What to feed budgies with babies

What can budgies eat? - ExoticDirect

Get a quote to insure your budgie for £1,500 of vet fees | Up to three birds per policy | We've been insuring exotic pets since 1996 | Check out our customer reviews on Feefo

Advertisement: Northern Parrots have lots of tasty food for your Budgie. Visit now.

Up until a few decades ago, it was customary to feed budgies mostly on seed mixes, Trill being the favourite with a cuttlefish bone clipped to the cage bars, maybe a spray of millet as a treat. And that was it.

These days pellets have become the choice of many vets and you will have to choose whether pellets or seeds or your own mix will form the major part of the diet.

Current feeding advice is that 40% of the diet should be fresh foods. Choosing the correct food needs plenty of research and advice from trusted sources.

What fruit can budgies eat?

Budgies can eat banana, strawberries, apples, grapes, oranges, peaches, blueberry, pear, raisins, mango, melon (all varieties), nectarines, cherries (ensure you’ve removed the stone) and kiwis. Tropical fruits are also a favourite.

  • What salad vegetables can budgies eat?
  • What vegetables can budgies eat?
  • Food and drink budgies can't have
  • Pellets or seed mix
  • What seeds can budgies eat?
  • Calcium for budgies
  • What do baby budgies eat?
  • How much should you feed a budgie?
  • How often should you feed a budgie?

What salad vegetables can budgies eat?

You may like to offer small portions of: Cucumber, lettuce, beetroot, tomato, rocket, celery and pepper.

Budgies enjoy cucumber along with other salad vegetables

What vegetables can budgies eat?

Budgies can eat: Green beans, carrot, peas in pods, cabbage, cauliflower, sweet corn and sweet potato – this should lightly cooked and your budgie would only want a teaspoon full.

There is controversy that onions, mushroom and garlic should be avoided. Some of us have used them successfully. Others do not. It is true that often a food stuff like parsley or fruit pips if taken in large amounts can cause harm but not in small amounts. Unless your fresh food is home grown or organic, it’s a useful precaution to wash well.

Food and drink budgie’s can’t have

You should avoid letting your budgie eat: Fried food, salt, crisps, bacon, coffee and caffeinated tea, although herbal teas are fine, biscuits, pastries, alcohol, cakes, chocolate, pizza, chips, bread, vanilla, peanut butter and cheese.

These foods aren’t that wonderful for humans either 😊. But most parrots, like toddlers with junk food, adore these human foods. The solution is to try to have unsuitable food out of sight.

If she’s out of her cage, don’t beat yourself up if a tiny bit of cookie or a chip was stolen or offered. Our family meals improved a lot, once we had free ranging parrots around at meal times.

This budgie is enjoying a piece of cabbage

Pellets or seed mix

Pellet diets for captive birds originated in USA. Avian vets nowadays recommend pellets because a good pellet is considered to provide nutrients, minerals and vitamins that an amateur cannot match.

Seeds contain too much fat and lack other ingredients for health, so vets choose pellets. Several manufacturers produce pellets designed for budgerigars and other small birds.

The nugget shaped pellets are made from grains and vegetables and easily digestible. The formula is fortified with essential minerals and vitamins that will meet your budgie’s various needs better than an all seed diet.

A well-chosen pellet is a sensible choice for budgies, canaries, and finches. If you choose a pellet be sure it contains no artificial preservatives and buy in a small quantity.

A useful serving for a budgie would be one tablespoon a day, with the rest of the diet made up of fresh food. Usually around a thumbnail amount.

If your bird was not weaned onto pellets but onto a seed-based diet you can accustom her to the change by gradually substituting the food she’s currently eating with the food you want her to eat. It can be done with patience.

If you are feeding seeds, and don’t wish to switch, you can provide sprouts and seeds for 40-60% of her diet and a varied selection of fresh foods for the rest.

What seeds can budgies eat?

Most budgie owners buy a ready-made seed mix to feed their birds, which is fine as long as you are sure the seeds are fresh as they have a limited shelf life. Once past their sell by date the food has little nutritional value.

It’s easy to test if seeds are fresh. Soak some seeds overnight. Rinse and drain them and spread out on wet cotton wool or kitchen paper and keep them warm for 24 hours.

If less than 50% of the seeds start to sprout throw them away. At least 90% of good seeds will sprout.

Seeds can make up between 40-60% of your budgies diet, with fresh vegetables and fruit being the rest

Grass seeds for Budgies

Grass and grains are in the same category and make up 50% of your birds intake. They are the budgie’s staple food in the wild.

If you have a garden or access to open spaces here are some grasses that you can forage for free and feed the budgies.

Your budgie will pick out the seeds from the grass you give her.

  • Annual meadow-grass (Poa annua)
  • Meadow foxtail (Alopecurus pratensis)
  • Orchard grass, aka cock’s-foot grass (Dactylis glomerata)
  • Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne)
  • Poverty brome, aka barren or sterile brome (Bromus sterilis)
  • Rough bluegrass (Poa trivialis)
  • Soft brome, or soft chess (Bromus hordeaceus)
  • Velvet grass (Holcus lanatus)
  • Timothy grass (Phleum pratense)
  • Yorkshire Grass, aka Meadow soft grass, velvet grass or tufted grass (Holcus lanatus)

Budgie grains

You can feed your budgie these grains: Amaranth, barley, buckwheat (whole), canary seed, oats, quinoa, rye, sweetcorn kernels and wheat.

Budgie herb seeds

Herb-derived seeds can form a quarter of a good seed mix. You can store herbs in sealed jars and give a varied selection of the following: Alfalfa, cabbage, chia, clover, dill, fennel, fenugreek, kale, mustard (yellow, red and black), radish, red clover, groundsel and coriander leaves. 

Budgie seeds that are high in fat

Parrots love many seeds that are bad for them. The following seeds need to be used sparingly because of their high fat content: Sunflower, flax, hemp, millet, niger, pumpkin (soaked and allowed to germinate first), rapeseed and sesame.

Millet, hemp, niger and rape are actually grains but they’re included here due to their high fat content.

Budgies in particular - like Galahs or some Amazons - can become obese and this shortens their life spans.

Budgie legumes

Peas and beans are high protein foods. They can be detrimental if fed in too large amounts as they can be a trigger for hormonal behaviour. If you use one or two sprouted legumes in a homemade seed mix that should be fine.

These are suitable for budgies but do not ever feed raw:

  • Chickpeas
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Green peas
  • Lentils (yellow, green, black NOT split)
  • Mung beans
  • Yellow peas

What is the best source of calcium for budgies?

Cuttlefish bones are the best source of calcium under normal circumstances. Parrots love to gnaw on the cuttlefish bone and it provides a great deal of enjoyment – far more than a couple of drops of calcium added to water or moist food.

If your birds are breeding you may need to use additional calcium in the form of supplements, although you always need to be careful not to over feed vitamins and minerals.

Budgies and drinking water

Many carers prefer bottled water. Also, the addition of a few drops of cider vinegar is a choice for many. The most important consideration is providing fresh water daily and more often in hot weather or aviary conditions. 

Budgies - mealworms, chicken and egg

If you want to add an occasional treat some budgies adore dried or live mealworms. Although with a pelleted diet a budgie will be getting enough protein.

Also an occasional bite of hard-boiled eggs or a fragment of chicken or meat can be offered one or twice a week. Remember that small amounts should be given.

What do baby budgies eat?

Here’s a suitable recipe from the excellent Omlet website. You would not need it in everyday care but it’s helpful for young birds, breeding birds, moulting birds and unwell birds.

  • 1 egg, with shell
  • 1 tbsp cooked brown rice
  • 1 tsp millet
  • 1 tbsp crushed budgie pellets OR milled, mixed seeds
  • 2 tbsp mixed chopped and grated fruit and veg

Boil the egg for 15 minutes, remove the shell and grind it up. Finely chop the egg and mix all the ingredients together and serve cold.

The fruit isn’t essential, but some budgies take more readily to the mix if it has that sweet kick.

Never be tempted to add honey or other sweeteners, though; and don’t be tempted by recipes that suggest a boiled egg and a couple of digestive sweet biscuits can do the trick.

No biscuits sold for human consumption are suitable for budgies, due to their added sugar, salt and fat. 

What to feed budgies when breeding

If your budgies are in breeding mode, both parents need adequate calcium.

The hen needs more than the cockbird and to absorb calcium from cuttlefish or grits the birds need exposure to sunlight.

If your budgies are kept wholly indoors then a liquid or powdered form which also contains Vitamin D3 can be sprinkled over soft food and seed. Using calcium products in moderation does not have adverse effects.

You can also feed the recipe from the Omlet website that’s explained above.

If you're planning on breeding your budgies, the diet is more specialised that we’ve discussed here.

How much should you feed a budgie?

A reasonable amount for a budgie would be 15 or 16 grams of food and 3 or 4 grams of treat items like nuts, sunflower seeds or a piece of human food.

Individual birds just like individual humans vary in their food needs and preferences. If your bird has sufficient exercise and you like to err of the generous side, as long as the dish is emptied the budgerigar will remain healthy.

How often should you feed a budgie?

First option: The day’s food is put in bowl and left all day. Treats are given during day during in training sessions or out of cage time.

Second option: The food is divided into two and fed twice a day – you should take the morning bowl away after 15-30 minutes.

This can be advantageous in hot weather when fresh food can spoil. Feed fresh in the morning and dry in the afternoon.

Hygiene is essential so never put fresh food on top of stale food. Garden birds will finish off what our house birds leave.

Can two pairs of budgies live together?

The trend now is to keep birds in pairs which makes their lives more enjoyable when they have to be left alone and enable them to realise more natural behaviours when they are with other birds.

Birds prefer to be with their own species but will make friends with other species.


How much exercise your budgie gets is a key factor in how much food she needs. I believe cages for small birds are often too small.

Certainly, if you have tame budgies watching them flit across rooms or aviaries and with training land on your hand is a delight you will never tire of.

How to sex a budgie

Visual sexing: Mature hens and mature cocks over 12 months show some physical differences.

The female is generally smaller with a smaller head. The cere, the little tuft of feathers over the beak is brown in a hen. In a cock bird its blue. A hen’s legs and feet will be tinged brown. While a cock bird’s will be tinged blue.

In juvenile birds these attributes have not yet appeared.

If you need to sex younger birds there are several reliable methods:

Feather testing can be done at your vets, or you can ask for a kit from the laboratory and pluck the feathers yourself and send them off. Instructions are clear and simple and I have used that method successfully for years.

A few drops of blood will also contain enough DNA for successful testing. If you feel competent enough you can get a kit to draw blood at home and send the lab the results.

Another method is testing the eggshell of just hatched chicks. When chicks hatch, they leave some DNA in the broken shards of eggshell.

If you can get some eggshell and are sure it has not been contaminated, the lab will test that.

Genetics laboratories now have the ability to determine the sex of a broad range of avian species and types. Being such a common pet, budgies are included on a list of testable bird breeds.

Did you know?

Wild budgerigars are ground feeding seed and grass feeders. Grains and grasses provide the bulk of their intake in the wild. They move in flocks often thousands in number and fly enormous distances in their native Australia.

Earthflight - Black Falcon and Budgerigars captures budgies in their massive flock in Australia.

And finally…

If you become fascinated with the species you will find a lot of interesting information in Cage and Aviary Birds, a weekly publication which lists all the bird shows and has a free For Sale and Wanted section.

The Budgerigar Society founded in 1925 deals with show birds but provides an excellent resource and information for any keen owner.

Feeding Baby Parakeets | Parakeet Chicks | Parakeets | Guide

Rearing chicks by hand is very time-consuming, and should not be done without full appreciation of what’s involved. Always make sure to seek expert advice for any aspect of chick-feeding, and take time to watch some instructional videos. This will boost your confidence and minimise the chance of you messing something up.

Even if you have a healthy pair of birds doing all the hard work for you, you should still know what to do if things don't quite go to plan. Mishaps could be anything from a sick male bird (meaning that he won’t be able to feed the hen) to an abandoned nest. Baby parakeets are very delicate creatures, and if the mishap occurs early in the rearing process -- within the first two weeks -- your chances of successfully weaning the birds are slim. Rearing a freshly-hatched bird is something none but the most experienced breeder should attempt.

A six-week-old parakeet

Feeding Parakeet Chicks

There are several parakeet chick feeds and additives that can be purchased online or in larger pet-stores. These should offer the correct mix of nutrients, vitamins and minerals needed to raise the chicks. Always make sure to consult with an expert before opting for any particular brand. Don’t be tempted to make a choice based on price, as cheap mixes are often not good enough for such fragile, young creatures.

Chick food should be mixed according to the instructions on the packet. It will usually have a gloopy consistency, and, like Baby Bear’s porridge, should be neither too hot nor too cold. If the feed is too hot, it can scald the bird’s crop and throat: if too cold, it may lodge itself in the chick’s crop and lead to a fatal condition known as “sour crop”. Again, just make sure you read the instructions.

The food each chick receives should be carefully measured, and should be served at a temperature similar to that of the regurgitated seed of an adult bird (the chick's natural food source). You can use a thermometer to measure the temperature precisely. Never be tempted to heat up the food quickly in the microwave, as this can lead to hot spots in the food. An ideal temperature for this food is between 105-110F.

How to Feed Parakeet Chicks

The food can be offered on a plastic spoon with bent edges (dip the end of a standard plastic teaspoon in boiling water and then bend the edges inward -- this funnels the food into a relatively narrow gap), or alternatively you can feed them via a wide-nozzle syringe. Many breeder rig up their own spoon-syringe hybrid

The syringe is good as it allows you to measure the quantity of food you are administering` There are however choking hazards to beware of though, so a spoon is advisable once the chick is old enough to feed this way (at around 10 days old). The spoon allows the chick to swallow the food at it’s own pace, but does not recreate the “regurgitated seed” flow as well as the syringe.

Experts may sometimes opt for a “crop-needle”, this is a tube attached to the end of a syringe and inserted directly into the chick's crop. This takes a lot of care, however, and should not be attempted if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing.

No matter what feeding method you opt for, make sure all equipment is suitably sterilized before giving it to the chick, and any unused food should be discarded. Always make the food fresh and refrain from preparing it ahead of time.

Keeping a young chick warm whilst feeding them is also important. They should be placed onto a cosy towel or similar soft object for feeding. The aim here is to impersonate a soft, warm hen.

Gently tap on the bird’s beak with your spoon or syringe, just like it’s mother would. The bird will obligingly gape (open it’s beak to receive the food). Deliver the mixture sideways on, coming in at a 90 degree angle to the front of the beak (i.e. don’t feed from the front, as this could force the upper part of the beak too far upwards, and it’s not the way parent birds approach the job).

Don’t syringe or pour in all the food at once. The chick needs time to swallow, and can easily choke on too much too soon. It will let you know when it’s had enough, by simply closing its beak and refusing to reopen. If the bird hasn’t eaten its usual amount, don’t force-feed it. If the lack of appetite persists for the next few feeds, seek medical advice. A blocked crop can sometimes be remedied with a small squirt of warm water and some gentle crop-massage – but you really need to know what you’re doing. Always have the vet or breeder’s phone details at hand.

The food will have cleared from a healthy chick’s crop within 2-4 hours depending on it;s age, and it will need feeding every 3-4 hours. As stated above, if your chick isn’t hungry, it won’t gape. Feeding is a full time job, at least six times a day, and you can only retire at sunset. No one said this is going to be easy!

baby parakeets grow alarmingly quickly, and their food intake needs to grow with them. At two weeks old, depending on the chick’s size, they will take 2-4ml at each feed. At three weeks this increases to 4-6ml, and 5-8ml by five weeks old.

Feeding a 3 Week Old Parakeet

Things become much easier at 3 weeks old. The parakeet chick will now resemble an unkempt miniature dinosaur, with a rather ugly mix of down and pin feathers, and a lot of the character and curiosity that will stay with them throughout their lives. At this point in their lives feeding won’t be such a challenge. Usually every four hours. The bird will happily receive your attentions throughout 16 hours on a long summer’s day, though.

A five-week-old parakeet

Feeding a 5 Week Old Parakeet

At around 5 weeks old you can start putting food on the ground or in bowls, and letting the parakeet indulge in its natural instinct to forage. At around 6-7 weeks old the bird should be fully self-sufficient. You will still need to keep an eye on their feeding behavior, however, as not all parakeets become independent as swiftly as the average bird. Some hand feeding may still be in need at seven weeks old.

What to feed a baby budgerigar

Budgerigars are the most popular bird for home keeping. A variety of colors, a cheerful, playful disposition will give a good mood to any owner. Caring for them is not difficult, nutrition does not cause difficulties, but not everything is simple with chicks. The usual offspring of budgerigars is 3–12 babies hatched 18 days after laying eggs, subject to temperature conditions and maintaining the necessary air humidity. Occasionally, two chicks can hatch from one egg. First, the testicles hatch first. At hatching, the weight of the baby is about 1 gram. Every owner who decides to start breeding birds for the first time is worried about the question of how to feed not only an adult bird, but also small chicks. Proper care, maintenance, a competent diet are important for the health, long happy life of pets. nine0003

For a year, a pair of budgerigars can hatch offspring 4 times. This should not be allowed: the body of the female is depleted.

Small birds feed on a special substance in the form of a mucous mass mixed with almost liquid pieces of food and protein-rich milk produced in the mother's goiter or muscular stomach. After two or three days, grain, partially digested in the goiter, is added to the milk.

With the birth of babies, they are defenseless, completely dependent on their parents. The female cares for, feeds the cubs from her beak, turning each one on its back, regardless of their number and timing of hatching. If the diet of the female contains a sufficient amount of germinated cereals, then the mixture for feeding babies is completely enough. Over time, the grown older birds receive grain food from the goiter, the remaining milk goes to the babies who hatched last. There are cases when, together with the mother, the father also feeds the offspring, in whose goiter grain processing also takes place. Intensive feeding of parrots provides them with all the necessary nutrients and enzymes that ensure the smooth functioning of the digestive tract. nine0003

The owner of parrots must provide a full menu to parents, changing the diet in a timely manner. It is recommended to constantly add egg mixture, sprouted grains, greens to food.

After leaving the nest, the babies go completely under the care of the male, while the mother is preparing for the next clutch at this time. The feeding period lasts 1.5 months, after which the young become independent from their parents, begin to feed on their own. nine0003

Artificial feeding

Sometimes there are situations when the female abandons her children, and the role of the parents of the parrots has to be performed by the owners themselves, feeding without the help of the real father and mother.

It is important to know: if a newly hatched chick does not eat for more than 12 hours, it may die.

Reasons for switching to artificial nutrition at home:

  • large offspring, parents unable to provide food for all children; nine0032
  • female aggression, refusal to feed cubs. Why this happens is difficult to answer. Perhaps she does not have or has not yet awakened maternal instinct. Maybe the reason was that you took a barely born chick in your arms or some other shock for the parrot;
  • the baby loses his appetite, and he is not able to eat on his own;
  • quarantine or sickness of the baby, requiring the separation of the diseased parrot from other birds for the duration of treatment; nine0032
  • death of parents;
  • the female is ready to produce the next clutch, the offspring becomes a hindrance to her.

Important to know : food deprivation of a barely born chick for more than 12 hours is critical, it can cause death. It is necessary to remember this period and have time to prepare food. Sometimes the remaining one chick can be planted with an outside pair of parrots or another bird species. They will become foster parents to the baby, although the chance of survival of the chick is reduced; otherwise, you should take care of feeding the owner of the birds himself. The best candidates for this role will be Japanese finches, other types of parrots often refuse to accept a stranger, they can injure or peck him. nine0003

It is important for fledgling crumbs to maintain optimal temperature and humidity. To do this, periodically spray the nest with clean water. The temperature in it must be maintained at 33 ° C, lower or higher will cause the death of birds. The process can be organized using a cardboard box, constantly warming up its bottom. You can put a warm towel, use an incubator with a set mode that is optimal for chicks. From the twenty-first day, thermoregulation of young animals is improving, additional heating is not required. nine0003

Most experienced breeders advise feeding babies lightly watered down baby food heated to 37°C.

A chick who is two days old is given food using an ordinary insulin syringe or a catheter (cannula) attached to it, made of a plastic tube, wound with a thread. It is necessary to advance the tip further, preventing food from entering the trachea and choking the crumbs. If the bird is not weakened, it immediately begins to swallow food from the first drop. You need to feed until full saturation every two hours, even at night. Such food is given no more than 2 days - it is not intended for long-term feeding of chicks. Remains of food that have stuck to the baby's beak should be washed off with a decoction of chamomile, preventing the growth of bacteria and parasites. In small birds, food sometimes gets stuck in the beak, leading to cracks, you need to remove the remnants of food with a toothpick. Sometimes female parrots do not clean the paws of their babies, they accumulate leftover food, droppings, which harden during accumulation. In this case, you will have to wash the crumbs yourself. nine0003

When artificially fed with a cannula, food is poured not into the beak, but into the goiter, this will prevent the chick from choking on the contents. You can prepare such a mixture: part of baby food, two parts of millet decoction, one part of oat decoction, part of a solution with glucose, vitamins, amino acids.


There are several types of feeding for newly hatched wavy.

Use of a donor bird

This method is used by experienced breeders who are professionally breeding birds. The grain mixture is fed into the goiter of the parrot through a catheter, from where it is sucked off with a probe in the digested form. A dangerous, but the most effective type of food for artificial people, while all the substances necessary for life will enter the feathered body. nine0003

Malt milk feeding

Malt is prepared from sprouted grains, crushed, filtered, mixed with water, egg until a paste-like consistency is obtained. Feed heated to 39 ° C. At a lower temperature, the mixture is not absorbed, it begins to ferment in the goiter, the bird dies of hunger. Higher food temperatures cause burns.

Enzyme porridges

You can feed the wavy with porridge, mixing mezim or festal. The exact dosage of the preparations must be observed, preferably with malted milk. nine0003

Formula feeding

The most convenient way to feed the chicks. Special branded balanced ready-made feeds of good quality, for example, NutriBird A19 and A21, are diluted with warm water to the required density, taking into account the age of the young, fed to babies. With this daily diet, the birds receive the necessary components: lactobacilli, enzymes, nutrients for health and growth, similar to those produced by the mother's goiter.

Dairy-free cereals

Buckwheat, oatmeal or corn porridge are cooked without milk, salt and sugar. You can feed the birds with dairy-free rice porridge. From the third day of life, the menu includes vegetable juices from carrots, pumpkins or beets. You can add a piece of egg yolk rubbed through a sieve. From the tenth day, fruits are mixed in: banana, apple, low-fat cottage cheese.

On the twentieth day, they begin to feed a small bird from a spoon, try self-feeding, offering a crushed sprouted grain to a budgerigar. nine0003

From the age of thirty, they begin to introduce whole grains. Even if there is no one to show how to eat it, after a while the chicks will learn to peck themselves.


When feeding birds with liquid cereals and mixtures, there is no need for water, with the exception of hot days. Over time, when the bird grows up and begins to feed on its own, clean filtered water should be constantly in the drinker.

How often to feed

Barely hatched wavy are fed every two hours, the night interval between meals is 4 hours. Gradually bring the food up to six times. From the twentieth day they give food 4 times. A chick who is 1 month old is transferred to three meals a day. You should listen to the sounds coming from the cage - hungry birds remind you of themselves with a squeak. Starting from the 21st day of life, parrots, overgrown with plumage, are fed strictly observing the regimen, sometimes doing it by force - they stop voicing when they get hungry. nine0003

A sick adult parrot is fed more often.

It is necessary to give food to the feathered carefully, try not to oversaturate, take your time, watch that the food does not flow out of the beak. It is better to teach to eat from a spoon. Be patient - it won't work right away. At the same time, it is worth learning to eat only one chick on your own - the rest will follow its example. It is recommended to keep the syringe on hand for now - the parrot may be malnourished.

Tips for beginner ornithologists

In order for artificial nutrition to cause fewer problems, you should follow some tips:

  1. Single portion of food for wavy from 3 to 5 ml, no more cooking: food turns sour, causes digestive disorders.
  2. It is not necessary to supplement the birds with water: diluted mixtures contain a sufficient amount of liquid.
  3. From the age of seven, fruit juices are introduced into the diet: thanks to them, immunity is strengthened, growth is accelerated. nine0032
  4. In the cage, mineral feed is required for the correct formation of the bird's skeleton. You can give coarsely grated chalk or eggshells. A lack or excess of minerals disrupts development, growth, and sometimes leads to disease and even death.
  5. Grain mixtures are introduced from the moment the birds start sitting on the poles or perching on the owner's finger. Semi-liquid or thick porridge is cooked, offering a choice.

With proper care and feeding, the life of your pets will be long, happy, full. Having studied all the recommendations, tips, you can save the life of a little chick. You can be sure that artificially fed birds are more tame and trainable, they start talking better and faster than those raised in a nest with their family. nine0003

What to feed budgerigar chicks?

After birth, budgerigars are defenseless, they are completely dependent on their parents. The female feeds and pays attention to each of them, despite the number of offspring and their age difference.

In the beginning, feeding of babies consists of regurgitation by the female of crop milk, which is located in the gizzard. This "milk" is not one substance, it is a yellowish mucus, consisting of very small, almost liquid pieces of food and protein-rich crop milk. A few days after the birth of the chicks, partially digested grain from the goiter is mixed with the "milk". nine0003 Photo: parrots4life

Thanks to sprouted grains in the diet of a lactating female, she produces a sufficient amount of crop milk.

Later, as the parrots mature, the older ones are transferred to grain feed. Since the grain is in the crop, the female feeds the grown chicks first, and when the grain runs out, the crop milk goes to the smallest in the family.

Photo: Bika

During this period, the male constantly provides the female with everything she needs, as she can leave the nest only in the morning and evening, and even then not always. Sometimes the male helps the female and participates in feeding. He also processes grain feed in the goiter, like the female. Thanks to this, the digestive system of budgerigar chicks works like clockwork, they receive the most nutrients, vital enzymes and boost their immunity. nine0003

Having flown out of the nest for the first time, young parrots most often remain under the care of the male, as the female is going to the second clutch.

The nutritional value of the parents depends on the owners. It is very important to add and exclude certain products in time.

Feeding a young couple during breeding can be found here.

It happens that breeders have to take on the role of parents of chicks.


  • 1 Reasons for artificial feeding of budgerigar chicks:
  • 2 Heating of budgerigar chicks
  • 3 There are several options for feeding budgerigars:
  • 4 How often to feed budgerigar chicks

Reasons for artificial feeding of budgerigar chicks or rejection1 - 9002: 9002 9002 9002 parents;

- disease of a chick requiring its immediate separation from the feathered family;

- quarantine;

- lack of appetite in the chick, its inability to feed on its own; nine0003

- death or illness of parents;

- a large number of chicks, parents can not cope;

- the female is going to the second clutch and her offspring interferes with her.

The safe period without food for a newly hatched chick is 12 hours.

This is how long a female can go without feeding her baby. And, in case of a non-standard situation, you should count on this period of time to have time to prepare.

You can offer the chick to another pair or offer the male to feed it. Sometimes the bird accepts the baby and thus takes care of him. But it happens that only you can save the situation. nine0003 Photo: ddie gunn

Also, the female is often going to re-lay, her attitude towards the babies may change and you will need to look for additional housing for the young as soon as possible. More often this happens when the chicks are already able to feed on their own, but it happens that the female shows unmotivated aggression early and you need to save the parrots very quickly.

If your chick is only a few days old, then you can only feed with a special factory syringe or a homemade tool. To do this, you will need a 5 ml syringe and a tube that plays the role of a catheter. If you have the smallest chicks, then its diameter should not be more than 2.5 mm and it will be made of strong, soft material without sharp edges. nine0003 Photo: Feeding injector

You should get rid of the syringe, for this you need to glow the cap and carefully remove the needle, drill a little more hole in the nozzle and put on the tube. Wrap the thread tightly around the edge of the tube and nozzle from the syringe. With a factory syringe, you don’t have to suffer like that - everything is provided for in the design.

The catheter must be lowered into the crop to a sufficient depth - if it is not installed correctly, the feed may enter the bird's trachea, which will lead to its death.

Therefore, having decided to breed budgerigars, you should already have a feeding syringe available. nine0003

Baby Budgerigar Heater

Also, fledglings require additional heating, which you will have to take care of. Devices that breeders use to keep chicks or sick birds warm are called brooders. You can buy them or make your own.

Photo: Magazine about birds

The main thing is to be guided by the temperature parameters, since as you grow, the temperature in the room where the parrot is located should decrease.

Chick from a few hours to 4 days - 36 - 36.5°C; 7 days - 34°С; 14 days - 31 - 31.5 ° C; Day 21 - 24°C. Further, the chicks are moved to a box, which is similar in size to a nest box, in such a room the parrots themselves will be able to heat each other. nine0003

If you are raising a single chick, keep it in the brooder until day 25, where you lower the temperature to 24°C. Humidity during this period is maintained at 60%, as during masonry.

There are several options for feeding chicks:

Ready mix. Babies need vitamins and nutrients as well as vital enzymes. Therefore, NutriBird A19, a specialized and balanced food for budgerigar chicks, is just right. The mixture must be diluted not boiled, but heated to 39°C with water. Depending on the age of the chick, you adjust the density of the paste. This is the breeder's most convenient feeding option and one of the best ways to give your chick everything it needs to develop a strong body.

You can buy food for chicks - Padovan Baby Patee Universelle. Some breeders have successfully raised young on it.

Photo: parrots4life

Donor bird. Professional breeders use donor birds. Using a catheter, they load a grain mixture into the goiter of a bird, which is later pulled out with a probe. This is an unsafe procedure, so only professionals use this method. The main plus is that the substance that is extracted from the goiter of a parrot is a guarantee that the chick will receive all the vital substances for development. nine0003

Malt milk. A mixture of sprouted grains with egg. Malt is prepared from germinated grain, which is crushed and diluted in half with water. Then filter through a strainer and add to the mixture. You should end up with a paste at 39°C.

Medical additive Mezim, Festal, etc. to the porridge. The difficulty lies only in the correct concentration and dilution of these enzymes. It is better to use them together with malt milk.

For power base baby budgerigar, you need to cook baby porridge without milk, sugar and salt: you can boil buckwheat, oatmeal or corn porridge. On the third day of the birth of a chick, you can add vegetable juices to its diet: carrot, beetroot and pumpkin. After the chicks are at least 10 days old, in addition to cereals, you can give a little apple, banana, pomegranate and fat-free cottage cheese.

When the chicks are 20 days old, you can switch them to syringe feeding without catheter or even spoon feeding. From these days, add sprouted grains to the diet (pre-crush into pieces). nine0003

At the age of 30-35 days, the chicks can switch to dry grain, earlier if there is someone nearby who can show them how. But don’t worry, you don’t need to teach this, the chicks successfully begin to taste the grains themselves when the time comes.

How often to feed budgerigar chicks

The smallest chicks should be fed every two hours, at night every 4 hours. Gradually, six feedings with a break for the night are enough for the parrots.

Photo: Dawnstar Australis

On the 20th day of life, babies can eat 4 times a day, as they approach 35 days, 3 times will be enough for the chicks. nine0003

Babies start to squeak when they are hungry, and the owners, in addition to the feeding schedule, listen to the sounds coming from the cage.

If your older bird is sick, you may need to feed it more frequently.

It is impossible to overfeed a parrot. Do not let the porridge flow out of the beak.

Try feeding them with a spoon, gradually the chicks will get used to it. If among them the eldest is the first to start eating on his own, there will be a chance that he will become an example for the rest of the parrots.

Learn more