The best diet for birds

The best diet for birds:

By: Animal Medical Center of Corona
Barton C. Huber, D.V.M. “Dr. Bart”
Corona, CA – (951) 493-6771

Continued from the previous blog post: Avian Health Care Tips:

Avian Health Care Tips

The optimal diet for birds. What should your bird eat? Here are some suggestions, this is offered only as a guideline, some variation is O.K. A good rule of thumb is anything that is good for a human with a heart condition (remember, no avocado or chocolate!).

The best diet for birds Diet 1

Maintenance pellets (Roudybush, Pretty Bird, Exact, etc.) are offered on an as-eat basis. If your birds are breeding/laying, you may need to go to a pellet designed for production. Offer vegetables and fruits – 75-90% vegetables, the rest fruit, daily, mix your vitamins in with this. Change the bowl daily, clean and disinfect it on a regular basis. If you live in a humid climate, you may need to change this bowl two to three times a day to prevent spoilage. Offer daily table foods, part of your breakfast, lunch, or dinner if you want. Remember, moderation is the key. Treats such as honey sticks and nuts should be given once a month or less.

Diet 2

Use a safflower-based seed mix in place of the pellets. Sunflower and peanut-type diets, while they taste good, are too high in fat and not nutritious enough for your bird. If there is leftover seed at the end of the day you are probably offering your bird too much seed. Make sure your bird eats the other goodies. Sometimes it is best to offer seeds twice a day for 15-30 minutes then remove the seed bowl so the bird will eat the other foods. (If your bird is overweight despite a low fat, healthy diet, consult your avian veterinarian.)

Diet 3

This is not really a diet as much as a place to put table food! Offer your bird what you are eating. Do not offer your bird food off your fork or spoon, out of your mouth, or anything you have bitten off of as this is a great way to make your bird sick. The bacteria in our mouths are not good for your bird.

Another treat you can give your bird is Zu-preem Monkey Chow. This is a good brand since it is not oily and has a low bacterial count. Purina Monkey Chow is very oily and has a high E.coli count so it should not be used. Dog and cat food, while a good source of protein and a balanced meal, is designed for dogs and cats. It is high in bacteria, which will not hurt your dog or cat but could get your bird sick. With all the good commercial diets available for your bird, using foods formulated for other species is not really necessary.

A great link about animal protein in the parrot diet

The best diet for birds – water:

Birds need plenty of fresh water, not only for drinking but also for bathing. If your bird does not like to take baths, there is nothing wrong with him; he just does not like to take baths! The water bowl should be large enough for the bird to get its head into, not just his beak. You should change your bird’s water daily, if your bird is a messy eater, or likes to dip his food in his water, you may need to change it more often. Depending on the number of birds and their location, the water bowl(s) should be disinfected on a regular basis. This will be covered in the section on disinfecting. It is best to use bottled or filtered water since many municipal supplies are borderline at best and may be high in minerals and contaminants.

Tap water sometimes has low levels of bacteria, which may be harmful to your bird. Water that is safe for human consumption is not necessarily safe for your bird! If your bird has a habit of defecating in its water then you need a covered or hooded bowl for water; this helps to keep the water clean. You should never add anything to your bird’s water without consulting with your avian veterinarian. As mentioned earlier, vitamins should not be added to your bird’s water. Your bird may like to be misted with a spray bottle on a regular basis. If this is to be done, make sure that the water is fresh and has no additives. Outdoor birds should be provided with misters or sprinklers that can be turned on in the hot weather to help cool the aviary as well as allow your birds something to play in.

Dr Barton Huber DVM
Click on photo to visit website.

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alison bush

Excellent advice here in UK it’s often difficult to get rehabilitation rehomed parrots to eat diet that includes vegetables & fruit. Many owners who have provided care to parrot prior to rehoming parrot have not provided good healthy diet. I find it helps to eat food in front of parrot so they start copying what I eat with any food want them to eat e.g. vegetables. My borne 1998 year African gray and goffin cockatoo both eat virtually everything I give them. These 2 parrots were sunflower seed adorers however over time managed get them on other foods when ate these foods myself in their presence. I have other rehome parrots that behaved similarly to lesser extent.

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