Budgies are attracted to the sweetness of honey, but they should never be eating it. You might be tempted to add honey to your budgie’s food as a sweetener or may think it can provide vital nutrients to your pet budgie. But sorry, these are all misleading, and you’ll do no good by giving honey to your budgie.
Can budgies eat honey, or is it harmful? Honey (especially in the unpasteurized form) can be extremely dangerous to your budgie since it contains spores produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. It can cause a serious illness known as botulism to your budgie. But, you can give Honey Pinecone to your budgies and make them at your home too.
Many consider pasteurized honey for their parakeet, but it should still be avoided as the pasteurization process has little effect on botulism spores.
We’ll learn more about why you should avoid giving honey to your budgies.
Can You Feed Honey to Budgies
Honey is a sweet and sticky item that bees produce from flower nectars. Although it has many health benefits for humans, it’s not safe for birds like budgies. So you shouldn’t feed honey to budgies in any form.
As we’ve said, honey contains a botulism spore that can have a fatal effect on budgie’s nervous system leading to issues like breathing difficulty, weakness, and even paralysis.
Honey is an excellent natural sweetener, and many think about giving a small amount of it to the budgies once in a while. Although a small quantity of pasteurized honey might not harm your parakeet, it’s still recommended to avoid it. In fact, you should generally avoid sugary treats for your budgie as a rule of thumb.
A sweet treat can deposit fat to your budgie’s body and doesn’t allow it to maintain a healthy weight. Some even consider feeding budgies food like biscuits made out of honey, honey nut cheerios, or honey water. You can give all the mentioned items as rare treats for your budgie, but they could still be risky and require you to monitor for any signs of discomfort in your bird. We think it’s not worth taking these risks!
There’s one particular instance when feeding your pasteurized honey to the budgie can come in handy. When your budgie is weak or dehydrated, a small amount of honey water can energize them.
Do Budgies Like Honey?
When a budgie gets to taste honey, they seem to be very fond of its sweet taste. They even consider it a special and enjoyable treat without realizing its harm. Since you’re the one who knows it, you better avoid feeding honey to your budgie.
Risks For Budgies Eating Honey
Honey can be dangerous for budgies. Some of its major risks include:
Causes Botulism & Serious Illness
The main reason budgies can’t eat honey is because of the risk of botulism associated with its intake. Botulism (Avian Botulism to be precise) is caused by toxin excreted from Clostridium botulinum bacteria that bind to budgies’ nervous system and interferes with their muscle movements.
Excessive botulism in raw honey can kill the budgies reasonably quickly if fed in larger amounts. Even a small quantity of honey can cause serious illnesses like lethargy, breathing difficulty, or paralysis of the budgies.
Causes Sugar-Related Diseases
If we keep the toxicity of the honey aside, it’s still harmful to budgies as it contains a high amount of sugar, including fructose and glucose. Excessive sugar can lead to diseases like fatty liver, diabetes, obesity, atherosclerosis, etc. Remember, the sugar requirement for the budgies naturally gets fulfilled with their regular daily diet.
Reject Healthy Diets
Some consider feeding a small amount of pasteurized honey to their budgies, which is generally safe if fed sparingly. But it could enhance their demand for sugary treats, and they might even reject the regular seed-based pelleted diets. As a result, your budgie can lack vital nutrients and suffer from different health issues.
Why Shouldn’t You Feed Honey to Budgies?
Let’s encapsulate the whole thing again and see why you shouldn’t feed honey to budgies.
- Raw honey contains harmful bacteria and cause life-threatening diseases to your budgie
- Honey is high in sugar and can cause sugar-related health problems even if it’s given in the pasteurized form
- Sugary treats like honey can interfere with the budgies healthy diet
Can you feed Honey to Baby Budgies? If so, how?
There’s no way you can feed honey to baby budgies in any of its forms. They have a very weak immune system and botulism caused by the bacteria in the honey could cost them their life reasonably quickly.
A Couple of Exceptions to Treat Honey Products to Budgies
If all these cautions are not enough and you’re still looking for ways to feed honey to your budgie, then we’ve got the answer for you. We’ll look at a couple of occasions when it’s alright to give honey products to your budgie. These include:
Honey Water During Dehydration
Isaac Kehimkar, the deputy director of Bombay Natural History Society, says honey water encourages birds to drink faster. So if you’re in extreme heat and you see your budgie isn’t drinking enough and suffering from dehydration, you can try this trick.
Honey Sticks as an Occasional Treat
Honey seed sticks are a popular treat for parakeets. These are seeds stuck together with honey and a variety of ingredients. Although they don’t fulfill nutritional requirements, many pet owners consider them a delicious treat for their budgies. So if you really want a honey treat for your budgie, you can give it sparingly, maybe once a month.
If your budgie has accidentally eaten raw honey, go to the vet immediately, even if it doesn’t show any serious symptoms.
If your bird has ingested a small amount of toxin in the honey, it may survive with careful nursing by professional vets. However, if they’ve consumed a larger amount or the diagnosis of the botulism was delayed, you mightn’t get it cured. As a result, most affected budgies will die.
Pasteurization of honey doesn’t kill 100 percent of the botulism spores; it only kills a portion of them. So pasteurized honey is safe in small quantities, but it isn’t entirely safe for the budgies.
We understand you want to ensure a well-balanced and varied diet for your budgie. But the variety has to be chosen wisely. Before serving it to your loving parakeet, you need to know if the item is good or bad. Honey is a kind of item that you should avoid feeding your budgie for many reasons. It can cause bacteria-induced illness and even cost your bird’s life.
The pasteurized form of honey can be fed to your budgie in the form of a honey stick or honey water in a smaller amount sparingly. But it still includes risks, and you must closely monitor the parakeet to see if it shows any signs of illness. We don’t think it’s worth taking risks, and you should better avoid feeding it to your budgie. Rather look for a safer and healthier alternative to treat your darling bird!