Budgies make great first pets, as they’re gentle, loving, and very easy to take care of. But to make sure they live a long and healthy life, every pet owner must be responsible for the type of diet they have. And if you are looking for foods that can provide high nutritional value to birds, you may have come across chia seeds, a known superfood.
But can budgies eat chia seeds? Of course! But while it’s perfectly safe for your pet budgie to enjoy some chia seeds, they should not be a big part of your bird’s diet, and you should certainly avoid overfeeding them with it.
If you wish to learn more, this article will provide you with everything you need to know about Budgies, chia seeds, and so much more.
Can Budgies Eat Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are found almost everywhere now. Since taking over the world by storm as a superfood, chia seeds have started appearing in health food stores, grocery stores, and even in your favorite smoothie. They’re even a favorite among athletes because of their high protein content, which they use to help repair and strengthen muscle tissue.
But that being said, should your pet budgie enjoy them too? Yes. Because of their granivorous nature, budgies (or parakeets) are well-adapted to eat seeds and will enjoy a bunch of chia seeds every once in a while. Parakeets are specialized granivorous feeders in the wild, meaning that they’re equipped to take maximum advantage of seeds of this nature.
Usually harvested from the Salvia Hispanica plant, chia seeds are high in fiber, omega-3, and vitamins, all of which are things that can benefit your feathered friend. They’re also a great source of vitamin E, B, and calcium!
This means that while there are several foods that you should never feed your budgie (like avocado, chocolate, mushrooms, raw peanuts, and the like), chia seeds aren’t one of them, and your bird will surely appreciate the tasty seeds.
The Benefits of Feeding Chia Seeds to Budgies
As they are plant-based, there are many nutrients and minerals that chia seeds can provide to budgies.
For starters, chia seeds contain antioxidants and a large amount of calcium. Because birds don’t tolerate dairy products all that well, these chia seeds are a great way of ensuring that they get the amount of calcium their body needs. And because dairy is also usually higher in fat, using chia seeds as a substitute for a calcium source is beneficial to a bird’s bone health.
The vitamin factor in chia seeds is pretty impressive too. Chia seeds contain riboflavin, folic acid, thiamin, and niacin – which is a B-complex vitamin. Together, these vitamins help in maintaining your bird’s overall health and well-being. Additionally, vitamins also help ensure your budgie’s feathers are healthy and colorful instead of being tattered and dull.
This type of food is also a quick source of energy, which smaller birds like budgies need to have during certain times, such as freezing seasons.
Additionally, chia seeds also have an average of 23% polyunsaturated fatty acids, making them the seed with the most excellent omega-3 fatty acid content in the vegetable kingdom. These fatty acids are indispensable to both birds and humans, as they increase disease resistance and inflammation in the body.
Lastly, the fat present in chia seeds helps maintain a bird’s brain function, while its fiber content is necessary for your pet bird’s digestive health.
How Much Chia Seeds Should Your Budgie Eat?
With all these nutritional benefits, you’d think that chia seeds should be an everyday staple in your bird’s diet. The truth, however, is that it’s best enjoyed in moderation, and there are healthier alternatives.
This is because of the high caloric content of chia seeds, which has the possibility of becoming a passive source of energy that will eventually diminish the health of your pet.
What’s more, the fiber present in chia can cause various gastrointestinal discomforts in budgies/parakeets. This includes inflammation, abdominal distension, and even slower absorption of nutrients like calcium and iron.
Luckily, these issues will only be present if your budgie overeats chia in its diet. In general, chia seeds themselves do not represent danger as a food, and the warning only applies to excessive quantities.
To avoid excess and take full advantage of the chia seed’s health properties, you need to make sure these seeds only make up 5% of their food. Ideally, you can do this by sprinkling a few chia seeds onto your bird’s food. Make sure the chia seeds are soaked as well, or at the very least, not dry.
You can also add chia seeds to their chop, usually made from a mix of vegetables, cooked pasta, and dry grains. Adding a few chia seeds to this mix is sure to give your bird a nutrient boost.
Alternatively, you can also make a chia seed pudding for your bird; just make sure to swap the milk you usually use with water.
Can budgies eat dry chia seeds? While chia seeds are generally safe for all types of parrots, dry chia seeds draw out moisture from the body and can cause kidney issues for your bird. Instead, offer them soaked, ideally with vegetables. Doing so should be easy and take only a few minutes.
What is a good chia seed alternative that parakeets will enjoy? When feeding your budgie with seeds, you can try sunflower, safflower, groats, canary, and millet seeds. In general, budgies are curious birds who will always be willing to try whatever food you give them. Of course, your budgie’s diet should contain a mix of pellets, seeds, and fresh vegetables.
What foods should you not feed to budgies? There are plenty of foods that you should avoid giving your budgie, including avocados, apple seeds, dairy products, beans, eggplant, and processed food like chocolates and biscuits. Avoid fruits that are high in acid and fructose as well.
Your budgie is an active little parakeet who requires plenty of calories to fuel its fun-filled day, and one of the best sources of these calories is bird seeds. That being said, some bird seeds, like the chia seed, should only be provided in controlled portions.
While it’s essentially a superfood that contains many nutrients and minerals, overeating chia seeds (or any seed in particular) can pose some health risks for your feathery companion.
So instead of just seeds, opt for a variety of vegetables, grains, and pellets to fuel your bird’s diet and keep them strong enough to live a long, healthy, and chatty life.