It can seem like a really hard job to make your birds eat fruits and vegetables especially once they get habituated with a diet that does not contain those food items.
But with the right approach and some persistence, it can be easily done…
Let’s quickly take a deep dive into this topic.
Why are my Birds not eating fruits and vegetables?
Birds like parakeets, parrots, and cockatiels may not want to eat any kind of fruits or veggies once they are habituated to a diet devoid of those food items. You should feed your birds a balanced diet from the initial days of their development so that they don’t get a chance of becoming picky with their food.
If you don’t introduce fruits and veggies in the budgie”s diet when they are young, then it will get harder feeding your budgies those food items as those will taste foreign to them. He or she may not even realize that it’s a food item they need to eat, they may simply ignore it.
Can Budgies or other birds survive on just seeds?
Budgies love nibbling on the rich taste of the seeds.
But, budgies must never be on a seed-based diet only as seeds lacks the nutritional sources of vitamin, minerals, and protein which can only be obtained from vegetables and fruits. Being only on a seed-based diet can cause malnourishment issues in the future.
- Seeds are a very popular food item preference for budgies and they may even live only by consuming the seeds but it can cause serious health and behavioral problems down the line and can even shorten the lifespan of the bird.
- If you have your budgie just on a seed-exclusive diet, then even if the bird looks completely fine initially, after a few years, it will start developing nourishment-related issues.
So you should try to add fruits and veggies to the diet of your parakeet daily. Colorful fruits and vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, mango, papaya, etc can act as a great source of vitamin A.
Why you should feed Fresh Fruits and Vegetables to your Bird and not Canned ones?
Canned food items consist of a lot of salt in them which can be extremely detrimental to the health of the birds.
You should always try feeding fresh vegetables to your birds as canned ones can also contain certain preservatives which are not well suitable for them.
Birds, in general, are extremely susceptible to the presence of salt in their food items as they need only a small amount of salt for optimal functioning.
Even low-sodium-canned vegetables contain enormous amounts of salt in them. The presence of an excess amount of salt can lead to severe dehydration that can ultimately lead to kidney heart disorders.
Birds are known to be extremely susceptible to food items rich in pesticides and other chemicals hence you should always try to provide them with organic fruits and vegetables if possible.
Should you feed cooked veggies or raw vegetables to your pet birds?
Cooking vegetables can end up damaging the nutritional aspect of vegetables to a large extent hence it is much more logical to buy fresh fruits and vegetables from the market and to add them to the bird’s diet by slicing them up nicely, in their raw form.
Make sure you wash them thoroughly after bringing them from the market.
How do I get my Birds(parakeets, Parrots, Conures)to eat fruit and vegetables?
The feat of making your birds eat fruits and veggies gets much easier if the birds are young.
This is because the bird is still in its developing years and they are still not used to a particular kind of diet. Once the bird gets habituated to a particular diet, it then can get hard to introduce new food items in its diet. But it is not impossible to do so.
With suitable persistence you can be successful in feeding your budgie newer food items, you just need to stick with the process. The main thing is to be patient and persistent.
With that in mind, here are 7 of the tips you can use to make your bird eat fruits and vegetables with relative ease:
1. Start by making the bird get familiar with the new food
Birds often are found to be much more reluctant in trying out new food items as they are not completely sure about their safety.
The best way by which you can deal with this issue of doubt and hesitancy is by eating the same fruits and vegetables in front of the bird preferably in their raw forms.
The fact that you are offering them to eat the same food items you are eating will help in developing the trust they need to start consuming the new food items.
2. Try hand-feeding the birds
Often it is we found that the birds are much less hesitant to try new food items when the bird ownerhand-feeded them.
So you can try to have smaller-sized portions of the fruits and vegetables in your fingers and try to hold that in front of your mouth multiple times a day.
You can also offer the parakeet fruits and vegetables as treats when they successfully do a particular activity.
3. Attach leafy vegetables with the cage bars
This is a very popular trick for getting your parakeets well acquainted with vegetables in the initial stages. You should drip the leaves of vegetables like cabbage or lettuce, in water and stick them onto the bars.
Birds in general are curious creatures and they will be curious about the food item around the cage bars.
They can also try to drink the water from the leafy vegetables and while drinking the water they can end up tasting the vegetables and in due course of a few days, they may get acquainted with the flavor of the new food and then start eating them normally with their other food items.
4. No matter what happens just be persistent
The main secret of succeeding in feeding your parakeet new foods is to not give up easily. Birds are creatures of habit and they normally won’t like to stray away from routine and in trying out the new stuff but if you keep on being persistent you will succeed.
It may take a while to see any progress but the trick is to keep on offering them fruits and vegetables even if they completely avoid word eating them initially.
P.S. Initially you will end up wasting the fruit and vegetable slices as they will be reluctant in consuming them. Don’t leave those food items in the cage forever as those items won’t be suitable for consumption after a set period.
5. Experiment with various versions of the fruits and vegetables
In case the bird is being extremely stubborn and completely avoiding all of the fruits and vegetables you offer, then try to introduce them in different forms and shapes.
Experiment with finely chopped, best mashed, shredded, cube-shaped versions of the fruits and vegetables, you can even mix various versions at the same time, don’t be hesitant in experimenting with this stuff.
6. Offer Birds fruits and vegetables in the first meal of the day
Generally, birds, just like humans tend to be hungrier in the morning than at any other time of the day.
This is because of the large break in between the dinner and the breakfast. There is a high chance of success if you include a few fruits and vegetables with other food items of his choice in the morning.
7. Make sure the fruits and vegetables are not cold
Birds hate cold food items as they are much more habituated to eating fruits and vegetables in nature that are mostly warm.
Hence you should never offer them fruits and vegetables, right after bringing them out of the refrigerator. They like food that is slightly warm, but not too warm, the food should feel completely okay on the touch.
8. Let the bird watch other birds eat the fruits and veggies
This will work if:
- You have more than one bird in the house.
- The other bird already eats veggies and fruits.
Birds love imitating what other birds do. He or she may end up eating the newly introduced items if they watch other birds eat the same veggies and fruits they are being offered.
So you need to keep the other bird close by to its one and offer them the same types of food at the same time.
In case you don’t have other birds, you should eat the same veggies and fruits in front of them.
That is all! These tips apply to all kinds of birds you may have including budgies, conures, pigeons, cockatiels, etc. If you have any stuff to say let me know in the comments…