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What Should I Feed My Bird?

ArticleBird AdviceMonday 07 November 2011
Birds nutrition

Base Diet:

Start with a quality dry mix. The dry mixes that are typically available at pet stores contain cheap fillers and harmful additives. It is important to provide a quality, organic and natural dry mix.

High-quality bird food mix lacks the harmful additives that are commonly found in commercial mixes and has a variety of quality ingredients (including dried fruits, veggies, herbs / greens and even superfoods, such as bee pollen)

Fruits, vegetables (including leafy greens), sprouted seeds should account for approximately 20 - 25% of your bird's diet. Please note that pale vegetables, including celery or iceberg salad, offer very little nutritional value.

Organically grown fruit and vegetables can be given to your pets with its skin on; otherwise remove the skin or wash very thoroughly to remove pesticides, insecticides and other toxins, and cut into manageable pieces depending on the size of your bird.

Fresh is always best, but fresh vegetables and fruits are not always readily accepted or feasible.

Mashed fruits & veggies: Organic baby food that consists of mashed fruits & vegetables is a convenient food item when there is no time for preparing produce for your pets.

Dry Fruits / Veggies: When fresh fruits and vegetables are not available, dehydrated fruits and vegetables work wonderfully. Many birds love their crunchiness, or they toss them into their water dish (creating a "soup" of some sorts) and then eat them once they are rehydrated. Be prepared to change the water more often throughout the day. Dried fruits & vegetables have the advantage that they don't go off. You could literally leave them in their cages for days (unless they get wet, of course). This surely comes in handy when traveling. Dried fruits & veggies also help convert "seed junkies" to a healthier diet. When you are at home, you can moisten the dried fruits & veggies with warm water to rehydrate them. Birds tend to love warm fruits & veggies, maybe because it gives them flashbacks to the times when they were chicks and were fed warm regurgitated food by their bird parents.

Sprouted or germinated seeds are usually more easily accepted by "seed addicts" than fresh fruits and vegetables.

  • Sprouted seeds are healthier as the sprouting changes and enhances the nutritional quality and value of seeds and grains. Sprouted seeds are lower in fat, as the process of sprouting utilizes the fat in the seed to start the growing process - thus reducing the fat stored in the seeds.
  • Sprouted seeds will help balance your bird’s diet by adding a nutritious supply of high in vegetable proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and chlorophyll.
  • Soaked and germinated "oil" seeds, like niger and rape seeds, are rich in protein and carbohydrates; while "starch" seeds, such as canary and millets, are rich in carbohydrates, but lower in protein.
  • It is an invaluable food at all times; however, it is especially important for breeding or molting birds. Sprouted seeds also serve as a great rearing and weaning food as the softened shell is easier to break by chicks and gets them used to the texture of seeds.
Medicinal Herbs offer a convenient and ever so nutritious addition to a bird's diet.

  • Fruit Seeds:
    • Pomegranates (a favorite of many parrots that is very healthy too boot -- but it's messy! - best be eaten in an outside enclosure or in an area that is easy to clean)
    • Figs
    • Grapes
    • Guavas
    • Melons, such as cantaloupe, watermelon
    • Papaya
  • Vegetable Seeds:
    • Bell peppers (green, red, yellow, orange)
    • Cucumbers
    • English peas (in the shell)
    • Hot peppers (green, red)
    • Okra (long pods of fat, round, slippery white seeds)
    • Pole beans
    • Pumpkins (fresh seeds or dried Pepitas)
    • Squash (the larger yellow Crookneck squash contain large, moist seeds)



Source: Avian Web



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