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Bird Care: Food and Nutrition
Food, Water, Supplements, and Nutrition
A bird’s diet should not be limited to a seed diet only. This is not healthy for them. Your birds should have a mix of pellets and seeds as well as fresh fruit and vegetables. See our list of safe vegetables, safe fruits, safe grains, and other safe foods at the bottom of this page. Also be aware that there are foods that are dangerous or deadly to your bird. Just a few of them are chocolate, avocado, raw onion and caffeine. Here for a list of other unsafe foods for birds.
Remember that fresh food requires its own dish. Be aware that fresh food will spoil depending on the weather, for example in the summer it may only last 1 hour to 1 ½ hours. Bacteria can grow easily so the dish should be thoroughly washed after each use.
Even if you bird has never had fruits or vegetables, it is never too late to introduce new foods. Don’t be surprised if your bird does not eat new foods right away. Birds may be afraid of new food - they may not realize that it is food. The best is to keep offering these foods to them.
There are ways in which you can get your bird interested in new foods. Eating in front of your bird is a great way to get them interested. While you are eating pretend that it is the best thing you have eaten, you bird may just be tempted to try. You could mix new food with food that your bird is already familiar with. Try offering new items first thing in the morning - then give them their normal food a few hours later. Some birds like there fruit and vegetables it different forms - you may try one or more of the following - try chopping them in small pieces, raw, cooked, warm, cooled. For leafy greens - try giving them to your bird wet. Whatever you do, do not starve your bird when trying to get them use to new foods.
There are certain treats when feed in excess can be bad for your bird. For example, too much millet or sunflower seeds can cause fat tumors. There are other healthy treats that you can give you bird for example, home birdie bread, dried fruit and veggies, whole wheat toast and unsalted nuts.
Be sure that you bird also have access to clean, fresh filtered water at all times. Your bird’s water should be changed each day. A bird should also have in their cage a cuttle bone and mineral block.About bird food and supplements available at Animal Lovers Pet Shop in Torrance and online.
Foods to Avoid
Avocado (entire plant and fruit)
Avoid anything high is salt, sugar, and fat content.
Beans, any dried
Dairy Products (birds are lactose intolerant-feed small amounts-cleaned/cooked eggs and yogurt fine)
Houseplants (most are toxic, not all)
Nuts (brazil nuts, almonds, imported nuts that have been polished/dyed)
Onions (raw or cooked)
Rhubarb (contains oxalic acid, as does spinach - feed only in small amounts)
Seeds of: Pears, Oranges, Papaya, Grapefruit, Grapes, Apples & some Melons
Sugar (too much is a bad thing, best kind is natural sugars)
Sulfites (found in dried fruits and veggies to help preserve them-only from health food store)
Unwashed Fruits or Vegetables
Acorn or Butternut Squash
Beans cooked only
Beet & Turnip Greens
Cooked Red Potatoes
Cooked Sweet Potatoes
Eggplant (fruit only)
Pumpkin (and seeds)
Radish Red Beet (fresh)
Red or Green Pepper
Romaine or other dark leafy lettuce
Sugar Snap Peas
Banana - Note Banana is only served fresh.
Berries (Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries)
Cactus Pear (peeled)
Grapes (with seeds)
Watermelon (no seeds)
Other safe foods
Peanut butter sandwiches rolled in millet
Whole Grain Breads
Whole Wheat Pasta
Cooked grains (can also be sprouted)
Spelt or Kamut
Cooked legumes (or sprouted with 1/4" tails)
13 Bean Soup minus Spice Packet - not as good as others but works
Grains, Breads, and Muffins
Mandel bread, soaked
Sweetened corn cereals
Sweetened oat cereals
Unsalted, unbuttered popcorn
Whole-wheat or multigrained bread
Zweibach toast, soaked