Petiska > Pets > Birds > Budgerigars > How Often and What Should I Feed My 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 Weeks Old Baby Budgie?
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Silvester Lynton
Petiska Editor

How Often and What Should I Feed My 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 Weeks Old Baby Budgie?

Feeding baby budgies depends on their age and growth stage. Budgerigar chicks doubled their birth weight in just 2 days.

By 30 days, they attain their adult size, transitioning from dependency on parent birds.

It’s vital to consider their high energy needs, with budgies requiring 48-128 kJ daily based on body mass.

As they predominantly have a seed diet, ensuring they get the right nutrients and energy is crucial for healthy growth.

Acceptance of new foods and meeting their basal energy requirements are key.

Baby budgies grow at an astonishing rate, and ensuring they receive the right nutrition at each growth stage is crucial.

This content aims to serve as a comprehensive guide for all those looking to provide optimal nutrition to their young budgies.

Dive in to discover the essentials of feeding your feathery friend.

Budgie Growth Stages And Dietary Needs

Budgerigars, go through various growth stages, and understanding their dietary requirements at each phase is crucial.

When budgies are first hatched, they are entirely dependent on their parents for nourishment.

Remarkably, these chicks can double their birth weight in a mere 2 days.

For reference, upon hatching, the average weight for male chicks is 2.0 g, and for females, it’s 1.8 g.

Over the course of 30 days, these chicks experience a significant growth.

The mean body weight increases from their initial 1.9 g to about 49.8 g.

Breaking it down further, males typically weigh around 48.3 g and females about 53.6 g by the end of this period.

This translates to an average weight gain of 1.6 g/d. By the end of these 30 days, the chicks reach their adult size and no longer rely on their parents for food.

Now, considering their dietary needs, it’s observed that budgies predominantly have a seed-based diet.

The energy they derive from this diet is essential to support their metabolism.

For instance, an adult budgie requires daily energy intake ranging from 48-128 kJ/bird (approximately 11.5-30.6 kcal/bird), influenced by its body mass.

The body mass of a typical budgie in captivity ranges from 30-80 g.

During breeding seasons, the energy intake for a breeding pair, along with their three chicks at their peak, is found to be 483-505 kJ (approximately 115.4-120.7 kcal).

To put it into perspective, at the pairing stage, a breeding pair’s mean daily energy intake is about 231 kJ (approximately 55.2 kcal).

Importance of Providing the Right Nutrition for Healthy Growth

Budgies require a balanced and nutritious diet to thrive. Their growth, vitality, and overall health are deeply intertwined with their nutrient intake.

Studies show that the nutrient content from their seed-based diet has a metabolizability rate of over 80%.

This high rate of assimilation ensures that budgies can meet the considerable energy demands of their basal metabolism.

The nutrient requirements of budgies are akin to other avian species. However, it’s essential to note that further research is needed, particularly concerning the availability of key nutrients.

1-Week Old Budgie

1-Week Old Budgies are still in their early development stages, making their feeding and nutrition vital for their growth.

Frequency of Feeding:

At this age, budgies are heavily reliant on their parents for feeding.

They would typically be fed multiple times throughout the day. This ensures that they receive enough nutrients to support their rapid growth, as they can double their birth weight in just 2 days.

Types of Food Suitable for 1-Week Old Budgies:

The primary food for 1-week old budgies is crop milk, a special secretion produced by their parents.

This milk contains all the essential nutrients required for their growth. As a supplement to the natural feeding process, specially designed bird formulas might be offered, which closely mimic the nutrient content of the crop milk.

However, it’s essential to be cautious with any changes, as budgies have shown resistance to new foods.

Their diet at this stage is not seed-based yet, as their digestive systems are still maturing.

2-Week Old Budgie

The 2-Week Old Budgie continues its growth journey with slight changes in its feeding patterns and nutritional needs.

Frequency of Feeding:

By two weeks, the frequency of feeding reduces a bit but remains consistent.

It’s still several times throughout the day. While they still rely mainly on their parents for nourishment, they can begin to be introduced to more solid foods in small amounts.

Hand Feeding a 2-Week Old Budgie: Why and How?

Hand feeding can sometimes be necessary if the parent birds are not adequately feeding the chick, or in cases where the chick is being bred in captivity without its parents.

Hand feeding ensures that the budgie receives enough nutrients during this crucial growth phase.

When hand feeding:

  • Use a specially formulated bird diet designed for young birds.
  • Ensure the food is at the right temperature (typically warm but not hot) before feeding.
  • Use a syringe or eyedropper to carefully deliver the food to the chick, ensuring not to overfeed.
  • Always monitor the budgie for any signs of discomfort or food refusal.

Suitable Diet Recommendations:

Apart from the specialized bird formulas for chicks, it is also possible to introduce soft foods like soaked seeds, boiled egg yolks, and cooked rice.

These can act as a bridge between the milk-like diet and a more solid, seed-based diet they will consume as they grow older.

Remember, the majority of their nutrition still comes from the crop milk or equivalent formulas, so these introductions should be in small, controlled amounts.

3-Week And 4-Week Old Budgies

When budgies reach 3 to 4 weeks of age, they undergo significant changes in their diet and feeding habits.

Introducing New Food Items:

The diet for budgies at this age starts to include more than just crop milk or specialized bird formulas.

Introducing new foods can be a challenge as budgies often resist unfamiliar items.

Offering them soft foods like soaked seeds, boiled egg yolks, and cooked rice can be a good start.

It’s essential to make these changes gradually, giving the budgies time to adapt.

Monitoring Budgie’s Food Intake:

As new foods are introduced, it becomes important to keep an eye on how much the budgies are eating.

This ensures that they are getting enough nutrition, especially since their energy requirements are high.

If a budgie is reluctant to eat a new food, it might need more time or different methods of introduction.

How Often to Feed:

At this age, while they’re being introduced to new foods, budgies still need to eat frequently throughout the day.

However, the number of feedings can be slightly less than when they were younger.

Consistent feeding ensures they are receiving the energy they need to continue growing.

6-Week And 8-Week Old Budgies

As budgies grow, their diet expands, and their nutritional needs evolve further.

Transitioning to a More Varied Diet:

By the time budgies reach 6 to 8 weeks, they should be gradually transitioning to a more varied diet.

This means they’ll start eating what adult budgies eat. This diet includes seeds, but also fruits, vegetables, and other suitable foods for budgies.

Remember, the core of their diet will still be seeds, but variety is key to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.

Frequency of Feeding:

While 6-8 week old budgies are more independent in their feeding, they still need to eat multiple times throughout the day.

Their feeding schedule can be more spread out compared to when they were younger.

When to Introduce Solid Foods like Seeds:

Seeds are a major part of an adult budgie’s diet. By the time they’re 6 to 8 weeks old, budgies should be introduced to solid seeds.

It’s crucial to offer a mix of seeds that cater to the budgie’s nutritional needs.

Offering seeds in a shallow dish and ensuring they’re clean and fresh is key.

Over time, as the budgies get accustomed, seeds will form a significant portion of their daily food intake.

Hand-Feeding Budgies: Tips And Techniques

Hand-feeding young birds, like budgies, can sometimes be crucial for their survival and growth.

Why is Hand Feeding Necessary?

Hand feeding is important when a baby budgie is rejected by its parents or when the parents are unable to feed it.

Without this human intervention, the young budgie might not get the nutrition it needs to grow and thrive.

Preparing Hand Feeding Formula for Budgies:

To prepare a formula, use a commercially available bird formula. Warm the formula to about 100°F (37.8°C).

It’s crucial that the formula is not too hot or cold. You can test a small amount on your wrist, just like testing baby milk, to make sure it’s the right temperature.

Proper Hand Feeding Techniques:

Use a small syringe to feed the budgie. Gently approach the bird, and place the syringe into its beak.

Slowly release a small amount of formula, ensuring the budgie swallows it.

Always feed from the front, not the sides, to prevent injuring the bird.

Signs that the Baby Budgie is Full:

A full budgie will have a rounded and slightly extended crop (the area below its neck).

If the budgie turns away or seems uninterested, it’s a sign that it’s full.

It’s essential not to overfeed as this can be harmful to the bird.

Essential Nutrients For Young Budgies

Providing proper nutrients is essential for the growth and health of young budgies.

Overview of Essential Nutrients:

Young budgies need a mix of proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients support their rapid growth and high energy needs.

According to the study, budgies require 48-128 kJ/bird daily based on their body mass.

The Role of Seeds, Pellets, Fruits, and Vegetables in a Budgie’s Diet:

  • Seeds: These are the main food for budgies. They provide energy and are rich in fats. The study reveals that budgies have an ability to absorb more than 80% of the major nutrients from seeds.
  • Pellets: They are nutritionally balanced and ensure that the budgie gets all the required nutrients.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: These provide essential vitamins and minerals. Always serve them fresh and in small amounts.

Safe Foods vs. Foods to Avoid for Baby Budgies:

Safe Foods: Fresh fruits like apples, berries, and bananas; vegetables like carrots, spinach, and broccoli; grains like cooked rice or quinoa.

Foods to Avoid: Avocado, chocolate, caffeine, fruit seeds (like apple seeds), and high-fat or salty foods.

Avoid any food that hasn’t been specifically recommended for birds.

Budgie Weaning Process

Weaning is when baby budgies start to eat on their own without needing their parents’ help.

Understanding the Weaning Process:

Weaning is a natural process where young budgies move from being fed by their parents to eating solid foods on their own.

During the first month of their life, the average weight of budgie chicks increases from about 1.9 g (0.067 oz) for males and 1.8 g (0.063 oz) for females to around 49.8 g (1.76 oz) for males and 53.6 g (1.89 oz) for females.

This growth means they’re getting ready to eat solid foods on their own.

Tips to Help Budgies Transition to Solid Foods:

  1. Introduce Seeds Gradually: Begin by providing a mix of seeds and the regular chick feed.
  2. Offer Fresh Foods: Give tiny bits of fresh fruits and vegetables. It helps them explore different tastes.
  3. Keep Parents Nearby: Young budgies learn by watching their parents. Let them see adult budgies eating.
  4. Be Patient: Every budgie is different. Some may take longer to shift to solid foods.

Signs that a Budgie is Ready to Wean:

  • Eating on Their Own: If they start picking at seeds and other foods, it’s a good sign.
  • Less Dependency on Parents: They won’t look for their parents to feed them as often.
  • Showing Independence: Exploring more and spending less time in the nest.

Budgie Feeding Schedule And Routine

Consistency is key when feeding young budgies.

Setting Up a Daily Feeding Routine:

It’s crucial to establish a routine so that your budgies know when to expect food.

A predictable routine also helps monitor their health and growth.

How Many Times a Day to Feed Budgies:

Baby budgies still relying on their parents or hand-feeding might need feeding 4-5 times a day.

As they grow and start eating solid foods, this can be reduced to 2-3 times a day.

Ensuring Consistent Feeding Times:

Feed them at the same times every day. For instance, if you feed them in the morning at 7:00 AM, always try to stick to that time.

Water Requirements For Budgies

Water is as important as food for these little birds.

Importance of Hydration for Young Budgies:

Water helps in digestion and keeps the budgie hydrated. Without enough water, budgies can become sick.

How to Introduce Water to Baby Budgies:

  1. Shallow Bowls: Use a shallow dish so they can easily drink without getting wet.
  2. Location: Place the water dish near their food. They will associate the two together.
  3. Change Regularly: Keep the water fresh by changing it daily.

Monitoring Water Intake:

It’s essential to make sure your budgies are drinking enough. Clean, fresh water should always be available.

If the water looks dirty or if you notice the budgies aren’t drinking as usual, it might be a sign of a problem.

Always keep an eye on their water dish to make sure it’s clean and accessible.

Common Feeding Mistakes And Concerns

Taking care of a young budgie’s nutrition is crucial, but sometimes people can make mistakes.

Overfeeding or Underfeeding: How to Strike a Balance:

Overfeeding can lead to obesity and other health problems in budgies, while underfeeding can prevent them from getting the nutrients they need.

To find a balance:

  • Monitor weight: Regularly check their weight to ensure they’re growing properly.
  • Follow feeding guidelines: Use a standard measurement for food.
  • Watch behavior: If they’re always hungry or leaving a lot of uneaten food, adjust portions.

Signs of Malnutrition in Young Budgies:

  • Weakness or lethargy: They’re less active than usual.
  • Dull feathers: Instead of bright and shiny feathers, they look lackluster.
  • Loss of appetite: They might not eat as much or as often.

Addressing Feeding-related Concerns and Misconceptions:

  • Seeds Only Diet: Budgies need more than just seeds. Fruits, vegetables, and pellets provide essential nutrients.
  • New Foods: Budgies might be wary of new foods. Introduce them slowly and be patient.
  • Supplements: Only provide vitamin or mineral supplements if recommended by a vet.


Do Baby Budgies Drink Water?

Yes, baby budgies do drink water. It’s essential to ensure they have access to fresh and clean water daily.

While they get a lot of moisture from their hand-feeding formula, direct water consumption becomes more frequent as they grow.

When Can a Baby Budgie Eat on Its Own?

A baby budgie typically starts to eat solid foods, like seeds, by the age of 4-5 weeks.

However, they still rely on hand-feeding or their parents for nourishment until they are fully weaned, which might be around 6-8 weeks.

Do Baby Budgies Eat at Night?

No, budgies, like many birds, are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day and rest at night.

They eat during daylight hours and usually sleep through the night without eating.

When Should I Start Hand Feeding My Budgie?

Hand feeding should ideally begin when a baby budgie is a few days old, especially if the parent birds aren’t feeding them.

If you’re not experienced with hand-feeding, it’s crucial to learn the proper technique or seek help from someone experienced to avoid complications.

What Should I Do If My Budgie Refuses to Eat a Particular Food?

Budgies can be wary of new foods. If they refuse to eat something:

  • Introduce it slowly: Mix it with foods they already like.
  • Presentation matters: Try offering it chopped, whole, or mashed.
  • Be patient: Sometimes, it might take a few days or even weeks for them to accept a new food.

How Should I Store the Hand Feeding Formula?

Store any unused hand feeding formula in a cool, dry place. Always prepare fresh batches for each feeding and discard leftovers.

If it’s a powdered formula, ensure the container is sealed to prevent moisture entry.

Is It Safe to Feed My Budgie Human Baby Food?

Generally, it’s not recommended. While some ingredients in human baby food might be safe, they aren’t formulated for budgies’ specific nutritional needs.

Always stick to budgie-specific formulas to ensure they get the right nutrients.

What Should I Do If I Miss a Feeding Session?

If you miss a feeding session, offer food as soon as you can.

Monitor the budgie to ensure it’s not showing signs of distress. It’s essential to maintain consistency in feeding to ensure the budgie’s health and well-being.

If you miss a session, don’t overcompensate by overfeeding in the next one.

How Should I Adjust My Budgie’s Diet as They Grow Older?

As your budgie progresses through its growth stages, it’s essential to adjust the diet to cater to its changing needs.

For instance, a 1-week old budgie primarily requires a hand-feeding formula for nourishment.

But as it reaches 2-3 weeks, you can slowly introduce new food items while still relying heavily on the formula.

By the time they are 6-8 weeks old, they should be transitioning to a more varied diet that includes solid foods like seeds.

Always monitor their response to new foods and ensure they’re getting a balance of essential nutrients.

What’s the Role of Hand-Feeding in a Budgie’s Early Life?

Hand-feeding plays a pivotal role, especially in the first few weeks of a budgie’s life.

It ensures that the baby budgie gets the required nutrition in the absence of parental feeding or to supplement it.

Moreover, hand-feeding helps in building trust between the bird and the owner.

It’s crucial to prepare the formula correctly and use proper techniques to ensure the baby budgie’s safety and health.

Can I Offer Fresh Fruits and Vegetables to My Young Budgie?

Absolutely! But it’s essential to introduce them gradually. By the age of 3-4 weeks, you can start offering finely chopped fruits and veggies.

These not only provide essential nutrients but also help the budgie get used to varied textures.

Remember to always provide fresh produce and avoid any toxic foods.

How Can I Ensure My Budgie Is Hydrated Properly?

Hydration is vital for young budgies. While they get moisture from their hand-feeding formula in the initial weeks, it’s essential to introduce them to a water source.

Place a shallow dish of fresh water in their cage and refresh it daily.

Monitor your budgie’s water intake, especially as they transition to solid foods.

How Can I Identify If My Budgie Is Ready for Weaning?

The weaning process is a significant milestone in a budgie’s life. Signs of readiness include showing interest in solid foods, decreased interest in hand-feeding formula, and increased independence in seeking food.

How Can I Avoid Common Mistakes in Feeding My Young Budgie?

To avoid feeding mistakes, be well-informed about your budgie’s dietary needs at each stage.

Overfeeding or underfeeding can have adverse effects. Introduce new foods slowly, monitor their intake, and ensure they are getting a balance of nutrients.

Avoid any foods known to be harmful to budgies and ensure they have a consistent feeding schedule.