In spite of your best intentions, feeding your bird cheese will not provide him with a balanced diet.
Low-fat cheese shouldn’t be used as a regular snack, but it can be a nice treat every once in a while.
However, “Cheese is not excellent for your budgie’s health,” as the saying goes amongst bird breeders.
Just in case you were curious
Is It Okay to Feed My Parakeet Cheese?
Therefore, every bird has a lactose intolerance.
So, giving your budgie lactose will not only make him sick with diarrhea or something else, but it won’t even give him any energy.
The cheese itself has salts, too.
Budgies are susceptible to ionic imbalance and severe dehydration from the excessive salts. The kidneys and the brain both feel the effects of this.
Cheese also has a high fatty acid concentration. A free-living budgie might burn off enough calories while soaring through the sky all day to metabolize all that fat. However, this merely makes a budgie overweight and increases his susceptibility to illness.
Furthermore, lipids are digested more slowly than carbohydrates. Cheese may not be enough of an instant energy source for a budgie in the wild.
Now, if you are currently providing your bird with cheese, you may be concerned:
What Happens To a Bird That Eats Cheese?
Consuming cheese in moderation, perhaps once a month, might not be problematic.
If your budgie is a cheese fanatic, then by all means, indulge him on special occasions.
Lean curd cheese or cottage cheese are good options because they are low in salt and lactose.
If you feed your bird cheese, be sure to provide him with enough of water to drink.
However, if you are giving your bird a diet that includes cheese on a regular basis and in significant quantities, you may be increasing its risk of developing health problems such as:
- Changes in the heart’s rate
- insufficient metabolic rate; hence, slow development
- Renal problems
- Steady Diarrhea
You may be shortening your bird’s life expectancy even if you haven’t noticed any indicators of worry.
So, it’s not in your budgie’s best interest if you feed him cheese.
However, if cheese is not a possibility, then…
Can Budgies Eat Dairy?
The lactose in milk and other dairy products is another reason why birds can’t eat them.
Consequently, it would be inefficient and maybe hazardous to provide your bird dairy products.
Now you know that birds can and should consume dairy products.
Not much can be gained from debating the relative safety of various dairy products.
If you really must know, though, it’s nonfat or low-fat yogurts.
Whatever the case may be, I would advise you to stay away from any and all forms of dairy.
One possible justification for giving your budgie milk and cheese is the belief that doing so can help strengthen the bird’s bones.
For those who are concerned solely about calcium, though, here are some alternate options to consider:
- Produce that has just been harvested
- The beak is shaped with cuttlebone, which also serves as a source of calcium and other minerals.
- Super-nutritious nut and seed mixes
- Blocks of calcium carbonate
What Should You Not Feed Budgies?
To ensure your budgerigar’s health, you shouldn’t feed him anything that you have any doubts about.
Foods that are harmful to budgerigars include:
One of the worst things you could do to your budgie is to feed him chocolate. Caffeine and theobromine are two of the harmful ingredients found in chocolate. Such factors have the potential to trigger:
- Accelerating pulse rates
- Seizures or tremors
A fatal dosage of chocolate can even kill your budgerigar.
Avocados contain high amounts of the fungicidal toxin persin. Toxic to birds, especially young ones. If you take too much persin, you could experience:
- Changes in respiration
- Harm to the Heart
- Reduced muscle strength
Thus, you should avoid avocados like the plague.
3. Onions and Garlic
These items contain thiosulphates, which, if ingested, can lead to:
- Burst red blood cells are a hallmark of hemolytic anemia.
- Inflammation of the digestive tract (gastritis)
4. Medicinal herbs
Some of the herbs that are good for you could really be poisonous to your avian friends. Comfrey is one such herb, and its magenta bell-shaped blossoms are a giveaway that it has medicinal properties. Your budgie’s liver may be damaged from eating too much comfrey.
5. Fruit Pits and Seeds
Budgies can safely eat the flesh of most fruits, but the seeds may be poisonous due to trace amounts of cyanide. Cherries, plums, peach pits, and apricot stones all fall within this category. The same holds true for the seeds of apples.
Inhalation of cyanide can cause respiratory failure in humans and animals alike. Therefore, before feeding your budgie any fruit, make sure to remove all of the seeds and pits.
6. Certain Plants
All of that vegetation is inedible.
Leaves from potatoes, eggplants, rhubarb, and peppers, among others, are all poisonous to budgies. The high oxalate content of these frequently causes kidney stones.
7. Seasoned/Processed Foods:
Budgerigars shouldn’t eat fried chips, salsa dips, or seasoned salads. Foods that have been deep fried or heavily processed should be avoided since they are typically high in unhealthy fats, sugars, or salts.
- As a result, consuming an excessive amount of fat is not only unpleasant, but it also poses a risk to the health of your liver, heart, and brain.
- Intense amounts of sugar could potentially affect a bird’s heart rate or cause kidney damage.
- An electrolyte imbalance or kidney stones may develop after consuming too many salts.
Some budgie owners believe that if they give their birds crushed sweets the birds will love them more. Now, just a minority of budgie owners even bother to give their birds sugar-free treats.
Believe me, I’m not joking.
Unfortunately, even sugar-free treats are harmful to your budgie. Sugar-free candies containing xylitol pose a risk to your budgie’s health, as it could lead to hypoglycemia or severe liver damage.
Just like dairy products, some meals are non-toxic to birds but only in small doses. Hence, they are not recommended. Among these are:
- Pesty, stale peanuts, in particular.
- Toxic to both humans and animals, mushrooms are best avoided. Although the toxins in mushrooms may be destroyed by cooking, even de-toxicated ones are still not safe for your pet parrot.
- Grit: when overconsumed, may induce intestinal obstruction.
- Tomatoes are very acidic, thus eating them can cause stomach problems.
Your thoughts after reading this list confirm mine.
What Can I Feed My Budgie?
You still have many of options for your budgie’s diet, including:
- Apples, bananas, apricots, mangos, grapes, and berries, to name a few.
- Produce like alfalfa, spinach, broccoli, and celery, as well as other vegetables including potatoes, cucumbers, baked beans, and carrots.
- Almonds, walnuts, pecans, and other tree nuts
- Cold cuts, canned tuna, and hard-boiled eggs
- pellets used in industry
Still, moderation and equilibrium are the best ways to ensure your budgie stays healthy.
Wrapping It Up
Cheese is one of the few foods budgies can consume, but they should only get it on special occasions.
Birds aren’t designed to consume dairy products, and the lactose in milk is toxic to them.
Since this is the case, you should never give your bird cheese.
Along with dairy, you should also avoid feeding your budgie chocolate, avocados, fruit pits, seasoned and processed foods.
Every bird owner wants their pet to be in good health.