Nutrition for Birds
Feeding Your Pet Birds
Feeding your birds a complete and balanced diet is essential to their wellbeing, health and longevity. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies and health problems are very common in birds fed inadequate diets. Everyone wants to have a companion bird that is healthy, content and a valuable member of the family.
The most important thing that you can do for your bird is to feed it right…
A diet of seeds (even if they are vitamin fortified) simply does not meet the basic nutritional requirements of our companion birds. A pet bird who eats a seed diet is not getting all the nutrients it needs to remain healthy. Most seed diets are deficient in vitamins, minerals and amino acids and are often contaminated by pesticides and preservatives. The quality of seed diets varies considerably between producers and retailers, and seasonally.
Parrots in the wild eat many plants, grasses, flowers, tubers, fruits, nuts, grains, grass seed and insects. Wild parrots fly and walk kilometres daily searching for food. Most wild parrots don’t eat much seed, and generally not the same types of seeds you find in commercial parrot mix. They eat a wide variety of foods.
Our companion parrots tend to be sedentary and can become overweight with associated health problems. Most seed mixes are high in fat, and even worse by the time the birds have picked out and eaten their high-fat favourites, the sunflower seeds, which are also quite high in sugar. Diets that regularly include “people food” or leftovers are not just simply lacking in nutrition, they can be extremely bad for birds.
Wild birds compensate for deficiencies by eating a variety of things. However, companion birds need the responsible, guiding hand of their “parent” to make up for what the seeds lack.
Unfortunately, the signs of a bird on a unbalanced free-choice diet can go completely overlooked by the owner. Improper nutrition in the early stages often shows no signs at all. But if it is allowed to continue, you will start seeing signs such as poor feather and beak quality, obesity, feather picking and egg binding.
Pellet based diets
Harrison’s® and Vetafarm® bird foods are essentially premium, “health” foods for pet birds. They are proven complete diets that yield the best long-term health results.
The designed formula has a balanced ratio between fat content, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals and trace elements exactly what your pet bird requires to remain healthy or improve health issues.
The pellets should make up approximately 80% of your bird’s food, the remaining 20% should be made up of fresh fruits and vegetables. No other prepared supplement is required, all the necessary protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals are incorporated into the diet.
Birds on complete pellet diets live longer, have better colour and feather condition, are healthier and more active than their seed only eating friends.
For specific species feeding recommendations see the information sheets below.
Click on the links below to read more:
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