Some owners avoid feeding peppers to budgies due to their hot, spicy flavor, which is assumed will burn and irritate a budgie’s mouth.
However, unlike humans, budgies can’t taste the capsaicin in peppers, leaving them free to enjoy the crunchy texture, juicy meat, and seeds.
Budgies eat peppers as a regular staple of their diet in the wild. This is true in their native homeland of Australia and Tasmania and for feral budgie populations in the United States.
While red peppers are the most vitamin-rich and nutritious, all varieties of peppers are healthy. Peppers are high in vitamin A, B6, C, folic acid, potassium, and fiber to aid the digestive system.
Hot peppers, red peppers, green peppers, and yellow peppers can be added to a budgie’s diet. Budgies can even eat the hottest and spiciest peppers, such as habanero and ghost peppers.
Can You Give Budgies Peppers?
Budgies help pepper species thrive by snacking on these mild or extremely spicy treats and spreading the seeds wherever they fly.
Researchers theorize that pepper species avoided developing repellents to birds for this very reason. They need these animals to help them propagate, especially across long distances.
Both spicy peppers and mild peppers are safe for budgies to eat. While intense capsicums may deter humans, budgies love eating them.
Capsicum refers to plants that are part of the family Solanaceae. The most common capsicums are bell peppers and chili peppers, and Budgies can eat all plants that belong to this genus.
They provide essential minerals, vitamins, and nutrients, including the following:
All peppers, but especially bell peppers, are rich in vitamin C, which is an important vitamin for budgies. This antioxidant will do the following:
- Boost the immune system
- Promote faster healing
- Develop cartilage
- Maintain bones and beaks
One medium-sized bell pepper contains 169% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C for humans. So, a budgie just needs 2-3 small slices or chunks to meet its vitamin C requirements.
Peppers are rich in vitamin B6, otherwise known as pyridoxine.
This vitamin plays a crucial role in developing red blood cells and neurotransmitters. It also helps your budgie digest proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
According to Molecules, vitamin B may prevent and treat chronic diseases.
Fiber aids digestive health by adding bulk to stools, leading to stools that are significantly easier to pass and reducing the likelihood of digestive issues.
The smaller and hotter the variety of pepper, the more fiber it’ll contain.
For example, red peppers contain 2.1 grams of fiber per 100 grams, and green peppers contain 1.7 grams. However, Scotch bonnet peppers contain 3.3 grams, and serrano peppers contain 3.7 grams.
Low in Calories
Peppers of all varieties are low in calories.
There are just 40 calories in 100 grams of peppers. Obviously, this changes if you give a budgie dried peppers, as they’ll lose their moisture content.
You can feed peppers to budgies in moderation without them gaining weight.
Can Budgies Have Hot Peppers?
Spicy peppers, more commonly known as chili peppers, come in many varieties. The most popular include cayenne and jalapeno peppers.
Budgies can eat ghost peppers and Carolina reapers, two of the hottest varieties in the world. They won’t even notice the difference between these varieties and green/red peppers.
Budgies can’t taste capsaicin, which is responsible for the spice in a pepper. The more capsaicin there is, the hotter it will be for most mammals, but not birds.
Alongside most other mammals, humans have a receptor that’s sensitive to capsaicin. This receptor is called TRPV1 but is more commonly referred to as the capsaicin receptor. Birds have this receptor, but according to Cell, it’s not sensitive to capsaicin.
Capsaicin triggers pain receptors in humans and other mammals. Also, it releases vapors that can be painful when breathed in. However, budgies remain unaffected, as their underdeveloped senses fail to register the heat or vapor.
Can Budgies Eat Bell Peppers?
Bell peppers are considered sweet peppers, as they’re more palatable to humans.
Budgies enjoy the chewy texture and the thick skin of bell peppers (Capsicum annuum). Even the seeds of bell peppers make a tasty treat for budgies.
Bell peppers have been cultivated to reduce the spice, improve the taste, and enhance the crunch. Since budgies can’t taste the spice, they can just enjoy their other features.
Can Budgies Have Red Peppers?
The strong red coloring makes red peppers one of the most nutritious varieties. They contain more beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant with disease-fighting properties.
The redder the pepper, the more (E)-2-hexenal, so it’ll be sweeter and fruitier.
Red peppers have spent more time on the vine, giving them greater nutritional value. For example, red peppers have 1000% more vitamin A and 200% more vitamin C than green peppers.
Unlike most bird species, parrots have sweetness receptors on their tongues and at the rear of their throats. Red peppers have a sweeter flavor than green peppers, making them appealing to budgies.
Can Budgies Eat Yellow Peppers?
Its age, not its species, determines a pepper’s color. For example, yellow peppers are riper than green peppers but less ripe than red peppers.
Because they’re in between these colors, they’re also somewhere between the two extremes in terms of nutrition. Yellow peppers are more nutritious than green peppers but less nutritious than red ones.
Can Budgies Eat Green Peppers?
Budgies can safely eat green peppers, but they’re the least nutritious type. They haven’t had as much time to develop on the vine, so they container fewer vitamins and minerals.
Even still, green peppers tend to be crunchier than other kinds and stay fresh for longer. If your budgie is a slow eater or likes to play with its food, green peppers are a good choice.
Can Budgies Eat Pepper Seeds?
Budgies can eat all parts of the pepper, including the seeds.
In fact, the seeds may be your budgie’s favorite part. It can open the pepper’s thick skin, bite through the inner flesh, and peck at the seeds.
While the seeds aren’t as healthy as the rest of the fruit, they contain some nutrients. According to Food Science and Technology, they’re packed with minerals and amino acids.
To add variety to your budgie’s meals, you can even remove the seeds and sprout them.
Sprouting can be achieved by doing the following:
- Gather 2 tablespoons of seeds
- Soak them in clean, fresh water for at least 8 hours
- Rinse and drain them
- Put them in a jar
- Rinse and drain the seeds twice a day for the next few days
In short order, you’ll have sprouted seeds that budgies will enjoy chewing.
Budgies can eat peppers of every variety. If you want to spice up your budgie’s meals, swap different colors and textures, as it’ll enjoy the variety and flavor.