Salad Leaves – Terry Tuxford, UK

We talk about green food for our birds and the need for it to be clean and contamination free. So what better place to choose is than from the salad counter of the local supermarket where pre-washed salad greens are available at acceptable prices.

There are many different varieties of salad leaves available. When buying look for fresh, blemish-free leaves and avoid those that droop or wilt. Buy ready mixed salad leaves or choose your own selection of lettuce and salad leaves to make a mixed salad, full of different flavours, textures and colours. Fresh herbs such as coriander, basil or parsley can also be added for extra flavour and texture. This will give your budgerigars a feast that they will surely relish.

Here are details of a few items that you may find available in the shops.

Baby leaf spinach

One of the most popular salad leaves, baby spinach is soft, yet thick with a pleasant blandness.




The elongated leaves of this variety make it easily recognisable; it has a firm texture and a subtle nutty flavour.



These feathery, curly bitter salad leaves are a member of the chicory family and are also known as curly endive. The leaves range in colour from yellow-white to yellow-green and are available all year.


Gourmet aromatic herb salad

A freshly prepared mixture of distinctively flavoured leaves, including green oak leaves, baby lollo rosso, rocket, chervil and coriander.

Iceberg lettuce

A crisphead lettuce with an excellent dense, crunchy texture and a pale green colour, it will keep fresh for up to 5 days.


Lamb’s lettuce

The small spoon-shaped leaves of this variety add interest to mixed leaf salads. It has a nutty flavour and is also known as corn salad.


Little gem

A small compact lettuce with crispy, round leaves. They have firm hearts and a distinct flavour.



Similar in appearance to rocket, this Oriental leaf has a hot, mustardy flavour.



With its distinctive pinky, red leaves radicchio it is a member of the chicory family, although it has a less marked bitter flavour. Its leaves have a chewy texture similar to cabbage leaves.


Red mustard

A red or green Oriental leaf with a mild mustard flavour.


Red oak leaf

A loose-hearted lettuce with deeply indented leaves – shaded and splashed with red, it has a soft texture.


Rocket (Roquette)

A strong, peppery leaf with jagged-edged indented leaves and a pleasant bite.


Ruby chard

Related to spinach, ruby chard has bright red veins and stems. It has a glossy, soft texture and a sharp taste.


Sweet romaine

A sweet lettuce with long, thin leaves and a crisp mid-rib. It should be left whole or torn into small pieces rather than being cut with a knife as this turns the edges brown.


Wild organic rocket

Wild organic rocket leaves are smaller than standard rocket leaves and have a stronger, peppery flavour.



Filed Under: BeginnersBreedingFeaturedFeedingHealth



Terry Tuxford About the Author:

Terry Tuxford first began breeding budgerigars in 1979 and joined the BS in 1980. He was elevated to Champion in 1985 when he went into partnership with Brian Poole. This partnership is probably one of the longest existing partnerships in the UK hobby today having lasted some 27 years so far and is still going strong. Terry and Brian are also partnered by Yvonne Tuxford who joined the BS in 1990.

Terry demonstrated his penmanship early in his budgerigar career and wrote in the second edition of Budgerigar World. Little did he realise then that in just over 8 year’s time he would become editor following a 20 month apprenticeship with founding editor, Gerald Binks. Terry went on to edit a total of 245 editions up to May 2011.

In 1993 Terry took his Budgerigar Society Judges final examination and was awarded Subsidiary Judge of the Year and has gone on to judge the Budgerigar Society World Show on three occasions as well as many top shows at home and abroad. He is also an accomplished speaker and has been a guest at societies throughout the UK as well as Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and many other European countries.

RSSComments (5)

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  1. Hmmm! Very tasty Terry

    I’m getting all maximum greens from my own small farm please have a look on fresh carrot leaves


    I always in favor of natural way.

    Habib Ur Rehman,Pakistan

  2. John says:

    I have home grown purslane that reseeds itself each year and my birds love it. It small thick leaf on a soft stem that looks like a succulant plant, but it is not. It is good in a salad for myself. Twice a week is enought for the birds with all the other food they get. No wet vent from this either.

  3. Delia Smith says:

    Those salad leaves from the market look tasty –to us humans. Neuroscience in birds says budgies do have taste receptors on their tongues but far fewer – about 100 to our 9000, so taste matters far less. They depend more on their vision to determine what is good to eat. Budgies, unlike us, can see light in the ultraviolet spectrum. This means a budgie can look a piece of fruit or green and tell if it is ripe just by looking at it. So, the fancier who can feed – in moderation – glowingly fresh succulent greens –are leagues ahead in the game.

  4. Tracy Natividad says:

    Good Day Terry,
    Just want to ask if Chinese Spinach is safe to give from Budgies?

  5. Terry Tuxford Terry Tuxford says:

    I have no idea. Gut feel says they will by OK but I’d like a second view.

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