Can Finches Eat Parakeet Food? – Benefits & Precautions

Keeping finches healthy and well-fed requires a fine balance, especially when contemplating if they can share a meal with their parakeet counterparts. It’s essential to consider their distinct nutritional needs, shaped by millions of years of species-specific evolution.

Indeed, parakeets and finches have similar digestive systems – both being granivorous, relying primarily on seeds for sustenance. This overlap does allow for some dietary exchange, leading us to the key question: can finches eat parakeet food? Technically, yes; you can safely feed parakeet food to a Finch. But there is a catch, which I want you to understand from this article.

To ensure your finch’s proper growth and health, you must provide various nutritious foods. Just the Parakeet food won’t be enough. We’ve done the research and made a brief guide to a balanced diet for a Finch.

What Foods Do Finches Eat?

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If you’re new to having a pet finch, it’s essential to know what they usually eat. However, there is a distinct difference between wild Finches and Finches that have been brought up in a cage.

Wild Finches Diet

A wild Finch’s diet is prevalent and full of varieties. But to cut it short, seeds are their favorite; among them, flower seeds and grass seeds are the most widely available in nature.

According to the season and availability of seeds, they might also eat insects and specific fruits and berries. Vegetables are also on their diet list.

But despite these, they will also eat the usual Finch or Parakeet food as they are mostly made up of different seeds.

Caged Finches Diet

In this case, these Finches’ diets vary a bit depending on their upbringing. If they’ve been fed store-bought seeds and other pet foods, then that’s what they’ll eat for the rest of their lives.

That’s why it’s a good idea to add varieties to a Finch’s diet when it’s growing up.

Can Finches Eat Parakeet Food?

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Yes, finches can eat parakeet food, but it should not be their only source of nutrition. Both parakeets and finches are granivorous, meaning their natural diets consist primarily of seeds. While parakeet food will provide some nutritional value, finches require a more varied diet to meet all their nutritional needs.

Research published in the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery confirms that while finches can consume parakeet food without immediate harm, it cannot be their exclusive dietary source. Finches necessitate a broader nutritional palette to thrive, underlining the need for a diversified diet for optimum growth and health.

It’s important to supplement the parakeet food with a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and specially-formulated finch seeds. Offering a varied diet will ensure that your finch receives the necessary vitamins, minerals, and proteins for healthy growth and longevity. Moreover, it’s also recommended to consult with a vet or a bird nutrition specialist for the best dietary plan for your specific finch’s needs.

In essence, while it’s safe for finches to eat parakeet food, relying solely on it could lead to nutritional deficiencies over time. Therefore, moderation and variation are key in providing your finch a balanced and healthy diet.

Parakeet Food Contents and Nutrition

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As we’ve mentioned before, Parakeet foods are different types of seeds mixed. Depending on the brand, there could be around 2 to 10 different kinds of seeds mixed in a package.

These commercial seeds typically contain some sesame, whole oat groats, niger, canary grass, hemp, and some tiny sunflower seeds. These are all within the diet list of a Finch. However, it might prefer some seeds over others, like grass seeds.

However, these seeds are high in fat and do not contain all the necessary nutrition for a Finch’s proper growth. They are different from the seeds a wild Finch would eat.

Similarities Between a Finch and a Parakeet’s Diet

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The reason why a Parakeet’s food is interchangeable with a Finch’s is because of how similar their diet is. Here are some of the key similarities between their diets –

  • Both of them have a seed-based diet, though Finches also eat a considerable amount of other foods.
  • They are very picky about what they eat, and millet seeds are their favorites
  • Their required nutrition ingredients are very similar, consisting of calcium, carbs, vitamins, etc.

How to Balance a Diet for a Finch?

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A balanced diet for a Finch means providing variety to the type of food it consumes and increasing nutritional content.

It also means moving away from a seed-based diet to a healthier pellet-based diet. Reducing fat amounts is also vital while balancing a diet.

The importance of a good diet can range from good health to a longer lifespan for your finch. It improves the bird’s vocal capabilities and makes it more active and engaging. So, here’s how to achieve a balanced diet for your finch –

Fewer Seeds, More Pellets

As mentioned before, commercial seeds are high in fat ingredients and are nutrition deficient. Most owners make the mistake of just feeding their Finch seeds. This seed-based diet makes them weak and devoid of essential nutrients. It significantly reduces their lifespan.

Pellets are small chunks of food containing almost all the necessary nutrients for a Finch’s growth and health. They are commercially made, but since they’re specialized for bird feeding, it ensures maximum health.

A Finch that has been brought up with a seed-based diet won’t readily start eating pellets when offered. So, you will have to make an effort to slowly incorporate pellets into the diet.

Fruits and Vegetables

Since a wild Finch’s diet consists of vegetables and fruits, you should try to implement those into your caged finch as well. Sliced pears, apples, dandelions, carrot tops, and strawberries are their favorites among fruits.

They don’t contain any potentially harmful elements such as fat or high-sugar concentration. So, adding them to the diet is always a plus.


Some of your finch’s favorite foods can be regarded as treats. In most cases, millet seeds are the Finch bird’s favorite seeds. But they do not contain any essential nutrients. So, just separately feeding them millet seeds isn’t healthy.

However, giving your birds a treat can make them really happy. However, it shouldn’t be a part of their regular diet, but make sure to give them a treat every now and then.


This needs no say, but make sure to change the water in the cage daily and provide fresh water. You should also include a bathing bowl full of water so they can bathe in it and clean themselves.

Recommended Ratio

To summarize everything, your finch’s overall diet should contain about 70% of pellets. The rest can be divided into vegetables, fruits, some healthy seeds, and occasionally millet seeds as a treat.

Additional Tips

  • Do not feed freshly picked veggies and fruits as they might contain pesticides; make sure to wash them thoroughly.
  • Avoid feeding avocado and high-fat, high-salt foods.
  • Please do not feed them food from your mouth as microbes from your saliva can harm the bird.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will finches eat budgie food?

Budgies and finches are both herbivores and so their diet is very similar, mostly consisting of seeds.
Budgie foods normally contain a mix of different types of seeds and sometimes fruits and nuts. These are also staple foods for most finches, so they will eat budgie food.

What should you not feed a finch?

A general rule of thumb is to avoid feeding finches of foods that are high in sugar and fat. These would include avocado, acorns, chocolate, any sweets, etc.
Also, don’t feed them foods you’ve taken a bite out of, human saliva contains microbes that are harmful to Finches.

Are seeds healthy for a finch?

Seeds aren’t particularly healthy, but they aren’t unhealthy as well. They lack the proper nutrients that a Finch needs.
So, feeding them seeds is fine. But, if seed is all you’re feeding them, their health is in danger.

How often should I give a treat to my finch?

It depends on you and the bird. As long as it’s not too frequent, you should be fine. But a minimum threshold is twice or thrice a week, no more than that.

Can my Finches eat Parakeet food?

Due to their digestive system and diet being so similar, Finches can and will eat parakeet food. These foods are typically seeds that both birds like.


To wrap things up, yes, you can feed Parakeet seeds to a Finch. However, as we’ve discussed, making seed the primary food source for your finch is not very healthy and nutritious.

So, instead of asking, can finches eat parakeet food, you should be focusing more on a healthy diet for the finch. Moving towards a pellet-based diet is the way to go.

More Articles on Finches:

Can Lovebirds and Finches Live Together? [Check This Out]
Can Canaries and Finches Live Together? [Check This Out]
Can Finches Eat Strawberries? [Check This Out]
Why Aren’t the Finches Eating the Thistle Seeds? [Check This Out]
Can Finches Eat Dandelions? [Check This Out]
Can Doves and Finches Live Together? [Check This Out]

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