Parakeets are known to most of us as the little feathered budgie. The budgerigar, or budgie, is a relatively small bird that tends to have long tail feathers and, when bred in captivity, can exhibit various colors on its plumage. These birds also love snacking on a variety of treats.
Parakeets are predominantly herbivores and the main component in their diet is seeds. But what about berries like blackberries, can they be introduced into a budgie’s diet? Absolutely! Blackberries are a healthy addition to a parakeet’s weekly regime along with other berries, fruits, and vegetables.
What Is The Difference Between a Parakeet And a Parrot?
There appears to be a lot of confusion about what a parakeet is and whether it is the same as a parrot. From an ornithological standpoint, parakeets are made up of 115 species of different small or medium-sized birds. However, each species is unique when it comes to avian nutrition. The main distinction is that while a budgie is typically only about 7-15 inches in length, a parrot in the wild can be found to be almost 40 inches. Parakeets, being part of the greater parrot species, like to communicate and can be rather musical as well as being highly intelligent and elegant.
Why Are Blackberries Good For Parakeets?
We humans are increasingly encouraged to consume more superfoods such as blueberries, goji berries, and blackberries, all of which contain valuable nutrients for your feathered friend, also. Blackberries, in particular, are safe for your bird to consume in small amounts regularly and have been shown to boost their health!
Although a non-native plant to the parakeets, blackberries seem to score high with their taste buds. They can be found growing in hedgerows in autumn in the US and Europe and are jam-packed with goodness. Firstly, these berries contain immune-strengthening antioxidants which help protect your budgie from illness. Insulin regulation can also be aided with antioxidants. Next up is vitamin C, a well-known body booster which not only can prevent kidney disease but may reduce your pet’s stress levels. The anti-inflammatory properties of blackberries are also very beneficial to your bird’s well-being. If your parakeet is experiencing any muscle or joint pain, then giving him/her a few blackberries now and then just may help improve the inflammation. This is in addition to vitamin A, which is necessary for bone health. Polyphenols, which enhance neurological function are also present in blackberries as well as fiber which protects the digestive system.
Do Blackberries Present Any Danger to Parakeets?
There are also some disadvantages to blackberry consumption, but they can mainly be avoided by making sure that the quantity given is not excessive. Like all fruits, blackberries have natural sugars, which when ingested in large quantities, can cause birds to gain weight and lead to health problems. Clean all fruits that you serve to remove chemicals and pesticides, although ideally only organic produce should be offered. Blackberries do not have tough skin, so it is most important to remove any residues from their soft flesh before consumption.
How to Serve Blackberries To Your Parakeet
The easiest method for serving this super fruit to your budgies is to make a salad of fruits and vegetables, tossing in one blackberry worth of small, cut-up pieces as a weekly serving. Your blackberry should be fresh, clean, and natural, and mixed with other fruits and vegetables. Juicing the berries may make it easier to ingest, but perhaps only try this if your parakeet isn’t enjoying its original form.
The Parakeet Diet and Lifestyle:
Since your parakeet is part of the parrot family, most of the requirements for a parrot’s diet can be applied, obviously adjusting to the suitable portion size. It is important to note that diet regulations are normally for a healthy pet or group of birds, and a vet should be consulted for alterations if you have an unwell friend.
As an omnivore that is predominantly an herbivore with a tropical natural habitat, parakeets require a varied, colorful diet regime.
Try to vary the seed mix regularly and chop and mix all the vegetables and occasional fruit. Like all family-loved pets, your bird may want to grab your toast in the morning or have some of your burger from your dinner. Whilst a little morsel of something off your plate might not hurt them, it’s crucial to stress that you are responsible as the owner and have a duty to not let your bird develop harmful appetite patterns. If you want to share human food with them, we recommend dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale in addition to sweet potatoes and broccoli. Keep these foods as regulars in their health plan.
As an overall rule, dairy and animal foods should be avoided for your exotic bird, although a slice of occasional lean meat on the bone may be beneficial. Certain foods are entirely toxic such as avocados, alcohol, chocolate, and caffeine. Any fried product or food that comprises a large quantity of fat and/or sugar should never be introduced into your feathered friend’s regime.
Bonding With Your Bird
Parakeets are wild, free-spirited birds that require lots of play, exercise, and stimulation. Diet is crucial to well-being together with games to encourage bonding and physical activity. These beings require a spacious environment, ideally with plenty of trees and shrubs so they can feel at home. When initially trying to bond with your beautiful bird, keep your voice quiet and avoid sudden or large movements. Be patient, calm, and understanding to their needs and respect them if they are not in the mood to play or be sociable. Like humans, all animals have unique personalities which come in all shapes and sizes.
Featured Image Credit: ulleo, Pixabay
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.