How to Choose Treats for Pet Birds

Two Parts:Picking Out the Right TreatsAvoiding Hazardous and Unhealthy Treats

Birds can be wonderful and engaging pets, many of whom love interacting with their owners. If you want to build your relationship with your bird, one way you can do it is by feeding it treats. These treats are not just a great way to build the trust between you and your bird, they are a great way to help give your bird a well-rounded diet. So, picking the right treat requires you to get something that your bird likes and that gives it a good nutritional boost.

Part 1
Picking Out the Right Treats

  1. Image titled Choose Treats for Pet Birds Step 1
    Give your bird vegetables. It's important for your bird to get a well-rounded diet and treats of vegetables can help you achieve that. Try giving your bird dark green vegetables or yellow and orange vegetables, such as carrots, as a treat on a daily basis.[1] If you give your bird vegetables that it loves, it will feel like you are giving your bird a treat when you are really just giving it a healthy snack.
    • Try feeding the vegetables to your bird directly. See if he or she will eat a piece of broccoli or sweet potato right out of your hand.
  2. Image titled Choose Treats for Pet Birds Step 2
    Give fruit sparingly. Treat fruits like a dessert and only let them constitute about five percent of your bird's diet. They shouldn't be given every day and should only be given in limited quantities.[2] Give fruit at most once a week, while vegetables should be given daily.
    • Fruit for a bird is really a treat. It is high in sugar, so giving too much of it can make a bird unhealthy or ill.
  3. Image titled Choose Treats for Pet Birds Step 3
    Give seeds and whole grains as a treat. The core of your bird's diet should be bird pellets, which are formulated and fortified to give your bird a balanced diet. These will give your bird many of the proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, minerals, and vitamins it needs.[3] Because of this, seeds should only be given as a treat. If overfed seeds, your bird will be getting too much fat in its diet.[4][5]
    • Many pet birds with nutritional deficiencies have them because they are only fed seeds. It is a myth that birds only need seeds. In order for your bird to avoid these deficiencies, feed it a fortified bird pellet and vegetables on a regular basis.
  4. Image titled Choose Treats for Pet Birds Step 4
    Offer a variety of treats. It's good to vary your bird's diet a bit, including its treats. Even if your bird really loves a specific type of treat, such as dark greens like broccoli, you need to give it a variety of foods to give it a complete diet. Rotate broccoli in with a few other vegetables, so that your bird gets a variety of nutrients.
    • This does not mean that you should give your bird totally new foods all of the time. In fact, new foods need to be introduced to your bird gradually. However, have a variety of treats that you give it on a regular basis.[6]
    • It could be that you give your bird a different vegetable every day of the week but that you repeat these foods every week. This means that every Monday your bird would get the same treat.
    • Take your bird's special dietary needs into account. There is no one ideal diet for all pet birds. Some birds have special dietary needs all their own. You can fulfill these with treats. For example,

Part 2
Avoiding Hazardous and Unhealthy Treats

  1. Image titled Choose Treats for Pet Birds Step 5
    Don't give commercial treats with poor ingredients. Some commercial bird treats include a variety of artificial ingredients that are not good for your bird. Giving your bird a store bought, prepackaged treat could mean that you are giving it salt, sugar, and artificial coloring. Instead, focus on treats that have very few ingredients, or are just one ingredient, like a few nuts or a small piece of fruit.[7]
  2. Image titled Choose Treats for Pet Birds Step 6
    Avoid foods that are bad or toxic for your particular bird. There are some foods that you should not give to your bird because they contain chemicals that are bad for the bird. In particular, there are many common human foods that a bird should not have access to. These include, but are not limited to: coffee, avocado, chocolate, alcohol, nutmeg, and rhubarb, to name a few.[8]
    • This includes certain vegetables, such as bok choy and spinach, which contain a chemical called oxalate. This chemical limits the amount of calcium the bird can absorb, which is not good for the bird.[9]
    • Additionally, don't let your bird have the pits of stone fruits, such as peaches, apricots, and plums. These pits contain a chemical that is toxic to birds.
  3. Image titled Choose Treats for Pet Birds Step 7
    Don't leave old treats in your bird's cage. Only give your bird the amount of food that it will eat in one day. You don't want old food sitting around the bottom of your bird's cage. New fruits and veggies should be given daily.
    • Taking good care of a pet bird means cleaning its cage out every day. When you are cleaning the cage, its easy to remove all fruits and vegetables from the bottom. Then you can simply replace the vegetables the next day with new ones.[10]

Article Info

Categories: Feeding Birds