We all know pet birds are cool, I mean, some of them can talk and fly! We know they’re smart. And we know that their feathers are mesmerizing. But, what do they eat? Birdseed and pellets are the obvious answer but, is that enough to keep a big, beautiful bird healthy and happy? Sure, you could set a plate of food in front of your bird to see what they’d like, but reading this article will be much less messy.
The diet of your pet bird will depend on what breed you have. All birds should be fed a consistent diet of pellets that are specially formulated for their breed. These pellets have all the vitamins and minerals that Polly will need. But, everyone loves snacks! We think that our pets deserve snacks and treats just as much as we do! So what kind of snacks can you feed your bird?
To determine what kind of snacks and treats to give your pet bird, you should consider what their diet is like in the wild. If they dwell in the jungle and eat fruit from the trees in the wild, your pet will probably love a sweet, fruity treat. Of course, this will all depend on the breed as well!
Pet Birds & What They Eat:
Cuttlefish bone and millet make a great treat for these little cuties. If you think that your budgie is in the mood for something a little sweet they can also have small pieces of tropical fruits like; bananas, strawberries, apples, grapes, oranges, peaches, blueberries, pears, raisins, mango, melon, nectarines, cherries, and kiwis. You might get some extra love if you replace the tap water in their dish with some bottled water.
You’ll want to avoid any fried foods, sodium and salt, chips, caffeine, meats, baked goods, chocolate, peanut butter, cheese, and vanilla. Beans and peas can cause a hormonal reaction as well so it’s best to avoid those as well.
Fresh fruits and vegetables such as apple chunks, pitted cherries, peas, pumpkin, cucumber, kale, beets, dark green lettuce, spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, and cabbage are all favorites of this little songbird. Feeding your canary at the same time every day will help to make him feel safer and more comfortable as well since they are big on routines.
While dark green lettuce and cabbage are okay, iceberg lettuce and celery are not. These vegetables do not provide any nutrients and will not make your bird very happy. Avocados are a no-no too since they can be toxic to canaries.
Dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach, or dark green lettuce should be included in your cockatiel’s diet at least a few times per week. Fruits like apples bananas, and small pieces of melon can be offered once per week. And if you think your bird has a hankering for something sweet, once per month you can give him a honey stick!
Cockatiels stomachs cannot process very much fat, so make sure to exclude that from their diet. Nuts are a source of fat that people often do not consider. You can feed your cockatiel a few slivers of almond of walnut but not much more. Onions and garlic are also known to be toxic.
Fruits, vegetables, and greens should make up around 20% of these birds diet. Millet spray and honey sticks can be offered as a treat. Some favorite fruits and veggies are pitted apple cherries, pear apricots, bok choy, peas, asparagus, coconut, peppers, bananas, corn, pineapple, and cooked beans.
Just like canaries, you should avoid any vegetables that do not have nutritional value like iceberg lettuce and celery, and avocados are toxic to them.
Every other day dark leafy greens can be added to their pellets. Once per week fruits like apples, bananas, or melons can be offered. Boiled eggs, pasta, beans, or peas can be used as a treat. You should allow your conure to have access to cuttlebone or mineral block at all times. Fresh, clean water is very important to these birds too.
Do not feed your conure avocado, fruit seeds, chocolate, caffeine, or any alcohol as these are all toxic. High fats and sugar should be avoided as well.
These majestic and often symbolic birds enjoy kale, lettuce, broccoli, carrots, and apples. Doves are finicky and typically do not enjoy pellets right away, but they are the most nutritionally rounded diet supplement so keep trying. Seed can be used along with pellet until you can gradually move to all pellet.
Again, avocado should be avoided due to the chemical persin which is toxic and sometimes deadly to birds.
Dry food mixes with plenty of different seeds, grain, nuts, dried fruits, vegetables, and herbs are best. If you’re having trouble finding a bird pellet with all these ingredients you can include baby foods and dehydrated fruits and veggies in their diet as well. Sprouts are a great treat since African Greys tend to love them and it’s a good source of magnesium and phosphorus. Adding flaxseed to their daily meal with help to supplement their diet with the Omegas they need.
To help with your African Grey’s low blood calcium, feed them foods with plenty of calcium. These could be bok choy, kale, parsley, carrots, dandelion greens, apricots, figs, endive, okra, or garbanzo beans. You’ll want to avoid spinach, broccoli, turnip greens, collard greens, and mustard greens since they are high in oxalic acid which blocks calcium absorption. Make sure to cook any beans before feeding them to your bird since many raw beans are toxic to birds.
Give your cockatoo some veggies, fruit, nuts, and cooked rice and beans to snack on. For the occasional treat, you can spoil your bird with cheese, corn, cereal, pasta, and cooked meat. Bee pollen and coconut chips are a great sweet treat.
Oranges and other foods high in vitamin-C should be avoided as they can cause an iron overload disease.
The good news for you is that there are many bird mixes specifically made for parrots on the market. Look for ingredients like vegetables, dried fruits, greens, herbs, greens, superfoods, and bee pollen. Sometimes organic trail mix can be substituted for bird mix, just make sure there is no chocolate! For snacks, you can give your parrot fresh fruit as well. Apples, grapes, spinach, watercress, field lettuce, chickweed, dandelions, poppy, carrots, corn peas, endives, and sweet potatoes are some favorites.
Some mixes contain sulphurated dried produce, but these should be avoided since this chemical used for processing can be dangerous in large amounts.
A half-cup of fresh fruit and vegetables along with their daily ration of pellets will make these big birds sing! Washing your fruits and veggies is very important when you’re feeding them to birds. A mix of green and yellow vegetables, fruits, melons, and nuts will be the best platter for your macaw. Some favorites are carrots, romaine, green beans, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, strawberries, bananas, grapes, kiwi, melon, mango, papaya, and pears. Broccoli can be a good treat, but you should limit this to once per week. You’ll also notice that your macaw enjoys “washing” his own food by dipping it in his water, so making sure that the water bowl is full before feeding will make everyone happy.
When feeding your macaw fruits, be careful about the pits. You should also avoid; coffee, sweets, chocolate, avocado, alcohol, raw beans, eggplant, potato, tomato leaves, green potatoes, nutmeg, and rhubarb.
These beautiful birds should be fed a hearty diet of pellets and fresh fruits and veggies. However, you’ll want to hone in on vegetables more than fruit since Pionus Parrots do not need the extra sugar intake. Grapes and strawberries can be used as a treat. For snacking, carrots, string beans, corn, squash, peas, broccoli, zucchini, snow peas, sunflower sprouts, pea shoots, and sprouts should all be on the menu.
Avoid fruits that are high in vitamin-C. Baked goods, fried foods, and anything with caffeine should also be avoided. Like many other breeds, avocado is also toxic to these birds.
While parrotlets are smaller than some of the other breeds on this list, that does not mean that the variety of foods that they enjoy is any smaller! Fruits, veggies, greens, and seeds should be part of your parrotlet’s daily diet. You can additionally feed them whole wheat bread, cooked rice, pasta, and dried cooked beans. Since these little guys have a high and fast metabolism, you’ll need to feed them frequently. Having a healthy supply of kale, spinach, dandelion greens, carrot tops, apples, bananas, kiwi, mango, and pears will help to keep your parrotlet happy. They also enjoy chewing on wood. A small branch of maple, alder, walnut, horse chestnut, elm, ash, willow, cherry, pear, or apple tree will keep your pet entertained and happy for hours.
Remember to be diligent about apple and pear seeds since they can be toxic. Again, avocado is toxic to these birds but you should also avoid mushrooms, raw potatoes, and onions too.
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