Can Budgies Eat Sunflower Seeds? Yes, But With Caution!

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A budgie’s diet should combine different berries, nuts, vegetables, fruits, and seeds. When you prepare the portion of seeds, you need to know which seeds your birds can eat. For example, can budgies eat sunflower seeds?

Budgies can eat sunflower seeds mixed with other foods as a part of their diet. They have many nutrients beneficial for budgies. But the amount should be moderate as the seeds are high in fat.

Read more to know how to feed your budgies sunflower seeds.

Can Budgies Eat Sunflower Seeds?

Budgies love sunflower seeds because they are tasty. The seeds are healthy and do not contain poisons that could make the birds sick.

Yet, as with the other items in their meals, the portion of sunflower seeds should be moderate. That does not mean it is better not to add them all because they offer ample health benefits for your budgies. I will explain them in the next section.

How Do Sunflower Seeds Keep My Budgies Healthy?

Feeding sunflower seeds in a moderate amount enables your budgies to get the following health benefits.


Sunflower seeds contain a lot of protein. In fact, no other seeds have as much protein as sunflower seeds. They elevate your budgies’ energy and maintain their feather health. Moreover, they also contain selenium and vitamin B1 to produce energy.

Vitamins And Minerals

Sunflower seeds contain multiple vitamins and minerals essential for budgies’ proper growth. Look at the table to learn about what they do.

NamesHow They Help
Vitamin APrevents swollen eyes and weight loss
Vitamin EPromotes healthy cell formation, better immunity system, and healthy feather and skin
Vitamin B6Improves immunity and nerve functions
CalciumDevelops strong bone health
MagnesiumStrengthens muscle health
PotassiumHelps with growth

Fiber And Probiotics

The high-fiber content of sunflower seeds facilitates the birds’ digestive system by smoothening its functions. Besides, they have probiotics to maintain the gut microbiota and prevent digestive disorders.

Selenium And Zinc

Many components in the seeds help boost your budgie’s immunity, the most powerful of which are selenium and zinc. While selenium battles against infection and inflammation, zinc takes care of developing immune cells. Also, it aids in growing bones with its bone-regenerating quality.

Do Sunflower Seeds Do Anything For Budgies’ Mental Health?

Yes, sunflower seeds can improve your budgie’s mental health. Credit goes to their vitamin E. The high amount of vitamin E works for the betterment of the birds’ cognitive functions. As a result, their anxiety levels decline and they feel more cheerful and active.

They will stay more stable under stress and handle it better. If you have a depressed budgie, you can give it sunflower seeds with its diet. However, it is always better to consult a vet if the situation seems serious.

Are Sunflower Seeds Anti-Inflammatory?

Sunflower seeds have flavonoid antioxidants, vitamin E, and other plant compounds that make them anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is connected to diabetes, cancer, heart problems, and other aging-related diseases.

So, while promoting fast healing, routine consumption in a suitable amount will decrease the chance of such diseases for your budgies when they age.

Why Shouldn’t Budgies Eat Them In Large Amounts?

Because eating sunflower seeds in large amounts can cause the following problems:

  • These seeds are high in calories and fat. Eating a few of them with other foods is okay, but too many can cause obesity.
  • High consumption can create digestive problems instead of solving them by causing intestinal blockages and constipation.
  • Since budgies enjoy eating sunflower seeds, they will soon become addicted. Once they do, they will refuse to eat anything else. That can consequently lead to a lack of nutrition and even death.

How Much And How Often Should I Feed The Seeds To My Budgies?

First, do not make sunflower seeds the main part of your budgie’s diet. It should be a small portion, a supplementary diet. You can use it for treats during training sessions. The portion should be a maximum of 10% of the entire meal.

Second, when following the rule above, do not add them more than twice a week. Finally, the total amount of the seeds in the two times should be at most 2 tablespoons. Do not give more, even if your budgies want them.

Can My Budgies Have Both Striped And Black Oil Sunflower Seeds?

Yes, your budgies can have both sunflower seeds. The striped seeds are large compared to the black oil seeds, with thick shells and white stripes. They are also less oily. So, your budgies will prefer black oil seeds for their better taste. Plus, they are easier to crack due to thin shells.

But striped seeds are healthier for budgies because the low-fat content reduces the chance of obesity. Besides, as we humans eat these seeds, they are available freshly packed in the market. Either way, striped sunflower seeds are the better option.

Should I Crack The Shells Before Giving The Seeds?

Budgies can crack the shells on their own. It stimulates their foraging instincts and provides enrichment. Therefore, you do not have to crack them.

That said, older and younger budgies and others with mobility problems may not enjoy it and have trouble opening the seeds. In that case, give them only black oil seeds or de-shell them. As for baby budgies, do not give them sunflower seeds because they can hurt and damage their beaks.

Should I Only Offer Plain Seeds?

Always offer plain seeds to your birds. Although they will eat sunflower seeds roasted with salt, oil, and other additives, they are very harmful to their health and can cause kidney, liver, and heart diseases.

On another note, you can give them sprouted sunflower seeds. They are richer in nutrients because sprouting pulls out antinutrients. So they provide more health benefits.

Can I Replace Sunflower Seeds With Other Seeds?

Of course. Sunflower seeds are not the only seeds budgies can eat. You can replace them with canary grass, safflower, pumpkin, and millet seeds. They all have plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants vital for your budgies’ health and growth.


Since budgies love to eat seeds, they won’t refuse sunflower seeds. But it’s best to give them sparingly to avoid digestion problems. Their main diet should include pellets, as well as a mix of veggies and fruits.

Budgie Info