There’s no question about it: budgies love millet! It can be so fun and rewarding to give your budgie the treat and watch them gobble it up. It’s clear they love to eat it.
So, how much Millet can budgies have? A safe measurement of millet is about a teaspoon a day. It’s a good amount for your budgie to eat as a nice treat without negatively impacting their diet. Too much millet can make a budgie fat. That´s why it is advised to not feed to much of it.
Is it beneficial for budgies to have millet? Can it be harmful? Let’s find out.
When Millet Can Be Given to Budgies
Millet is a great treat for budgies not only because they love to eat it, but it also offers a chance for your bird to forage. To get to the delicious seed they will have to pick through the grain heads.
You can also place the millet in hard to reach places, such as attached to the top of the cage, to make your bird work that little bit harder to get it. It can be extremely entertaining to watch your bird climb all over their cage for their much-desired treat!
Since budgies love the seed so much it’s a great snack to use to train your bird. They will catch on quickly when they are rewarded with the incredibly tasty treat. Millet can also be very handy to have if your bird is sick.
Like humans, when birds feeling ill they can shy away from food. They love millet and are unlikely to resist the great taste of millet when offered. While it isn’t the healthiest food option, it’s better for them to eat something rather than nothing.
Millet is also a great food to give baby birds while they’re weaning. Since it has a high-calorie content, it can help them to continue to develop fully as they transition into adulthood.
It can also aid in digestion and helps ease stress which can be beneficial when your bird molts, picks its feathers, or even when it breeds.
However, if you make this delicious seed available too often, you might find that your budgie will fill up on millet instead of the well-balanced alternatives you provide in their cages.
Budgies can become addicted to millet as a side effect of having it so readily available and often will refuse to eat other, healthier food options. Because of this, it’s really important to make sure your budgie isn’t eating too much.
What Is Millet?
There are about 6,000 different types of millet but a few small selections can often be found in pet stores. Spray millet is the kind of millet that is left on the stalk. It is often hung or attached at the top of the cage in long strips.
Proso millet, also known as white millet, is often found in seed mixes. Don’t let the name fool you, though, as there are all kinds of colors available. So if your budgie doesn’t like one of the colors, simply try another.
Red millet is often known to have a tougher husk which will make your bird work harder to get that tasty treat. It can be tricky to find in some pet stores so you might have to search for it.
Millet is low in fat and high in carbohydrates and it is comparable to bread for humans. As we all know, humans can’t just survive on bread, and it’s the same for birds. Millet lacks vitamin A which is essential for birds.
It is also missing amino acids and other essential nutrients. Due to this, it is best if it’s included in a well-rounded, healthy diet.
It’s not all bad, though! Millet has roughly the same protein as wheat, 11 grams in a 64g portion.
It’s also a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium too. As long as you don’t let your bird fill up on millet, and it has a well-balanced diet, you shouldn’t run into any issues.
If you’re worried about your budgie’s health, a great way to ensure they don’t have too much millet is to cut the spray into small pieces instead of having it in their cage as one large piece. This way you can control how much they have to ensure they have a well-rounded diet.
Millet in a Balanced Diet
As a general rule, millet and seeds can be given to your bird daily, but it is wise to use them sparingly. A lot of ill health effects can come from only feeding your bird seeds, such as nutrient deficiency and obesity as well as more scary diseases such as cancer.
Budgies should also eat vegetables and fruits:
- Strawberries (We recommend reading our article on Budgies and strawberries here first!)
- Grapes – Careful! (Read here how to feed Grapes and what to keep in mind when feeding them to your budgie.)
- Sweet potatoes
- Cucumber (Cucumber is very healthy for budgies. Here is why and how to serve it!)
- Lettuce (Very low in nutrition, but still great for budgies. Read here why!)
These fruits and vegetables can be served however your budgie prefers. Chopped, shredded, or pureed. It’s best to serve these raw though, as cooking can take away vital nutrients.
When giving your budgie fresh fruit and vegetables, be sure to take away any uneaten food after two hours as it can go bad very quickly.
Also, if you want to give your budgies some other treats besides millet, check out our article on budgie treats here! We show 12 awesome treats there!
Some foods you should never give your budgie include:
- Pits and seeds from fruits
- Uncooked beans
- Leaves and stems of tomatoes
A great way to spice up your budgie’s grains is to soak them in water, making a soft food mixture. You just pour the grains into a small dish, add some water, and once they’ve engorged you can drain the water and serve to your bird.
What to Avoid
If you find millet that is considerably cheaper than other options, you should carefully consider buying it. Millet can have pesticides and other chemicals in it, so if the millet is cheaper than most other options, it might have been imported from a mass producer.
This increases the risk of the millet having been sprayed with pesticides which could be dangerous for your budgie.
Not all cheap millet will be sprayed with pesticides so you’ll have to choose your millet carefully and make an informed decision with what options are available to you.
How long does millet last? Millet is a great storing grain and can stay fresh for one to two years. If you’d like your millet to last longer, you can put it into airtight containers which should keep it fresh for several years.
Why do budgies love millet so much? Millet has a texture and taste that birds really enjoy. Not only that, but birds have an innate desire to search and work for their food and millet is a great way to fulfill that need and keep your bird busy.
Do wild birds eat millet? Yes! Lots of wild birds eat the seeds. It’s a fantastic treat to leave out in your garden in tray feeders or scattered on the ground. If you want wild birds to flock to your garden, this is a great way to do it.
Is it bad to give budgies millet? Giving millet to your budgie too often can be detrimental. It’s very important that you give your budgie a healthy diet with a whole mix of seeds. It’s best to give your budgie millet every so often as a reward or snack.