Budgies need calcium in their diet, and egg shells are one of the best sources of this nutrient.
You may have noticed a mother budgie cracking her own eggs and eating them to stock up on minerals. To avoid this problem, you may want to supplement her diet with chicken eggshells.
You can safely feed budgies all types of eggshells once they’ve been boiled/sterilized for 10 minutes and dried in the oven for a few minutes.
Then, you can grind them down into a fine powder and sprinkle this onto your budgie’s food to boost its calcium intake.
There are no compounds or toxins in eggshells that are unhealthy. Eggshells are a dietary supplement that should be offered to budgies once a week, or every few weeks, to top up their mineral reserves.
You can provide your budgie with a cuttlebone as an alternative to powdered eggshells.
Do Budgies Eat Egg Shells?
Some budgies will peck at egg shells and eat them directly, while others prefer them powdered. Usually, it’s better to offer them in a powdered form as your budgie can digest the nutrients more easily. Also, it removes any sharp shell edges that can cause nicks and cuts.
Putting out egg shells for wild budgies is a good way to attract them. That’s especially true for a nesting mother budgie, who is probably deficient in calcium.
Nesting budgies particularly enjoy eating egg shells because they are often calcium-deficient during the nesting season. In the wild, calcium is hard to find, so a mother budgie will need to eat egg shells to maintain healthy calcium levels in the eggs she lays.
Therefore, a nesting female budgie in the wild will usually seek out the egg shells of other birds. This behavior has most probably adapted as a means to make her own eggs stronger.
Are Egg Shells Good for Budgies?
Budgies don’t have easy access to calcium-rich food substances in the wild.
So, they’ve adapted so they can consume crushed egg shells and avoid calcium deficiencies. Calcium deficiencies in budgies can negatively impact the healthy development of their chicks.
According to the University of Birmingham, small birds don’t have much calcium in their bloodstream. Therefore, when it comes time to produce and lay eggs, a hen will need a calcium boost to produce eggs with adequate calcium levels.
In birds, just as in other egg-laying animals, the calcium content of the egg is directly correlated to the healthy skeletal development of the baby budgie within.
Moreover, calcium is an important nutrient to ensure the healthy development and functioning of an adult budgie’s muscular and nervous systems. Additionally, budgies require calcium to clot their blood when they experience a small injury and avoid decalcification of the skeleton (osteoporosis).
Therefore, it’s not just the nesting hen that requires calcium in its diet. Every budgie requires some calcium for the following reasons:
- Strong bones
- Brain health
- Blood clotting
How To Give Egg Shells to Budgies
Calcium is important to adult and chick budgies alike. So, you need to include it as a supplement. The following steps should be followed to prepare and give egg shells to your budgies:
Choose The Right Eggs
Gather egg shells into a bowl.
Since chicken eggs are the most common, these will work fine. You can collect the leftover shells from your own meals and set them aside until there’s enough to feed your budgie.
Ideally, this should be done during the nesting phase to ensure the proper development of the next generation of budgies.
Prepare The Eggs
While some budgies may enjoy pecking away at the shells, they may cut themselves on the sharp edges. So, it’s sensible to soak and crush the egg shells into a fine powder.
Take the eggs shells and boil them in water for about 10 minutes. This will soften them up and make it easier for your budgies to digest them. Moreover, this will also sanitize the egg shells so that your budgie doesn’t ingest any bacteria.
Dry And Grind Them
After boiling, leave the egg shells in a warm place to dry them. Alternatively, you can place the boiled egg shells in the oven for a few minutes to achieve the same result.
Place the egg shells in a grinder and crush them into a fine powder.
Ration The Egg Shells
After this, the powdered egg shells can be stored in a container and used (small portions at a time) to feed your budgies for the next few weeks.
The powdered egg shells should be sprinkled into the seed mix or pellets fed to your budgies. This will help them ingest all the egg shells you give them in a single serving, thereby boosting their calcium intake.
Feeding Egg Shells to Budgies
As mentioned, egg shells are an important source of calcium to incorporate into your budgie’s diet. However, they shouldn’t make up the bulk of your budgie’s diet.
An ideal way to feed egg shells to your budgies is to do so a couple of months out of the year, and these months should be stretched out so that your budgies don’t experience calcium deficiencies.
It’s essential to feed your hens egg shells during the nesting phase as this will ensure that the eggs they lay have strong shells and that the baby chicks develop properly inside the egg.
How to Give Calcium to Budgies
Calcium is at the top of the list of minerals required by budgies, and most people boost their budgies’ calcium intake by feeding them powdered egg shells.
However, there are other calcium-rich foods, including:
- Dried figs
- Pumpkin seeds
- Flax seeds
- Sesame seeds
However, while nuts and seeds are high in calcium, they’re also high in fat. So, they shouldn’t make up the bulk of your budgie’s diet.
Alternatively, leafy greens are a great source of calcium, including:
These can be incorporated into your budgie’s diet to provide a well-rounded, healthy intake of nutrients.
Calcium is important for budgies, and egg shells are one of the best ways to provide it. By powdering the egg shells and sprinkling them, alongside other calcium-rich foods, over the budgie’s food, you can ensure it doesn’t get deficient.
This is especially important during nesting season when a mother budgie needs it most. Without it, the mother may have to choose to break her own eggs to get the nutrients she needs.