Budgies enjoy a wide range of fruit and vegetables, but some fresh food can make them sick. So, it’s always a good idea to check before feeding them anything new (hence, the fact that you are here; good job!).
Budgies can eat carrots, but they tend to prefer the leafy green tops to the root. To encourage your budgies to eat the orange part of the carrot, you can hang chunks from the bars of the cage. Their curiosity will get the better of them! If your budgies are raising babies, you can slice a carrot into very fine pieces for the parent to feed to their young.
There are a few risks you should be aware of before feeding carrots to your budgie. Once you know about them, you can go ahead and include carrots in your budgie’s diet without worries.
Benefits of Feeding Carrots to Your Budgies (Nutritional Value)
Carrots have lots of vitamins and minerals, which will benefit your budgie. These include:
- Vitamin A (for good digestion and parasite resistance)
- Vitamin K (for blood coagulation and wound healing)
- Vitamin C (for immunity and stress reduction)
- B Vitamins (for good metabolism and energy)
- Various Antioxidants (for neutralizing harmful free radicals)
- Potassium (for healthy muscles and stable blood pressure)
Of course, nutrition is complicated. Living beings (both the feathered and the human varieties!) need a range of vitamins and minerals that all work together to support our health and give us a long and happy life.
The above list illustrates that carrots can play an important role in bird nutrition. But these vitamins don’t have to come from carrots; you can find them in a range of other vegetables, too.
Carrot tops are just as healthy as the root, and feeding them to your budgie can be a great way to use food that you would otherwise waste.
Risks of Feeding Carrots to Your Budgies
Nothing about carrots makes them more dangerous than other fruits and vegetables. In fact, they are safer than many fruits, which have poisonous seeds that you need to remove (think apples and pears).
Like all vegetables, you must limit the amount of carrot you feed to your budgie.
Only 20% of nutrition should come from fruit and veggies; the vast majority should come from a balanced pellet mix.
If you feed too many fruits and veggies to your budgie, they will soon have problems with digestion (think smelly diarrhea!) and might get overweight.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of vegetables grown on our planet are sprayed with toxic chemicals. While humans can get away with eating this food in the short term, pesticides can quickly kill small animals like budgies.
So, make sure to wash and peel any vegetables that aren’t organic, as most of the pesticides get concentrated beneath the skin. (So do most of the nutrients, but it’s better to peel than leave it to chance.)
If at all possible, give organic carrots to your bird. Not only do they eliminate the risk of poisoning, but there won’t be any insecticides to kill the microorganisms in your bird’s digestive tract. This will give them a longer and happier life!
How to Prepare Carrots for Your Budgies
Here are a few ideas for preparing carrots for your budgies. (First, make sure they are washed and peeled if they aren’t organic!)
- Cut into small chunks and put on a skewer with other veggies (they can happily perch on this and munch at the same time!).
- Cut into chunks and hang from the cage bars.
- Grate or cut into very fine pieces and leave in a dish for parents to feed to their young.
- Poke leafy carrot tops through the cage bars or place around the cage, so budgies feel like they are foraging in the jungle!
Take out green carrot tops after they start to wilt, and remove carrot chunks after a day. If you leave vegetables in the cage for too long, they can grow mold or bacteria and make your bird feel unwell.
Alternatives to Carrots for Your Budgies
You don’t have to go out and buy carrots especially for budgies; you can just share whatever you already have in the house.
Here are some examples of vegetables that budgies can eat:
- Swiss chard (or silverbeet)
- Dandelion leaves (just double-check that no one sprayed roundup in the garden, or they could get really sick!)
- Pak choi
- Podded peas
They shouldn’t eat:
- Green tomatoes (yes, I do know that tomatoes are technically a fruit…)
- Iceberg lettuce
Make sure your budgie always has access to fresh water. If you have any doubt, it’s always best to double-check each food type as you think of it.
Do I need to shred carrots for my budgie?
You can if you like, and it will make the carrot easier to eat. Shredding is an excellent idea for younger birds. However, you can cut carrots into chunks if you prefer. This will keep your budgies busy for longer as they do the work of shredding for themselves!
Do I have to feed carrots to my budgie?
No, you don’t have to feed any particular vegetable to your budgie. It’s best to provide many different kinds of fruits and veggies in small amounts, making up around 20% of your bird’s diet. Watch out for foods that are poisonous to budgies, like eggplant, green tomatoes, and avocados.
Budgies like a wide variety of fruit and veggies. Not only are they good from a nutritional point of view, but they can also provide enrichment when tied to cage bars or skewered on a makeshift perch.
So long as you are careful about pesticides, carrots are a great addition to your budgie’s diet, particularly the green leafy tops that might have got wasted otherwise!
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.