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General Facts On Bird Nutrition


It is a common misconception that birds can live on seeds alone. An exclusive diet of seeds is deficient in many of the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids necessary for the health of your bird. Without these nutrients in the diet, malnutrition, increased susceptibility to disease, and premature death can result.

 

Seed Alone Is Not Enough Nutrition For Your Bird

It is true that most pet birds like seeds and, if provided an unlimited supply, they happily devour them. Wild birds rarely enjoy this opportunity, and they generally supplement their diets with worms, maggots, insects, fruit, and other available delicacies.


A balanced diet for pet birds, like that for people, contains a large variety of foods. Offer each kind to your pet bird in small quantities in order to ensure that one preferred food is not over-consumed. Fruits, vegetables, cereals, bread, as well as beans, eggs, and cooked meat - each in moderate quantities - make up a well-balanced diet. Precise mixtures vary with the species of bird being fed. As a general rule, just about anything good for you is also good for your bird. The important exceptions are avocado and chocolate, which are both very toxic to birds.


A Complete Pelleted Diet Is A Viable Nutrition Option For Birds

If preparing meals for your bird doesn't fit your schedule or personal lifestyle, there are several pelleted commercial complete bird diets available, which can be supplemented with treats from any of the above recommended foods. If your bird is currently on a seed diet, the transition to a pelleted diet should be made gradually. Birds have a strong preference for their usual diet and may refuse to eat unfamiliar pellets. A diet of three-parts seeds to one-part pellets can be offered for one week; half seeds and half pellets the second week; one-part seeds to three-parts pellets the third week and pellets thereafter. If at any step your bird refuses this diet, back up to previous week's ratio of seed to pellets and then resume the transition the next week. If your bird refuses pellets for more than two months, your veterinarian may be able to offer a more sophisticated feeding method.

 

General Tips

The availability of clean fresh water just as important as a healthy diet. Water is essential for the function of all necessary biological systems. Clean water must be free of bacterial, viral, and algal growths that can compromise your bird's health.


Food and water dishes should be washed daily and securely anchored in the cage out of the more frequent paths of droppings.


Any sudden decrease in appetite or change in dropping color or consistency could be the first sign of illness. If this is noticed, your veterinarian should be called and the bird should be examined.