Is this a proper budgie cage set up?

many budgies in birdcage aviary
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Somewhere along the way, these finches learned the benefit nicotine, the same stuff that is a natural insecticide of tobacco plants which keeps mites and other parasites out of nests.


Is it okay to feed a budgie parakeet black peppercorn?

Is it okay to feed a budgie parakeet black peppercorn?

Linda B, Owned and managed by three feathered friends


Answered Oct 20


Absolutely it is okay and in fact quite healthy to feed budgies black peppercorn and other spices. Black peppercorns are high in vital antioxidants and are super healthy for parrots and people alike.


Budgies and all the psittacines love spicy foods, and their bodies, like ours, regularly metabolize them. In fact, parrots have a much greater tolerance for spice and can chomp on a cayenne or habanero pepper without so much as a wince, as they lack capsaicin receptors that would make the experience unbearable to most of us humans and other mammals.


Black pepper contains piperine, a powerful cancer-inhibiting and cell-supporting and repairing antioxidant. Piperine also allows curcumin, the primary antioxidant in turmeric, to be more bioavaiable (nutritionally available) in the body, so the two spices are great to pair together.


I sprinkle all kinds of herbs and spices in my birds’ wet foods, and sometimes they enjoy a simple treat of a few black peppercorns. You might want to check out my Quora answer on Do budgies like spices?.


mitchr’s response


Full transparency – I sell bird food


26 brands including Harrison’s, Roudybush and Hagen – all the top lines.


I’m also a data guy


I  took a quick survey and not one of the 26 brands of commercial bird food on our shelves contains peppercorns.


Even Harrison’s Lifetime Pepper only contains red pepper powder.


So we have to ask, if these global pet food companies  are spending millions of dollars a year on nutritional research but are not using peppercorns, why is that?


Two other concerns would be peppercorns possibly causing heartburn while in the crop up to six hours.


Peppercorns being may be bulky enough to satisfy the birds hunger but cannot satisfy a captive bird’s nutritional needs.


If you are seeking safe antioxidants try decaf green tea, used by most zoos blended into most of the residents foods.


Mark Hagen founded the Hagen Avicultural Research Institute 30 years ago housing 250 pairs of wild caught and domestic parrots


This facility is used to research bird food (among other activities)


If Mark does not include peppercorns in his unique formulations, I would advocate not serving peppercorns to any captive bird.


Just because someone’s birds happen to like a particular food or spice does not mean it is safe.




He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.