Seeds are good for treats and training aids, but not as staple food. They are relatively high in fat and low in essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A and D, calcium, and certain amino acids.
Birds who eat well are healthier, live longer, have higher activity levels, and enjoy better plumage than birds that eat a poor diet.
The core of a pet bird’s diet (approximately 80% of the food consumed) should be a good commercial pellet, complemented with vegetables and a small amount of fruit.
- dark leafy greens (broccoli, kale, dandelions, and spinach)
- carrots and yams
- frozen vegetables
- citrus and kiwis
Less than 10% of total amount eaten daily of:
- healthily prepared pasta
- brown rice
- pine nuts
- unsalted nuts such as almonds, Brazil nuts and walnuts (beware of the high fat content of most nuts)
Foods to Avoid
- onions and garlic (small amount may be safe, but best avoided)
- dairy (yogurt and hard cheese are okay in small amounts)
- peanuts as well as processed, salty, fatty or sugary foods.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly washed, to reduce the risk of infection with bacteria such as E. coli or Salmonella.
In the wild, birds spend many hours seeking food and water, and interacting with members of the flock. In our homes they usually spend very
little time looking for food, and often their flock members (humans) are out of the house for many hours of the day.
You should work towards incorporating captive foraging into your bird’s life. In this process, birds have to work for their food via the use of various homemade and commercial foraging toys. This will increase the bird’s active time during the day and decrease the risk of certain behavioural problems.
Supplementation is unnecessary, and may be dangerous, for birds whose base food is a balanced and fortified pellet; it is yet another reason to work towards converting your bird to a pelleted diet.