Celery is one of those foods you need to be careful with.
Although budgies can indeed eat the stalks of celery, too much will quickly give them diarrhea. This is because celery is mostly water. While it’s great for hydration, it’s not exceptionally nutritious. There’s no problem with feeding celery in moderation; just don’t go overboard.
If you want to include celery as part of your budgie’s healthy and balanced diet, this article will tell you everything you need to know!
It will also give you some great alternatives packed with even more vitamins and minerals, so your birds can live the long and happy lives they deserve.
Benefits of Feeding Celery to Your Budgie (Nutritional Value)
Celery is mostly water, which means too much will give your budgie runny poops. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you!)
It does have some nutritional benefits, though. For example:
- Vitamin K (helps blood coagulate so wounds can scab and heal)
- Vitamin A (promotes healthy digestion and helps birds resist infections and parasites)
- Vitamin C (great for immunity and relieving stressed cells)
- Potassium (takes care of blood pressure and muscles)
- Folate (prevents anemia)
Celery isn’t a massively rich source of any of these nutrients, but it certainly contributes to a healthy diet—and a healthy diet means a healthy bird!
I would particularly recommend a bit of celery in hot, dry months when your birds need to stay hydrated.
For budgies that don’t drink much, you can sneak lots of water into them with vegetables like celery and romaine lettuce. Just take it easy or that water will come streaming out the other end. (Sorry if that’s TMI, but it’s true!)
Risks of Feeding Celery to Your Budgie
Because celery has so much water, it can cause digestive problems like diarrhea. It can also fill up budgies pretty quickly, so they don’t eat foods that are denser in calories, vitamins, and minerals. So, keep portions of celery nice and small.
Note: Budgies don’t want to have a diet that’s too heavy in fruits and veggies; around 20% should be more than enough.
Celery leaves are fine to give to your birds if the celery is organic. If not, the leaves will be the part of the vegetable with the most pesticides, so you’d be better off giving the stalks by themselves.
In fact, organic fruits and vegetables are always better for budgies.
Their small digestive systems just cannot handle the toxic chemicals that get sprayed on most vegetables. Sadly, I’ve known cases in which birds have died from eating salad leaves that their owner didn’t wash.
If you can’t buy organic food, you’ll want to wash and peel vegetables to remove as many chemicals as possible.
How to Prepare Celery for Your Budgie
After washing your celery and removing any leaves (if it’s not organic), you can cut it into small chunks and hang it from the bars of the cage.
This will give your budgie some great entertainment while they fly up to take a bite.
You can also pop celery on a mixed veggie skewer along with some carrot and cucumber, and set it up as a little edible perch. Your birds will have great fun devouring it!
If your budgie hasn’t eaten all their fruits and vegetables by the end of the day, it’s best to remove and dispose of them. (I mean the vegetables, obviously!)
You see, bacteria and mold will soon start growing on spoiled fruit and veggies. This will make your budgie sick and also attract flies to their cage. (I doubt you were hoping to house any pet maggots along with your birds!)
Alternatives to Celery for Your Budgie
If you’re looking for something more nutritious, a dark leafy vegetable would probably be better for your bird.
- Silverbeet (swiss chard)
- Pak choi
Be careful, though, as not all vegetables are suitable.
You don’t want to feed your budgie:
- Iceberg lettuce (but occasional romaine lettuce would be ok)
Keep It Balanced
Of course, no one’s going to stay healthy on fruits and vegetables alone.
Budgies need a diet made up of around 80% balanced pellet mix and 20% fruits and veggies. You can include some occasional seeds, but too many will make your budgie overweight pretty quickly.
Your pet bird will need fresh water all the time, so don’t be tempted to reduce water because they have diarrhea.
If your budgie does overdo the fruit and veggies and gets a bad tummy, you should lay off the fresh food and keep them on their balanced pellets for a couple of days. If diarrhea persists, call your vet and ask for advice.
How do I know if my celery is organic?
If fruits or veggies are organic, the store will label them as such. Unfortunately, you have to assume that produce has been grown with chemical inputs unless stated otherwise, as the vast majority of store-bought food is sprayed with pesticides.
Can budgies eat parsley?
Parsley is fine for budgies to eat once in a while. It has relatively high quantities of oxalic acid, though, so it should be kept as an occasional treat and not a regular addition to their diet.
Celery isn’t the most nutritious of veggies, but it has lots of water in it, so it can be great in the hot summer months. It’s also a good option for birds that tend to put on weight and need to lay off the sugary fruits.
Too much celery will be bad for your bird’s tummy, and you’ll have a rather unpleasant cleaning job ahead of you.
If there’s any chance the celery has been grown with pesticides, you’ll want to remove the leaves and give the stalks an extra-good wash.
I hope you found this article helpful, and please don’t hesitate to comment with any questions!
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.