Food, Supplements & Treats
A proper diet is key for a healthy bird. The primary types of commercially available bird diets are seed mixes, formulated diets, and soak and feed diets. There are also species specific diets available for birds such as Eclectus parrots, Lories, and Toucans.
Seed Mixes come in a variety of sizes and are usually labeled for the size of bird they are best suited to. Most contain a blend of seeds and grains, with some dried fruits and vegetables. Some seed mixes are fortified with vitamins and minerals to help meet your bird’s nutritional needs while others include fortified pellets.
Formulated Diets consist of a blend of seeds, grains, fruits, vegetables, protein, vitamins, and minerals that are mixed together and then baked. Combining the individual components before baking means birds are unable to pick out only what they like, reducing the risk of nutritional imbalances.
Soak and Feed Diets are fortified and nutritious blends of grains and vegetables or fruit. Many are simple to prepare and just require the addition of water. They can be fed as a main diet, or as an addition to your bird’s normal diet.
When choosing a diet for your new bird you should first check with the breeder or store you bought it from to see what diet it is used to eating. While some birds have been raised on fortified pellet diets, others refuse to eat pellets and prefer seed mixes. It is also good to offer a variety of foods, either mixed together or in separate bowls, depending on what your particular bird prefers. The most important factor when choosing a diet is to make sure that your bird will eat it.
Although most birds waste a lot of food, it is extremely important to check your bird’s food daily. Birds can starve in less than three days so it is vital to monitor your bird’s daily food intake. Most birds will eat small amounts of food all day long so it is important to ensure that they have food at all times. You should check your bird’s food bowl each day, dumping out seed hulls and wet or spoiled food, and refilling it as needed.
Egg Food is primarily a nutritional support for egg laying females, but can also be used as a weaning food for larger parrots. It comes in crumble that can be fed dry or mixed with water.
Prime is a vitamin and mineral supplement which provides nutritional support for birds eating unfortified seed-only diets. It is a powder that can be combined with food or water.
Lafeber’s Avi-Era Bird Vitamins is a highly concentrated vitamin powder that can easily be mixed with food or water. It contains all 13 vitamins essential for healthy birds.
There are many different types of commercially prepared bird treats available, most of which come in a variety of flavors. The most common are treat sticks which are usually made from a combination of seeds, fruits, and honey and are available in flavors like Papaya and Honey. Yogurt dipped treats consist of nuts or baked treats dipped in a yogurt coating. Nutri-berries are small bite size seed and pellet clusters that promote foot health and stimulate your bird’s tongue and beak. Freeze dried fruit and nuts also make good treats for your bird.
Fruits and vegetables such frozen mixed vegetables, broccoli, corn on the cob, apples, bananas, strawberries and other berries can all be offered daily. However, it is important to make sure that any uneaten food is removed from the cage so it does not rot or draw bugs. Some human foods, such as cooked meats, pasta and breads, also make good treats. However, avocados, chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, and foods with high levels of sugar, sodium, and fat should never be fed.