Bread isn’t poisonous for budgies; it’s just not very good for them.
So, if your budgie just flew over and took a bite of your toast this morning, there’s no need to panic.
But it’s not a good idea to feed bread or toast to your budgie. Eating bread regularly can give budgies digestion problems and yeast overgrowth, while the salt can damage their organs. Bread doesn’t give them much nutrition, either, so it’s best to avoid it altogether.
Many people have been feeding their budgies bread for years, so you might be a bit shocked to hear that bread isn’t good for them. If you’re feeling confused, this article will give you all the clarification you might need.
4 Reasons Why Bread Is Bad for Budgies
Bread is bad for your budgies for four reasons:
- The salt content
- The yeast content
- The preservatives
- It’s hard to digest
The Salt Content
Too much salt can be dangerous for budgies.
It can cause problems like liver failure, dehydration, depression, and tremors. It can even kill the budgies if they eat too much of it.
That doesn’t mean they should eat no salt.
All living beings need some salt to survive, and budgies are no exception. They should get plenty of salt in their balanced pellet mix, though, so there is probably no need to supplement it further.
The Yeast Content
If your budgie eats too much yeast, their whole system will be thrown out of whack.
They could end up with gastric issues, which might present as vomiting. Yeast infections will also make your budgie more sluggish, and you’ll probably notice weight loss.
While yeast in the diet doesn’t automatically cause a yeast infection, it absolutely contributes to it. You see, the excess yeast from bread can sit in your budgie’s gut along with the naturally occurring yeast, which can make the likelihood of a yeast infection higher.
Candida (or thrush) is a pretty common yeast infection for birds. It can be hard to detect at first, but it becomes more severe with time. If you think your budgie has a yeast infection, it’s best to call your vet instead of taking your bird straight in.
This is because your vet might prefer to visit you at home, to prevent you from bringing the infection into the surgery.
Bread from the store usually has a lot of chemicals and preservatives.
These can be a bit harsh for your little bird’s system. So, if you are going to feed any bread crumbs as a treat, you’ll want them to be from a hearty wholegrain loaf and not an airy sliced loaf designed for toasting.
Bread will fill up your budgie. It can also be pretty rough on their digestive systems, which means they won’t be hungry for more nutritious food.
If you want to avoid giving your bird a sore tummy, you should avoid giving them bread.
Why Did No One Tell You This Before?!
You might be reading this article and thinking:
‘But I always give bread to my budgies. I’ve been doing it for years!’
I can totally understand why it might seem confusing to read something new. But things are changing!
For example, it used to be widely accepted that you could feed your horse chunks of dry bread from the kitchen, but most horse owners would shriek if you tried to do that now!
The dog food industry is completely transforming, too, with pet owners insisting that they want better quality meat for their animals compared to what is traditionally used in dog meat factories.
It’s the same for budgies.
We know more about their dietary needs, and culture is catching up. (It’s now acceptable to call your pet ‘your baby’ when a couple of generations ago, people would have thought you were crazy!)
What About a Few Crumbs?
Feeding your budgies a few crumbs of bread here and there isn’t a big deal.
They’ll be fine, and they’ll probably be very grateful.
The problem arises when a ‘few crumbs’ becomes ‘a small chunk,’ which can go on to be half a slice if you aren’t careful!
So, while bread isn’t poisonous, it isn’t good for your bird, either. You’ll have to resist their cute advances and keep your toast for yourself!
A Note on Mold
Be particularly careful that you don’t give any moldy bread to your budgie, as this can make them feel really unwell.
If you notice that you left your budgie a few crumbs and they didn’t go near them, I suggest taking them out of the cage at the end of the day to be on the safe side.
(The bread crumbs, not the budgie! Although by all means, take the bird out of the cage for an extra cuddle, too. They do need a lot of exercise!)
I would also do the same for fruit, which can attract flies and become a haven for bacteria if not eaten quickly enough.
Can I feed my budgie wholegrain bread?
If you feed your budgie a bit of bread, wholegrain would be the best option. Do this only in tiny amounts, as bread is not a good foodstuff for birds.
Can budgies eat grated cheese?
A small amount of grated cheese can be OK to feed to your budgie. However, your budgie should have enough protein from their balanced pellets and vegetables, so there isn’t any need. Also, dairy is difficult for birds to digest, and it frequently triggers diarrhea.
The more we learn about pet nutrition, the more things seem to appear on the ‘not-allowed’ list. Unfortunately, that does include bread.
Your budgie needs a healthy diet made up of balanced pellets, some fruit and vegetables, and a little seed or grain. They don’t need any bread, and in most cases it’s going to do more harm than good.
If your budgie does eat some bread by accident, it’s not a big deal. However, over the long run, you want to protect their liver function and digestive system with a healthy diet that lets them thrive.
I hope you found this article helpful. If your budgie gets mad at you the next time you refuse to share your breakfast, by all means, go ahead and blame me.
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.