Seeds For Grass Parakeets

Published on January 18, 2012 by in Articles, Feeding

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Grass Parakeets are so called because in nature they eat mainly grass seeds and very rarely sunflower seeds.

 The recommended basic seed diet of grass parakeets consists of a mix of dry seeds.  It, therefore, is essential to provide a mix of good quality, clean seeds with little or no husk.  A quality mix will provide birds with the correct balance of essential nutrients.  Breeders have their own preferences but it is possible to purchase commercial mixes that are totally appropriate.  It is up to the breeder to select a good quality brand and check that the seeds contained in the mix are suitable for the needs of the birds. Seed must be stored in dry, clean airtight containers, preferably metal, to protect it from rodents, vermin, insects and sunlight.

 To check the quality and freshness of the seed, soak a quantity for up to 12 hours, drain and allow to sprout.  If the seed is viable 95% of it should sprout within a few days.

 It will also be necessary to provide the birds with dietary supplements. These are discussed elsewhere.  Some breeders add a little sunflower seed to the breeding mix.  Many, however, avoid this practice, as sunflower is a very oily, high fat seed.  Feeding birds, especially parrots, too many sunflower seeds are known to have negative consequences on liver function and can cause obesity.  Hempseed is available at times and can be given in moderation.  It is advisable to reduce the proportion of oily seeds during the non-breeding season.

 Here are examples of seed mixes readily available in commercial packaging inAustraliafor feeding grass parakeets.  These mixes can quite easily be home made although not all the seed types are readily available inSouth Africa.  Substitutes could be made for the unobtainable seeds.

 

Seed types

Mix 1

Mix 2

Mix 3

Panicum(Blou buffel gras)

30%

22%

11%

French white Millet

11%

19%

30%

Japanese Millet

6%

6%

6%

Canary seed

24.5%

20.5%

24.5%

Oatmeal

9%

13%

9%

Niger

4%

4%

4%

Flax (Linseed)

4%

4%

4%

Safflower

2%

2%

2%

Hempseed

5%

5%

5%

Buckwheat

4.5%

4.55

4.5%

Extract from “A Guide to Neophema & Neopsephotus Genera and their Mutations” by Dr Alain Campagne MD.  English revised edition as translated by Christine Leah BA (Hons) Translation edited and published by ABK Publications,PO Box 6288, SouthTweedHeads, NSW Australia. Published in 2008

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