While there are many yummy treats and foods you can feed your budgie for a varied and well-balanced diet, there are also some foods you should avoid giving your budgie at all costs. Because a budgie’s digestive tract is much different than a human’s, some things that may be OK for you to eat, may not be OK for your favorite feathered friend.
Caffeine is a big harmful no-no to your pet budgie’s delicate digestive system. Just a very small amount can cause increased heart rate, arrhythmias, hyperactivity, and even cardiac arrest! To keep your budgie’s heart healthy, stick to water.
Avocado plants contain a harmful fatty acid called persin that has been known to cause heart failure in birds, as well as respiratory distress and even sudden death. Symptoms may begin to occur within 12 hours of ingestion, and death can occur within 1 to 2 days. Just say NO to avocado!
You’ve probably heard not to feed chocolate to a dog or cat, and unfortunately, budgies are no different. Chocolate can be extremely toxic to our feathered friends. It may cause not only vomiting and diarrhea, but it also contains caffeine, which you’ve already read causes increased heart rate, arrhythmias, hyperactivity and cardiac arrest. Chocolate can also cause tremors and seizures which can also eventually lead to death. So instead of chocolate, opt for something more appropriate like a sugary fruit such as mango, grapes, or slices of banana. Your budgie will thank you for it!
4. Garlic and Onions
Like chocolate, garlic and onions are well-known toxins to cats and dogs, and there have even been reports of fatalities in geese and other pet birds, as well. Not only can onions irritate your bird’s mouth, leading to ulcers, but onions also contain sulfur compounds that can rupture red blood cells in your pet budgie, leading to anemia. Garlic can also cause anemia due to the chemical it contains called allicin. So, when it comes to budgies, it’s best to keep things bland, and leave the spices for the humans.
As mentioned above: leave the spices for the humans! This even includes salt! For a small bird, consuming even just a tiny amount (on a chip or pretzel, for example) is enough to upset its electrolyte balance, leading to excessive thirst, dehydration, kidney dysfunction and even death.
Feeding your budgie foods high in fat can also prove to be fatal. Fatty foods, such as butter, nuts and fatty meats can lead to the buildup of fat deposits within arteries that can make birds prone to heart disease and stroke (just like in humans!) In general, the smaller the bird, the higher the risk with even just a few bites of fatty foods, so it’s best to simply avoid including these in your budgie’s diet.
7. Fruit Pits and Apple Seeds
While most fruit is safe for budgies to consume, certain fruits with seeds (such as apples and pears) and those with pits (such as cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, and nectarines) should be avoided, as they contain cardio-toxic cyanide. However, if you are careful to remove ALL the seeds and pits from these fruits, they are then safe to feed your budgie.
8. Cheese, Milk & Other Dairy
Most dairy products, including cheese and milk, are not suitable bird food as they contain high amounts of fat, and you’ve already read how fatty foods can put your bird at risk for heart disease and stroke. But another reason that dairy products should not be fed to your pet budgie is because they contain lactose, which is a kind of sugar not easily digested by birds, and can cause diarrhea.
Comfrey is a green-leaf garden herb used in fertilizer and herbal medicine. It has been shown to cause liver damage in humans and should also be avoided by birds.
This common artificial sweetener has proven to cause hypoglycemia, liver damage and death in dogs, and while it hasn’t been studied extensively in birds, it’s possible they could be very sensitive to the toxic effects of even just a small amount of this chemical due to their high and fast metabolism. It’s best to not even try it!
Just remember, your pet budgie relies solely on you for his/her health and dietary needs, so as long as you make sure to avoid feeding them any of the above mentioned toxic treats, your budgie will remain healthy and happy!
Thanks for stopping by, and as always, here’s to finding your budgie bliss!