Most vets warn against feeding an all seeds diet to your bird as seeds are nutritionally poor. Fruits, veggies, and greens should make about 20-25% of your pet bird daily diet. But all fruits and veggies are not nutritionally identical. How about watermelon.
Budgies should eat watermelon moderately due to high sugar that may cause diarrhea when watermelon is fed in excess. Like all fruits, Watermelon is a good source of hydration and vitamins for budgies or Parakeet. Budgies can also eat watermelon seeds since they are not toxic at all.
Always make sure not to abruptly change your budgie’s diet, and a budgie’s refusal to eat a certain food does not mean they will never eat it.
Learn to vary your budgie’s diet, budgies on commercially made pellets do not need vitamin or mineral supplements. These pellets are made with the budgies’ nutrition requirements in mind.
Fruits, veggies, and greens should only be offered as a way to spice up your budgie’s diet and break the monotony.
Nutritional content of watermelon
Now that we have already established that when mixed with other fruits you can offer watermelon to your budgie. Let’s take a deeper look at how your budgie will benefit from eating watermelon.
The table above details the amount of each nutrient in a 100 grams of watermelon.
Benefits of feeding watermelon to budgies
Every bird needs clean and fresh water on a daily basis. Always remember to keep the watering dishes clean. While having a watering dish is a requirement in every cage.
Therefore, they should always be offered in moderation and never together. Fruits such as papaya offer more nutrient content in terms of calcium and phosphorus which are very beneficial to young and laying budgies.
Therefore, a good way to keep your budgie well hydrated and also offer them nutrients is by mixing watermelon and papaya.
Proteins and fats
Proteins are very important to promote sufficient growth and development. Proteins aid in hormone development, antibodies, and enzymes. Fats act as a source of energy for birds.
However, watermelons do not have a high protein content and neither are other fruits. Nuts and seeds too have a high content of fats and poor nutrition in terms of vitamins and minerals.
Given that budgies are highly prone to obesity, and iodine deficiencies. Making sure your budgie does not rely on an all-seed diet will help to keep it safe from these health issues.
Again, I will insist that offering your budgie commercially made pellets will provide it with all the nutrients it needs. Fruits, veggies, and greens will just be a form of supplemental feeds.
Minerals should be part of your budgie’s diet, without enough minerals your budgie will suffer from health issues that are life-threatening. Among all the minerals calcium and phosphorus are the most important.
Calcium helps in the formation of the skeletal structure of the bird, Some birds such as African Grey parrots need more calcium than most other birds.
Importance of calcium in birds include
- Attachment of feathers
- Blood clotting and heartbeat regulation
- Controls the function of the muscles
- Formation of eggs
- Used in neurotransmission hence controls mood
Therefore, if you are looking to improving the mood of your budgie offering calcium may just what you need to do.
Phoshphorus on the other hand is also required to in the growth and development of all birds.
Importance of phosphorus in birds
- Processing of energy
- Formation of skeletal structures together with calcium
However, this is where it gets interesting as far as calcium and phosphorus are involved.
Phosphorus prevents the absorption of calcium when it is in high concentration. It binds with calcium to form calcium phosphate, which can cause adverse health effects to the budgies.
Vets recommend a ratio of 2:1 in respect to calcium to phosphorus for young birds. About 1.5: 1 for adults and 10:1 for laying or stressed birds.
Since most fruits and veggies have a skewed calcium to phosphorus ratio, it is advisable that you feed them moderately.
For fruits like papaya, have a good calcium and phosphorus concentration and can be offered much often.
However, offering papaya frequently may make your budgie used to it and refuse to take other fruits. Therefore, remember to add other fruits as well.
You should also be aware that for proper calcium absorbtion, your budgie should be getting enough vitamin D in its body.
While there vitamin D supplements available, ensuring that your budgie gets enough sunligght will help in synthesizzing vitamin D naturally from the sun.
Putting your budgie near a window is not enough since window panes filter important sun rays that are required to process vitamin D. Ensure your budgie gets enough natural sunlight.
Other minerals present in watermelon beneficial to budgies include manganese, sodium, and zinc.
These minerals are needed in trace amounts and rarely will you find a bird suffering from their deficiencies.
Apart from minerals birds also need vitamins in their diet. Vitamins are divided into two broad categories namely; fat-soluble and water-soluble.
Fat soluble vitamins
Fat soluble vitamins need fats to be absorbed in the body. These vitamins are vitamins A,D,E and K.
Vitamin A is one of the most important among the fat soluble vitamins. Its deficiency can lead to life-threatening conditions.
Importance of vitamin A
- maintenance of the light-sensitive pigment in the retina of the eye
- Production of keratin
- Controls color of the feathers
Deficiencies lead to
- mucus membranes become thickened
- Drying up of oral and respiration secretions
- poor immune system
However, offering excess vitamin A can easily lead to vitamin A poisoning known as hypervitaminosis. However, when fed foods with high beta carotene such as fruits and veggies their bodies will convert beta carotene to vitamin A only into amounts needed by the body.
Birds that are fed a balanced diet will rarely suffer from lack of vitamin A or excess of it.
Other fat-soluble vitamins that are crucial to the health of the bird include Vitamin E which helps in boosting the immune system, vitamin E deficiency may occur among birds that do not have enough fat intake.
Vitamin K on the other hand facilitates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and its deficiency is also very rare.
Water soluble vitamins
Water-soluble vitamins are summed up into B vitamins. The table below shows B vitamins and their importance to budgies.
|B Vitamin [thiamin (B1), niacin,||nervous system transmission(Thiamin)||deficiency causes feather picking restlessness, seizures, and shrieking. (thiamin)|
|riboflavin (B2)||enzyme formation||Dry and rough skin|
|niacin,||formation of tissue and energy production||poor growth|
|pyridoxine (B6),||Formation of antibodies||immune dysfunction|
How to feed watermelon to Budgies
- The first step when feeding fruits and veggies is to make sure they are clean
- Cut it into small pieces that can fit into your budgie’s beak
- You can remove watermelon seeds or leave them
- Mix it with other fruits such as papaya
- Remove any uneaten fruits at the end of the day
How often should you feed watermelon to budgies
Given that watermelon has high water content and nutritionally poor, you should feed it to your budgie once a week. There are other fruits that are more nutritious than a watermelon that can be fed more often such as papaya.
Effects of overfeeding watermelon to budgies
Watermelon have a high water content and sugar content, therefore overfeeding will result into diarrhea. As a matter of fact avoid feeding fruits that are high water and sugar content at the same time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What fruit can budgies eat? Budgies can eat the following fruits besides watermelon, papaya, apples [minus the seeds and core] mango, pineapple, strawberries, apricots, prunes and figs.
can budgies eat watermelon seeds? Budgies should not eat watermelon seeds, watermelon seeds can easily choke your budgie.
Are watermelons healthy to budgies? As mentioned earlier, watermelons are nutritionally poor with a lot of water content. While they will not offer a lot of nutrients to your budgie they do not harm your bird either. However, they should be fed moderately.
While watermelon is not harmful to budgies it should be fed moderately. Avoid feeding watermelon seeds as these seeds may end up choking your budgie. Mix watermelon with more nutritious fruits such as pawpaw to increase the nutrition content. Despite the poor nutrition content of watermelon, some budgies may develop an addiction to watermelon since they can pick it up from a mixture of fruits due to its vibrant color. When this happens try to reduce watermelon in the diet.
Make sure the high percentage of your budgie diet is made of commercially made pellets.