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  Budgie nibbles native grassesA very tasty and healthy addition to the daily diet of pet birds is feeding them on native grasses. My budgies love these grasses and gorge themselves each and every time I offer this fresh food. But if you are allergic to the pollen of native grasses, you should better not pick them. Even if you don't suffer from a pollen allergy yourself, please let visitors know that you feed your birds on half-ripe grasses as your guests might be allergic to grass pollen.

If you are not allergic to pollen, you should take a walk and pick some grass for your birds in springtime or summer. It is a good idea to carry a pocket-knife or scissors and a string with you while picking grass. So you can easily cut the grass stems and bind them to a little bunch. Grass bunches can be kept in a vase for three to four days if you change the water each day and of course loosen the string. Otherwise, there will be mould between the stems within one or two days.

Half-ripe grasses can also be stored in the freezer until the winter season. Ripe grasses can be stored in a dry, cool place and they should be protected against dust.

Poisonous or not?
Meadow foxtailsThere is no need to be afraid of poisoning your pet birds with native grasses because most species are edible. So if the grasses are not chemically treated, you can offer them to your birds each day. Please never pick native grasses near main roads, railways or agricultural areas because the grasses may contain pesticides and other dangerous chemicals! In this sub-category of Birds Online you can find descriptions and photos of edible grass species. There are more information on other species to come in the future.

Are the small insects on grasses dangerous for birds?
Very often one can find lots of small insects on the grass panicles. Aphids and greenflies, for example, are not poisonous for pet birds. Therefore you don't have to worry if your birds eat them. In their native Australian home, wild budgies also eat small insects from time to time.

If you don't want to take too many small insects to your home with the grasses, just shake them while you're on the meadow or somewhere else outside. Most tiny insects will then fall to the ground.

How to offer native grasses
Freezer clips are a perfect aid for fixing grassesFirst of all, you have to wash the grasses. For feeding my birds, I "weave" the grasses into the upper parts of their cages or I fix the grasses with clothes-pins. Attention: Please make sure that the clothes-pins will not change their position. In case they do and a bird has its foot in the way, this could lead to a serious injury.

Another way to fix grasses is the following: Plastic clips for freezer bags are very helpful. They prevent that the birds will carry the grasses away and make a mess in your room.

Native grass lovers at work

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