I was out at a sunflower farm the other day for a tour.
It was a really great day and the whole family enjoyed it, and the best part was we got to take home a big bag of sunflower seeds at the end of the day!
I love sunflower seeds and I’m always chewing on them.
This time, though, I think I’d bitten off a little more than I could chew, and we had too much! I decided I would give some to my parakeets if they were safe, so I looked into it.
Can parakeets eat sunflower seeds?
Yes, parakeets love sunflower seeds! Sunflower seeds come with many great health benefits for your parakeet, and seeds can be one of their favorite snacks. Moderation is still quite important, though, as they are very nutrient rich, so do not feed them too many sunflower seeds.
Seeds are a classic bird treat, and one of their favorites.
Sunflower seeds are no different, and though, like any one food item, it’s important that you don’t feed them too many, in general they’re totally safe and healthy.
Read on to find out more.
Are sunflower seeds good for parakeets?
Yes, there are many great benefits for parakeets in sunflower seeds.
They are rich in many minerals, like magnesium.
Magnesium has been show to help lower blood pressure, reducing risk of heart disease and other circulatory issues.
The presence of fatty acids in sunflower seeds can also aid in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar, helping prevent long term health problems associated with high cholesterol and blood sugar.
The presence of Vitamin E has been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory.
This helps keep your parakeet feeling happy and at its best.
So, sunflower seeds are packed with many great benefits, and the simplest is that parakeets love the way they taste!
As you’ll probably know if you’re a bird owner, birds love seeds—and sunflower seeds are no different!
However, the fact that they are so nutrient rich means that you shouldn’t feed them sunflower seeds as their main food, or even part of it.
Sunflower seeds should always be given as an extra treat or snack.
They should never be a replacement for the regular, ordinary diet.
So, let’s look at some of the downsides of sunflower seeds.
Are sunflower seeds bad for parakeets?
Sunflowers tend to draw up a lot of cadmium from the soil, which can be problematic in large quantities.
This is one of the reasons you need to be careful about how many you feed them.
Cadmium poisoning is rare, but no joke.
Relatively speaking, compared to other seeds, they are very high in calories.
Your parakeet may eat a lot of them without noticing how calorific they are, and essentially inadvertently gorge themselves.
This will cause pain and discomfort, so make sure to carefully monitor how many they eat.
You should also make sure you buy sunflower seeds that are formulated for birds, and not humans.
Though you might think they would be the same, they’re actually very different, and sunflower seeds for people are usually much more heavily salted.
These would very quickly be a problem for your parakeet.
So, sunflower seeds should only ever represent a small part of your parakeet’s diet.
They are an occasional treat, and not a staple.
This is both because of the potential downsides but also because they are so nutrient rich.
Your parakeet only needs a few to get all the benefits.
Let’s look at the different types of sunflower seeds.
Can parakeets eat linoleic sunflower seeds?
Linoleic are the most common and widely available variety and are totally safe for your parakeet.
Again, you can have linoleic sunflower seeds that are made for humans or birds—indeed, most bird feed sunflower seeds that you find will most likely be linoleic sunflower seeds.
They have the lowest oil and fat content, but there is still enough to provide the benefits.
These are the best type of sunflower seeds to feed to your parakeet, not to mention the easiest to find.
If in any doubt, just buy linoleic sunflower seeds—this is most likely what you will find in the supermarket.
Can parakeets eat high oleic seeds?
High oleic sunflower seeds, assuming you can even find them, are best avoided.
They’re higher in fatty acids, and so present a more considerable problem.
A few would likely be fine, but you would get better results out of feeding them a few ordinary sunflower seeds.
It is best not to feed parakeets high oleic seeds, and not to mention that they will not even be very easy to find.
Can parakeets eat sunflower oil seeds?
Sunflower oil seeds, as you can probably guess, are processed purely for making oil.
This means that they are the fattiest of all the varieties, and therefore should definitely be avoided.
Again, these types are not particularly widely available in supermarkets, so you probably won’t really have a choice to make.
If you do, do not try to feed sunflower oil seeds to your parakeet.
So, yes, sunflower seeds are totally safe and healthy for a parakeet, in good moderation.
They are packed with many benefits and nutrients, but it is for this very reason that the amounts should be carefully monitored.
They will quickly become addictive, and this can be a problem.
Keep strict moderation in mind and you will have no problem feeding ordinary sunflower seeds to your parakeets.