Treats are a great way to reward a budgie for good behavior and improve your bond. Whether they’re used as a learning tool or tasty extra, you should have some snacks at home.
Budgies like treats with intriguing colors, textures, and flavors, including fruits, vegetables, and insects.
You can make treats with seed sticks, dried fruit, sprouts, and eggs. Also, millet, oats, and cuttlefish bones can keep a budgie engaged while providing health-boosting nutrients.
Feeding treats to a budgie 1-2 per week ensures that it doesn’t reject healthier, more nutritious foods.
Positive reinforcement with favorite foods is one of the most effective ways to train a budgie.
What Are Budgies’ Favorite Treats?
Budgies love food that piques their interest because they’re not always available.
The best snacks for budgies have the following characteristics:
- Rough or wavy textures
- Tangy flavors
- Bright colors
- Crunchy exteriors
Healthy Budgie Snacks
Even with snacks, it’s important to consider a budgie’s nutrition requirements.
Here are some budgie treat ideas that are tasty and healthy:
Store-bought seed sticks are made from healthy grains and seeds, such as:
- Seeds, especially sunflower seeds
Commercial seed sticks may contain dried fruit, nuts, honey, and eggs. They can be found at all pet stores and stored for months, subject to specified guidelines.
You can make seed sticks for budgies at home by following these steps:
- Use a mixture of sunflower seeds, peanuts, dried fruit (cherries and raisins), and grains.
- Cut the ingredients into small pieces or use a food processor.
- Add a binder, such as honey and egg whites.
- Shape the mixture by shaping them into balls or molding them into bars.
- Let the mixture harden by baking it at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes.
Making seed sticks at home gives you complete control over the ingredients.
Fruit is rich in vitamins and minerals, and the dried varieties have a long shelf-life. So, it’s easy to stock up on your budgie’s special food rewards ahead of time.
Avoid brands that add sugar, coloring, flavorings, and preservatives to make them more palatable for human consumption. Sugar, in particular, is bad because it can lead to weight gain.
Pet stores usually stock dried fruit, but referencing the ingredients list on dried fruits sold at supermarkets will quickly reveal whether everything’s all-natural and healthy.
For a more natural option, consider drying fruit at home for budgies. You can do this by cutting the fruit into small, thin pieces and putting them in an oven or dehydrator until they’re dried.
Dried fruit snacks for budgies include the following:
Finger millet (millet seed on the stalk) is often the go-to treat for budgies.
Millet is easy to store, has an enticing golden honey color, is fun to forage, crunchy, and flavorful. It’s a good source of vitamin B, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, protein, and iron.
Budgies like millet, but it can lead to millet addiction. Obviously, millet alone isn’t enough, and budgies can start rejecting other foods.
As an occasional snack, spray millet shouldn’t present any problems.
Oats are a healthy addition to any budgie’s diet, and they’re a flavorful treat. You can even buy them in bulk for a low price, making it easy to stock up.
Considered one of the healthiest grains, oats are nutrient-dense. This means they contain vitamins and minerals yet have few calories.
A good option for oat snacks comes in the form of oat groats. This is the entire kernel of the oat, except for the husk, making it easier for budgies to pick and chew.
Homemade Oatmeal Chews
If you have steel-cut oats, you can use them as a treat to your budgie in the form of oatmeal chews.
Add an egg to a cup of oats and bake for about 8 minutes.
Corn is another healthy, tasty, and fun grain for budgies to eat.
Many nutrients can be found in this food, including:
- B vitamins
Corn On The Cob
Corn is a great source of enrichment. Picking corn straight from the cob serves as entertainment and keeps your budgie engaged.
Corn on the cob can be cooked in various ways, adding novelty and flavor to your budgie’s dishes.
You can even give popcorn to your budgie if it doesn’t contain salt, butter, or flavorings. In its natural form, popcorn is a nutritious food that’s low in fat.
Pop your own kernels on the stove or with a popcorn machine. Oil can be used, but only safe types for budgies, such as natural coconut oil, when used in small amounts.
Sprouts are seeds that have been allowed to grow for a while.
This stringy, crunchy food is enjoyable to shred, peck at, and eat. Sprouts are easy to find in grocery stores, but you can also make your own by doing the following:
- Rinse the seeds
- Place the seeds in a bowl of fresh, clean water
- Soak the seeds for at least 8 hours, rinse, and drain
- Transfer the seeds to a jar covered with a cheesecloth
- Place the jar in an open area, like a windowsill or kitchen counter
- Repeat these steps twice a day
Good grains to sprout include the following:
- Brown Rice
Calcium is one of the most important minerals. There are many sources of calcium, but the ideal source is a cuttlebone. This will let your budgie play, wear down and sharpen its beak, and get a mineral boost.
Cooked eggs are highly nutritious for budgies, especially as they can eat egg yolks, whites, and shells. One small egg contains 38 grams of protein, and the shells are a good source of calcium.
Here are two ways to prepare eggs:
Boil an egg for 12+ minutes and offer your budgie a few sliced-up pieces 1-2 times per week.
Scrambled eggs provide a new texture and flavor to your budgie’s meals.
Just avoid using oil and salt. However, you can add herbs for flavor.
Whole Grain Bread
Bread is a great treat, but you should steer clear of white bread. While it can be offered small amounts to a budgie, it’s empty calories and lacks nutrients.
Instead, give your budgie whole grain or whole wheat bread. The texture will encourage your budgie to expand its diet, and this type contains healthy nutrients, such as:
- B vitamins
Pasta doesn’t contain many nutrients, but it does contain carbohydrates for energy. If you want to give your budgie more vitamins and minerals, add some colorful vegetables.
Pasta is a great way to add variety to your budgie’s meals. For example, bowtie pasta is particularly favored because of its rough edges and bright shades.
You can feed cooked and uncooked pasta to a budgie. Uncooked pasta is safe and provides a crunchy texture, while cooked pasta has a delectable flavor and allows you to share a meal with your budgie.
Budgies love eating rice due to its small and bite-sized shape. Consider mixing rice with other snacks, like nut butter, for additional variety and flavor.
Avoid white rice since it contains too much sugar and not enough nutrients. Instead, opt for brown rice, as it contains more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Black rice contains about 30 fewer calories than brown rice. It has about the same amount of vitamins and minerals but contains significantly more antioxidants.
Budgies love spicy food, whether it’s found in chilis or peppers. This is due to their bright colors, crunchy exterior, and interesting taste.
Birds can even eat some of the hottest varieties, like the ghost pepper. That’s because they don’t have the receptors needed to taste capsaicin, which is responsible for the heat in peppers.
Budgies will enjoy gnawing through the rubbery skin to access the juicy interior and seeds.
Budgies enjoy a wide variety of treats. These snack foods can be fed to budgies in moderation to round out your budgie’s health, spice up its meals, and keep them entertained.