Last Updated on August 6, 2022 by Ali Shahid
Modern budgies are bigger, have a bigger feather mass, grow slower, and need more energy and nutrients. The breeding budgies become more susceptible to illness and weaken when vitamins and minerals are not provided.
It is therefore important for you to understand vitamins for budgies. Even though budgies can survive entirely on grain and grit, their health does not allow them to endure breeding pressure.
Some form of vitamin supplementation must be given to the birds at some point to replace the vitamins missing in the seed. There is no doubt that vitamins play an important role in the lives of budgies.
Now let’s see what vitamins budgies need, how their deficiencies affect them, and what vitamins they need.
Vitamin for Budgies
Vitamin A is essential for budgies’ overall well-being. Sadly, the majority of bird owners ignore the importance of this vitamin. There are several functions for which vitamin A is necessary, including
- Production of hormones
- Epithelial, vascular, and mucous membrane development
- Increased immune response
- Improvement in visual clarity
- Healthy feathers
Symptoms of vitamin A deficiency in Budgies
- A beak surrounded by white spots
- Beak abscesses
- Sounds of wheezing, sneezing, and gagging
- Diarrhea, lethargy, and lack of appetite
- Feathers that are lifeless and dull
- There is a sense of restlessness
A bird’s digestive, respiratory, and reproductive systems can fail if it lacks vitamin A. This condition can cause a bird’s lifespan to be shortened and even lead to premature death.
The following tips will help you treat vitamin A deficiency
- Choose beta-carotene as a vitamin A supplement since it is easily converted to the active form of vitamin A
- Ensure your bird has sufficient vitamin A by feeding it fruit and food high in this nutrient, such as papaya, carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli leaves, collards, and cantaloupes.
- Keep away from direct sunlight or UV lighting to avoid overheating
Consult an avian veterinarian as soon as possible Do not hesitate to take your pet bird to the vet if you observe any of the symptoms above and suspect vitamin A deficiency.
The vet may also treat other symptoms like diarrhea, wheezing, and abscesses on the pet’s beak if they are present. Vitamin A deficiency can be overcome in budgies when treated early.
Vitamin B complex
A B-complex vitamin is a type of water-soluble vitamin. Budgies need these vitamins for good feather health, increased growth, and development, and to prevent restlessness.
It plays a crucial role in the bird’s brain and spinal cord function by transmitting nerve signals. This vitamin helps birds stay alert, respond well to training, and quickly learn new tricks.
Symptoms of deficiency in birds include feather picking, a behavioral indicator of restlessness, and stress. Depending on the species, your bird might also display loud shrieking behavior, and in severe cases, seizures may occur.
If available, thiamin supplements can be used to treat thiamin deficiencies. To ensure a bird’s natural diet is supported, speak with your veterinarian about the correct amount of thiamin.
Soybean meal, peanut meal, and cottonseed meal provide high levels of thiamin in the body.
Riboflavin is another vitamin B complex that birds need. The body uses this to create many enzymes involved in different metabolic processes.
A bird lacking riboflavin may show rough feathers, dry skin, and poor growth. Vitamin B complex supplements or riboflavin supplements can treat riboflavin deficiency.
To help your pet avoid complications, your vet can help you determine the right amount of this vitamin.
The nutrient niacin plays an important role in maintaining energy levels at a cellular level. A properly fed budgie receives adequate amounts of niacin, is active, follows training well, and grows well.
Symptoms of neurological disease and poor growth (height, weight) may result from a low niacin level in a budgie. Vitamin B complex or niacin supplements can be used to treat niacin deficiency. Niacin-rich foods should be included in your pet’s diet.
You can consider brown rice and peanuts as niacin-rich foods for your pet. Whole wheat pasta and bread are also good options to feed your bird.
Pyridoxine is needed to process amino acids in food and produce antibodies. Healthy, happy, and well-eating birds usually have normal pyridoxine levels.
A deficiency in Pyridoxine leads to an impaired immune system, which makes budgies sick. Taking supplements can help your blood overcome pyridoxine deficiency.
Per your pet’s needs, your veterinarian will prescribe the right supplement and dosage. Yeast, cereal grains, and alfalfa meal are also pyridoxine-rich foods.
Pantothenic acid and biotin
A variety of metabolic reactions require pantothenic acid, as well as carbon dioxide metabolism and enzyme production throughout the body.
Biotin and pantothenic acid deficiency can cause metabolic problems. As a remedy for deficiencies, your veterinarian may recommend supplementation.
Getting enough UV rays from the sun is essential to obtaining enough vitamin D. Poor UV exposure can cause a deficiency in all animals, including humans.
Vitamin D deficiency is common among domesticated birds, especially when they live in cages indoors.
While some budgie owners place the cage near the window so their pet can get enough vitamin D, this is still insufficient.
UVB light is blocked by the glass of your windowpane. Positioning the cage nearer the window and opening the window is a good idea. It is important to get enough vitamin D since
- It aids in absorbing many nutrients from the food
- It is important in calcium absorption required for bone and egg
- The brain needs it to function at its best.
- It contributes to the health of feathers, eyes, and mucous
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency
- Bones are weak and dense
- Fractures are common
- Having lost weight
- Physical changes to the bird, such as bent keels and soft beaks
- Incidence of cancer and the Conure Bleeding Syndrome
Pet birds that are deficient in vitamin D should be provided with a vitamin supplement. This is especially important if the deficiency is severe.
Good, adequate lighting should be provided with this supplement daily to ensure a rapid recovery.
The fat-soluble vitamin E is derived from a mixture of compounds known as tocopherols. Vitamin E plays an important role in the health, beauty, and longevity of budgies. There are many uses for this vitamin, including
- Ensures that the body’s cell membranes remain intact
- Provides antioxidant protection against harmful free radicals in conjunction with other nutrients
- Prevents the body from destroying vitamin A and fats
- Enhances immunity
- Enhances the bird’s response to environmental stresses
- It is necessary for normal growth patterns and polyunsaturated fat digestion
- Ensures the health of feathers and skin
Symptoms of vitamin E deficiency
- The degeneration or dystrophy of muscles
- Legs with twisted ends and weak muscles
- Seeds are passed undigested
- Skin edema
- A brain injury, a lack of coordination
- The hatchability of eggs is low
- Skin and feather health is poor
Taking vitamin supplements can help treat vitamin E deficiency. If you want to give vitamin E to your pet, ask your vet what brand and amount will be ideal.
Foods that are high in vitamin E should be added to your bird’s diet. Your veterinarian should recommend high-quality supplements.
If you notice any symptoms, consult your veterinarian right away. Be aware that there is a deficiency of vitamin E as well as an excess of vitamin E.
It is important to understand that fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamin E, can accumulate within the body and be toxic. Having too much vitamin E can result in problems with bone mineralization and blood clotting.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do budgies need supplements?
Supplements are not usually necessary for birds eating 75 – 80% of their diet in pellets. Birds may need different vitamins or minerals at different times of their lives.
What do budgies need to stay healthy?
Ideally, budgerigars should be fed a combination of vegetables, herbs, and seeding grasses in addition to a formulated small parrot diet. There is a wide variety of millet spray, fresh and dried fruit, as well as sunflower seeds that can be used as rewards for training or play.
If your budgie has vitamin or nutrient deficiencies, consult an avian veterinarian or an avian dietitian. Supplement your pet’s diet with the right supplements to help it recover.
Always keep an eye on your pet’s condition, and don’t ignore any small symptoms. You owe it to your pet to provide the best love, care, and attention.
Bar, Arie. “Calcium homeostasis and vitamin D metabolism and expression in strongly calcifying laying birds.” Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology 151.4 (2008): 477-490.
Schweigert, F. J., et al. “Vitamin A (Retinol and Retinyl Esters), α‐Tocopherol and Lipid Levels in Plasma of Captive Wild Mammals and Birds 1.” Journal of Veterinary Medicine Series A 38.1‐10 (1991): 35-42.
Ali Shahid is a veterinarian by profession and an animal lover. He loves to give expert opinions about different animals. He has worked in top organization of birds like Bigbird Feed and Poultry Research institute. He loves birds, especially parrots and has great experience in different parrot farms.