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Best Parakeet Food For Healthy Diet

People do not live by bread alone, and birds can’t thrive on a diet of seeds and water. Think how dull and unhealthy a one-item diet would be for you—it isn’t any more interesting or nutritious for your parakeet. Poor diet also causes a number of health problems (respiratory infections, poor feather condition, flaky skin, reproductive problems, to name a few) and is one of the main reasons some parakeets live fairly short lives. Let’s look again at my childhood pet, who ate basically a seed-and-water diet and lived about five years.
best Parakeet Food For Healthy Diet
best Parakeet Food For Healthy Diet

We fed him what the people at the pet store told us to feed him, which was what people did thirty years ago. However, if we had offered him a more varied diet and worked with him consistently to accept new foods, Charlie could have lived three times longer.

A Healthy Diet:

Here’s what the Association of Avian Veterinarians recommends as a healthy parakeet diet: 50 percent seeds, grains, and legumes; 45 percent dark green or dark orange vegetables and fruits; and 5 percent protein in the form of meat (well cooked, please), eggs (also well cooked), or dairy products. We’ll look at each part of this diet in a little more detail in just a moment.
 Whatever healthy fresh foods you offer your parakeet, be sure to remove any leftover food from the cage promptly to prevent spoilage and to help keep your bird healthy. Ideally, you should change the food in your bird’s cage every two to four hours (about every thirty minutes in warm weather), so a parakeet should be all right with a tray of food to pick through in the morning, another to select from during the afternoon, and a fresh salad to nibble on for dinner.
 Seeds, Grains, and Legumes The seeds, grains, and legumes portion of your parakeet’s diet can include clean, fresh seed from your local pet supply store. Give your pet her seeds in a clean, dry dish, and check the dish daily to ensure your parakeet has enough food. Don’t just look in the dish, but actually remove it from the cage and blow lightly into the dish (you might want to do this over the kitchen sink or the trash can) to remove seed hulls. Parakeets are notorious for giving the impression that they have enough food when they really don’t. Because they are such neat eaters and drop the used hulls right back in their dishes, they can often fool you. One foodstuff that is very popular with parakeets is millet, especially millet sprays. These golden sprays are part treat and part toy. Offer your parakeet this treat sparingly, however, because it is high in fat and can make your parakeet pudgy!
 Other items in the bread group that you can offer your pet include unsweetened breakfast cereals, whole-wheat bread, cooked beans, cooked rice, and cooked pasta. Offer a few flakes of cereal at a time, serve small bread cubes, and parakeet-sized portions of rice, beans, or pasta.

Your Parakeet’s Beak:
Because parakeets eat primarily seeds and other plant materials in the wild (some parakeets have been seen eating the seeds of twenty-one different species of grasses), their beaks have developed into efficient little seed crackers. Look at the underside of your bird’s upper beak. It has tiny ridges in it that help your parakeet hold and crack seeds more easily.

Fruits and Vegetables:

Dark green and dark orange vegetables and fruits contain vitamin A, which is an important part of a bird’s diet and is missing from the seeds, grains, and legumes. This vitamin helps fight off infection and keeps a bird’s eyes, mouth, and respiratory system healthy. Some foods that are rich in vitamin A include carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, broccoli, dried red peppers, dandelion greens, and
spinach. Serve fresh fruits and vegetables to your bird by slicing them into small, parakeet-sized pieces. Shred or julienne carrots and steam or bake yams and sweet potatoes. (Make sure they are cool enough to eat before serving.)
 You may be wondering whether to offer frozen or canned vegetables and fruits to your bird. Some birds will eat frozen vegetables and fruits, while others turn their beaks up at the somewhat mushy texture of these foodstuffs. The high sodium content in some canned foods may make them unhealthy for your parakeet.
 Frozen and canned foods will serve your bird’s needs in an emergency, but I would offer only fresh foods as a regular part of her diet.

Protein:

Along with small portions of wellcooked meat, as I mentioned earlier, you can also offer your parakeet bits of tofu, water-packed tuna, fully cooked scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, unsweetened yogurt, or low-fat cheese. Don’t overdo the dairy products, though, because a bird’s digestive system lacks the enzyme lactase, which means your bird’s system cannot fully process dairy foods.

Don’t Feed These to Your Bird:

Do not feed your pet parakeet alcohol, rhubarb, or avocado (the skin and the area around the pit can be toxic). Don’t give her any foods that are highly salted, sweetened, or fatty. Especially do not give your bird chocolate because it contains the chemical theobromine, which birds cannot digest as completely as people can. Chocolate can kill your parakeet, so resist the temptation to share this snack with her. Also avoid giving your bird the seeds or pits from apples, apricots, cherries, peaches, pears, and plums, because they contain toxins that can be harmful to her health. Supplements You may also be concerned about whether your bird is getting enough vitamins and minerals in her diet. This is of particular concern if your parakeet is eating a seed-based diet. Parakeets on pelleted diets should be getting all the vitamins and minerals they need from these special diets, so supplements are unnecessary. If your parakeet’s diet is mainly seeds, however, you may want to sprinkle a good-quality vitamin and mineral powder onto your pet’s fresh foods, where it has the best chance of sticking to the food and being eaten. Vitamin-enriched seed diets may provide some supplementation, but some brands add the vitamins and minerals to the seed hull, which your pet will remove and discard while she’s eating. Avoid adding vitamin and mineral supplements to your parakeet’s water dish, because they can act as a growth medium for bacteria. They may also cause the water to taste different to your bird, which could discourage her from drinking.

Diet Taboos:
Here’s a little list to help you remember what foods to avoid:
Alcohol
Avocado
Candy
Chocolate
Potato chips
Pretzels
Rhubarb
Seeds or pits from apples, apricots,
cherries, peaches, pears,
and plums

What About Water:

In addition to providing fresh food every day, you must give your bird access to clean, fresh water daily. Birds require water to digest their food properly and to maintain good health, and their drinking water should be offered separately from any water they use to bathe.
 Some parakeets prefer to drink from open dishes, while others like to drink from water bottles. Find out which type of water container your bird is accustomed to before you bring her home, so she’ll know right away where to look when she’s thirsty!

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