I have been doing some research, many budgie owners have been recommended to feed celery to their budgies for two main reasons, celery promotes budgie health due to its high amount of vitamins and minerals, and also because it promotes budgie reproduction.
The fact is, although celery is a vegetable with many advantages from a nutritional point of view, you should be very cautious, budgies can eat celery, and in fact it is recommended, but you should limit its consumption because celery is highly laxative and can cause diarrhea to the budgie in large quantities.
Actually, celery is not toxic, but it contains some essential oils in its composition which could have contraindications in some animals.
Also, celery is rich in fiber, it contains 1.8 grams of fiber per 100 grams, this amount in people and large animals works as a regulator of the intestine, but in a bird as small as a budgies could cause diarrhea if ingested too often.
In fact, one of the essential oils of celery is known to cause abortion problems in women, pregnant women are advised not to eat celery, in birds only the effect of diarrhea is known to be caused by large intakes.
Among the essential oils contained in celery are apiol, limonene, and psoralens, these essential oils are antibacterial but are also responsible for the laxative action of celery.
How much celery can a budgie eat?
As we have previously mentioned, the ideal is to feed celery to the budgie periodically and without exceeding the appropriate amounts. This ration should be between 9-10% of its body weight, that is to say about 4 grams.
As for the frequency of feeding, you can give frequent celery to the budgie, but it is not recommended to give it on a daily basis, the consumption of celery for a budgie should be limited to 1-2 times per week.
The precautions in the regulation of the use of celery as food for the budgie is due to the potent laxative effect contained in celery, a large or continuous intake could cause dehydration and diarrhea.
Benefits of celery for budgies
Celery fed to birds contributes high content of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin A, a vitamin known to help preventing the appearance of ocular diseases.
It possesses detoxifying properties of the organism, has anti-inflammatory properties and protects the liver of the birds acting as a natural hepatoprotective agent.
It is an anti-parasitic and a biological antibacterial that prevents the appearance of gastrointestinal and respiratory bacterial diseases (asthma and mild colds).
Celery provides almost all vitamins as a food:
- Vitamin A
- All the vitamins of group B
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Although in comparison with the rest of vegetables these quantities of vitamins are smaller, the contribution of minerals is also minimal, being potassium the most abundant in celery.
Feeding celery stalk or leaves to budgies?
The common and most known use of how to eat celery is the stalk, although actually the leaves can also be eaten, in reality neither the stalk nor the leaves of celery contain any toxic component for budgies.
Only caution should be taken with feeding them excessively, I have repeated this phrase several times in this topic.
Celery is not toxic in normal quantities, both the leaves and the stalk contain the same components with certain exceptions.
The stalk for example, is much more fibrous than the leaves, it is not that it contains toxic components, but its fibers are much longer and could be complicated to digest for a parakeet if it is not cut in suitable pieces.
Celery leaves contain goitrogens, a substance known to cause problems in excessive amounts in people, but I repeat, both the essential oils and the goitrogen will be harmful in excessive ingestion, in moderate ingestion celery is totally safe.
Budgies can eat both celery leaves and spinach leaves, they are nutritious and varied, but it is recommended not to give more than one leaf per week.
How to feed celery to budgies?
The best way to feed celery is raw, since it contains all its nutrients, obviously, wash it very well and properly before feeding it to the budgies.
In the case of the stalk, as we mentioned, because it is the most fibrous part, cut it as small as possible, in pieces that do not represent a problem for the budgie’s digestion, although the budgie can peck at the stalk, it is best to make things easier for him.
If you want you can give him only the stalk, but if you want to feed him the leaves too, only give him a single or two leaf and no more, do not let the budgies eat freely from the celery leaves, you must control the intake.
The stalk can also be cooked to give it to the budgies, steamed or boiled, this way it is much softer, although this could reduce the number of nutrients.
Other celery-like vegetables
Popular vegetables similar to celery include lettuce, spinach and parsley. Parsley was previously considered a toxic vegetable for birds, but this has been dismissed as misinformation, only that like celery, it should be fed in moderate amounts.
Spinach is another very popular vegetable with very good nutritional properties, but spinach contains oxalic acid, a compound that can produce negative effects when consumed in large quantities, so it is also considered to be consumed in moderation.