Fruits and vegetables are part of the standard diet for pet parakeets. They enjoy the different textures and tastes, and fresh foods are part of the bird's sensory world. Unlike human children, it’s perfectly okay for parakeets to play with their food!
Parakeet Fruit and Vegetables
Always offer fruit and veg raw. If, at first sight, the fresh food makes the birds wary, persevere. Once they’ve calmed down and tried it, they’ll probably love it.
Fresh foods should be served in a familiar bowl to tempt your parakeet to try something new
Remove uneaten food from the cage at the end of the day. Many fresh foods, especially fruits, are full of sugar, and will soon turn into a bacterial bloom that can kill a parakeet.
Vegetables should form part of your parakeet's daily menu. If the bird’s droppings turn watery, it’s probably a sign of overindulgence in fresh foods. Simply cut back for a day or two until the droppings are back to normal.
These are veggies that your parakeet will enjoy:
- Brussels sprouts (chopped up)
- Carrots (and carrot greens)
Cucumbers are enjoyed by many parakeets
- Celery (stalks only)
- Chinese leaves
- Courgette (Zucchini)
- Eggplant WITHOUT the green parts
- Jerusalem artichoke
- Mustard greens
- Pak choi
- Peas (podded)
- Peppers of all kinds (even spicy ones)
- Savoy cabbage
- Spring greens
- Sweet Potatoes
- Tomato (ripe ones only)
- Turnip tops (the green sprouts)
This list includes some common herbs that you can feed to your pet parakeet. They are all ones you can grow yourself or easily get hold of in a supermarket.
- Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
- Borage (Borago officinalis)
- Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium)
- Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
- Coriander (cilantro) (Coriandrum sativum)
- Cress (Lepidium sativum)
- Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
- Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
- Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)
- Lovage (Levisticum officinale)
- Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
- Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)
- Rocket (Eruca sativa)
- Salad burnet (Sanguisorba minor)
- Savory (Satureja hortensis)
- Sorrel (Rumex acetosa)
- Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus)
Parakeets will nibble any new herb offered
The following should only be given in small quantities, as they can cause irritation in the birds’ digestive systems if over-fed:
- Dill (Anethum graveolens)
- Mint (Mentha – there are lots of different varieties)
- Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
- Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) needs some circumspection too. Many parakeets grow to love it, but if eaten in large quantities it can prevent them from absorbing calcium. Parsley is also mildly toxic; but your bird would need to feast on the stuff for several days before feeling the worse for wear.
The rule here is to go easy on the sweet stuff! Offer two or three of the following in small amounts about twice a week.
- Apple (segments, without pips)
- Blackberry (bramble)
- Cherries (de-stoned)
- Common whitebeam berries
- Currants (black, red and white – note, this refers to the fruiting shrub, not the small dried grape)
- Dogwood (bitter, but palatable to some parakeets)
- Elderberry (ripe, and not the leaves or stems, which are toxic)
- Melon, all types
- Mulberry (fruit and leaves alike)
- Nectarine (de-stoned)
- Oranges and similar (clementines, mandarins, satsumas, tangerines)
- Passion fruit
- Peach (de-stoned)
- Pears (segments, without pips)
- Persimmon (ripe ones only)
- Rosehips (sliced in half)
- Sharon fruit
- Sloe (Blackthorn) (freeze the fruits first to remove some off the bitterness)
Parakeets love fresh apples
Parakeet Dried Fruit
Any dried fruit offered should be organic, unsulfured, and with no added sweeteners. Apricots, prunes, figs, mango and papaya, for example. Make these occasional treats rather than everyday goodies; and avoid dates, sultanas, raisins, and currants, as these are packed with fructose and can make your birds gain too much weight.
Organic Parakeet Food
Only feed your birds organic fresh food. This ensures that there are no toxic herbicides, fungicides or preservatives on the produce. As a second best, ensure that fruit and veg are washed thoroughly. You should always try to source organic seeds and grains, too.
Parakeet Food Treats
As parakeets are inquisitive birds who love getting their beaks and tongues into new things, it’s fun to let them nibble on novelties every now and then. A shop-bought treat or millet spray will do the trick; or you could introduce small amounts of cooked wholemeal pasta or cooked brown rice (with no salt added to the cooking water), nuts (almond, brazil, cashew, filbert, macadamia, pecan, pistachio, walnut), a little dried fruit (see Parakeet dried fruit note above), and even some dried mealworms of the kind you feed to insectivorous garden birds such as Robins and Blackbirds.
Small pieces of chopped cooked meat or fish are acceptable too, as are chopped hardboiled eggs. Never offer any of these raw, and always remove any uneaten food after a few hours.
Parakeets, as a rule, don’t eat insects in the wild. Aviary birds may acquire a taste for them, however, and this isn’t a problem, unless you feel they’re gorging on this high-protein unorthodox diet. If your birds are indoors, you don’t have to supply them with any of this al fresco food.