Bird food nutrition is the most important factor in keeping your pet birds healthy, other than keeping them in a sanitary environment.
In general, your pet bird should be allowed to eat high-quality bird food twice a day; early in the morning, and late in the evening.
Let’s get a big misconception out of the way that many novice bird owners have. Perching birds can not be sustained on a diet of seeds alone, contrary to many novice bird owners thinking.
Seeds add to the nutritional requirements of bird food, yet if used exclusively are inadequate for captive birds.
What Kind of Bird Food Should Pet Birds Eat?
There are many high-quality formulated feed mixtures suitable for your particular variety of bird. Make sure to get the advice of your veterinarian on the mixture of bird food that is best suited for your type of bird.
Limited amounts of green vegetables, yellow vegetables, and fruit can still be offered as treats to birds being fed a high bird nutrition formulation. However, these “treats” should not exceed 15 percent of your bird’s total daily food intake.
Bird Food Supplements
All birds should also be fed a vitamin supplement containing vitamin D3, and a mineral supplement that provides extra calcium to the diet. Cuttlebone, mineral blocks, or crushed oyster shells can be used as sources for calcium.
Vitamin supplements are readily available from pet stores and can be added directly to food or water. If these are added to the bird’s water, remember to change the water daily to prevent bacterial growth.
Other Bird Nutrition Requirements
Bird grit is often offered to pet birds to help the digestion of the bird food. Commercial grit usually consists of crushed shells and/or limestone. This does its work in the bird’s gizzard, helping to crush and grind food, making it acceptable for digestion.
You won’t need much, only a few pieces over a week’s time. Check with your vet to make sure that grit will be necessary for your particular species of bird.
Lastly, freshwater should be offered at all times. Smaller birds consume anywhere from a teaspoon to a tablespoon of water per day while larger birds consume up to 1 ounce per day. Make sure the water is filtered or purified.
Follow these basic bird nutrition tips, and check with your vet on the type of bird food that best suits your species of bird to keep a healthy and happy feathered companion!