Blueberry's Tiny Bird Seed Mix

Before we get into the subject matter of this post, let’s take a minute to talk about seed in the parrot diet…

In the wild, every parrot species consumes seed daily. It has many health benefits, which will be discussed further down, and yet in the world of companion parrots, it is utterly vilified. 

The concerns are not without merit, however. Seed is high in fat and calories and when you combine that with it being a favorite food of parrots and often chosen over healthy foods we serve, it can become a problem in the diet. 

It is not toxic. It is not dangerous. But it does have to be served responsibly.

The largest portion of the diet should still be reserved for produce and pellets. The seed portion should comprise no more than 20% (on the high end) - ideally 10%. If you choose to allow your bird access to seed throughout the day (free-feed), you should remove the bowl overnight to ensure they are hungry in the morning when you serve vegetables.

Another feeding method is to limit your bird’s access to seed by serving only what your bird can eat in late morning or early afternoon. You can determine this amount by weighing the dish before and after or by measuring the amount served versus what remains in the bowl once your bird walks away from the feeding. Seed must never get in the way of the other important meals. 

We recommend that only the smallest species of parrot be allowed seed in their diets for one specific reason: their size. Small parrots cages tend to be roomier, proportionately speaking, and the human environment in which they live is much more spacious and allows more room for flight and other activity. A large parrot might cross a room with a few beats of their wings, a small parrot needs to work harder and they have the means to burn off those excess calories.

That said… 

This is intentionally a very basic recipe.

Blueberry the Budgie

Blueberry’s Seed Mix:

1/2 lb millet

1/2 lb quinoa

1 cup oat groats

1 cup hemp seed

1/2 cup whole brown flax seed

1 cup chia seed

1/2 cup rape seed

1 cup rolled oats

A good seed mix should contain only seed and grains. Too often commercial mixes add ingredients that have no place in a seed mix, have no real nutritional value or are just filler (in some cases, literally twigs!) - something cheap that takes up room in the bag to drive up weight and volume and therefore price. The ingredients are typically old and devoid of nutrition. You get to control all of this by making the ingredient brand selections yourself.

The seeds and grains chosen for Blueberry’s Seed Mix are just right for budgies, lovebirds and parrotlets - nothing too big or too hard for consumption by the little guys. 

Home made seed mix

NUTRITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

The nutritional signature of most seeds are fairly similar - all have great fiber and varying amounts of calcium, vitamin E and omega 3s. Some have higher potassium, magnesium and protein than others but since your bird may prefer certain seeds it is best to combine a good variety for them to choose from. Their beneficial components of are nothing to play down. 

FIBER: Maintains digestive health, helps keep cholesterol and blood sugar levels on target and helps maintain healthy body weight.

MAGNESIUM: It is impossible to overstate the value of magnesium. Aside from lowering blood pressure, regulating genes, muscle movement and the nervous system, it converts food into energy, it’s a major anti-inflammatory and plays a huge role in brain function and mental health. Seeds are a great source of magnesium.

POTASSIUM: Regulates the balance of fluids in the body, regulates muscle (including heart) contractions, protects against strokes.

VITAMIN E: Aside from being a powerful anti-oxidant, it boosts the immune system and is hugely important to brain function. For parrots, its most important function is its skin and feather health benefits.

OMEGA 3s: Hugely beneficial in preventing heart disease and protecting joints. It also promotes skin and feather health.

CALCIUM: Responsible for bone strength and muscle/heart health. Also, calcium is notably important for parrots as an egg laying species. Egg shells are made up mostly of calcium and when calcium in the blood stream is low it is drawn from the bones to form the shells.

PROTEIN: Increases bone and muscle mass, boosts metabolism, lowers blood pressure and helps the body repair from injury.

9 comments

Esther

Thank ou for sharing this receipe. I Am looking forward to take over two parakeets (both around 6 months old) from someone who has not the time to take proper care of them which made them start screaming a lot. Ideally I start clicker graining them from day one. I am not sure if I understand the difference between rolled oats and oat groats, could anyone help please? For hemp seeds you might look for pet stores selling food for rodents as well and allowing to purchase single ingredients. Thanks again for all the helpful and inspiring content. Best wishes from Germany

Esther
FlatDevice

I found rapeseed at WinCo in the bulk food area (I live in the PNW). I looked at Market of Choice but didn’t see it there.

FlatDevice
JUDY Mica

I do have your Healthy Holiday recipe book and sharing table food. Where the best place to get the seed for Quaker and is it the same mix as Blueberry,s

JUDY Mica
Anna

I’m from Australia and I have found canola seeds (same as rapeseed but called canola here). I found a supplier on eBay who sells canola seeds from 50g up. Search under “ORGANIC CANOLA SEEDS FRESH AUSTRALIAN SEED FREE FAST SHIPPING !!!!” I don’t think they ship internationally though – but feel free to contact them. (PS: cannot verify it is organic even though the subject says so)

Anna
Randall

Also cannot find rapeseed that appears to be edible (see seeds for planting). Any suggestions for finding a bird friendly batch? Or provide an alternative seed to use?

Randall
Kim

You are awesome! Thank you for so much good info. The only question I have is how often should I feed my budgie? Should I just leave food down all the time? Seems to eat constantly.

Kim
Vicki

I am unable to find rapeseed as well. Can someone point me in the right direction? Vd

Vicki
priscilla moura

I am also looking for Rapeseed and can’t find it. any ideas where I can find it?

priscilla moura
Hex

Hi, I’ve been looking around and I can’t find anywhere to buy rapeseed. Does anyone know where I can buy some?

Hex

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