Budgies like the taste of bread, including breadsticks, breadcrumbs, and bread crust.
Unfortunately, added preservatives, salt, seasonings, and the removal of whole grains for flavor and texture make it an unhealthy bird food. However, bread isn’t dangerous unless fed to budgies in excess.
White bread, in particular, is high in calories and low in vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and fiber. Budgies like eating bread, but it’s empty calories, causing your budgie to overindulge and refuse healthier foods.
Always choose whole grain options with added nuts, seeds, and fruits if you’re feeding bread to a budgie as a snack. The bran and germ of the grain provide health benefits for birds.
Can Budgies Eat Bread?
Bread isn’t actively harmful to budgies, but it can be over-consumed.
Bread is high in carbohydrates, but low in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Experts widely regard bread as a filler food. Your budgie will be full, but this has negative implications.
This feeling of satiety may mean that a budgie becomes disinterested in healthier foods.
Some varieties of bread are more wholesome than others. Specifically, less processed bread is healthier as it contains natural whole grains. If seeds, nuts, fruit, and vegetables are added, this is better still.
Never leave bread in your budgie’s cage because it’ll go moldy in 3-4 days.
If birds inhale mold, it builds up in the respiratory system, potentially leading to aspergillosis. If your budgie has a weak immune system, it’s especially vulnerable to this respiratory condition.
Any bread that your budgie doesn’t eat should be removed. Never feed a budgie old or stale bread.
White bread is one of the most common types, largely because it’s the tastiest, but it’s also the least nutritious variety. That’s because white bread is made with refined flour.
Refined flour is created from wheat flour, so the bran and the germ layers of grain have been removed. This lengthens the shelf life of the flour but removes the most nutritious parts of the grain.
Additionally, white bread contains additives, including salt (sodium) and preservatives. Unfortunately, white bread isn’t healthier when handmade because it doesn’t change the basic ingredients.
Wheat bread may sound healthy, but don’t confuse it with whole wheat bread.
The word ‘whole’ is important, as it indicates the bread flour contains the healthy parts of its grain. When a loaf is branded as ‘wheat bread,’ it can be made of non-whole wheat flour.
Often, this means that the flour is just refined white flour.
Whole Wheat Bread
Whole wheat bread, alongside other types of bread made with whole grains, are the healthiest option because the entire grain is included in the bread.
Specifically, this includes the germ and bran, the parts of a grain where most nutrients are found.
This results in coarser bread with health benefits. In fact, according to the British Medical Journal, whole wheat bread has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
Other health benefits include:
- Healthy digestion and bowel movements
- Lower risk of strokes
- Enhanced weight management
Multigrain bread refers to any bread made of at least two different types of grain.
Wheat is the most common type, but multigrain bread can also be made from rye, oats, and millet. Some multigrain bread is made with seeds like sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
This may sound ideal for a budgie. After all, they eat these grains and seeds in their normal diet. However, not all varieties of multigrain bread are made from whole grains.
The term “multigrain” only means that the bread contains different grains. These don’t need to be “whole” to count. So, it’s slightly healthier than plain white bread, but there may not be a significant difference, depending on the grains used.
Brown bread often refers to types made with a lot of whole-grain flour. However, not all types of brown bread are the same, as some contain more whole grain flour than others.
For this reason, brown bread is often mixed with white flour. To maintain the color, they’re mixed with dyes or caramel, implying a higher content of wheat flour than it contains.
Brown bread is still healthier than white bread, but whole wheat bread is better.
Wholemeal bread is made from whole grains ground down to a fine texture.
This leaves out the lumpy, rough texture we associate with whole grain bread. So, wholemeal bread has all the health benefits of whole grains.
However, wholemeal bread has a higher glucose index than whole grain bread because it’s milled.
Garlic bread is unhealthy due to its two primary ingredients:
Garlic contains allicin, which is toxic to dogs and cats. Also, according to the American Journal of Veterinary Research, garlic causes a type of anemia.
If allicin is toxic to birds, budgies would be at greater risk. Due to their diminutive size, it takes less allicin to adversely affect budgies. Likewise, garlic doesn’t contain any nutrients that your budgie needs.
Worse still, garlic bread contains large amounts of butter, which is unhealthy for budgerigars. They won’t expend the energy necessary to burn off the calories, leading to obesity and heart disease.
Can Budgies Die from Eating Bread?
With that in mind, your budgie won’t die directly from eating bread. Instead, it might die from the complications brought on by an overall poor diet.
The budgie would likely manifest signs of illness due to malnutrition. These start with a dim, frail set of feathers, escalating into behavioral problems, illness, disease, and weight loss.
Bread is an important staple food for humans, but it’s just empty calories to birds. Your budgie will happily eat bread, likely at the cost of avoiding other foods, so other snacks are preferred. However, if you feed bread to a budgie, offer 100% whole grains kinds.