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Home > Birds > Can Budgies Eat Bread? Vet-Approved Nutritional Info You Need to Know!

Can Budgies Eat Bread? Vet-Approved Nutritional Info You Need to Know!

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Dr. Luqman Javed

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Budgies are among the most popular pet birds. They’re smart, adorable, and hardy. Also sometimes known as parakeets (not a specific term), these small birds also have playful personalities that will keep you and your family entertained for hours.

But the one complex aspect of taking care of a budgie is their diet. One of the most common questions people ask about feeding a pet budgie is if it can eat bread. The answer is a little complex. Yes, they can, but only certain types and in very small amounts.

Let’s dig a little deeper into the diet of the budgie and how bread fits in.


The Wild Budgie Diet

In the wild, budgies are found in Australia. Their diet consists of seeds, berries, fruits, and vegetation. They eat what they can find, which means that during some seasons, they may rely more heavily on fruits while others might include more vegetation. However, they are primarily granivores (seed eaters) and foragers.

budgies on tree branch
Image Credit: lexxxi763, Pixabay

The Pet Budgie Diet

In captivity, budgies need a mixture of foods to stay healthy. The bulk of their diet should come in the form of a pelleted food made specifically for budgies. These pellets are made of seeds, grains, fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals. This should make up 75-80 percent of their total food consumption.

Then, fresh fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes, grains, pulses, and some other sources of protein (such as eggs) should account for the remaining 20-25 percent of their food intake. You’ll notice we don’t mention bread here. That’s because it should only be a very rare, occasional, tiny treat. Too much bread can cause your bird to put on too much weight and prevent them from eating the food they need for optimal nutrition.

parakeets eating
Image Credit: Piqsels

Bread and Budgies

If you give your budgie an occasional bread treat, you should make sure the bread:

  • Doesn’t contain excess salt or sugar
  • Is organic
  • Is free from preservatives
  • Contains whole grains rather than processed white flour

This ensures that your bird won’t consume ingredients that are harmful to them. Too much salt can harm your budgie’s kidneys, while excess sugar can cause weight gain. Common preservatives and other additives used in commercially produced loaves of bread are also not good for your bird to consume.

Furthermore, when you provide a small taste of whole-grain bread, maybe even one with seeds in it, you’ll give your budgie a nutrient boost with their treat. Make sure the bread is in tiny pieces that your bird can swallow easily.


Preparing Bread for Budgies

Most budgies won’t be picky about how their bread is prepared. It can either be fresh or lightly toasted, and they’ll probably enjoy it equally either way. However, the bread should be plain, without any butter, jam, or other toppings on it. Finally, don’t give your budgies stale bread as it can have mold on it that can harm your bird.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Better Choices for Budgie Treats

While the right kind of bread is fine on a very limited basis in small quantities, there are other treats you can give your budgie more frequently that are better for them. Roughly 20 percent of their daily diet should come from sources other than pellets. Remember, you should always cut fresh produce into small pieces that are easy for your budgie to chew. Some of the best choices for budgies include:

  • Arugula
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Corn (fresh)
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini
Budgies Eat Orange close up_Kolotygin Igor_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Kolotygin Igor, Shutterstock

Foods You Should Never Feed Your Budgie

While it’s fine to give your budgie an occasional bit of bread, there are other foods that they should never have. These include:

  • Alcohol
  • Avocado
  • Bacon
  • Beans, especially if raw
  • Cheese
  • Chips
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Crackers
  • Dairy
  • Garlic
  • Unripe tomatoes, or the stem and leaves of ripe tomatoes.
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Peanut shells
  • Rhubarb

Some of these are not good for your bird’s health while others are toxic. You should never feed your budgie processed or fried foods as they are high in salt and calories. Sugar should also be avoided to keep your budgie at a healthy weight.

budgie inside cage
Image Credit: Piqsels


Final Thoughts

While you shouldn’t share an entire bread basket with your pet budgie, an occasional bite or two of whole-grain bread won’t hurt them. Just make sure you’re giving them the healthy, preservative, and additive-free kind of bread rather than the commercially processed version. The remainder of its diet should be pellets and fresh produce. Following these guidelines will ensure your pet has a long, healthy life. It is best to consult with your veterinarian if you have doubts about your budgie’s diet.

Featured Image Credit:, Shutterstock

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