Three-quarters of a budgie’s diet should comprise pellets. and the remaining quarter should be filled with fruits, berries, vegetables, seeds, nuts, or other occasional snacks. Seeds make a good choice for an occasional treat to your budgie since they generally like it. There are quite a few seeds to choose from, including sunflower seeds.
Can budgies eat sunflower seeds? Yes, budgies can consume sunflower seeds. Sunflower provides nutrients such as vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to budgies. However, birds should not eat too many sunflower seeds since they are rich in oil. Sunflower seeds should only be a small part of their balanced diet consisting of bird pellets (mostly), berries, and vegetables.
Before you feed your budgie sunflower seeds, let’s dive into their benefits, potential risks, and how much you can offer them to your bird.
Can Budgies Eat Sunflower Seeds?
Yes, you can feed sunflower seeds to budgies. Sunflower seeds contain various nutrients that offer nutritional and health benefits to budgies.
According to Healthline, a 30g serving of sunflower seeds contains the following nutrients;
- Calories – 162
- Fat – 14g
- Protein – 5.5g
- Fiber – 3g
- Carbohydrates – 6.5g
- Vitamin E – 5.6mg
- Folate – 68 micrograms
- Vitamin B6 – 0.15mg
- Iron – 0.54mg
- Selenium – 17 micrograms
- Pantothenic acid – 1mg
- Magnesium – 38mg
- Copper – 234micrograms
- Manganese – 0.7mg
- Zinc – 1.1mg
So you can see how nutrient-rich sunflower seeds are and they can provide many benefits to your pet parrot if fed moderately. Here we’ll be taking a quick look at all the benefits of sunflower seeds for budgies.
|Magnesium||Increases your budgie’s energy levels and helps regulate blood pressure, and muscle & nerve function|
|Manganese||Facilitates metabolism and aids reproduction and blood clotting in budgies|
|Copper||Promotes iron uptake and supports your budgie’s immune system|
|Zinc||Makes immune cells and several enzymes in a bird’s body|
|Vitamin B6||Promotes nerve function and supports the immune system|
|Vitamin E||Promotes the formation of healthy cells, improves your bird’s stress response, and supports the immune system|
|Iron||Helps in the formation of strong bones and helps make hemoglobin|
|Pantothenic acid||Aids in convert food into energy and is necessary for the formation of blood cells|
|Selenium||Boosts your bird’s immunity by fighting inflammation|
Are Sunflower Seeds Good For Budgies?
Sunflower seeds are packed with many nutrients that provide various benefits. Here’s why you should include sunflower seeds in your budgie’s diet.
1. Rich in vitamins and minerals
As shown by the table above, sunflower seeds are a great source of nutrients and minerals. They contain vitamins B6 and E and minerals like selenium, magnesium, and copper, with several health benefits for birds.
2. More energy
A 30g serving of sunflower seeds provides 162 calories that help a budgie go about daily activities.
3. Reduced inflammation
Since they contain antioxidants like Vitamin E and flavonoids, sunflower seeds help fight inflammation. Hence, if your budgie is sick, feeding it with sunflower seeds can accelerate the process of healing.
Inflammation is linked to several diseases like diabetes that affect older budgies. Hence, sunflower seeds help prevent diseases that afflict older budgies.
4. Immune system booster
Sunflower seeds contain several vitamins that bolster immunity. The seeds also contain vital minerals such as selenium and zinc. Zinc is involved in developing immune cells, while selenium prevents infections by lowering inflammation.
Do Budgies Like Eating Sunflower Seeds?
Budgies love to eat sunflower seeds so much that they easily get addicted to them. To avoid getting your budgies addicted, feed them moderate amounts of the seeds.
Sunflower seeds are available in two kinds; striped and black oil.
Striped sunflower seeds
These sunflower seeds are black with lengthwise white stripes and are larger than black oil seeds. They also have thick shells that are difficult for budgies to crack open. Striped seeds have less oil content compared to other sunflower seed types.
Black oil sunflower seeds
These seeds are also called oil sunflower seeds since they have a high oil content compared to other seed types. They have a thin, black shell that budgies can easily crack. Black oil seeds are tastier because of the high amount of oil they have. As a result, budgies love to eat oil seeds more than striped seeds.
How Should You Prepare Sunflower Seeds For Your Budgies?
Budgies should not eat roasted sunflower seeds, so you should offer plain and raw seeds. Because the birds eat only a little food at a time, you should mix sunflower seeds with other foods to ensure a balanced diet.
When feeding your budgies, remember that sunflower seeds shouldn’t comprise more than ten percent of the bird’s diet. Budgies should not eat more than two tablespoons of sunflower seeds weekly.
Black Vs. Striped Sunflower Seeds For Budgies
Black oil seeds have thin shells that are easy to crack. Also, they have a high fat content, so they taste better than striped sunflower seeds. However, their high-fat content can cause rapid weight gain, leading to obesity.
On the other hand, since humans eat striped seeds, they don’t usually have dirt and debris within the packet. Low-fat content makes them less tasty. So while budgies may not like eating them a lot, they include reduced risk of obesity.
Although sunflower seeds are not harmful to budgies, they can become toxic when roasted. Here’s why you should avoid feeding your pet budgies with roasted sunflower seeds;
The salt added to roasted seeds increases the risk of issues like kidney failure.
Most store-bought roasted seeds are filled with preservatives that make roasted sunflower seeds difficult to digest, causing gut health issues.
3. High Oil Content
Since roasting uses oil, roasted sunflower seeds have more oil than raw seeds. Too much oil and fat is bad for your budgie’s health because it causes obesity.
Although sunflower seeds are a great nutrient source for budgies, they should make up a small part of the bird’s diet. You should only give your feathered friend two tablespoons of sunflower seeds per week mixed with other food for a balanced diet.
Can Budgies Eat Sprouted Sunflower Seeds?
Yes, budgies can consume sprouted sunflower seeds. According to Healthline, sprouting a seed increases its nutritional content, so sprouted seeds are great for your budgie. Sprouting also reduces the antinutrients in the seeds, making them an even better food for budgies.
Yes, budgies can crack both black oil and striped sunflower seeds. However, black oil seeds have a thinner casing, making them easier to break than striped seeds. Old, young, or sick budgies can have difficulty opening sunflower seeds. If your budgie has problems cracking the seeds, consider offering black oil seeds or dehulled striped seeds.
Feeding sunflower seeds to budgies is safe so long as the servings are small. Because a seed-based diet is bad for budgies, sunflower seeds should be given as an occasional snack alongside a pellet diet.
Can Budgies Eat Sunflower Leaves?
You can feed your budgie with sunflower leaves since they’re safe for the birds. Owners often grow sunflowers and allow their budgies to forage the leaves. Allowing your pet bird to forage for food promotes mental and physical health.
Yes, parakeets can eat linoleic sunflower seeds. Linoleic seeds are safe to feed to your pet budgies since they are made for consumption. They are great for your budgie since they contain low fat and provide the same nutritional benefits as other varieties.
Can Parakeets Eat High Oleic Seeds?
Yes, parakeets can eat high oleic seeds. However, since these seeds contain a high amount of fat, they are bad for the birds in large quantities. Linoleic seeds are the better option if you’re feeding your budgies with sunflower seeds.
No, parakeets should not eat sunflower oil seeds. Sunflower oil seeds contain the highest fat among all sunflower varieties. The high-fat content makes oil seeds harmful, so you should not feed them to budgies.
Do you have more questions? Here are answers to owners’ questions regarding feeding their budgies with sunflower seeds.
Can budgies eat sunflower kernels?
Sunflower kernels are the meaty part of the seeds. Of course, budgies can eat sunflower kernels since they are the part of the seeds containing the nutrients.
Can budgies eat sunflower seeds in the shell?
No, budgies cannot eat sunflower seeds in the shell. Besides having few nutrients, shells are hard and tough to chew. Hence, the birds crack the seeds open before eating.
Can budgies eat salted sunflower seeds?
Budgies should not eat salted sunflower seeds. Salt and other additives cause stomach upsets, kidney failure, and other health issues for your budgie.
Sunflower seeds are an excellent treat for budgies since they are tasty and highly nutritious. However, since they contain high amounts of fat, you should serve the seeds in moderation. You don’t need special preparations for the seeds; just mix them with the other food and feed your budgie.