• Welcome to Avian Avenue! To view our forum with less advertisments please register with us.
    Memberships are free and it will just take a moment. Click here

Desperately need Advice on Parakeet Food

redrose27

Strolling the yard
Joined
11/2/20
Messages
113
Location
Florida
Hi I'm new to the forum and I desperately need advice. My sister (parakeet) was recently sick and we took her to the vet and she got better but the vet said she has a low white blood cell count and a fatty tumor. The vet said we should look into switching her to smaller seed like canary or finch seed and implement fruits and veggies like carrots into her diet. Problem is I have no idea what brand to get or even where to look. I stress out extremely when looking for her new food. I read the labels and it’s a lot of big words that sound like bad chemicals so I'm afraid to buy anything and when it comes to veggies, I’m afraid of what is used on them like chemicals that might be bad for her when she eats them. I get so worried over the little details that I just can’t choose a new food and it’s been two months since we seen the vet. She’s all better now but I think she had a tiny seizure and I can’t do anything about it because all the little tiny tubes (I’m not sure what to call them they are like needles without the needle and it’s just the tube part) used to measure the medicine broke I don’t even know how long phenobarbital last (the medicine vet prescribed for seizures) so I can’t do anything and worse of all I am now stuck giving her tap water because the filter on the fridge broke. It feels like a total mess and I feel like I’m messing up no matter how much better I get at this so I could really use some advice on what specific vegetable and fruit brands I should get her and what fruits and veggies can she eat and not eat? And what new seed should I get that doesn’t have any artificial stuff in it?
 

Maggiebird

Sprinting down the street
Joined
8/29/20
Messages
564
Location
Somewhere over the rainbow
Real Name
Sally
I would also include pellets into the diet. It’s healthier then seeds and seeds should be offered less than pellets, fruits, and veggies. Harrison’s is a good pellet so is Roudybush (I heard). There is many safe and toxic fruits and veggies that you can find all over the web if you don’t know them also including other toxic or unsafe things.Have you tried giving her fruits and veggies? How did she do with them if you tried giving her some?they are super important in there diet.
 

redrose27

Strolling the yard
Joined
11/2/20
Messages
113
Location
Florida
I would also include pellets into the diet. It’s healthier then seeds and seeds should be offered less than pellets, fruits, and veggies. Harrison’s is a good pellet so is Roudybush (I heard). There is many safe and toxic fruits and veggies that you can find all over the web if you don’t know them also including other toxic or unsafe things.Have you tried giving her fruits and veggies? How did she do with them if you tried giving her some?they are super important in there diet.
I tried feeding her watermellon once and she didnt even go near it even if she saw me eating it. The main issue im facing is what brand of fruits and veggies to get because each brand is different and contains different things. The main veggie im looking into is carrots since that is what the vet recommended I just have no idea what brand of carrots is good for parakeets.
 

Mybluebird

Rollerblading along the road
Joined
10/2/19
Messages
1,568
Location
CA,USA
Real Name
Anne
Any fresh carrot that you eat would also be good for her. If you can buy organic carrots they will be free of pesticides and anything else harmful. You can chop the raw carrot into small pieces and put it into her food dish. Many parakeets/budgies also like the carrot greens. Rinse them off, give them a shake so they are not dripping water and clip them in her cage. She might like to rub against the wet carrot greens to get a little bath.
 

Chomskypom

Walking the driveway
Joined
4/27/20
Messages
255
Location
Texas
Real Name
Chom (pronouns they/them)
Hey there! I really really understand stressing about this stuff. So let’s start easy: vegetables! Do you have an organic section in your grocery store? If you do, that’s a good place to start. You should be rinsing any veggies even if they’re organic, and if it’s something with a thick skin, you might need to peel it, but in general you can feel pretty safe feeding organic to your bird.
If you don’t have access to organic, that’s okay! Some produce is more likely to have pesticides and other bad stuff than others, so you can pick from what’s available. There’s a handy list called the “dirty dozen/clean 15”: Dirty Dozen, Clean Fifteen lists updated for 2020 – Produce Blue Book
You can read on there how they get their results and of course it’s just for the US so it might be different if you live somewhere else. But I think it’s a good starting point. Just remember that some stuff (avocado) is toxic to birds.
Now for the scary chemicals. Sometimes it’s actual bad stuff... but sometimes it’s just the more technical name for vitamins. It’s really common to see a fortified seed mix or even a pellet that has all kinds of cobalamins and thiamins and other stuff that can sound pretty hairy... but they’re vitamins. The bird probably doesn’t get much of it because budgies crack the seed and only eat the inside, which doesn’t get that vitamin coating, but it’s safe. And of course I don’t KNOW that’s what you’re seeing on the package- maybe if you post it on here we can tell you more.
IF you can find a pellet, that’s another good thing to offer your bird since it has everything they need for good health. My budgie is picky and only eats the fruit flavored kind that’s dyed bright colors (zupreem). It’s not a PERFECT food, but it’s healthier than if he ate millet all day. When we feed our pets, perfect isn’t always possible. I can tell you are trying SO HARD here to do the best things for your bird. That’s really wonderful! Any small thing you can improve- one veggie a week, switching to a food closer to what your vet recommends- is a good step. And if we take a bunch of steps, we get somewhere!
 

Chomskypom

Walking the driveway
Joined
4/27/20
Messages
255
Location
Texas
Real Name
Chom (pronouns they/them)
Oh also- if you’re out of syringes for giving medication, you can order them online, or if you call your vet they might be able to give or sell you some of the correct size. I think some members on here also get them at the pharmacy.
 

Mybluebird

Rollerblading along the road
Joined
10/2/19
Messages
1,568
Location
CA,USA
Real Name
Anne
What country do you live in - maybe we can help with brands if we knew where you live. Parakeets/budgies tend to like fresh (not canned or frozen) greens and herbs. Salads leaves, herbs like dill, basil, coriander. A little parsley is good but not too frequently. Most parakeets/budgies don't like fruits which is good because they are high in sugar.

The vast majority of food seeds have vitamin supplements added as a coating to the seed. The theory is that birds are not getting enough so if it is added as a coating to the seed, they'll get it when they hull the seed. Since she has a fatty tumor, you want to avoid giving her more fats. Pick all the oats out of her current seed because they have very high fat content. When you are looking at seeds, pick one that has no added sugar. The bag should also have the percent fat. Get the lowest you can, ideally below 5%. Usually finch seed mixtures do not have oats so that could be a good choice.

Does she get exercise? How much time does get everyday to fly around?
 

redrose27

Strolling the yard
Joined
11/2/20
Messages
113
Location
Florida
Hey there! I really really understand stressing about this stuff. So let’s start easy: vegetables! Do you have an organic section in your grocery store? If you do, that’s a good place to start. You should be rinsing any veggies even if they’re organic, and if it’s something with a thick skin, you might need to peel it, but in general you can feel pretty safe feeding organic to your bird.
If you don’t have access to organic, that’s okay! Some produce is more likely to have pesticides and other bad stuff than others, so you can pick from what’s available. There’s a handy list called the “dirty dozen/clean 15”: Dirty Dozen, Clean Fifteen lists updated for 2020 – Produce Blue Book
You can read on there how they get their results and of course it’s just for the US so it might be different if you live somewhere else. But I think it’s a good starting point. Just remember that some stuff (avocado) is toxic to birds.
Now for the scary chemicals. Sometimes it’s actual bad stuff... but sometimes it’s just the more technical name for vitamins. It’s really common to see a fortified seed mix or even a pellet that has all kinds of cobalamins and thiamins and other stuff that can sound pretty hairy... but they’re vitamins. The bird probably doesn’t get much of it because budgies crack the seed and only eat the inside, which doesn’t get that vitamin coating, but it’s safe. And of course I don’t KNOW that’s what you’re seeing on the package- maybe if you post it on here we can tell you more.
IF you can find a pellet, that’s another good thing to offer your bird since it has everything they need for good health. My budgie is picky and only eats the fruit flavored kind that’s dyed bright colors (zupreem). It’s not a PERFECT food, but it’s healthier than if he ate millet all day. When we feed our pets, perfect isn’t always possible. I can tell you are trying SO HARD here to do the best things for your bird. That’s really wonderful! Any small thing you can improve- one veggie a week, switching to a food closer to what your vet recommends- is a good step. And if we take a bunch of steps, we get somewhere!
Thank you SO MUCH this is really helpful and yea I tend to stress out about anything that comes to kony (her full name is Konkluay but we call her Kony for short). This really helps a lot I did not even know I could feed her pellets untill Maggiebird mentioned it. I thought only large birds ate them. There is not exactly an organic section but we do have Whole Foods here its a grocerie store that sells only organic things.
 

tka

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
4/4/17
Messages
4,086
Location
London, UK
Doesn't matter about the brand as long as the vegetables are fresh and, preferably, organic. Give them a good rinse and you may want to peel some, like pumpkin or squash. Bags of frozen vegetables are useful to have in your freezer - just check that salt (or butter or oil) hasn't been added to them. I have a bag of frozen peas, carrots, green beans and sweetcorn in my freezer for fresh food in seconds. I microwave this and let it cool before offering it. Microwaves can create hotspots in food so it's important to let it cool before offering it to Kony.
Frozen greens like spinach tend to be rejected. Fresh is best for those.

Expect your bird to reject new food at first. Much like little kids, they need several (or more!) tastes of a new food before accepting it. You can try offering fresh foods in different ways - a mash, grated, diced, sticks and so on. Don't get discouraged - it's easy to feel disheartened that you're putting all this effort in to give your bird a better diet but she's having none of it! Keep trying - even a small change will be beneficial.

Here's a list of safe foods: Bird Safe Fresh Foods & Toxic Food Lists & More

Here's a guide to making the switch: Converting Parrots to a Healthier Diet - Tips
 

redrose27

Strolling the yard
Joined
11/2/20
Messages
113
Location
Florida
What country do you live in - maybe we can help with brands if we knew where you live. Parakeets/budgies tend to like fresh (not canned or frozen) greens and herbs. Salads leaves, herbs like dill, basil, coriander. A little parsley is good but not too frequently. Most parakeets/budgies don't like fruits which is good because they are high in sugar.

The vast majority of food seeds have vitamin supplements added as a coating to the seed. The theory is that birds are not getting enough so if it is added as a coating to the seed, they'll get it when they hull the seed. Since she has a fatty tumor, you want to avoid giving her more fats. Pick all the oats out of her current seed because they have very high fat content. When you are looking at seeds, pick one that has no added sugar. The bag should also have the percent fat. Get the lowest you can, ideally below 5%. Usually finch seed mixtures do not have oats so that could be a good choice.

Does she get exercise? How much time does get everyday to fly around?
I live in Florida in the USA. Normally she hates coming out of her cage but she doesn't exercise much she does climb around and climb on my arm for a while but then she flies back into her cage and does tricks to avoid my hand. She does have some favorite toys though. I am trying to intice her to come out of her cage more often and not run away from me or fly off around the room like she just saw a spider. Last time she almost ran under my night desk. And another time she flew into my boots.
 

redrose27

Strolling the yard
Joined
11/2/20
Messages
113
Location
Florida
Oh also- if you’re out of syringes for giving medication, you can order them online, or if you call your vet they might be able to give or sell you some of the correct size. I think some members on here also get them at the pharmacy.
Thanks I wish I knew that before my mom went on a wild goose chase to find them. It was pretty funny we tried asking a pet store and a vet next to our neighborhood and they had none. She even tried asking at Walgreens with no luck. I was suprised though cause I always though that would be a thing Walgreens would have.
 

Mybluebird

Rollerblading along the road
Joined
10/2/19
Messages
1,568
Location
CA,USA
Real Name
Anne
You may have to try several brands of pellets before you find one that she likes. I read some people here feed their birds the Zupreem Fruit blend. I would advise you not to get that since Kony already has medical issues. It is a good pellet but has a lot of sweet fruit (sugar!) which Kony shouldn't have. The pellet bags are labeled "for small birds" and the pellet size is smaller than for larger birds. In addition to Zupreem, other brands that people use are Roudybush and Lafeber. The link to tips on how to transition birds to healthier diet has good tips on introducing pellets in their diet. Parakeets/budgies need about 25% of their food as seeds so you'll need to find a low fat seed. Kaytee Supreme Parakeet food has only 3.5% fat. It does have the oat groats but not alot and since they are big seeds you can pick out most of them before you put it in her dish.

Whole Foods is good and you'll find many organic veggies and the others as @tka said can be washed. It will take her awhile to eat anything other than seeds. When you give her something, give it to her more than once. Don't keep giving her something new each day. They need to work up their courage to try something.

Keep bringing her out to exercise - its good for her!

Great that you are taking such good care of her. Hopefully some of these suggestions will work so you can enjoy her and not stress too much.

Any thoughts @Ripshod @Lady Jane @Shezbug anyone else?

Maybe this thread should be moved over to Budgie Blvd so it will get the attention of the budgie community - @Zara @Mizzely @Shezbug ?
 

Lady Jane

Ripping up the road
Avenue Veteran
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
8/25/12
Messages
25,739
Location
Maryland
Real Name
Dianne
I think she had a tiny seizure

@redrose27 I am so sorry you are feeling overwhelmed with the nutritional care of your budgie. Feeding smaller seeds seems like a good idea. I suggest you search for organic finch/canary seeds as vet suggested. If certified organic you should not have to worry about quality/unwanted ingredients. As for the seizure did the vet say anything about low calcium or Vitamin A? He mentioned carrots so you can certainly get organic carrots and grate them. I mixed the yellow/orange veggies in a birdie bread mix I made for Vitamin A that birds seem to be low on and concentrated on high calcium foods, chopped. You see the ads for Avian Organics here on AA? She has wonderful birdie bread mixes and probable seeds too. In order for you to deal with the multiple needs of you budgie please take one step at a time to lower your stress level. If you are stressed you bird will sense that and also be stressed. Avian Organics is located in Canada.


 

Shezbug

ASK ME FOR PICTURES OF MY MACAW!
Super Moderator
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
4/28/18
Messages
19,973
Location
Vic, Australia
Real Name
Shez
Maybe this thread should be moved over to Budgie Blvd so it will get the attention of the budgie community - @Zara @Mizzely @Shezbug ?
I personally feel this thread was posted where it should be and is probably best left here in feathered food court- it is mainly about food which many of our members have great information and tips for and can help with. Feel free to tag as many of the budgie folk as you can think of for more input though. @Destiny might be another great member for the information required here. If @Zara or @Mizzely feel differently then I am fine if they wish to move the thread.

A good wash under water for your non organic veggies is a much much better option than no veggies at all. Organic is best for our birds but is expensive and not always an option for everyone- chemically grown veggies that have been well washed is seriously a heaps better option than not offering veg ever. I can not always get organic and if I only used organic then my bird would be missing out on the best I could offer as he would only have like three different things to choose from all year round.

You should be able to buy a syringe for very little money at a pharmacy or even online.

If your tap water is safe for you to drink then it will be sufficient for your bird too. It may not be as clean/pure as you would like but if it is safe for you then there really should be no issues.

I also think you should consider adding pellets to your birds diet as well as the veggies. I personally would just stay away from the fruits- stick with the fresh veggies to avoid the sugar. I never even offer my budgie fruit of any kind to be honest, he gets fresh greens a lot though as he really loves them. Broccoli, kale, cos lettuce, safe weeds, parsley and other home grown herbs. Herb gardens are really easy to care for so you might wish to consider planting your own to feed your bird from so you know there is no chemicals on the food you are offering if it causes you stress.

Some great advice here from some of the other members. I really hope the information in this thread is helpful to you.
 

redrose27

Strolling the yard
Joined
11/2/20
Messages
113
Location
Florida
A good wash under water for your non organic veggies is a much much better option than no veggies at all. Organic is best for our birds but is expensive and not always an option for everyone- chemically grown veggies that have been well washed is seriously a heaps better option than not offering veg ever. I can not always get organic and if I only used organic then my bird would be missing out on the best I could offer as he would only have like three different things to choose from all year round.

You should be able to buy a syringe for very little money at a pharmacy or even online.

If your tap water is safe for you to drink then it will be sufficient for your bird too. It may not be as clean/pure as you would like but if it is safe for you then there really should be no issues.

I also think you should consider adding pellets to your birds diet as well as the veggies. I personally would just stay away from the fruits- stick with the fresh veggies to avoid the sugar. I never even offer my budgie fruit of any kind to be honest, he gets fresh greens a lot though as he really loves them. Broccoli, kale, cos lettuce, safe weeds, parsley and other home grown herbs. Herb gardens are really easy to care for so you might wish to consider planting your own to feed your bird from so you know there is no chemicals on the food you are offering if it causes you stress.

Some great advice here from some of the other members. I really hope the information in this thread is helpful to you.
Thank you so much this advice really helps Im not sure how I can reply to everyone to thank them for their advice. But I will definietly look into starting a mini herb garden. Thank you all so much this really has helped me a lot in knowing what to look for and what to do.
 

Budgie33

Strolling the yard
Joined
3/26/21
Messages
135
Real Name
Laura
what brand of carrots is good for parakeets.
Organic is best. The brand doesn't matter. Also try getting her to eat leafy greens such as kale, beet greens, etc.
 
Top