Budgies love to eat fruit and vegetables, but you should give them these foods only in moderation!
So, can budgies eat bananas?
Bananas are a safe and delicious addition to your pet budgie’s diet. However, feeding too much banana to your budgie can lead to obesity—a frequent problem among pet birds. You also need to be aware of some risks of feeding bananas, such as toxic pesticides on skins and young budgies getting soft fruit stuck in their beaks.
This article will tell you everything you need to know about safely feeding bananas to your budgies. I’ll also give you some helpful pointers on overall nutrition, so your birds can live the long and healthy life that they deserve!
How to Feed Bananas to Your Budgies
The best way to feed bananas to your budgies is to cut the fresh fruit into thin slices and leave them out for your birds.
Some birds also enjoy the banana peel, so you don’t have to take it off. But be careful! If the bananas are not organic, the pesticides in the skin could make your budgie sick. As birds are so much smaller than humans, the effects of toxic chemicals will be a lot stronger on their sensitive systems.
It is OK to feed the skin if the bananas are organic.
Try to give your budgie only a couple of slices at a time. If your budgies leave the fruit for too long, it will soon go bad and end up getting wasted.
Note: Fresh banana is much better for your budgie than dried banana from the store. Fresh fruit tends to be less sugary, and it won’t contain any preservatives that can make your budgie feel unwell.
Are Bananas Good for Budgies?
Bananas are full of nutrients that your budgies need to thrive.
Though rich in some wonderful vitamins and minerals, bananas are not nutritionally complete and will not provide any of the protein that your budgie needs. They are also relatively high in sugar and can contribute to obesity if you feed them too much.
So, a little bit of banana as part of your bird’s daily fruit and vegetables is a good thing. But fruit and veg should make up only a maximum of 25% of your budgie’s diet. The rest should come from pellets and seeds.
Dangers of Feeding Bananas to Budgies
As with any soft fruit, a banana can soon build up under the beak of a young budgie. If you don’t clean their beaks after each meal, this can lead to deformation.
You can clean the beak by using a toothpick to dislodge any built-up food. Make sure you do this gently, though, or you could cause further damage to the beak yourself.
A Healthy Diet for Your Budgie
As part of a healthy lifestyle, your budgie needs:
- A diet based on balanced pellets
- A small number of seeds
- A small amount of daily fruit and vegetables
- A source of calcium
- Fresh water every day
- Exercise every day – time to fly outside the cage
- A social life – ideally with another bird, but occasionally a strong human bond will suffice
Like humans, budgies prefer to eat their favorite sugary foods rather than the healthier foods they consider boring.
This is why you need to limit how much fruit you give them. But many budgie owners don’t realize that the same goes for seeds!
Your budgie’s diet should primarily be a balanced pellet mixture that gives them all the minerals and nutrients they need to thrive. You can also give them handfuls of mixed seeds along with their small daily portion of fruit and vegetables.
A healthy budgie also needs a constant source of calcium. One way to do this is to give them a cuttle fishbone, which they will enjoy slowly grinding down. Exercise is also an essential part of a budgie’s life, with many physical and emotional benefits.
Note: Many budgies are obese because their owners think that the diet should be made up of seeds and fruit. They completely overlook the pellets that should make up around 80% of the budgie’s diet.
How to Know If Your Budgie Is Overweight
Pet birds are frequently overweight. This is generally because they don’t get enough exercise and have a diet that is too heavy in seed.
Here are a few ways to check if your budgie is getting a bit chunky:
- Do they get breathless after a short flight? If so, you should take them to the vet, as this can also be a sign of respiratory issues.
- Do they have ‘cleavage’? Looking front on, you should be able to see your budgie’s keel (center bone) with a muscle on each side. If your bird is overweight, the keel can be difficult to see, which gives the impression of cleavage.
- Pop them on the scale. You can weigh your budgie on a standard kitchen scale and keep track of their weight. If in doubt, you can always ask your veterinarian for the ideal weight for your bird.
If you think your budgie needs to lose weight, click here to read our guide on how to get your overweight budgie healthy again.
Foods That Budgies Shouldn’t Eat
Many foods are not safe for budgies, so make sure to check each new food before giving it to your birds.
Here are some things to avoid feeding your budgies:
Fruits and vegetables that budgies shouldn’t eat
- Pits and seeds of most fruit (apple seeds are incredibly poisonous to budgies)
- Green tomatoes (and the green parts of tomatoes, like leaves and stems)
- Uncooked beans
- Lemons and limes
Other foods that budgies shouldn’t eat
- Chocolate (come on, that should be obvious!)
- Fish and seafood
- Meat and poultry (note below)
- Dairy products
- Bread (some people feed it occasionally, but it can cause health problems)
When it comes to meat and poultry, you should never give them to your bird raw. Some people do give a little bit of cooked chicken very occasionally to their birds, but this shouldn’t be necessary.
In the wild, budgies would not eat meat or poultry (but they would eat insects that they can’t get in most domestic environments).
What fruit can I feed my budgie?
Can budgies eat eggs?
Hard-boiled eggs are a good source of protein for budgies. They should be boiled for 30 minutes and then left to cool. Keep boiled eggs as an occasional treat, or you may end up with an overweight bird!
Bananas can be a delicious and nutritious part of a balanced diet for your budgie. Just remember that the majority of your budgie’s food should be balanced pellets, with up to a quarter of their nutrition coming from fruit and vegetables.
Don’t forget to peel the banana if it isn’t organic. Also, you’ll have to clean a young budgie’s beak to avoid soft fruit building up where it can cause problems.
My name is Niels Joensen, and I’m the creator of Wings and Beaks. I got my first two budgies at the age of 13, and right away, I fell in love with these beautiful tiny birds. Wings and Beaks is where I share my knowledge and passion for budgies with other bird owners.