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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.
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Foods to Avoid

Alcohol

Apple seeds

Apricot pits

Asparagus

Avocado (entire plant and fruit)

Avoid anything high is salt, sugar, and fat content.

Beans, any dried

Butter

Caffeine

Carbonated beverages

Cherry pits

Chocolate

Cigarette tobacco

Dairy Products (birds are lactose intolerant-feed small amounts-cleaned/cooked eggs and yogurt fine)

Fatty foods

Food Dyes

Fruit Pits

Fruit Rinds

Garlic

Gatorade

Houseplants (most are toxic, not all)

Lettuce

Mayonnaise products

Mold

Mushrooms

Nectarine pits

Nuts (brazil nuts, almonds, imported nuts that have been polished/dyed)

Old Seeds

Olives

Onions (raw or cooked)

Peach pits

Pear pits

Plum pits

Raw Meats

Raw Peanuts

Rhubarb (contains oxalic acid, as does spinach - feed only in small amounts)

Salty/Sugary Foods

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)

Tobacco

Tomato plant

Uncooked Rice

Unwashed Fruits or Vegetables

Safe Vegetables

Acorn or Butternut Squash

Artichoke

Basil

Beans cooked only

Beet & Turnip Greens

Beet Root

Bell Peppers

Bok Choy

Broccoli

Broccoli Rabe

Brussel Sprouts

Cabbage

Cactus Leaf

Carrot Tops

Carrots

Cauliflower

Celery stalks

Chayote Squash

Chinese Cabbage

Collard Greens

Cooked Red Potatoes

Cooked Sweet Potatoes

Corn

Cucumber

Dandelion Greens

Edomame

Eggplant (fruit only)

Endive

Escarole

Fennel

Green Beans

Hot Peppers

Jicama

Kale

Kohlrabi

Lettuce

Mustard Greens

Okra

Parsley

Peas

Potato (cooked)

Pumpkin (and seeds)

Radicchio

Radish Red Beet (fresh)

Radishes

Red or Green Pepper

Romaine or other dark leafy lettuce

Snow Peas

Spaghetti Squash

Spinach

Sprouts

Squash

Sugar Snap Peas

Sweet Potato

Swiss Chard

Tofu

Tomatoes

Turnip Greens

Watercress

Yams

Zucchini

Safe fruits

Apples (cored)

Apricot

Banana - Note Banana is only served fresh.

Berries (Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries)

Blackcurrant

Blood orange

Cactus Pear (peeled)

Cantaloupe melon

Cherry

Cranberries

Dried dates

Figs (fresh)

Gooseberries

Grapefruit (seeded)

Grapes (with seeds)

Guava

Honeydew melon

Kiwi (peeled)

Lychee (Litchi)

Mandarin

Mangos (pitted)

Melons

Nectarines

Oranges (seeded)

Papaya

Peaches (pitted)

Pears (cored)

Pineapple

Plums (pitted)

Pomegranate

Quince

Red Currants

Star Fruit

Tangerines (seeded)

Watermelon (no seeds)

Winter Squash

Yams

Yellow Plum

Other safe foods

Corn Bread

Hard-boiled eggs

Hulled seeds

Millet spray

Monkey biscuits

Peanut butter sandwiches rolled in millet

Pellets

Scrambled eggs

Sprouted seeds

Whole Grain Breads

Whole Wheat Pasta

Cooked grains (can also be sprouted)

Amaranth

Brown Rice

Buckwheat

Hulless Barley

Millet

Quinoa

Spelt or Kamut

Teff

Whole Oats

Wild Rice

Cooked legumes (or sprouted with 1/4" tails)

13 Bean Soup minus Spice Packet - not as good as others but works

Adzuki

Lentils

Mung

Sprouting Peas

Grains, Breads, and Muffins

Graham crackers

Mandel bread, soaked

Matzoh

Mini bagels

Oatmeal

Pastas

Rice cakes

Rice Chex

Rice Krispies

Sweetened corn cereals

Sweetened oat cereals

Toasted bread

Unsalted crackers

Unsalted, unbuttered popcorn

Wheat cereals

Whole-wheat or multigrained bread

Zweibach toast, soaked

Other grains