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What Can Budgies Eat? (Fruits, Vegetables, Grains)

When it comes to keeping budgies as pets, providing them with a proper diet is essential for their overall health and well-being. Small but energetic parakeets (or “budgies”) require a varied and balanced diet. While pellets are among the most often offered foods for these species, some owners still wonder what can budgies eat.

This article will discuss the many foods that can be fed to budgies, as well as the ideal feeding quantities for these birds. 

What can budgies eat?

Budgerigars are a very popular pet bird that eats everything from seeds and pellets to an assortment of fruits and vegetables that we’ll learn about below.

Pellets specifically formulated for budgies provide essential nutrients and should comprise a portion of their daily diet. However, fresh foods like fruits and vegetables are also crucial for their health and can include options like apples, spinach, carrots, and broccoli. Providing a variety of these items will help your budgie get all the nutrients it needs.

Key Takeaways:

  • Budgies’ diets in captivity include primarily seeds and fresh produce.
  • Seeds and pellets comprise about 60–80 percent of a budgie’s diet, while the remaining 10–20 percent should come from fresh produce.
  • Crushed pellets and seeds heated to 40-45 degrees Celsius (105-110 degrees Fahrenheit) are the proper diet for Newbord budgies. 

What do they eat?

In the wild

Budgies eating in the wild
Budgies eating in the wild | Image by Karsten Paulick from Pixabay

The Budgies are migratory birds that feed mostly on seeds from local grasses and bushes in Australia’s grasslands. These small parakeets also supplement their diet with fruits, berries, and occasional insects, balancing vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Their consumption also varies with the seasonal availability of food resources.

In captivity

To guarantee your pet’s health, providing food as diverse as they would receive in the wild is essential. While many budgies like a seed-only diet, doing so can lead to malnutrition and weight gain. Budgies need a varied diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as a limited number of seeds, and specially prepared budgie pellets. 

The goal is to replicate the variety of nutrients they would consume in their natural environment. Budgies in captivity can also benefit from eating lean proteins like those found in hard-boiled eggs and cooked chicken on occasion. Remember that a budgie’s diet benefits from and is enriched by variety, as the bird can engage in its natural foraging behavior.

How much do budgies eat a day?

One and a half to two level “measure” tablespoons of seeds per budgie each day should suffice for most of these birds. Considering the size of your pet, this can be served on a relatively shallow plate.

Even so, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your budgie’s weight and make any necessary adjustments to its nutrition to ensure it stays healthy for its breed.

Budgie pellets and seeds

Budgies feeding with pellets and seeds
Budgies feeding with pellets and seeds | image by Luke Flitter via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Around 60%-80% of your pet budgie’s diet should comprise high-quality, specially-formulated budgie pellets. All the vitamins, minerals, proteins, lipids, and carbs your budgie needs are included in these pellets, making them an excellent choice for maintaining their health. They’re fortified with essential nutrients, including Vitamin A and calcium, which may be lacking in a seed-only diet. 

While pellets are crucial, seeds also play a role in a budgie’s diet, but shouldn’t be the sole food source. The combination of pellets and seeds provides a balanced meal that mimics the budgie’s natural foraging behavior while meeting all of its nutritional needs.

Here are some of the seeds and grains that can be fed to budgies:

  • Sunflower 
  • Millet
  • Canary seed 
  • Oats 
  • Wheat 
  • Barley 
  • Rye 
  • Buckwheat (whole) 
  • Quinoa 
  • Poppy 
  • Hemp 
  • Flax 
  • Sesame 
  • Rapeseed 
  • Canola 
  • Chia 
  • Clover 
  • Alfalfa 
  • Sweetcorn kernels 
  • Pumpkin 
  • Kale 
  • Mustard (yellow, red, and black) 
  • Fennel 
  • Fenugreek 
  • Dill 
  • Radish 
  • Cabbage

Can budgies eat rice?

In very small amounts, cooked rice is fine for budgies to snack on sometimes. Plain, unseasoned rice is safe for budgies to consume. Although it can be part of their food, it should only make up a little of it because budgies need a more diversified and nutrient-rich diet for maximum health.

What fresh fruits and vegetables can you feed your budgie?

Budgie eating green pepper
Budgie eating green pepper | Image by Juanita Mulder from Pixabay

Budgies need fresh food in their diet aside from grains because it provides them with essential nutrients that may not be present in their seed or pellet mix.

Fresh fruits and vegetables offer a wide range of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that support their overall health and well-being. These foods help to meet their dietary requirements, promote proper digestion, boost their immune system, and provide enrichment through different textures and flavors.

Here is a list of safe and nutritious fresh foods that you can offer to your budgie:


  • Asparagus
  • Aubergine (fruiting bodies only, without the stalk ‘hat’)
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts (chopped up)
  • Carrots (and carrot greens)
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery (stalks only)
  • Chard
  • Chicory
  • Chinese leaves
  • Cilantro
  • Courgette (Zucchini)
  • Cress
  • Cucumber
  • Endive
  • Fennel
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mustard greens
  • Pak choi
  • Parsley
  • Parsnip
  • Peas (podded)
  • Peppers of all kinds (even spicy ones)
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Rutabaga
  • Salsify
  • Savoy cabbage
  • Spinach
  • Spring greens
  • Squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Sweetcorn
  • Tomato (ripe ones only)
  • Turnip tops (the green sprouts)
  • Yam


  • Apricot
  • Banana
  • Bilberry
  • Blackberry (bramble)
  • Blueberry
  • Cherries (de-stoned)
  • Common whitebeam berries
  • Cranberry
  • Currants (black, red and white)
  • Dogwood (bitter, but palatable to some budgies)
  • Elderberry (ripe, not leaves or stems)
  • Gooseberry
  • Grapes
  • Grenadine
  • Guava
  • Kiwi
  • Loquat
  • Lychee
  • Mango
  • Melon (all types)
  • Mulberry (fruit and leaves alike)
  • Nectarine (de-stoned)
  • Oranges and similar (clementines, mandarins, satsumas, tangerines)
  • Papaya
  • Passion fruit
  • Peach (de-stoned)
  • Pears (segments, without pips)
  • Persimmon (ripe ones only)
  • Pineapple
  • Plum
  • Quince
  • Raspberry
  • Rosehips (sliced in half)
  • Sharon fruit
  • Sloe (Blackthorn)
  • Strawberry

By incorporating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables into your budgie’s diet, you can ensure they receive a well-rounded nutritional intake and help prevent deficiencies. Remember to introduce new foods gradually and remove any uneaten fresh food to maintain cleanliness and freshness.

What do baby budgies eat?

Baby budgies
Baby budgies | image by Chris Isherwood via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

When caring for newborn budgies, it’s important to pay close attention to what they need to eat. Cooked brown rice, millet, crushed budgie pellets or mixed seeds, and various diced fruits and vegetables are also good options. It’s essential to avoid adding honey or sweeteners. 

Budgie chick diets sold commercially can also supply their necessary nutrients. Feeding should be done at a temperature of 40-45°C (105-110°F) using a sterilized spoon or syringe. The key to successful feeding is keeping an eye on the chick’s cues and seeking professional advice.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, budgies eat a wide variety of foods other than just seeds and grains. For optimal health, they must regularly consume nutritious foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. Most of their diet consists of seeds and pellets, but supplementing with fresh meals increases their intake of beneficial vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Additionally, understanding the specific nutritional needs of baby budgies is crucial for their development and growth. By providing a balanced and nutritious diet, budgie owners can promote their birds’ longevity, vitality, and happiness.