The Importance of Dietary Differences Among Birds
A balanced and nutritious diet is key in helping your pet bird live a long and healthy life. In fact, the ideal avian diet is comprised of much more than just birdseed. Depending on the type of bird you own, you should discuss their needs with your veterinarian to provide the right building blocks for health and wellness.
When it comes to different types of bird diets, there are five main categories of primary diets each with their own nutritional recommendations:
- Granivore – Primary diet of grains and seeds
- Frugivore – Primary diet of mostly fruits and flowers with some additional nuts and seeds
- Florivore – Primary diet of seeds, fruits, nuts, bark, roots, and berries
- Omnivore – Primary diet of seeds, fruits, insects, and invertebrates
- Nectarivore – Primary diet of nectar, pollen, and some insects and seeds
Since in the wild birds have access to a great diversity of food, it is important to recreate this component for any pet bird. Luckily on the market today there are many formulated base diet options available. These excellent food choices often come in the form of pellets, crumbles, nuggets, or cakes and make up approximately 65 to 80% of your bird’s diet.
Fruits and Veggies
As great snacks to enhance your bird’s eating habits and to keep things interesting, there are a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to incorporate into your bird’s daily life. As a source of vitamin and minerals, you should shoot for an additional 15 to 30% of your bird’s daily diet to fall into the vegetable category and another 5% to fruit. Be sure to wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly and remove any pits or seeds before offering to your bird to prevent health complications. Several great vegetable offerings include carrots, radishes, kale, tomatoes, broccoli, corn, and cucumber. For fruit, look to fun items such as peaches, pears, cherries, berries, apples, kiwi, and mango to provide new exciting flavors for your bird.
The Do Not Feed List
Just like other pets, there are several types of foods you should avoid giving to your bird due to their ability to cause health complications. The “no list” includes items such as high-fat junk foods, chocolate, alcohol, table salt, avocados, apple seeds or fruit pits, onions and mushrooms. If you are unsure about something that you’d like to offer your bird, do your research and talk to a veterinarian to maintain the health of your bird.