Watercress is an aquatic plant that also produces flower clusters. They are quite simple to grow at home so long the plant is submerged in a watered pot.
This leafy vegetable is widely popular among humans. But can budgies eat watercress without any problem?
I am always more stressed about introducing new greens to my budgies than new seeds. However, let me reassure you of one thing. Budgies can eat varieties of green or leafy vegetables, including watercress. Let me explain in detail.
Watercress: Nutritional Value for Budgies
Since budgies/parakeets need a particular ratio of vegetables for sustenance, watercress is a great way to provide nutrients. Below are four specifics, among others:
We are pretty doomed without calcium and its properties in our body. The same goes for budgies. It is an essential nutrient that develops bone structures while maintaining health. This allows nervous and muscular systems to function better.
Besides, did you know calcium provides clotted blood required in wounds to heal? If any of your budgies are injured, adding watercress to their diet can be beneficial.
Budgies require healthy red blood cells too, which iron provides by forming plenty of hemoglobin. It then supports superb transportation of oxygen throughout the little body. Iron also helps improve muscle cells by creating myoglobin.
The same applies to budgies, boosting the digestive system by gastronomical absorption. Plus, Vitamin C helps injuries heal fast by connecting the skin tissues. It is an antioxidant that protects the body from tissue and cell damage.
The amount of vitamin C supplements I took these couple of years innumerable and exhausting to recall. However, it has kept my internal system healthy.
Many of us are unaware of the benefits provided by Vitamin A. Watercress is fully packed with it. It improves eyesight and mucous membrane structure by operating properly. Moreover, it enhances the functions of the skin, reproduction, and immune system.
Ways to Feed Watercress to Budgies
Sometimes budgies ignore a new treat even when you extend your hand to offer it. Budgies have certain moods like feeling scared of new things, not approaching the feeder because you added an extra ingredient, and so on.
My winged pairs took a while to develop a taste for watercress. Here are the tricks I usually attempt gradually:
- Check the reaction by simply offering it with your hand.
- If that does not work, try snipping (slightly chopped) the leaves and stems a bit and place them before the birds.
- You can try hanging the leaves from one side of the cage and let the budgies take interest by picking at them.
- My budgies love tearing papers. I once gave them watercress leaves where I placed the papers. Those birds went crazy and ate the whole thing!
- Are they used to getting other veggies and greens? Then include some chopped watercress too.
- I am convinced of one thing- budgies love changes. So mix the cutting pattern of the plant. Try slicing, dicing, shreds, whole, etc.
- It may sound funny, but you can try to coincide your meal time with the birds and show them you are enjoying the watercress too.
- Choose morning time to offer fresh greens.
- If you have another pet bird like a parrot, feed it watercress before the budgies. They may be convinced eventually. (Watercress is safe for parrots too.)
- Do not try everything at once within the same day. Be patient and expect to wait for days or even weeks. Try one trick at a time only.
How often should I feed watercress to budgies?
It relies on what other treats you offer the budgies. Any extra ingredient should be provided in moderation to avoid improper digestive function. You can try once a week or two if unsure.
Is there any downside to feeding watercress to budgies?
Overconsumption of watercress can upset the stomach. In fact, overfeeding any vegetables or fruits to budgies causes harm to budgies. Thus, always give in small amounts.
Can I cook watercress before giving them to my budgies?
I suggest offering raw watercress to budgies. They may prefer it more than the slightly cooked version. It depends on the bird’s choice.
So, can budgies eat watercress? It is an excellent source of nutrients for parakeet family members at home. If you grow the plant at home, it is safer to say that no chemical has been used.
Lastly, budgies can be picky, giving you a headache with every turned-down treat/snack. Still, you have many options to try among the leafy plants. Do not give up just yet. Watercress is only the beginning!