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Fussy Budgies

If all your budgie has ever known is dry seed, he may be so set in his ways that fresh foods and sprouted seeds are viewed with suspicion, or simply ignored. Don’t let this put you off, though – your bird’s fussy taste buds can be won round. It just takes a little time.

Reducing the availability of dry seed is the key here. Put the absolute minimum of your budgie’s usual mix in the feeder to start with, and keep a close eye on his feeding habits. Offer a variety of fresh foods and sprouting seeds, with something new every day. Once you are confident that your budgie is eating some of the new stuff, cut the dry seed supply down even further, so that he will have to eat something else to satisfy his appetite. By now he should have acquired the taste for fresh and sprouting foods, and will happily take them in addition to his seed supply.

Yellow budgie lying down
Don't take budgie fussiness lying down!

Offer the fresh food first thing in the morning, when your budgie’s appetite tends to be at its peak. If things are really tough and your birds are proving unusually resistant to the charms of fresh food, sprinkle it with some of his favourite seed mix. This will encourage some exploration, and should reassure him that the new stuff is good to eat.

If you have more than one budgie, the task will be easier – budgies cave-in to peer-pressure, and will readily join other birds eating the novelty food. Offer vegetables and fruit in different forms to appeal to the bird’s natural curiosity. Try big chunks, little pieces, and gratings. At some point you’ll see some successful nibbling. Wet any greens before introducing them to the cage: many budgies like rubbing themselves in wet greens, and usually take a little bite afterwards.

The dry seed mix should still remain a central part of any bird’s diet. The aim is simply to get a bit of variety in the culinary mix, for the benefit of the bird’s nutrition and pleasure. A seeds-only bird can start to lose his curiosity and miss out on the sensory adventure that should be part of every budgerigar’s life.

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Ana, 29 March 2019

Can I feed my parakeet Ice Cream?