about twice a week should be optimal.
Remember to remove any untouched or half-eaten fruit from the cage at the end of the day to prevent bacteria from growing.
Vegetables are healthy not only for you but also for your budgie. You can safely include appropriate quantities of vegetables in your budgie’s daily diet. Again, give only raw, uncooked vegetables that have been washed properly.
Budgies that are being introduced to fresh foods for the first time might sometimes not take a liking to some of the vegetables immediately.
However, after getting a little more comfortable, they might come to enjoy and even develop special preferences for certain vegetables over others. It’s a matter of personal taste, really, so introduce your budgie to different vegetables and see which one it likes the best.
You can try vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, beets, carrots, etc.
Your budgie might enjoy some leafy greens such as spinach, kale, carrot greens, mustard greens, parsley, etc.
Celery stalks, podded peas, and cucumber slices make for excellent snacks that you can feed the budgie as a reward during taming.
Soft vegetables such as ripe tomatoes and pumpkins are also a good option.
One more food that budgies have a special preference to are peppers. Budgies, like other members of the parakeet family, love peppers; even the hotter varieties.
They do not taste the hot chili peppers the way we do. So, don’t worry about the spice. Budgies love nibbling on the skin as well as the spicy pepper seeds.
Just make sure you remove any uneaten or half-eaten veggie pieces at the end of the day to inhibit bacterial growth.
Having a movie night? Share your snacks with your budgie, too! Yes, most budgies love popcorn. However, don’t use store-bought microwave popcorn for your bird.
These popcorns are very high in fat and sodium and are harmful to your pet. Same goes for most of the ready-to-eat varieties that are for human consumption.
Instead, take some corn kernels and pop them using a very small amount of pure oil such as the coconut oil, and don’t add salt or any other seasoning to it.
If you don’t want to pop the corn, just boil the dried kernels in some water to soften them a little. Sweetcorn kernels can also be given fresh for the budgie to nibble on.
This is again a great treat to let the budgie eat from your hand.
If you haven’t given your budgie some nuts yet, try now and see them going nuts over this delicious treat. They provide essential nutrients that are not easily found in other foods and thus become a very healthy option for a treat.
Go easy on the nuts, though since they are high in fatty oils. You can feed your budgie some walnuts, cashews, almonds, etc. If you give the budgies nuts that are still within the shells, it provides a bit of an exercise to their beaks and jaws to get to the nut inside.
However, if you find that your feathered pets are having a very hard time cracking the shell open, do help them with it or provide shelled nuts.
Make sure you give nuts that are clean.
Always check for molds before feeding the budgie.
And of course, give only unsalted nuts. You don’t want your budgies to load up on sodium. However, it is advisable that you avoid peanuts since they quickly grow fungus which might go undetected.
6. Flavored seed sticks
Flavored seed sticks are easily available in pet supplies stores and also in many departmental stores. They are a great option to feed your budgie a balanced diet and give it a break from the regular seed mix that it eats.
The seed sticks majorly contain cereals such as oats, wheat, millet, etc. and some oily seeds such as flax seeds and sunflower seeds.
They might also contain bits of dried fruits such as berries and currants. Some sticks also come with a little egg in it for a protein boost.
Also, the seed sticks are fortified with essential vitamins and minerals making them a good nutrient rich treat.
The sticks usually come with a hook so that you can hang them in the cage. The pecking will also provide a form of foraging exercise to your pets. What’s more, there are different flavors to choose from.
- While you can get seed sticks for your budgie here, we recommend that you get them in a pet shop. A lot of seed sticks break during shipping.
Cuttlebones are not really bones. They are the calcium-rich internal shells of the cuttlefish. These hard, white, oblong slabs can be given as treats to your budgies.
The budgies usually find the cuttlebones quite amusing due to its different texture compared to other foods offered to them. They love to nip at the slabs and play with it.
Apart from the exercise that it provides the birds, the hard slabs also help in trimming and polishing their beaks. As the budgie tries to nibble on the cuttlebone, the outer scaly layers are removed naturally.
And if the budgie ingests some while playing, it gets a healthy dose of dietary calcium and minerals.
Cuttlebones can be attached to the cage wires using clips that come with them, or you can use a cuttlebone holder available in most pet supplies stores. The slab can also be placed on the floor of the cage where the budgies can push it around and play with it.
- You can get cuttlebones here!
Legumes which are a family of lentils, beans, and peas are a good source of protein.
All types of lentils can be given to budgies, but soak them in clean water for 8 hours or overnight so that they are softened.
Whole peas such as black-eyed peas, yellow peas, and green peas can also be given when suitably softened. Beans such as mung beans and adzuki beans can be given in the form of soup after being boiled in some water until soft.
These beans also provide dietary fibers along with the protein. Give only a spoonful in a day and don’t add any seasoning to this soup. However, do note that a diet high in protein can trigger breeding urges in budgies.
So, if you don’t want your budgies to breed, keep them away from these protein-rich treats. Also, be mindful that some beans could be toxic for birds. Hence, don’t experiment too much with different varieties without consulting an avian vet.
You can give your budgies oat sprays. Budgies enjoy these treats and it also promotes the natural foraging instinct in the birds. Rolled oats can be given in the form of chews and you can easily make these at home.
Just take a cup of oats and add an egg and some honey to it. You can also add some crushed eggshells.
Mix together, spread the mixture on a greased cookie sheet and put it in the oven for 8-10 minutes. When the mixture has nicely set and cooled down, cut into pieces and let the budgies snack on them.
You can store these treats in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Budgies and many other birds are known for going crazy for these Oat Groats Treats!
Eggs are an unusual treat for budgies. They are also packed with nutrition and high in protein. So, just like other protein-rich foods, should be given occasionally.
Don’t give the eggs raw or undercooked at any cost, though. You can feed bits of hard-boiled eggs from your hand. You can also feed bits of unseasoned omelet to your budgies as small treats.
You can also make budgie-friendly omelets in your kitchen without using any oil. Just break open an egg and transfer the contents in a plastic fridge bag. Immerse the bag in boiling water and let the egg inside cook well.
Cut it up into small portions and let your budgie enjoy some egg treats made especially for them.
11. Rice and pasta
Another treat which you can easily make in your kitchen is some boiled rice or pasta. Budgies find this simple food quite tasty and it is also easy on their digestive systems.
However, budgies don’t usually prefer food that’s too sticky. Hence, wash the rice several properly till the water runs clear before you cook it.
Also, don’t add salt to the rice or pasta while cooking. You can also boil the pasta with some bits of vegetables for a colorful snack.
Sprouts are a healthy snack for humans as well as for pet budgies. And though you can feed your budgies some alfalfa sprouts from the store, you can very easily sprout some seeds for them in your kitchen too.
To allow some variety in taste, you can sprout a small amount of the seed mix that you usually give your budgies and offer the sprouts as a treat. (However, note that if the seeds don’t sprout, it is likely because the seeds are not fresh enough!)
Consider replacing the seed mix with a fresher version from a reliable store.) You can also buy a sprout mix and sprout at home so that both you and your little companions enjoy the healthy snack.
Hygiene is key when giving sprouts to budgies. The seeds should be sprouted and stored well. Don’t ever feed your budgie moldy or spoilt sprouts.
Fresh sprouts can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days. But, don’t feed your budgie the sprouts straight from the fridge.
Always rinse the sprouts, dry them properly, and allow them to come to room temperature before letting the birds snack on them.
Budgies don’t like damp sprouts and those directly from the fridge would be too cold for their crop. Limit the snack to one teaspoon per budgie per day.
Foods to avoid
Some foods are best avoided for budgies since they could be harmful or even poisonous for your feathered pets. Never let your budgie feed on anything that contains cane sugar, tobacco, caffeine, or alcohol.
Avoid sugary treats. No matter how much you like chocolates or other sweets as a treat for yourself, don’t be tempted to give some to your budgie.
If at all you want to feed these treats to your budgie, it should be extremely rare.
Sugary or fattening treats are best used sparingly because maintaining a healthy budgie weight is very important for its well-being.
A sugary treat such as honey is good for giving a boost to a sick budgie.
So, instead of making it a regular treat, it is better to save it for emergencies. Budgies find lactose hard to digest, so it makes sense to keep them away from all dairy products.
Don’t feed your budgie raw meat or fish since it could cause severe infections in birds.
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A word of caution
You should ensure that all the food that you are feeding your budgie is fresh and free from pesticides and other chemicals. One of the ways to ensure this is to buy food or raw material for treats only from trusted sources.
If you find food that is surprisingly cheaper than what you usually pay, let that be a red flag.
Treats are like snacks, so even if your budgie loves its favorite treat, do remember that it is not a substitute for a seed mix which should be the budgie’s primary diet.
Store-bought treats should be given sparingly since they could be high in sugar and/or salt.
Even though fresh food treats are definitely a healthier option, give too much and you will only be disrupting a balanced budgie diet.
A sure way to tell that your budgie is eating too much fresh food is when it has consistently loose droppings. If you notice this, cut back a little on the fresh foods.
Budgies are the happiest when they are given variety in food.
So, if you supplement your budgie’s diet with some treats, you are doing your bit in keeping your little companions happy and chirpy.
They will love to explore different tastes and textures. If your budgie rejects a treat the first time, don’t write it off.
Continue offering a few more times and the budgie might start liking it.
So, be patient, be careful, and have great fun bonding with your little friends!