Can parakeets eat rice? Parakeets are exotic birds, and many people struggle with what they can and can’t feed to them. After all, there are thousands of foods in the world, and not all of them are safe for parakeet consumption.
Rice is one of the most common grains in the world, and most households eat it regularly. Since it’s eaten so often and doesn’t spoil easily many people have it in their home at most times. When you’re preparing this food, you might consider giving some of it to your parakeet. But before you do, you should always check it to ensure that it’s safe for them to eat and if there are any risks attached to it.
In today’s guide, we’re going to take a closer look at parakeets and whether or not they can eat rice.
The short and sweet of it is this: Parakeets can eat rice. They can eat this grain without any issues and it’s a good source of fiber and protein. It should not be the majority of their diet, but giving it to your parakeet on occasion will not harm them. Both raw and boiled rice are safe for consumption. If you’re worried about raw rice exploding in their stomach – don’t be, this is an urban legend that has been debunked many times.
What’s in rice
There are many different kinds of rice, you’ve got brown, white, jasmine, wild, and many other kinds. It is one of the most commonly eaten foods in the world, especially in Asia and Africa. Let’s take a look at what’s in this grain, so we can determine if it contains anything that’s harmful to parakeets.
While there are many different kinds of rice, their nutritional contents don’t differ too much; they mostly contain the same stuff, brown rice just has more of the good stuff and is slightly healthier to eat.
Let’s take a look at a table to see the macro differences between these two variants.
As you can see, the brown variant is higher in fiber, and fats while being lower in carbs and calories. In addition, it also contains more antioxidants and essential amino acids, making it the healthier option of the two.
On the whole, none of the variants contain anything that’s harmful to your parakeet and they can both be fed to your parakeet without any issue. In fact, it’s pretty healthy for them. It provides them with an easily digestible source of protein and fiber which is good for their overall well being.
How to feed rice to parakeets?
Now that we’ve determined that there’s nothing in rice that’s harmful to your budgie you might think: “Great, time to feed my parakeet!”. But not so quick, let’s first take a look at how to feed them this grain.
Cooked or uncooked?
Let’s start by taking a look at cooked vs uncooked rice.
Since rice expands when it absorbs water there are some rumors going around that your bird will explode when it eats uncooked rice. Luckily, this is not true. It’s nothing more than an urban myth and it has been debunked many times. In the wild many birds eat uncooked rice very frequently without any adverse effects.
However, most parakeets do seem to enjoy eating it more when it’s boiled. It also makes it easier for them to digest and for that reason, this is the preferred way of feeding it for most budgie owners.
When you give it to them cooked I do recommend you wash it after cooking. If you do not wash it, it’s too sticky and can cause problems.
Only feed plain rice
When you’re giving your parakeet rice you have to make absolutely sure that you do not salt it. Birds like budgies do not need salt in their diet and adding it to the food they eat can cause a lot of damage to their kidneys.
When you’re boiling some of these grains for you and your birdie, make sure to not add salt to the cooking water. Just salt the portion you’re going to eat when it’s on your plate instead!
You should also not add any other spices to it; it’s best to feed it to them plain and simple!
What about rice cakes?
You can feed rice cakes to your parakeet, but make sure that they’re plain and unsalted. As long as it contains no added fats, sugars, or any flavorings it should be safe for your bird to consume as an occasional treat.
Always make sure to check the label for the ingredients used though.
Can they eat Rice Krispies?
They can! Rice Krispies are a cereal that they can eat. However, you should only give it to them very rarely as a special treat. You should also make sure to double-check the label to see if it doesn’t contain any added sugar.
How often should I give my parakeet rice?
The most important thing when it comes to any pet is to give them a balanced diet. Parakeets are no exception to this rule. You should not feed them a diet exclusively consisting of rice, since it lacks many nutrients that are important for your bird. However, adding it to their diet from time to time will not harm them and give them a good boost of protein and fiber.
The majority of their diet should still consist of seeds and fruits, with grains like this only being given to them on special occasions.
Other foods parakeets can eat
Parakeets can be pretty picky eaters. It might happen that yours doesn’t want to eat any rice. If that’s the case you might want to try feeding them something else instead. Take a look at the list of ideas below to see what other foods you can give your budgie.
- Bread (only on special occasions)
If you’re curious about what else a parakeet can eat and what not to feed your parakeet, I suggest you check out this guide.