Fresh food should be stored in the fridge or fruit bowl. You’ll probably just be feeding your birds a small amount of your own fruit and veg, so this should be no problem. Anything kept in the fridge should be removed for at least an hour before feeding, though, as over-chilled food can irritate a budgie’s tongue and throat.
Seed and grain needs to be stored in a cool, dark, dry place, in airtight containers. This will lengthen its shelf life, and will usually (but not always) prevent infestation from flour mites, grain beetles, moths and other unwanted visitors. If you only have a pair of birds – or even a single bird – you won’t need much seed mix at any given time, and a small box of food will suffice. As it will only last two weeks or so, you don’t have to be too paranoid about infestations; but keeping it in an airtight container is still a good habit to get into.
If you’re buying larger quantities for a larger flock of budgies, you don’t need specialised bird seed containers. A coloured plastic box or bin with a tight lid is fine, or any other plastic or glass sealed container (although if you are using glass or clear plastic, it must be kept in a dark cupboard or cellar). ‘Wet’ foodstuff – wild seeds collected from weeds in your garden or sprouted from dry seeds – can be frozen in airtight freezer boxes. Don’t leave it hanging around once defrosted, or moulds will start to form; and never refreeze it.
Good quality birdseed is essential
Kept dry, airtight, cool, and away from direct light, a seed and grain mix should stay fresh for up to six months. After that time, even if the grain is still dry, a lot of the vitamins and nutrients will have disappeared. Locking the goodness in by freezing solves the problem, but creates new ones. After defrosting, the seeds will be moist, and this can lead to fungal and bacterial growths, which can make your budgie ill. The best option is to avoid buying in bulk – that way your seed will not become old and leached of its goodness.
As mentioned above, if your seeds become damp, mildew can spread quickly. If you see even a faint dusting of mildew on the surface of your batch of seed, or catch a whiff of something mushroomy, you must assume that rot has spoiled the whole batch. Throw it away, and find a drier storage space.
Budgie food containers should be checked regularly for parasites, even if you only store small amounts (see Budgie seed infestation section below).