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BIRD / nutrition

What Should I Feed My Bird?

Be sure your feathered friend is getting a balanced diet.

Overview

There is no single perfect diet and birds are very picky (and messy!) when it comes to food. Birds will often pick out their favorites and leave the rest, which can make providing the best nutrition challenging. When in doubt, talk to your veterinarian about transitioning to the perfect solution for you and your bird.

Since birds like to pick at their meal throughout the day, make sure your bird’s bowl is always about three-quarters full of fresh food.

Seeds & Nuts

Birdseed seems like the obvious choice to feed your “tweetheart.” But guess what— veterinarians say birdseed is too high in fat to be a healthy main course for most birds. In fact, too much of this fattening combination can lead to health issues and inappropriate behaviors. It is best to keep this to a minimum.

Pellets

Pellets are intended to be nutritionally complete. Every bite is nutrient-packed and does not allow your bird to pick-and-choose only their favorite. Pellets also come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes, which helps provide variety in the food dish.

Vegetables

Your bird’s diet should include fresh vegetables. Most birds love dark, leafy greens, zucchini, broccoli, squash, shredded carrots, snow peas, parsley, cucumbers and Romaine lettuce. Avoid avocado, onion and garlic, which are all bad for them.

Fruit & fiber

This is the tasty stuff that makes your bird get all a-flutter, but don’t overdo it — a small percentage of your bird’s diet should come from fruit, grains and legumes.

Favorite fruits include papaya, banana, melon, mango, orange, kiwi, and apple. Try to remove the seeds from any fruit you serve.

Once a week, serve your bird a small portion of plain, cooked brown rice, cooked pasta, cooked beans, cooked barley or cooked oats.

If your bird takes more than four hours to eat any fruit, vegetables or other goodies, take the leftovers out of the cage and try serving less next time.

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Suggested Pet Bird Diet Proportions

Bird Type
Pellets (%)
Fresh Foods (%)
Seeds/nuts (%)
Canary
15-25
25
50-60
Canary-winged Parakeet/Bee Bee
60
25
15
Cockatiel
60
25
15
Conure
80-85
10-15
0-5
Dove
15-25
25
50-60
Parakeet/ Budgerigar
15-25
25
50-60
Society Finch
15-25
25
50-60
Zebra Finch
15-25
25
50-60

If you have questions regarding what type of diet your bird should be on, please consult with your veterinarian.