Millet only English Budgie (parakeet)

by Laurie
(Syosset, NY)

My English Budgie is almost a year old. I got him on Christmas 2008 as a baby, just a few weeks old. He's a social happy birdie. Loves every one of his toys, likes baths. I take him out often, mostly at night since we work all day. He always ate both his regular seed in a cup consisting of Red Millet, White Millet and Oats in addition to his natural millet sprays. I give him lettuce and celery as a treat sometimes too. He gets vitamins in his water.

We got a new batch of his "regular" seed (the white and red millet and oat mix) about two weeks ago and he stopped eating it. I thought it was that batch since he always ate it without a problem so I bought a new batch but he still refuses it. He will only eat the millet on the spray. I took the millet out of the cage for almost a day and he still wouldn't touch the regular food. Afraid that he would starve himself to death, I gave him back the millet spray and also got him a honey vita stick (basically white millet coated with vitamins and honey), which he loves. He finished two of them in a week.

It might be noteworthy that he was moulting when the finicky behavior set in, but he's done moulting now and still a seed snob! Did I spoil him or do you think he's sick? He's energetic and vocal as ever. Hard to believe that he'd be sick even though I know they try to fake it as long as possible for survival reasons. Is there enough nutrition in the millet sprays to just let him have his way? It's messier but as long as it's nutritious enough, I don't really care what he eats. I'm just afraid that I'm missing a problem or creating one by letting him have nothing but treats!

Comments for Millet only English Budgie (parakeet)

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Oct 28, 2009
Budgie on seed diet
by: Tracie

I will quote Dr B, because he has answered this so many times. Your bird needs to be on an 80% pellet diet and 20% healthy treats. A treat is anything that is not a pellet. He suggests that birds eat Harrison's pellets.

Dr B wrote a Switching Birds to Pellets article that will help you switch your bird to pellets. There are other methods, but this would be a great start for you.

Millet is NOT healthy and because your bird has been on a seed diet, it may be sick and have a disease due to the lack of nutrition. Your bird needs to see an avian vet for an exam.

Thank you for writing, it shows how much you care for your bird. Before I started this website, I killed my Parrotlet by feeding it a seed diet and putting vitamins in the water. I did not know any better, it was an innocent mistake. It caused me to do research so that it would not happen again.

Millet is like candy to your bird. Your bird is acting like a 2 year old I knew that convinced her mom that she would only eat hot dogs and macaroni and cheese. The mother actually believed she could not get her daughter to eat differently. Her daughter almost died because she would not encourage her daughter through positive reinforcement to eat properly.

We have other health and training articles on our Parrot Training page that I encourage you to read.

Thanks for writing and I hope you will be able to switch your bird quickly to a healthy diet.

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