Beetroot is one of those foods that people either love or hate? However, these veggies are a highly nutritional veggie which then makes you ponder, can budgies eat beetroot?
Well, wonder no more, yes, budgies can eat beets and it’s not a contentious point as their love of this earthy root vegetable is widespread amongst our feathery friends.
How to Prepare Beetroot for Budgies to Eat
When you picture beetroots in your mind, you likely see the most common version. A deep reddish purple in color, perhaps in thin raw slices on a salad, or thicker, pickled cuts.
But, not only are beets subject to many different forms of preparation, they come in a variety of colors as well.
Nutritionally, not much changes between them, however that strong pigmentation will be a consideration with preparation.
When choosing beets for your budgies, remember that the darker varieties have very potent pigmentation, and their juice will leave stains.
Budgies enjoy playing with their food, and when that food is beetroot, the juice can get all over them — and everything around them.
However, if you choose white or golden beets, you won’t have this problem to begin with.
It’s true that red beets have a slight nutritional edge due to the phytonutrients responsible for their pigmentation, the macronutrient profile of beets is basically the same.
If you buy red beets, prepare the area around the budgie’s cage with paper or plastic to shield furniture and carpeting from stains. Don’t worry about the juice on the feathers — that stain will clear up in a few days.
Once you have your beets, the first step is to wash them thoroughly. This is to clear away dirt and pesticide residue. Once done, you have several options for preparing them.
Serving beetroots raw is ideal for your budgie. They have the most nutrients in this format, and retain their crunchy texture, which offers more tactile enjoyment for your bird.
If you have treat clips, you can cut small pieces and affix them to the clips around the cage.
Cutting the beetroot in half, or grating it into a dish, are excellent serving options. Grated is especially good if you have chicks, as adults love to feed this food to their little ones.
If you have cooked beets, you can serve them as long as they weren’t cooked in salt or seasoning.
Avoid pickled beets, but boiled and roasted are okay. They are softer, but may still hold up in a treat clip, or on a spike, if you want to hang them.
Is Beetroot Good for Budgies?
Beetroot is a very healthy food for your budgie. Its moderate sugar content provides quick energy, but not at a level that will endanger blood sugar levels.
It is a good source of fiber, which aids digestion, and even has a small amount of protein.
While beetroots don’t have a large variety of vitamins and minerals, they are significant sources of those they do contain.
Still, don’t rely on this veggie as your budgie’s exclusive food source. Mix it in with other, complementary feed.
When it comes to vitamins, beetroot’s main offerings are:
- Vitamin B9 (folate)
- Vitamin C
These are both essential to the health of your beaked buddy. Folate is instrumental in the body’s conversion of food into energy. It helps your budgie metabolise carbohydrates, fats, and protein.
Meanwhile, vitamin C empowers a bird’s immune system, and helps to keep their skin, blood vessels, and bones in top condition.
Beetroot also contains the following essential minerals:
Iron allows for the blood to efficiently take up oxygen, which is crucial for all internal bodily functions. Manganese keeps your budgie from developing abnormal bone formations.
Potassium regulates the balance of fluids in your birds body, along with muscle contractions and nerve signalling.
But, nutrition isn’t decided by vitamins and minerals alone. Beetroot contains several beneficial plant compounds as well.
For instance, in red beetroots, betanin is the pigment responsible for that deep coloration. It is also an antioxidant that lowers inflammation, and may assist in detoxification.
Inorganic nitrates are present at high levels in this veggie as well.
While research is ongoing, promising studies have shown these nitrates can lower blood pressure and reduce the incidence of disease — all good news for your budgie.
And, while I’m sure your bird always has ample fresh water available, beetroots are more than 85% water themselves.
This is a helpful trait for feeding chicks, as they can get enough hydration and nutrients from the same source.