Before welcoming a bird such as the budgie or cockatiel into your home, it is important to inquire about their dietary needs. They are particularly delicate and rather than eat something they don’t like… they go fasting! Let’s find out together the correct nutrition of these two birds.
What does the budgie eat?
In nature, the feeding of this parakeet consists mainly of more or less mature lawn seeds. A pet parakeet, on the other hand, needs a mix of seeds: different qualities of millet, canary seed and some hulled oats, thus managing to follow a balanced diet. Do not fill his feeder to the brim, because the crafty bird could choose only the seeds it likes best, compromising the correct diet.
Another food he is fond of is Setaria italica, a cereal similar to millet. It is shaped like a spike to hang on the cage, the best seeds are golden and very shiny. In a good mixed diet it is enough to provide Setaria italica once or twice a week.
The supply of vitamins and minerals is guaranteed by a good daily dose of fruits and vegetables. The budgie is an energetic little bird so it must eat grass, such as fresh dandelion leaves, centocchio and elderberries, plus it loves apple, banana, grapes, grated carrot and salad. Lettuce and endive have a high water content, which is very beneficial for the animal, because it allows to always keep its hydration at a level high. Be careful: wash the vegetables carefully before feeding them, cut them into small pieces and place them in the food dispenser installed between the bars of the cage!
To promote the beauty of the plumage it is important to supplement the feeding of the parakeet with calcium. Insert a cuttlefish bone and sometimes egg shells into small pieces in its cage.
What does cockatiel eat?
The cockatiel’s diet must be fresh, moisturizing and, above all, varied, as this species is often subject to diseases due to improper nutrition.
In nature the cockatiel lives in an arid environment and feeds mainly on small seeds, berries and fruit. A balanced diet includes a mix of wheat seeds, oats, millet, canary seed. Since this species of birds tends to gain weight, it is important not to overdo it with the fattest varieties of seeds such as sunflower seeds: keep them as a reward and give some only on some special occasion.
Fruits and vegetables are essential elements in the cockatiel’s diet, the most popular are: carrot, broccoli, spinach, sprouts, cucumber, chicory, rocket, sweet potato, pear, melon, watermelon, plum, apricot, banana, grapes. To be strongly avoided: avocado, leafy cabbage, tomatoes and citrus fruits, cherries are fine but remember to remove the core. Being a delicate bird, it may refuse to eat fruit and vegetables, so we suggest you get used to various types of food right from the start of weaning.
If there is decaying food in its cage, remove it as soon as possible to avoid the proliferation of bacteria, harmful to its health.
To provide an adequate amount of calcium it is advisable to always leave a cuttlefish bone available.