How Long Can Budgies Live Without Food And Water? {How To Feed A Budgie}

Are concerned about starved or dehydrated budgies without food and water? How soon should you react if you notice that a budgie has been left unattended? In this article, we’ll discuss how long budgies can survive without food and water.

How Long Can Budgies Live Without Food And Water? Budgies burn energy quickly with a high metabolism that needs constant replenishment. 24 hours without food is pushing it and 2-3 days leads to certain death. If the foods contain water content, your budgie may survive longer without water, but longer than a day without any hydration will be fatal. 

How Many Days Can An Adult Budgie Survive Without Food?

It’s safe to say that babies and juvenile budgies need constant feedings from their mother or us to make sure they have a chance at reaching maturity. The smaller the animal, the more food they need to keep their bodies warm and nourished.

The colder the weather, the more food and water is needed. If an adult budgie must be left at home without anyone caring for it, leave plenty of water and food and do not be concerned about overeating. Most budgies know when to stop eating when they feel full.

24-36 hours without food or water will make an adult budgie very ill. A younger budgie will certainly die. If you’re not too late, the adult may have a chance at survival with urgent help and medication.

How Much Food Do Parakeets Need?

A budgie or budgerigar is commonly referred to as a parakeet in the US. Some sizes may vary and the servings will as well. Thankfully, these birds do not gorge themselves to death. They know when their small stomachs are full. It’s best to leave slightly more food than they need.

1 tablespoon of pellets a day may suffice, but it’s better to portion out 2 tablespoons instead. Your parakeet or budgie will feel calmer knowing that food is always available and won’t the need to fly around looking for more.

Add 20%:

  • seeds
  • millet
  • fruits
  • vegetables

Focus on 80%

  • pellets designed for budgies or parakeets. 
YouTube video

Why Do Budgies Need To Eat So Often?

Due to its extremely well functioning metabolism, a budgie needs to keep eating throughout the day. An active budgie will fly back into the cage to eat in between periods of exercise and bonding time with you.

The cooler temperatures forces your budgie to eat more frequently to stay warm. Forgetting to fill a dish of food or water when you leave the house isn’t an emergency if you are set to return later in the day. After 24 hours, your budgie will rely on stored fat, but will get weaker.

36-48 hours later, your budgie may not survive. The pressure to keep the metabolism functioning at such a high burn rate means that you cannot afford to leave your budgie without food or water for anything longer than a day. We hope it never has to come to that.

How Often Should Parakeets Drink?

Parakeets or budgies in the wild derive from the Australian Outback where water is scarce. They are adept to finding water sources and perching near them. These birds are able to pull water out of their food to survive in such conditions.

Thankfully, our budgies at home don’t need to resort to survival mode. We can continue to replenish the water to avoid running a test on how long they can go without water. Budgies don’t have sweat glands and won’t perspire.

Change the water often to avoid dirt, droppings or debris from falling in. A picky budgie will not drink from a dirty water dish.

  • Continue to fill the water dish 1-2 times a day at the very least.
  • The minimal consumption is about a teaspoon of water a day.

How Can I Get My Budgie To Drink More Water?

Budgies are able to control the amount of water they need without being forced to drink. We do need to step in on hotter days. If they have been out in the sun, they will need water nearby. You can train a budgie to drink from a bottle when it’s needed during outdoor trips.

  • Keep the water dish clean
  • Add a drop of honey to sweeten the water
  • Offer watery fruits

A fussy budgie won’t drink from a dirty dish with stagnant water. A drop of sweet honey could be added occasionally for budgies who lack the appetite due to stress, fear or depression. Fruits contain plenty of hydrating liquids inside and they can help your budgie replenish in times of need.

Can I Leave My Budgie Alone For A Weekend?

Budgies are social and would feel lonely without you. If you have a group or pair of budgies, they may keep each other company. It’s best to ask someone to check in on your single budgie after 24-36 hours.

If you must leave and there is no one to help on short notice, make sure the dishes are full of water and pellets. You can add additional dishes without the fear of them overeating.


Budgies or parakeets go 24-36 hours without food and up to 48 hours without water. Illness or dehydration may lead to a budgie’s death.

Even though a budgie loves seeds, the nutrition content is not as great as pellets. Keep the dishes full if you’re stepping out for the day. Hopefully your budgie will not miss you too much while their best friend is out.


Thanks for visiting where we create content based on our experience with the expertise of professionals in our community of budgie enthusiasts. We hope to see you again for another article about our favourite birds!