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Can Budgies Eat Peanut Butter? What You Need to Know!

Nicole Cosgrove

Poor nutrition can easily cause health problems in pet birds. It is important that owners stay educated about their bird’s diet and know which foods are acceptable and which foods are best to avoid.

As a budgie owner, or potential budgie owner, you may wonder if your pet can eat peanut butter. After all, it’s a staple in the human pantry and would readily be available to share with your budgie.

So, can budgies eat peanut butter? The answer is, yes! Budgies and other parakeets can eat peanut butter. It is high in fat and calories and can make for an occasional treat, but only in small amounts.

You also will need to be wary of the kind of peanut butter you offer your budgie. High-processed peanut butter is found everywhere. It’s recommended that you choose an organic brand with few added ingredients.

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Peanut Butter and Budgies

Check Your Ingredients

Peanut Butter
Image Credit: deborahmiller56, Pixabay

As mentioned above, a lot of peanut butter on the market today is highly processed and contains a wide variety of ingredients other than peanuts. These additives can be toxic to a little budgie’s system. You’ll want to choose an organic brand that contains only peanuts and very little sodium, oil, and sugar.

Too much sodium (salt) is unsafe for birds. You should never feed them peanut butter that contains high amounts of sodium, sugar, or sugar substitutes because they may cause health issues for your budgie. Always avoid low-fat and sugar-free versions of peanut butter.

You may be able to find peanut butter specially formulated for birds at local pet stores. Otherwise, check your local farmer’s market or organic grocer for the best brands with limited ingredients.

Use Moderation

Peanut butter should only be given to budgies in moderation. Peanuts naturally contain aflatoxin, a carcinogenic substance that is harmful to humans and animals in large amounts. Aflatoxin concentration is presumably higher in the peanut itself.

Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring toxic metabolite produced by certain fungi found on food products such as corn and of course, peanuts. It is proven as a potent liver carcinogen in rodents. Not enough testing has been done to say definitively that it will be a strong carcinogen for birds, but it’s best to play it safe.

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What Other Foods Are Dangerous for Budgies?

There are several foods you will want to avoid feeding your budgie. Some foods, such as citrus fruit are not lethal but can cause an upset stomach. Other types of food such as apricots, apples, and peach pits contain levels of cyanide that will be lethal to your budgie. We’ve compiled a list below of the foods you need to avoid altogether:

  • Alcohol
  • Apple seeds
  • Avocado
  • Beans (many raw beans are toxic for budgies, so it’s best to avoid them entirely)
  • Cheese
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Crackers
  • Dairy products (lactose is hard for budgies to digest)
  • Dates
  • Fish and seafood
  • Garlic
  • Grapefruit
  • Green Tomatoes
  • Honey
  • Kumquat
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Meat, poultry, fish (raw)
  • Mushrooms and other fungi
  • Nutmeg
  • Onion
  • Oranges
  • Passion fruit
  • Pear pips
  • Potatoes (raw)
  • Rhubarb
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Tea

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What Are The Best Foods for Budgies?

As a budgie owner, you want what is best for your bird. Budgies can be delicate little pets and their nutrition is ever so important. Let’s take a look at a budgies dietary need:

Budgie Dietary Needs

Though budgies can be selective eaters, they are prone to obesity, iodine deficiencies, and other nutrition-related problems. A well-balanced and varied diet must always be maintained for these birds to stay healthy.

In the wild, budgies eat a variety of seeds as different plants come into season. Commercial seed mixes found in pet stores typically contain a limited number of seeds that tend to be high in carbohydrates and fat while lacking protein and essential vitamins and minerals.

The recommended diet for budgies is a pelleted food specially formulated for birds. These pellet formulas have been designed to meet your bird’s nutritional needs. Many commercial brands of pellets are available in different shapes, sizes, and colors in pet stores and at other retailers.

You will also want to implement fresh food into their diet. Only 20% to 25% of their diet should be fresh fruits and vegetables and as we’ve seen, not all fruits and vegetables are safe for their consumption.

Fruits and vegetables must be washed thoroughly to remove chemicals and should be cut into small pieces appropriate to the size of the bird. It is not necessary to take the skin off. Offer fruits and vegetables in a separate dish.

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Safe Fresh Food List for Budgies

  • Apple (no cores)
  • Asparagus
  • Banana
  • Beetroot
  • Berries
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts (chopped)
  • Carrots and carrot greens
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery (stalks only)
  • Chard
  • Chicory
  • Chinese leaves
  • Cilantro
  • Cress
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant (no green parts)
  • Endive
  • Fennel
  • Grapes
  • Guava
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Kale
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Melon
  • Mustard greens
  • Parsley
  • Parsnip
  • Peas (podded)
  • Peppers of all kinds
  • Pineapple
  • Plum
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Rutabaga
  • Salsify
  • Savoy cabbage
  • Spinach
  • Spring greens
  • Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Sweetcorn
  • Tomato (ripe ones only, avoid green)
  • Yam
  • Zucchini

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Conclusion

Budgies are interesting little birds with some strict dietary and nutritional needs. Budgies can have peanut butter as an occasional treat in small amounts, just ensure it’s organic peanut butter with limited ingredients.

It’s always best to be established with an avian veterinarian for all of your budgie’s health needs. They are your best resource and will assist you in implementing the best diet plan for your bird. You can always consult them on the safety and quantity of different foods.


Featured image Credit: webandi, Pixabay

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Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.