The Parakeet’s Diet: A Guide to Feeding Your Bird

Pet Care


April 23, 2021

It can generally go without saying that when you choose to adopt a pet, no matter what animal species it might be, you are going to need to do your research on being able to provide a comfortable environment for it. This applies to making sure that the enclosure is adequately fitted for the animal, it has food and water, and that it can be happy.

Of course, what specific animals require is going to vary widely between animal species and even between specific breeds of animal. For instance, if you are looking to own birds, you might believe that most birds eat the same diets and that all birds can have the same diet. While most birds have similar diets, the specifics of what each bird species can handle is important to note.

If you are planning to adopt a parakeet, you will want to make sure that you have a good understanding of what the nutritional needs of the bird are going to be. You need to know what the essentials for the diet are, what it should be eating, and what you should keep your parakeet away from.

What Kind of Food Do Parakeets Eat?

In the world of animal diets, parakeets have a diet that mostly consists of fruit and seeds. These are the foods that a parakeet’s digestive system is the most optimized to be able to process and receive nutrients from. As such, this is going to be the bulk of what you feed your little avian friend.

To get into more specifics about what do parakeets eat, they will eat a variety of seeds, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and commercially produced pellets. You should make sure to incorporate all aspects of these foods into your bird’s diet, as they all contain important nutrients that your bird may not be able to get from a more limited diet.

Ideally, when you are feeding your parakeet, you will have commercial pellets that you can feed it as a baseline, some seeds, nuts, fresh fruits, and legumes. You shouldn’t rely too heavily on commercial pellets as they don’t contain the bulk of what you need. Instead, you will be relying mostly on fresher foods and creating a medley dish for your parakeet for feeding time.

Parakeets and Seeds

Seeds are going to be a medley dish of your parakeet’s diet. Thankfully, there are countless types of seeds available for you to choose from to make sure that your parakeet not only gets as many nutrients as possible from them, but that your parakeet can enjoy the taste of the best seeds. Typically, you’re going to feed your parakeet a few teaspoons of seeds at a time, and you should only use one or two types of seed.

Seeds are a good source of carbs and good fats, but that is about all they can provide for your parakeet. They don’t have a lot of vitamins or minerals in them, and their high fat content means that overfeeding your parakeet seeds can lead to a number of health problems. You should confer with your vet about which specific seeds are the safest for your parakeet’s health, but most parakeets appreciate millet seeds.

A seed-only diet, or a diet that is too heavy in seeds is going to be dangerous for your little friend because of that high fat content. Seeds should be thought of as a component to a healthy diet and not the bulk of it. Think about how carrots are good for people, but people cannot survive on only carrots. Make sure that your bird has healthy molts, vibrant songs, and is generally healthy to ensure that you aren’t feeding your parakeet too many seeds.

Parakeets and Nuts

Nuts share a similar part of your parakeet’s diet as seeds do. Nuts are typically high in proteins and carbs, as well as fat, and don’t contain a lot of the vitamins and minerals that your parakeet needs to be as healthy as possible. Nuts should be treated much like seeds when you are creating a mix of food for your little bird friend.

Some of the nuts that you can safely feed parakeets include cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, and macadamia nuts. As long as you are only feeding the raw and unflavored version of almonds, they can eat these too. Parakeets can enjoy peanuts and pistachios (assuming they are unflavored) as long as you take the nut out of the shell, as they cannot eat the shells properly.

If the parakeet isn’t as interested in the nuts or seems to have trouble eating some of the larger nuts, you can break them down and crush them up, adding to a pellet and seed dish. They can also be chopped and added to fruit dishes as well as a bit of a fun garnish.

Parakeets and Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits, vegetables, and legumes are going to be where your parakeet gets its main source of vitamins, minerals, and other healthy food compounds from aside from protein and carbs. As such, they should make up a good portion of your bird’s diet, though it shouldn’t comprise the entire diet as fruits are high in both acidity and sugar.

Parakeets can enjoy most types of fruit, ranging from apples, oranges, and bananas to more citric fruits such as mango, pineapple, and cherries. They can enjoy coconuts, blueberries, melons, and strawberries in addition to all of these. Make sure that whenever you are feeding your parakeet fruits, they are not dyed, preserved, or flavored in any way other than how the fruit came from its tree or bush.

For vegetables, parakeets can get a good portion of their essential vitamins from them. The best vegetables for them in moderation are going to be leafy greens (and dandelion leaves), carrots, corn, peas, zucchini, potatoes, and cucumbers. There are other vegetables that they can eat in addition to these, but these are some of the most commonly fed ones for parakeets.

What About Pellets?

While pellets aren’t necessarily the best food for parakeets, they are a staple part of their diet because they can supplement all sorts of nutrients that your parakeet may not be getting on its own. A parakeet’s diet should never consist of entirely pellets though, and it should only make up a fair portion of the food you are giving your bird.

Pellets that are commercially produced for birds are designed to be safe for them, meaning that you won’t have to worry about feeding them to your bird. Instead, you can follow the recommendations given to you from your vet about what your bird should eat.