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Feeding Parakeets

March 26th, 2010

Parakeet eatingCommercial bird seed will make up a large part of your parakeet’s diet. They should be fed twice a day. Feeding your parakeet at two particular times during the day can increase tameness and build trust. They associate you with food, thus, don’t view you as a threat. However, it’s also OK to always have seed available in a food dish. Pet shops sell seeds, and it’s best to buy a variety bag.

When birds eat seeds, they break the hard outer shell and eat what’s on the inside. The outer covering often ends up in the food dish. This can create the illusion that there is food in your parakeet’s dish, when really it’s just empty shells. Lightly blowing on a food dish will cause the outer shells to be whisked out of the dish, so you can accurately determine how much food is really left. Pellets can be offered as well, as long as they contain no artificial flavoring or preservatives, or sugar.

You should never put a large amount of food in a dish at one time, because it will encourage waste and selective eating. All of the seeds in commercial birds foods have nutritional benefits, so they should all be eaten. However, if you put too much food in a dish at once, your parakeet will only eat its favorite seeds and throw the rest out. Excess food can easily become a toy.

In addition to seed, many ornithologists recommend supplementing captive parakeets' diets with greens and some fruits can be offered. Fresh spinach, beet leaves, and cabbage can all be given to parakeets in moderation. Apples, carrots, and turnips can also. Ensuring that food is fresh is vital to prevent health problems.

Treats should be given as well, but never left in the cage constantly. Treats such as honey sticks or spray millet are fine occasionally, but if you leave them in the cage your parakeet will ignore other nutritious food.

Certain foods should never be offered to your parakeet because they are lethal. Parakeet should never be given avocados or chocolate. It’s best to avoid any kind of sugar in their diet. Milk and dairy products should never be offered to a parakeet as they will cause digestive problems. Caffeine is also very dangerous for parakeets. Never leave soda or coffee out while your parakeet is flying. The sugary scent of those beverages will attract parakeets and they will drink them. Peanuts and canned fruits should also not be fed to parakeets.