How to Manage Your Pet Bird's Diet

Hooray! You've finally brought home a feathered friend to add joy to your life. Whether your new avian companion is a Finch or a Macaw, it is important to make sure that you feed them properly. This article will provide you with some advice to ensure that your pet bird is happy and healthy.


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    One error many novice or uninformed bird owners make is to feed their bird an all-seed diet. Seeds do not provide adequate nutrition for your pet bird. It is horrifying to meet a bird owner who is making the mistake of feeding their bird solely millet sprays-an excellent treat but NOT an appropriate diet. Imagine a human living on potato chips-it may keep them alive but their quality and length of life will suffer.Make sure your bird has a good staple formulated diet, such as pellets. Some seed diets say they are balanced, and some are certainly more balanced then others-some even have pellets included. While excellent in theory, the danger is that the bird, much like a toddler presented with a bowl of healthy cereal with marshmallows-will eat the less healthy parts and ignore the good stuff. This is one reason why sunflower seeds, found in many bird foods, should be kept to a minimum as they are very fatty, taste good, and are very tempting to your birds. If you feed your bird a seed/pellet mix, make sure they are eating all of it.
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    Supplement the diet with fresh veggies and fruits, as well as foods such as cooked brown rice or hard boiled eggs. Do not, however leave these fresh foods for more than an hour in the cage, as bacteria can build up.
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    Limit dairy products, as birds are sensitive to Lactose.
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    Make sure your birds' water is clean and fresh and change it at least twice a day, or as needed to keep it clean.


  • The best type of diet is a formulated diet, such as bird pellets. Some good brands are Harrison's, Zupreem and LaFeber's. This should be supplemented by fresh veggies and fruits such as carrots, cucumbers, broccoli or apples, mangoes, etc.
  • When buying pellets keep in mind the size of your bird. Obviously bigger birds with large beaks are not going to eat tiny pellets. Also do some research on your particular pet bird type, be it a parrot, a cockatoo or a conure, etc. Different birds have varying nutritional needs. There are several classifications of bird types: here are the listings as well as their main foods and some types of birds that fall into that category:
    • Florivore: Seeds, fruits, nuts, bark, roots, berries. Military macaw, Blue and gold macaw, Red-faced parrot
    • Granivore: Grains, seeds. Budgerigar, cockatiel, Hyacinth macaw
    • Frugivore: Mostly fruit and flowers; some nuts and seeds Blue-throated macaw, Green-winged macaw
    • Omnivore: Seeds, fruits, insects, invertebrates. Sulpher-crested cockatoo, Red-tailed Amazon
    • Nectarivore: Nectar, pollen; some insects and seeds. Lorikeet, Lory.
  • In conclusion, educate yourself in order to accomplish the goal of having your bird be healthy and happy, make sure that their diet is well balanced and varied. Don't let your bird eat your pizza or hot dog, even though they may try to grab a bite. Don't share your Fruit Loops or Apple Jacks with your bird every day, though a tiny bite once in a great while will probably not hurt them. Nonetheless, there are plenty of healthy treats you and your bird can share, and enjoy the bonding experience of a shared snack.


  • IMPORTANT! Avoid these foods, as they are VERY toxic to birds: chocolate, avocado, onions, apple seeds, alcohol, mushrooms, tomato leaves, salt, rhubarb, things containing caffeine or sugar and processed meats.

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Categories: Feeding Birds