Ensure that fresh clean drinking water is always available. The bird will know how much to drink. Change the water daily to prevent bacteria build-up. There are various vitamin and mineral additives that can be added to the water. The key to success with any feed supplements is to follow the instructions.
Vitamins and minerals are nutrients needed in small amounts to make the body work properly and stay healthy.
There are many vitamin supplements for budgerigars available which can be water soluble or sprinkled on seed. If our birds do not have access to sunlight, they will be deficient in Vitamin D. The key to success with any feed supplements is to follow the instructions.
A trace element is a chemical element whose concentration is very low i.e. a “trace amount”. They are classified into two groups – essential and non-essential. Essential trace elements are needed for many physiological and biochemical processes. Not only do trace elements play a role in biological processes but they also serve as catalysts to engage in oxidation and reduction mechanisms.
There are trace element supplements for budgerigars available which can be water soluble or sprinkled on seed. The key to success with any feed supplements is to follow the instructions.
Budgie Tonic Seed is a high-quality blend of specially selected seeds containing oil-rich seeds specially selected for their excellent nutritional value. Budgie Tonic Seed helps to keep budgerigars fit throughout the breeding season and maintains tip-top condition in exhibition birds. It is usually fed in conjunction with a budgerigar seed mix at a rate of around 10%.
Sprouting is a process by which a seed is converted into a digestible form that provides different nutritional factors.
Sprouted seeds presents the simplest method of providing your birds with fresh green food and are a healthy food addition to the diet of all birds. Sprouted seeds are more nutrient-dense as they are high in vegetable proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and chlorophyll. They are also lower in fat, as the process of sprouting utilises the fat in the seed to start the growing process.
Sprouted seeds can also serve as a great rearing and weaning food as the softened shell is easier to break by chicks and gets them used to hard seeds.
- Rinse a small batch of seeds under a tap in a plastic sieve and then soak in a bowl of fresh cold water for up to 8 hours – any longer and the seeds will begin to ferment.
- Rinse the seeds in the sieve, and then suspend it over the bowl and cover it with a cloth.
- Between 24 and 48 hours later the seeds will start to sprout. Rinse them every 8 hours or so to prevent mold from forming.
- Once sprouted, dry the seeds on a cloth before feeding them.
- The most palatable seeds are ones that have only just germinated.
- Offer the seeds over a three-day period to catch the different stages of sprouting.
- Serving the seeds that have sprouted a little more is good for them nutritionally.
Do not feed sprouting grains, especially oats, as they go mouldy quickly.
Special sprouting seed mixes can be purchased for the purpose. Sprouted Ming beans is also very good as they are very high in vegetable protein.
Softfood is a feeding supplement usually reserved for the breeding season as a supplement when there are chicks in the nest box. Ready mixed softfood such as egg food is available to purchase or you can formulate your own recipe.
See – Sprouted Seed
Essentially budgerigars are seed eaters and the most common seeds used in budgerigar mixes are plain canary seed and a variety of millets. This can be supplemented with tonic seeds, clipped oats or groats.
There is no doubt that budgerigars will really enjoy seeding grasses but unless you grow your own there is a risk of contamination and poisoning from roadside collection.
Feeding Seed Separately
Are there any benefits from feeding seed separately, compared to a single mix in a dish?
Richard Miller answers
We have always offered our birds a seed mix rather than feeding different seeds separately. We control the mix to ensure it is consistent by buying our seeds individually as “straights” and then creating our own blend of the various seeds using a cement mixer. One less obvious benefit of buying straights is that they do not attract VAT, currently at 20%.
Our view would be that if seeds are offered separately then there is a greater risk of the birds “picking” the seed they prefer as opposed to eating a mix that is designed to provide them with a balanced diet. Most birds would probably gorge themselves on millet first before looking to eat seeds from other dishes.