Parakeet seed often includes the following ingredients: flaxseeds, millet seeds, and sunflower seeds. Usually, the seeds are sprinkled with a type of vitamin-fortified powder that is good for pet birds. Pet parakeets can eat a variety of "human" foods as well, including cooked rice and beans, fruits, and pasta. The parakeet seed, however, should be the basis of a bird's diet.
Parakeets, called budgerigars in some parts of the world, require an enriched, varied diet that includes seeds, fruits, vitamins, and vegetables. Parakeet seed should only make up a portion of their diet. In the wild, parakeets eat fruits, berries, greens, and wild seeds. People who keep pet birds should be mindful of their native diets.
Most parakeets love millet spray seeds because they are so high in fat and are calorie-dense. The packaged sprays commonly are found in pet stores and can be clipped to the side of the birdcage. A parakeet who overindulges in millet seed can add an extra layer of fat that is unhealthy, so bird owners should provide this type of seed sparingly. Parakeets do not normally find millet year-round, and they should not receive it daily.
Sunflower seeds are another high-fat food item for these exotic birds. Most small birds enjoy picking out the sunflower seeds from the mix and only eating those. If this is the case, the owner should make sure that the bird eats other food sources to get a fully balanced, nutritional diet.
Parakeets remove the hulls of each seed before eating. The hull is discarded into the same cup that holds the seeds. Bird owners must remove the empty hulls so that the parakeet can reach the seeds at the bottom of the food cup. The hulls are easy to blow off the top of the food container. A cup that looks full may actually hold nothing but empty hulls, which could cause the parakeet to go hungry.
Parakeet kibble is one alternative to bird seed. The kibble is made from compressed food items that contain a wide variety of vitamins. While kibble is healthy for pet birds, it should not be their only food source. Fresh foods are necessary for good parakeet health as well.
The Association of Avian Veterinarians states that certain foods are acceptable for pet parakeets in lieu of parakeet seed. Dandelion greens, citrus fruits, broccoli, carrots, and spinach can make up about half of a parakeet's diet. Wheat, pasta, and grains make up the other half. Five percent of the bird's diet should be made up of protein sources, such as eggs and cooked meat.