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Can Budgies Eat Oranges? What You Need To Know!

Kathryn Copeland

Does your budgie watch you every time you eat a sweet and juicy orange or try to snatch it away? If your answer is yes, you might find yourself wondering if it’s safe to give your budgie oranges as a treat.

Are oranges safe for your budgie to eat? Yes, oranges are quite safe for your budgie to snack on, but they are high in sugar, so they should be given in moderation. We look at how much orange is okay for budgies and what to look out for if you think that they’ve eaten too much.

divider-multiprintThe Healthy Orange

Oranges are the fifth most popular fruit in the world (behind bananas, apples, strawberries, and grapes) and are grown on trees in warm locations, such as the Mediterranean, South Africa, Australia, and Florida.

Oranges are full of fiber, folate, thiamine, antioxidants, and the all-important vitamin C. We humans get great health benefits from oranges, including:

Health Benefits
  • Oranges give our immune systems a boost and are effective against the common cold.
  • They help prevent heart disease and can lead to a healthy heart.
  • Oranges can assist in stopping kidney stones from forming.
  • They can help prevent anemia.

Is there a downside to eating oranges?

Green Budgies Eating orange_Kolotygin Igor_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Kolotygin Igor, Shutterstock

Problems With Oranges

Oranges are a high acidic fruit; eating one can lead to heartburn for some people, particularly anyone who already suffers from regular acid reflux or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).

While oranges are healthy, eating too much every day could also lead to weight gain because of the high sugar content.

Since oranges are famous for their vitamin C, you need to know that too much vitamin C can lead to headaches, insomnia, bloating, cramps, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. In fact, many of these symptoms may occur because of the high fiber content found in oranges.

But what about budgies? Let’s look at the budgie’s typical diet.

A Budgie’s Diet

Budgies in the wild eat fruits, berries, vegetation, and different seeds, including grass seeds. However, your budgie shouldn’t be fed a diet of only seeds because they don’t provide a nutritionally balanced diet.

The staple food for captive budgies is pelleted food that has been specially formulated for birds, and it should make up about 75%–80% of the entire diet. These pellets come in different colors, shapes, sizes, and content.

Fruits and vegetables should constitute about 20%–25% of the diet every day.

Safe vegetables for the budgie include:

Safe Vegetables to Eat for the Budgie
  • Peas
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Kale
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Corn
  • Carrots
  • Bok choy
  • Zucchini
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Watercress

The best fruit for your budgie can include:

Best Fruits For Budgie

But how healthy are oranges for Budgies?

Budgies Eating Orange_Kolotygin Igor_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Kolotygin Igor, Shutterstock

Budgies and Oranges

Oranges also have health benefits for budgies:

Orange Benefits for Budgies
  • Vitamin C: Helps reduce stress and boosts their immune systems
  • Vitamin A: Also boosts the immune system and helps support your bird’s eye health
  • Fiber: High in fiber, which can support your bird’s digestive system and prevent constipation
  • Potassium: Strengthens their bones, speeds up metabolism, and helps prevent heart problems and reduce blood pressure
  • Folate: Can produce healthy red and white blood cells and can convert carbohydrates into energy for the body
  • Thiamin (vitamin B1): Helps the nervous system, which assists with coordination

What exactly are the negatives for your Budgie to eat oranges?

The Downside of Oranges for Budgies

A diet made up of primarily oranges would be quite bad, if not dangerous, for your budgie. Fruit and vegetables should only make up 20% to 25% of a budgie’s diet.

Additionally, some of what makes eating too many oranges bad for us also makes them bad for budgies.

Budgies-Eat-Orange_Kolotygin-Igor_Shutterstoc
Image Credit: Kolotygin Igor, Shutterstock

High Sugar Content

Oranges do have a high sugar content, also known as fructose. Too much sugar for a budgie will have some of the same effects as it does on us. Too much sugar can lead to your budgie gaining weight and increased blood sugar levels. Too much sugar can also be hard for your budgie to digest and cause stomach upset.

Citric Acid

Oranges are full of citric acid, the same stuff that can cause heartburn. Too much citric acid can irritate your budgie’s stomach, which can lead to an upset stomach and watery and foul stool.

All in all, too much orange is not fatal for your budgie. But if a large amount of orange is ingested, expect your budgie to not feel too well and make a bit of a mess in the cage. Otherwise, budgies will recuperate just fine.

Budgies Eat Orange close up_Kolotygin Igor_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Kolotygin Igor, Shutterstock

How About the Orange Peel?

Orange peels are not bad for budgies overall. However, since most peels are covered in chemicals and pesticides, it’s not recommended for budgies. Your best option is to remove the peel before giving the orange to your bird.

Washing the peel doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to remove all the pesticides or enough of them for it to be safe for your budgie.

How Much Orange Should You Feed Your Budgie?

The right amount of orange that you feed your budgie should be no more than one segment of orange each week. However, avoid giving it to your budgie every day because it should be considered an occasional treat. That tiny piece of orange is still full of sugar for such a small bird, and they do need a variety of food as part of their regular diet.

If you haven’t given your budgie an orange before, be sure to introduce it quite slowly and gradually over a period of time. Remember to peel the orange and cut up the segment into smaller pieces. You should also ensure that the orange is not going rotten or is moldy and that you thoroughly wash the peel before removing it.

divider-multiprintConclusion

Too much orange won’t make your budgie feel too good, but as long as you follow our guidelines, your bird can enjoy a healthy treat in a safe way. A balanced diet that consists of pellets made for budgies with a much smaller percentage of various fruit and vegetables is what will keep your budgie around for a long time.

Speak to your vet if you ever have any concerns about your budgie’s health or diet. Remember that no more than one serving of orange once a week should be enough for a tasty treat but not enough to make your budgie sick. Your bird’s health and safety are of the utmost importance, so always do your homework and speak to your vet before you introduce any new food into your budgie’s diet.


Featured Image Credit: Kolotygin Igor, Shutterstock

Kathryn Copeland

Kathryn was a librarian in a previous lifetime and is currently a writer about all things pets. When she was a child, she hoped to work in zoos or with wildlife in some way, thanks to her all-consuming love for animals. Unfortunately, she's not strong in the sciences, so she fills her days with researching and writing about all kinds of animals and spends time playing with her adorable but terribly naughty tabby cat, Bella. Kathryn is hoping to add to her family in the near future – maybe another cat and a dog.