Celery is not blatantly toxic to budgies. It doesn’t contain any potentially harmful chemicals, so it won’t outright kill a budgie.
However, that doesn’t mean that they should eat it. Celery isn’t the best option for budgies due to its higher water content.
Budgies should indeed eat a wide variety of fruits and veggies to stay healthy and happy. But they should consume veggies and fruits rich in vitamins and minerals – not those with high water contents.
Celery, lettuce, and similar veggies don’t contain many vitamins. Therefore, they should be avoided in exchange for higher-quality veggies.
There are some nutritional benefits to celery, but these don’t outweigh the cons.
Downsides of Feeding Budgies Celery
Celery is about 95% water. Therefore, when your budgie eats it, they aren’t consuming very many nutrients. Instead, they’re getting water.
Water isn’t bad for budgies. They need it to survive just like every other animal.
However, when you’re feeding your budget veggies, your goal should be to feed them nutrient-packed options. Celery does not fall into that category.
Water doesn’t contain vitamins or minerals – though it is essential for hydration. Too much celery may cause digestive upset and diarrhea due to the high water content. It can be a bit too much for some budgies.
On top of the higher water content, the strings in the celery are potentially dangerous. They may cause crop impaction, which can be potentially deadly.
Crop impaction occurs when a bird’s digestive system gets backed up. The strings from celery are not entirely digestible, especially when they’re so large compared to a budgie.
Crop impaction needs to be treated right away by a vet. It doesn’t go away by itself.
If it isn’t treated, the bird’s digestive tract will not function, and it will eventually starve. Complications can occur, such as bacterial infections, yeast infections, and fungal infections. Hypoglycemia is standard, as the bird isn’t digesting any food.
Fluids can also not be taken in by a bird with impaction. Dehydration can also occur and is a common cause of death in these birds.
Generally, we don’t recommend choosing celery as an option for your budgie for these reasons.
Benefits of Celery
There are several benefits of feeding celery to budgies – even though we don’t recommend it.
While it is mostly water, celery does provide some vitamins.
Celery contains vitamin A, which is essential for your bird’s feather health. It is one of the main reasons that birds have such bright coloration, including budgies.
Vitamin C is also included. As with the human body, this vitamin can improve your bird’s immune system. There are some reports that it may prevent self-destructive behaviors, but the evidence behind this is sparse.
Vitamin K is included in small amounts. This vitamin is the main reason blood coagulates. Without it, clotting won’t work correctly.
Birds like budgies produce their own vitamin K. However, it is often recommended to provide them with extra just in case.
Folate also appears in celery. This vitamin is used for multiple purposes, ranging from cell growth to metabolism. Without it, birds can become stunted – as they won’t grow properly. It can even lead to anemia.
Potassium-rich foods are a vital part of your bird’s diet. However, it needs to be balanced carefully with calcium, especially when feeding a range of veggies and fruits.
Muscle contractions, nerve signals, and electrolyte balances all rely on potassium.
Can Budgies Eat Celery Leaves?
Celery leaves are arguably better for budgies than the stalk of the celery. They have lower water content and are typically higher in vitamins.
However, celery leaves may be full of pesticides. It depends mainly on where the celery came from.
Celery is higher in pesticides than other veggies. According to the Environmental Working Group’s list, celery is higher in pesticides than most foods.
While small amounts of pesticides are not harmful to humans, budgies are much smaller. Therefore, budgies may experience adverse side effects from celery.
Much of the pesticides are likely concentrated in the leaves, as these are the parts that get sprayed.
Washing does an excellent job of removing much of the pesticides, but it is impossible to know if it has been completely removed. Therefore, we recommend avoiding celery leaves as well.
They may have a lower moisture content, but their pesticide content is typically higher.
Is Celery Bad or Toxic for Budgies?
Celery isn’t bad for budgies, nor is it toxic. However, it isn’t good for them either.
The high-water content waters down much of the nutrients it contains. While it does include some vitamins vital to your budgie’s overall health, there are much better sources.
We recommend choosing nutrient-dense veggies – especially because budgies are so small and eat so little.
They need their food to be as dense as possible – not made up of 95% water.
You may choose to feed your budgie celery occasionally. However, it shouldn’t make up a significant portion of their diet.
Not only would this lower the overall amount of nutrients your budgie receives, but it would also increase the chance of impaction. Celery should only be provided in minimal amounts – if it is given at all.
Can I Give My Budgie Celery?
Yes. You can give your budgie celery. However, just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
Celery isn’t very nutrient-dense. It’s mostly water. We recommend sticking with vegetables high in nutrition, mainly because budgies are so small and don’t eat very much. You don’t want to fill up much of their diet with water, after all.
Instead, we recommend feeding your budgie these fruits and veggies:
Budgies can eat celery, but it is not typically recommended as a large portion of their diet.
Much of celery is water. While hydration is essential for your bird’s health, they need the most nutrition from their diet that they can get. You should avoid filling up their stomachs with fluids when they should be filling it with nutrients.
Celery may also cause impaction, though this is quite rare. It is digestible, but the strings may be difficult for these small birds to handle.
It is also higher in pesticides than most veggies. Therefore, we recommend that you buy organic where possible and wash it very carefully.
If you decide to feed your budgie celery, be sure it is part of a well-balanced diet. No bird should live just on celery alone!
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Featured Image Credit: Eric Chen, Pixabay