Why is My Budgie is Not Digesting Sunflower Seeds?

Why is My Budgie is Not Digesting Sunflower Seeds?

Last Updated on by Catherine Tobsing

Bella writes:

My budgie is not digesting sunflower seeds and I’m having a hard time finding a mix seed without it. I saw some options but only say cockatiels and parrots. By any chance are any of these options suitable for budgies?

We received your communication and have questions.

Dear Bella

Please provide more information on the problem, you say your bird is not digesting sunflower seeds.

Most budgies are unable to eat them due to their size, are you using a mix with chopped sunflower seeds in it and you are seeing undigested bits of seeds in the bird’s droppings?

How are you able to identify that they are sunflower seed bits and not other seed bits?

In general, if you are seeing undigested bits of food, seeds, etc in your bird’s droppings then there is a health issue that needs to be addressed with your avian vet.

Have you ruled this out with your Vet yet? if so, what did they say?

Please get back to me with more information so we can move forward with food suggestions.

Hi. Thanks for your prompt response and for the additional insight.

To better explain, he had an upper respiratory infection.

Treated with antibiotics for 14 days since the first round wasn’t successful.

During those 2 weeks, he had oral dewormer and topical ivermectin.

Followed by iron multivitamins no probiotics.

Has been over 2 weeks since this situation and he has been acting normal for the most part but his droppings are showing undigested seeds.

When I called the vet and mentioned the situation he only suggested changing to a low fat no sunflower mix or only pellets.

Didn’t make much sense to me since we don’t know what is causing it but he didn’t book a visit either.

Kinda letting me do the homework. This is my first budgie and he’s only 3 months old therefore I’m a little lost as to what to do and what to give him in his diet.

To add, not all his droppings show seeds. He also still has moments of hard breathing or acting as if he’s hot when the weather is good.

He tends to have his feet hot at night. He’s a happy bird, very talkative but his hunger seems to never cease.

Always picking everything. I mentioned these things to the vet and he makes it seem normal and I’m overseeing things.

I’m looking for another vet preferably an avian expert but where I live the options are scarce. Meanwhile doing my best to give this little guy the best life and nutrition possible.

Thanks for any information, suggestions, and guidance you can provide.


Okay, unfortunately, most animal Vets are not trained on birds. So they mainly throw everything they can at any problem without it being a for sure. Even a trained Avian Vet is often guessing as birds are not very good patients. It is very much trial and error. Requiring lots of expensive tests if the Vet can’t figure it out visually.

Find an avian vet near you.

That the vet is suggesting pellets is a standard quote from them as seeds somehow are considered unhealthy for all birds. Due to so much fatty liver disease seen in birds because of a mainly seed diet, small cages, and no exercise.

You can switch to a pelleted diet, but budgies are primarily seed eaters even in the wild. They just get more exercise in the wild which helps counteract and burn off excess fats.

The antibiotics likely have led to the undigested seeds as the bird’s system is not working as well due to it.

I would recommend a pro-biotic like this one to rebuild it.

Parakeets are wonderful little birds, but they are all quite inbred and can be prone to illnesses and passing earlier than they should.

You can only do what you can and not beat yourself up or break the bank if you can’t help this little one.

Thanks so much. Yes is very true. And he’s free 4-6 hours a day with plenty of exercise. Will go for this probiotic today. Really appreciate you taking the time. Bella.

Hoping for the best for your little one, Catherine.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I’m not a. Vet. I have budgies many years.
    Bella : my humble suggestion. I would not give sunflower seeds! I would offer in separate dishes an average mix with millet in it And Dr. Harvey Finch! It’s hulled already. Your 3 month old is still learning to eat. I have had great success doing this with a sick bird that lived a good life and recovered. I have no monetary interest in Dr. Harvey. The bad news: He may have formerly called macaw wasting disease.
    Hard for a dog and cat vet to handle. I’m in NYC and there are only a few AVIAN, board certified vets.
    So be careful and read and learn alot.
    Try this . It may be just you are feeding the sunflower seeds that he can’t digest. It is hard to see the difference in spilled seed found in poop and seed just scattered in poop from activity in the cage. Monitor the poops. Read about normal ones. Watch if he is not fluffed up. I hope this helps.
    Best to you and your budgie.

    1. The budgies want nothing to do with the seeds, they were showing interest because of the big birds who love them.



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