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What Do Parakeets Eat [Food Habits of Parakeet]

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Parakeets, those vibrant and sociable birds that form small flocks, are recognized by their distinct hooked beaks and can grow between 15-20 inches in length from head to tail. 

Also known as budgerigars, they belong to a family of long-tailed birds. 

Interestingly, the name “parakeet” is derived from the French word “paroquet,” which means both ‘kind’ and a ‘pet name for someone who speaks nicely.’ 

Popular as pets, parakeets are beloved for their colorful plumage. But what do parakeets like to eat? 

Their diet consists mainly of seeds or nuts, but they also enjoy fruits which make up about 50% percent of what you should offer them each day (depending on your bird’s size).

To ensure the well-being of your pet parakeet, it’s crucial to understand their dietary requirements. 

This guide will delve into the diverse diet of parakeets, exploring aspects such as their natural habitat, seasonal preferences, and the nutritional needs of both adult and baby parakeets.

Habitat of Parakeets

Before delving into the specifics of a parakeet’s diet, it’s essential to understand their natural habitat. 

Knowing where parakeets come from helps us understand how they act, what they like to eat, and how to keep them healthy. 

These colorful and friendly birds originally come from Australia, where they’ve adapted to live in different places, from the coast to the inside of the country. 

In their home in Australia, you’ll find them in open woodlands, grassy areas, and scrublands, enjoying perches, nesting spots, and various plants. 

Parakeets are tough and can handle Australia’s hot and dry or cooler weather, making them sturdy pets. 

In the wild, they’re super social, hanging out in big groups, talking to each other with their chirps, and feeling like part of a community. 

What they eat, like different seeds, plants, and sometimes insects, depends on what’s available in their natural surroundings. 

And when it comes to making nests, they usually like tree hollows or natural holes. 

Knowing all this helps us take care of them better, like giving them the right places to perch and nest.

What do Parakeets Eat and Drink Throughout The Year?

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1. Spring 

In the spring, parakeets can enjoy a variety of fresh and nutritious foods. 

You can introduce leafy greens like spinach and kale, which provide important vitamins for their health. 

For a well-rounded spring diet, include seeds such as sunflower, millet, canary, oats, chia, and flaxseeds, as they offer essential fats and vitamins. 

Fruits like apples, grapes, berries, oranges, and pears are great sources of vital vitamins and natural sugars. 

Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, peas, sweet corn, and bell peppers add extra vitamins and dietary fiber. 

Occasionally, you can give them protein-rich treats like spiders, crickets, and mealworms.

This diverse and nutritious menu ensures that parakeets thrive during the spring, getting a good balance of vitamins, minerals, and flavors in their daily diet.

2. Summer

In the sunnier seasons, parakeets happily indulge in a variety of fruits and tasty treats. 

Similar to spring, they savor a mix of fresh fruits, with a focus on green seeds like millet sprays and panicum. 

They continue to relish leafy greens, now enhanced with the addition of fresh herbs such as basil and parsley. 

The inclusion of juicy stone fruits like peaches, plums, and cherries adds a refreshing and flavorful element to their diet. 

While their vegetable choices remain similar to spring, summer favorites like corn and tomatoes are introduced. 

To naturally boost their protein intake, parakeets enjoy a wider variety of insects in the summer, including grasshoppers, beetles, and caterpillars

This diverse summer menu ensures that parakeets not only stay refreshed but also receive a well-rounded and enjoyable diet during the warmer months.

3. Autumn

As fall arrives, make sure your parakeets are ready for winter by giving them the right foods. 

Keep providing a mix of seeds and nuts to help them store extra energy for the colder months. 

Switch to heartier seeds like pumpkin and sunflower, and give them energy-packed nuts like almonds and walnuts. 

Like in spring and summer, add heartier greens such as collard greens and Swiss chard for variety. Include root veggies like carrots and beets in their meals. 

Make fall fruits like pears, apples, and grapes a regular part of their diet – they’re full of vitamins and natural sugars for lasting energy. 

While insects may be fewer, parakeets can still enjoy treats like spiders and beetles. 

This fall menu ensures your parakeets stay well-fed and energized as they get ready for cooler days.

4. Winter 

In the chilly winter season, parakeets thrive on heartier foods to keep them warm. 

Boost their seed intake, including varieties like millet and safflower seeds, which provide essential warmth. 

For added protein, introduce nuts such as walnuts into their diet.

Keep offering winter vegetables like squash, Brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes, as these contribute essential vitamins and fiber to their meals. 

With insects being scarce, parakeets may depend on occasional treats like mealworms or other protein sources provided by their caregivers. 

This winter-friendly menu ensures that parakeets stay well-nourished and cozy during the colder months.

5. Water

Hydration is vital for parakeets, and they require access to fresh, clean water throughout the year. 

It’s essential to maintain their water bowls, ensuring they are kept clean and filled daily, especially in warmer weather. 

Keep in mind that this is a general guideline, and the specific dietary needs of a parakeet can differ based on its species, age, and personal preferences. 

For personalized dietary advice tailored to your feathered friend, it’s recommended to consult with a veterinarian or avian expert who can provide guidance based on your parakeet’s unique requirements.

As we talk about what parakeets like to eat, it’s important to focus on what baby parakeets need in their diet. 

Knowing what’s right for these young birds is crucial for their proper growth and development.

What do Baby Parakeets Eat?

What do baby parakeets eat depends on their age and how they’re being fed. 

In the first few weeks, if they’re being hand-fed, they rely on a special formula that mimics the nutrients in the crop milk regurgitated by their parents. 

It’s important to consult a vet or bird expert for the right formula and feeding schedule. 

On the other hand, chicks that are fed by their parents get crop milk, which is rich in protein, fat, and antibodies. 

At 2-4 weeks, hand-fed chicks start trying soft foods like mashed fruits and veggies, like bananas, melon, carrots, and sweet potatoes. 

using a spoon or syringe to encourage them to explore and feed themselves. Meanwhile, parent-fed chicks gradually get introduced to regurgitated seeds and solid foods. 

From 4-6 weeks, hand-fed chicks continue with a mix of formula and soft foods, including small seeds and pellets. 

Parent-fed chicks become more independent, learning to eat regurgitated food and exploring solid options. 

By 6 weeks and beyond, hand-fed chicks can eat most solid foods on their own, reducing their reliance on formula. 

Similarly, parent-fed chicks are fully weaned and eat the same diet as adult parakeets.

What is the Necessary Amount of Food for Parakeets and Baby Parakeets?

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1. Adults

For adult parakeets, a general guideline suggests providing 1.5-2 level teaspoons of seeds per day per bird, but several factors influence the actual amount needed. 

Larger parakeets, such as Indian Ringnecks, may require more than smaller budgies. 

The activity level of the bird also plays a role, with more active birds needing increased food intake. 

Age is another factor, as older birds might require less food due to a slower metabolism. 

Breeding status is significant; breeding birds have higher energy demands and may need more food. 

The feeding method, whether free-feeding or offering measured portions twice a day, also affects dietary requirements. 

While free-feeding allows for individual adjustments, it’s crucial to monitor consumption to prevent overfeeding and maintain a healthy balance.

2. Baby Parakeets

As mentioned earlier, baby parakeets’ nutritional requirements change as they develop. 

In the initial hand-feeding phase, they receive a special commercial formula, and the amount depends on their age and weight. 

Ultimately, the precise quantity varies according to their growth stage, emphasizing the importance of observing their weight and behavior. 

This monitoring is essential for making necessary adjustments to their food portions as they continue to grow.

It’s crucial to know what foods and how much to feed your parakeets, but it’s just as important to be mindful of what foods could harm them. 

Let’s take a closer look at the things you should steer clear of to keep your feathered friends healthy and happy.

Food to Avoid

When you’re feeding your parakeets, it’s crucial to know which foods can be harmful to them. 

Steer clear of chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol, as these can be toxic to birds

Avoid offering avocado, which contains a substance called persin that can harm parakeets. 

Stay away from highly salty and sugary foods, as they can lead to health problems. 

Both raw and cooked onions and garlic can be troublesome for parakeets, causing digestive issues. 

Exercise caution with seeds or pits from fruits like apples and cherries, as they can pose a choking hazard. 

By excluding these foods from your parakeet’s diet, you contribute to their overall well-being and happiness. 

If you’re unsure about the suitability of a specific food, it’s wise to seek guidance from a veterinarian or avian expert.


Taking care of a parakeet goes beyond simply giving them a cage and toys. 

It’s crucial to grasp their dietary requirements for their overall well-being. 

Providing a diverse and balanced diet, coupled with thoughtful feeding habits, plays a significant role in enhancing the longevity and happiness of your feathered companion. 

I hope this guide is useful to you; if you have any questions, please feel free to comment below. 

Thank you for reading.


What is a parakeet’s favorite fruit?

Parakeets enjoy a variety of fruits, but some favorites are usually apples, berries, and melons.
You can try offering small, bite-sized pieces to see which ones your parakeet prefers.

Can parakeets drink milk?

No, it’s not recommended to give parakeets milk.
While some birds can tolerate dairy, many are lactose intolerant, and milk can cause digestive issues.
Stick to providing fresh water for your parakeet.

How do parakeets sleep?

Parakeets usually sleep at night, and they often prefer a quiet and dark environment for rest.
They may fluff up their feathers and perch on one leg while sleeping.
Providing a cozy and dim sleeping area in their cage can help them get a good night’s sleep.

Can parakeets eat grapes?

Yes, parakeets can eat grapes. Grapes are a healthy and tasty treat for them.
However, make sure to cut them into small, bite-sized pieces to prevent choking, and always wash the grapes thoroughly to remove any pesticides.
Offer grapes in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

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