Learn everything about your feathered friend's diet, from what fruits parakeets eat to other food items, and even some tips on how to feed them properly!
Parakeets are the most popular pet birds, just behind dogs and cats. They are known for their playful and sociable personality and make great pets for people of all ages. However, Parakeets require a lot of attention when it comes to their diet. So, before you bring a Parakeet home, it's important to make sure you know what to feed them.
In this article, we will answer the question: what fruits do Parakeets eat? And also cover the other food items they consume. We'll include some tips to feed them properly too, so you can ensure your little friend stays healthy and happy.
Let's go understand these beautiful birds a little better!
Parakeets and Their Characteristics
Parakeets are small, brightly colored birds that originate from Australia. They hail from the parrot family, and there are many different species of parakeets. Parakeets get their name from the French word 'perroquet.' The most common type of Parakeet kept as a pet is a budgerigar or budgie. Budgies are one of the smallest species of Parakeet, and they come in various colors.
Talking about their origin, Parakeets were introduced to England in 1840, and after that, they gradually spread across Europe and North America. It is believed that the indigenous people of Australia first domesticated the budgerigar.
Parakeets are social birds, and they love to play. They are very active and need a lot of space to move around. Parakeets also like to chew on things, so providing them with plenty of toys and chewable items is important. Since they are basically medium-sized parrots, you can even get them to talk if trained properly!
Characteristics of Parakeets:
These are the most notable characteristics of Parakeets:
- They are small, brightly colored birds.
- Parakeets have a life expectancy of around 15 years.
- Their natural habitats are Australia, England, Europe, and North America.
- They can get human illnesses.
- Their feet reflect their health.
- They are social birds that love to play.
- The smallest Parakeets are 18 cm (7") while the Largest is 45 cm (18").
- These birds don't build their nests, and wild parakeets live in hollow trees.
- You can tell their gender by looking at their beaks. The males have a blue cere above the beak, while the females have a brown one.
If you are thinking about getting a Parakeet bird, or if you already have one, it is important to do your research and learn everything you can about their care and diet. Parakeets are beautiful creatures that can bring a lot of joy into your life, but they also require a lot of care and attention.
Diet of Parakeets
Now that we know a little bit more about Parakeets let's talk about their diet. Parakeets have a varied diet, and they eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, seeds, and pellets. Although being granivores, their diet majorly consists of seeds and grains; it's not limited to that. These birds also like to eat fruits and vegetables, and you can even give them the occasional treat of honey or yogurt. They can also consume some human food, but there are some items that you should avoid feeding them.
What Fruits Parakeets Eat
Parakeets love to eat fruits, and there are many different types of fruits they enjoy. Some of the most popular fruits that Parakeets eat include:
Parakeets can eat both the flesh and skin of apples. Just make sure to remove the seeds and core first, as it's toxic for them.
Bananas are a delicious and healthy treat for Parakeets. Just be sure to remove the peel first, and you can cut them into small pieces.
- Cantaloupe: This sweet and juicy fruit is a favorite among Parakeets. Just make sure to remove the seeds and rind first.
Like apples, Parakeets love apricots too! Remove the pit before feeding as it's poisonous for them.
- Blackberries: Parakeets can eat both fresh and frozen blueberries. They are perfect-sized delightful treats loved by Parakeets. Blackberries have seeds, but they are not toxic.
Blueberries are even better as they don't have any toxic seeds or pits. These are sweet treats loaded with antioxidants and vitamins that are good for Parakeets.
Your bird needs essential minerals and vitamins like magnesium and iron, and coconuts are a good source of these.
Mango is one of the most Parakeet-friendly fruits as it's soft and easy to eat. Although it's not poisonous, it's better to remove the pit before feeding.
Oranges are another great fruit for Parakeets as they contain a lot of Vitamin C. Just like other fruits, remove the seeds and cut them into small pieces before feeding.
Parakeets love to munch on cherries, and they are a fine choice for Parakeets. They don't contain any toxic seeds. Plus, they are loaded with vitamin A, copper, and potassium.
Parakeets enjoy eating papayas as they are sweet and full of nutrients.
Just like cherries, peaches don't have any toxic seeds, making them a good option for your bird.
Pears make a good treat for Parakeets and are a great source of fiber for the bird. It's not ideal for Parakeets to eat pear skin as it's difficult to digest, so consider removing it along with the seeds.
Grapes are another sweet treat that Parakeets enjoy. You can find seedless grapes as well, which makes them an ideal choice for your bird.
Watermelons are a refreshing and hydrating treat for Parakeets on hot summer days. Their seeds are not toxic to Parakeets but can be a choking hazard. So remove them.
Another Parakeet favorite, strawberries are a good source of Vitamin C. Your bird will enjoy the health benefits and the taste.
Tomatoes are safe for Parakeets to eat, but only in moderation, as they contain a compound called lycopene that can be toxic in large amounts.
These are just some of the fruits Parakeets enjoy, and you can experiment to see what other fruits your Parakeet likes. It's important to remember that while Parakeets love fruit, they should only eat small amounts. Too much fruit can cause digestive problems.
What Else Do Parakeets Eat?
In addition to fruit, Parakeets also like to eat vegetables and other food items. Here are some times that can be a part of your Parakeet's diet.
Vegetables are a healthy option for Parakeets, and they can eat most types of veggies. They get the required vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from vegetables. You must rinse them properly before feeding, and you can also cook them to make them softer. Carrots, peas, celery, spinach, and broccoli are some of the best options.
- Seeds and Nuts:
Seeds and nuts are a good source of protein for Parakeets. Just be sure to remove the shells, as they can be a choking hazard. It's even better if you cut them into small bite-sized pieces as Parakeet's throats are small. Parakeets love nuts, and you can feed them almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, and more.
Parakeets can also eat grains like rice, oats, and wheat. You can cook the grains or give them to your bird in their raw form. Just be sure to remove any hulls or shells, to avoid any choking hazards.
While most people may think of flowers as being just for looks, some of them can actually be eaten. Parakeets love to eat hibiscus, nasturtium, and marigold flowers. They like eating carnations, roses, magnolias, sunflowers, violets, and daisies.
What Food Items Should You Avoid Feeding Parakeets?
It's always good to know what not to feed your bird as some food items can be toxic to them. Here are some food items you should not be feeding Parakeets.
- Chocolate: Chocolate is toxic to Parakeets and can cause problems like diarrhea, vomiting, and tremors.
- Mushrooms: Some mushrooms are safe for Parakeets to eat, but others can be poisonous. So it's best to avoid feeding them to your bird.
- Avocado: Avocado skin and pits contain a compound called Persin, which is toxic to birds. You should not include avocado in your Parakeet's diet.
- Caffeine: Caffeine is also harmful to Parakeets and can cause problems like increased heart rate, tremors, and seizures.
- Dairy: Although not toxic, it's hard for Parakeets to digest dairy products. You can feed them dairy occasionally and in small amounts.
- Alcohol: Alcohol is toxic to Parakeets and can cause liver damage.
Tips for Feeding Parakeets Properly
Now that you know what Parakeets can and cannot eat, here are some tips to properly feed your bird.
- Feed them a variety of fruits, vegetables, and other food items to ensure they're getting all the nutrients they need.
- Remove any pits, seeds, shells, or hulls before giving them to your bird, as these can be a choking hazard.
- Cut food items into small pieces so they're easy for your Parakeet to eat.
- Avoid feeding them processed foods, as these are not healthy for them.
- Give them fresh food and water daily.
- Know how much to feed. In the wild, they eat to their fill, but you will need to monitor their eating habits as a pet. For small adult birds, 0.5 to 1 teaspoon is enough; for large ones, 1 to 1.5 teaspoons of varied fruits and vegetables is ideal.
- Limit the fruit intake as they are high in sugar.