Feeding a bird is easy. After all, you just toss some seeds in a bowl and give them some water and you’re done, right? Actually, if you want a healthy bird, you will need to do a bit more than that. There are quite a few different bird diets you can choose from.
Bird seed has been the diet of choice for many years, but it is no longer very popular with many bird lovers. However, there is actually nothing wrong with bird seed if it is used in combination with other types of food. Millet and safflower seeds are better for birds than sunflower seeds, which are high in fat and can cause obesity and related diseases in parrots that only eat sunflower seeds. If you feed seeds to your birds, you should make sure that the seeds do not comprise more than 30 percent of your bird’s diet.
Beans and brown rice are considered to be a more natural diet for most parrots. After all, the seed diet they are fed as cage birds is not what they’d be eating in the wild. However, both beans and rice are hard to feed, since they cannot be left in the cage for long periods of time without becoming spoiled.
Specially formulated pellets are another type of feed for birds. Pellets are supposed to contain all the nutrients your bird needs and are often billed as complete diets. However, pellets are often very uniform in appearance and taste. Some bird lovers feel that pellets can be boring for birds to eat if they have no other types of food. Other bird lovers are concerned that a processed feed cannot be as healthy for their pets as fresh food.
The best diet for a pet bird is probably a blend of all the available types of food. Separate cups for seeds and pellets enable your bird to easily select the food he wants to eat each day. Although many people are concerned that their birds will ignore the pellets and only eat the seeds, a surprising number of birds will eat food from both dishes.
Ideally, you should also include beans, brown rice, fresh fruit, nuts and produce in your bird’s diet. To keep your bird from eating spoiled food, place an additional cup filled with these nutritious treats in the cage each morning and remove it an hour later. Your bird will quickly learn to head for the bowl as soon as you put it in his cage. Some people refrigerate the left over food after they remove the treat bowl and then serve it to their birds again in the evening, but this can lead to problems with bacteria. If your bird is wasting a lot of his fresh food in the morning, place less food in the bowl and provide him with a second serving of fresh food for about an hour in the evening.
Finally, many people feed their birds whatever they are eating for dinner. If you decide to feed your bird from the table, just be aware that certain foods, such as avocado, are actually lethal for birds to ingest.