Can budgies eat walnuts? – Feeding Your Budgie Walnuts

Blue budgie inside his cage

Budgies love eating nuts and seeds, but some of them should be avoided. It’s especially important to avoid salted nuts because high salt levels can lead to irreversible liver damage. 

Budgies can eat raw, unsalted walnuts as an occasional treat. Just don’t overdo it because walnuts are rich in fat. You’ll have to break the walnuts out of their shells for your budgie, or else they won’t be able to get the nut! 

This article will tell you how many walnuts you can safely feed to your budgies. It will also give you more helpful pointers about which other nuts to include in their diet. 

Benefits of Feeding Walnuts to Your Budgie (Nutritional Value)

Walnuts are rich in fat and protein. This means they are a rich energy source and an excellent food supplement for an underweight bird that needs help filling out. (But that also means overweight birds should not eat many of them at all!)

Here are some of the other minerals and vitamins that you will find in walnuts:

  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin E
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Folate 
  • Phosphorus 

Walnuts also have organic compounds like melatonin, which help to regulate the body clock and improve sleep quality. 

Let’s Talk Fat!

By weight, walnuts are 65% fat! (Healthline)

However, don’t discount them for that reason. Contrary to popular belief, sugar is the real culprit that makes people and animals overweight. Healthy, unsaturated fats like you find in walnuts are much less of a health issue than processed sugar is. 

Be careful about how much fat (and, therefore, nuts) you give your budgies, but walnuts are healthy in small amounts. 

Portion Control

I would crumble a walnut into several pieces and feed it to my budgie over a week. 

This way, they can still have some variety and benefit from the rich fatty acids, but they aren’t going to overdo it and end up overweight. 

Remember, the vast majority of your budgie’s diet should be a balanced pellet mix, plus some fresh fruit and vegetables. You can supplement this with the occasional teaspoon of seeds or broken-up nuts, but they should be fed only as a treat. 

Risks of Feeding Walnuts to Your Budgie


Budgies are frequently overweight, which can lead to a range of health complications. 

For example, excess fat can lead to a liver disease called hepatic lipidosis. As the liver becomes less able to function, your budgie will experience a range of symptoms. 

For example:

  • Breathing problems
  • Seizures
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression 
  • Beak damage 

In the worst-case scenario, this can lead to the death of your bird. 

Walnuts can contribute to weight problems because they are a rich source of fat and protein. So, it’s vital to implement a healthy and balanced diet, in which nuts and seeds are used as an occasional treat rather than the main foodstuff.

Your budgies will also need frequent time outside their cage to fly around and burn off any excess calories. 


While we know that walnuts should be only a treat, your budgie will probably disagree!

If given a choice, most birds would much rather gorge themselves on walnuts than eat their healthier balanced pellets. But with no room left over for their pellets or veggies, they won’t be getting the full range of vitamins and minerals they need to thrive. 

So, you’ll have to resist their cute little faces and insist that delicious nuts and seeds are not the only things your budgie eats!


Pesticides could be a problem if you are buying whole nuts from a non-organic source. I recommend that you wash them first to be on the safe side. 

How to Prepare Walnuts for Your Budgie

To prepare walnuts for your budgie, you’ll need to break off the hard outer shell with a nutcracker. 

By all means, improvise if you don’t have a nutcracker. One of my farm chores growing up was to sit outside with a 20 kg bag of walnuts from the tree and crack them open with a rock. (Such an exciting and glamorous life, I know!)

After removing the shell, you can crumble your nut into several pieces, which you will feed to your budgie over the coming week. If you buy walnuts that have already been shelled, you can just break them into small pieces straight away. 

Note: I wouldn’t feed walnuts every week because they’ll need a break from all those fatty acids.

Roasted Versus Raw Walnuts

When possible, raw walnuts would be the better choice for your bird. 

It’s ok to feed roasted walnuts to your budgie, but they won’t be as nutritious as the soft raw nuts. 

To be honest, I recommend that you just feed whichever type you have in the house for yourself rather than going out and buying walnuts specifically for your bird. (Of course, you can do that if you want, but it’ll take ages for your budgie to make it through a bag of walnuts without any help!)

Remember: Never feed salted nuts or seeds to your birds, as they could get sick from all the salt. 

Alternatives to Walnuts for Your Budgie

Budgies can eat many types of nuts. 

These include:

  • Pistachios 
  • Almonds
  • Pecans
  • Hazelnuts
  • Brazil nuts 

Just like with walnuts, you should remove any hard shell that budgies can’t eat or break open. Feed only small amounts of nuts, and avoid salted varieties. 

Are Any Nuts Poisonous to Budgies?

I have yet to discover any nut that is poisonous to budgies, but I do recommend that you check each nut type before feeding it to your bird, as there are sure to be some varieties out there that I have never heard of. 

If you know of any exceptions to this rule, please don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments. 

Final Thoughts 

Walnuts are a great addition to your budgie’s diet; just keep a close eye on the portion size. Even a single walnut would be too much for your bird to eat in a day, so you should break a walnut into smaller pieces and spread them out over several days. 

Thanks for taking the time to research whether walnuts are safe for your budgie; it’s always a good idea to check when you aren’t sure!

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