Choosing the Right Bird Food

It may seem that feeding your pet bird is simple. Birds eat bird seed, right? Well, this is true, but pet birds actually need a wide variety of foods to stay healthy. A proper diet will also help your bird live longer and have more energy. Achieving this means feeding your bird other foods in addition to seeds.

Pet Bird Food Dos

A pet bird's dietary requirements vary according to the bird's breed and age, so check with your veterinarian for specific recommendations. In general, a healthy diet for your bird will include:

  • Fresh water
  • Bird seed, which is available in breed-specific formulations and blends
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables, including greens
  • Nuts, for protein, cut into small pieces
  • Hard boiled eggs or chicken, also for protein, cut into small pieces
  • Vitamins, especially vitamins A, B and D3, which are usually added to your bird's drinking water
  • Minerals, which can be in the form of cuttlebones, oyster or egg shells, mineral blocks or milk

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Pet Bird Food Don'ts

  • Don't feed your bird food that is heavily spiced.
  • Don't feed large portions of a new food; instead, start slowly with a few small pieces.
  • Don't feed your bird foods high in sugar, salt or fat.
  • Don't ever feed your pet avocado, chocolate or apple seeds; these substances are highly toxic to birds and can cause death.
  • Never try to starve your bird into trying a new food; birds can starve to death in 48 hours or less.

Bird Food Suppliers

Pet store and animal feed suppliers carry many foods and supplements for your bird, including organic bird food. The Internet is also an excellent resource for finding discount bird food, wholesale bird food and wholesale bird seed. Any fruits, vegetables, nuts, eggs and chicken you want to add to your bird's diet can be purchased when you are doing your grocery shopping.

Age Considerations

Young pet birds are usually sold after they are weaned, but occasionally a very young bird adapting to a new environment will revert back to its "babyhood" and need to be hand-fed for a short time. Careful and precise hand feeding is a must, as a mistake can lead to injury or even death. Obtain complete information on baby bird food and proper feeding techniques from the breeder or a veterinarian before attempting to feed a young bird by hand.

Information on the dietary requirements of aging birds is very limited, but your veterinarian will have recommendations for your pet during each stage of its life. There are also special diet plans available for pets with declining bird health due to common digestive conditions associated with avian aging.