Proper Nutrition - The Key to Keeping Pet Birds Healthy

How nourishing is a diet of seed?

Birds have become popular pets over the last few years, and new bird owners have traditionally fed them birdseed. Unfortunately, pet birds have suffered from malnutrition due to a substandard diet consisting only of seed. Only finches and sparrows are able to exist almost exclusively on a diet of seed. However, the majority of pet birds are in the parrot family. The best nutritional option for these birds is to feed a large variety of food items from different food groups on a daily basis, or, more conveniently, to feed a formulated diet. Several different brands of nutritionally- formulated diets that have been fully researched and tested are readily available at pet stores.

Birds can be "Picky Eaters"

Even if you are able to offer 10-20 different food items a day, there is no guarantee your bird will even eat them. Birds can be very picky and stubborn when it comes to food. They tend to pick out their favorite foods, which are often high in fat and low in vitamins and minerals. To ensure that your bird is receiving a nutritious diet, convert him to an 80% formulated diet; the other 20% can include fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, etc. However, do not feed: avocados, chocolate, alcohol, caffeinated items, rhubarb, or really fatty or salty food items.

Persistence & Patience Pay Off

Formulated diets are not as appealing to birds as seed, so it will take a little time and patience to transition them to a formulated diet. Switch your bird food gradually over several weeks. Birds may starve before trying new food if the change isn't carried out properly; therefore, monitor them for weight loss to ensure that they are eating enough. Try different brands of formulated food until you find the one that will be most pleasing to your feathered friend.

It is our wish to help your pets live a long, healthy life, and proper nutrition is an important component of good health. Please feel free to contact us for suggestions, samples, or to schedule an exam and nutritional consultation with your veterinarian.