Whether you’ve just brought home a new baby budgie or your parakeet has had babies of its own that are starting to grow up, knowing what kind of food they can eat at a young age is essential. The correct diet for a young bird is the key to your baby budgie growing and developing into a healthy adult.
Seeds, of course, are a standard part of a parakeet’s diet. Budgies use their specialized beaks to crack them open to get nourishment from the inside. But can baby budgies eat seeds? At what age are they capable of eating them safely?
When Can Baby Budgies Eat Seeds?
A budgies development is relatively quick after hatching. Budgies will start cracking and eating seeds around 4 – 6 weeks of age. They will receive all of their nourishment from being actively fed by their parents.
Around a month old, they will start to venture from the nest and explore food themselves. At this time, they still need to stay close to mom and dad for proper feeds. They will learn from their parent’s foraging behavior and begin to investigate food bowls, including seeds.
For some of the larger and harder types of seeds, it may take your budgie a little longer to have the strength to consume and digest them.
You may consider offering soaked and sprouted seeds to help ease the young budgie into eating seeds. While this is often not necessary to get babies eating seeds, sprouts can be a fun and nutritious additive to the diet regardless.
Baby Budgie Weaning Process
If your baby budgies were hatched at home, then let them venture out from the nestbox and explore their environment by their own account. There is no need to remove your parent parakeet’s food as the babies will learn from watching their parents eat.
Over time, the parents will feed them less and less, and the babies will begin to eat themselves.
Suppose you have purchased or adopting your new baby budgie from an ethical breeder. In that case, your new budgie will be no younger than 8 weeks old and already be adept at eating all types of food, including seeds. Baby parakeets are ready to leave their parents between the age of 8 – 12 weeks.
Read more about the life stages of parakeets here.
During this time of weaning, you should also offer parakeet pellets to your baby budgies. Pellets are a great way to provide complete nutrition and prevent any vitamin deficiencies from selective eating of high-fat seeds.
When your budgie is still young, this is the best time to introduce new foods. For baby budgies offering a wide variety of food is essential. Fresh vegetables, fruit, seeds, nuts, and pellets should all be offered.
Exposure to many types of food at a young age will help reduce the risk of your parakeet becoming a fussy eater in its adult stage.
How Do You Feed Baby Parakeets?
If your parakeets have had babies of their own, this can be a stressful time for you. Taking care of youngsters brings a lot of worry and responsibility.
Figuring out how to feed them to provide them with the best start in life can be trying. How to keep them fed depends on how they are being raised.
If possible, baby budgies should stay with their parents. In this case, there is very little you as a bird own need to do! The budgie’s parents will do all the work as they would in the wild. The mother parakeet will take care of all their needs, respond to their cheeps, feed them, and keep them warm.
All you need to do is provide a warm, safe nestbox for the chicks and a good diet and environment for the parents to do their job.
In some cases, the parents aren’t able to care for their own babies. Other times, breeders will hand raise the babies to be tamer to be sold as pets. This is not ideal as it is best for both parents and babies to stay together more naturally.
If you need to hand raise a baby budgie, it can be highly time-consuming and demanding. Only very experienced owners should handraise budgies as there are many fatal mistakes that can be made with hand-raising.
Now, the name of this baby budgie raising sound strange, but hear me out. Hand-raised parakeets are often preferred to be brought as pets because they are very used to being handled by humans and genuinely enjoy human company. This makes them more favored pets over budgies that need lots of training to even be touched.
A solution some breeders have come up with is, co-parenting. Where the bird owner will assist their parent parakeets in caring for their chicks.
This allows the babies to remain with their parents to have the best start to life, but they will also become used to human touch and interaction.
The babies will be handled regularly, and some supplementary feeds given to them by their humans.
This lets the baby budgies make positive associations with humans at a very early age. Their brains are very impressionable, so they will grow up to be much more “tame.”
See here our best homemade baby budgie foods.
If you have just brought a new young budgie into your home, they should already be well past weaned and happily eat all kinds of food, including seeds.
On the other hand, if you are raising baby budgies in the home, you can expect them to start investigating foods, including seeds, from one month of age onwards.
They will leave the nest and engaging in offered foods naturally but will be encouraged by seeing their parents eat. By 8 weeks old, they will be fully weaned and eating happily on their own!
Passionate bird-lover and zookeeper specializing in birds and reptiles. Sophie has a wealth of knowledge with bird husbandry.