There are many differing opinions about the best diet for parakeets, but one thing we can all agree on is that fresh vegetables and fruits are an important part of a budgie’s diet. Parakeets and fresh produce has been a major source of concern in my household lately, since the beginning of the pandemic.
We used to grocery shop weekly, typically on a Sunday morning and I would be sure to stock up on fresh produce for the flock. Usually this would include something for them to bathe on, like a big bunch of cilantro, parsley or carrot tops. Additionally, we would pick up a broccoli crown, and maybe some celery and whatever else looked good that week to have them try. Then, throughout the week I would make them a vegetable snack when I got home from work for the day. Some days they would eat it and others they would either ignore the vegetable or play with it, but at least I knew I was always giving them the option, and providing enrichment in one way or another!
During the pandemic, this got significantly more difficult. Instead of grocery shopping weekly we started going just a couple of times a month. This meant I had to plan meals for a longer time frame and was bringing in less fresh produce overall. I am sure part of it was panic, but I also focused more on shelf stable foods like pastas and soups, just in case there was a longer period where we weren’t able to get out to the store.
As we moved through the first few months of the pandemic and started feeling like we needed to get out of crisis mode, I realized that we were already having another crisis of parakeets and fresh produce, or lack thereof! We didn’t really want to go back to the grocery store every week, and there’s only so much frozen peas and corn you can feed a parakeet (seriously, as they are starchy and sugary, respectively).
Additionally, we realized that we humans were also in a crisis of fresh produce, so this meant we had a household-wide problem to solve. Enter Misfits Market, a subscription-based service delivering organic produce that’s been rescued from being garbage and only occasionally looks a little funny. Note: this post is not sponsored by Misfits Market and I am not being compensated for this post. They have a couple of options and as a family of two (plus three budgies) the smaller Mischief box has been perfect for us.
Every week we get a pretty hefty shipment of fresh fruits and vegetables, all organic, and many of them sharable with parakeets. Of course some of it doesn’t work for our budgie pals, like citrus fruits, onions, potatoes, etc., but they love celery and they’ve tried so many new things because of this box (and so have we humans, incidentally!).
Kevin also got to try beet greens, which he loved immediately.
The Mischief box is $26 per week/box, initially it wasn’t helping us reduce our spend at the grocery store, but I found that I just needed to adjust my meal planning to include more of the good fresh stuff, especially after being in more of a shelf stable or frozen food rut.
Now I’m enjoying an afternoon smoothie instead of reaching for potato chips, and the budgies are chowing down much more routinely on new fruits and veggies in addition to their old favorites. If you have any questions about Misfits Markets let me know! It’s certainly been a game changer for my parakeets and fresh produce supply.