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Homemade budgie seed mix - which seeds are good substitutes?

soundsfun

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I've been making homemade seed mix for my budgies for the past year, using mostly human-grade seeds, in the hopes that they're fresher and lower in contaminants than pet-grade.

I feed my seed mix dry and unsprouted, freshly mixed into chop at each meal. My budgies only get a small amount of seeds each day, so it's not a huge part of their diet. Still, I try to change up the types of seeds and ratios for each batch, in an effort to give them a more varied diet. I make enough so that each batch lasts about a month. I store the unmixed seeds in the freezer to keep them fresh.

I really like the recipe that @Mizzely posted on her blog (My Seed Mix) because she (quoting from the blog post): "tried to find seeds that would give a good balance of proteins, lower in fat, provided some vitamins and minerals, and that would be attractive to the birds". But, I need to substitute some of the seeds as they're too big for my budgies and/or I can't find those seeds where I live. Can anyone suggest substitutions with a similar nutritional profile to these seeds?
  • Barley (too big)
  • Buckwheat (too big)
  • Milk thistle (can't find it here)
  • Pumpkin seeds (too big)
 

Nichole615

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Have you considered tossing the seeds that are too big into a food processor for a few rotations?

The grains perhaps you can replace with quinoa.

Rapeseed may be worth checking out.

 

Mizzely

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Goodness it's been a while since i made that haha!

You could try quinoa instead of the barley and buckwheat. You'll need to make sure that it's pre-rinsed though (or rinse yourself and bake dry) as otherwise it has a bitter coating. Farro would be a good alternative too. Amaranth might be okay too but I would use half the amount as it's quite high in protein.

As for the milk thistle, I would probably omit it instead of trying to replace it.

Pumpkin seeds - pepitas are a lot smaller and usually softer, so it's easy for most birds to eat. Pine nuts (without the shell) or even sunflower seeds would be good alternatives, too.

Hope that helps!
 

Lady Jane

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Do you grind the pumpkin seeds as they are fairly large for a budgie?
 

soundsfun

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@Nichole615 I do that with flax seeds, but never thought to do that with other seeds! Thanks - will definitely try that with the larger seeds. My budgies' breeder gave us a seed mix to start them off with that had rapeseed in it. My budgies wouldn't eat them. :bored:

@Mizzely Yes, it's been 8 years since you posted that! It's stood the test of time. Thanks for the tip to rinse then bake dry the quinoa - I could never figure out how to rinse them then add to a seed mix. Now I know! I haven't tried Farro or Amaranth but I'll see if I can find some. I'll also try pepitas, pine nuts and sunflower seeds, but chopped in a food processor.
 

Mizzely

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Oh chopped up almonds would also be a good one!
 

soundsfun

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Ohh... I haven't given any nuts before, but now that I know I can chop them up, I'll give almonds a try too!
 
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