Parakeets-Food and Nutrition
True to the idiom “eat like a bird,” parakeets need very little food. You will only need about a pound of fortified pellets or birdseed to keep them well-fed for about a week and a half. (Cost of seed varies per formula and brand, but on the average, you can expect to spend at least about a dollar per pound.)
However, you do need to buy gravel. Parakeets don’t have teeth, so they swallow the seeds whole. The gravel aids in digestion and can contain trace minerals.
parakeets Food and Nutrition- Additional vitamins and minerals
You will also need to get liquid vitamins, prescribed by your veterinarian. While wild parakeets certainly survived for centuries without eating anything except seed, domesticated birds have different nutritional requirements. They now live in places vastly different from their natural habitats; they are exposed every day to foreign bacteria or viruses, and get a lot less exercise. Under these strained circumstances, their immune systems may need a special boost from multivitamins to keep them healthy and active.
It’s also necessary to place a cuttlebone or mineral block in the cage. These are not only excellent sources of calcium and other crucial minerals, but can help keep your bird’s beak trimmed.
parakeets Food and Nutrition-Treats
Doting parakeet owners may also be inclined to buy special treats for their pets. Avoid giving “human treats” like chocolate, cake or candy. The empty carbohydrates and fats are bad enough for us, but consider the damage they may wreak on small animals!
Instead, buy specially developed bird treats that incorporate healthy but tasty ingredients like sunflower seeds, cracked corn, millet, or dried fruit. You can also give millet sprays and fresh greens. Try to buy organic vegetables, since chemical sprays can poison your pet. Some people grow their own greens from the bird seed, planting these in a saucer with a moist paper towel.
Avoid spoiling your parakeet with too many treats. Minimize it to one treat a day, possibly given during training.
parakeets Food and Nutrition-Feeding routines
Fill up the food dish first thing in the morning. Mix a drop of vitamins into the seed, then mix with your finger (make sure it’s clean) or a spoon. Check the dish periodically, removing empty seed hulls so that your parakeet can get to the food underneath. Always throw away uneaten seed at the end of the day.
Change the water at least twice a day. Never add the vitamins to the water, since this can lead to bacteria growth.
More Parakeets Articles
Parakeets care and safety
Interesting Facts about Parakeets
Parakeets as Pets