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The Bird's Word

The Bird's Word

Food! Wonderful Food!

Posted by Cindy on March 31, 2014 at 12:10 AM

I, like most birds, love to eat. I won't say that eating is my favorite pastime -- that would be shredding oatmeal boxes -- but eating ranks pretty high on my list of fun things to do.

Sadly, many people think parrots just eat seeds. That's not only wrong, but it's not healthy for the bird. If you ate nothing but sunflower seeds every day, you'd probably live for a while, but you'd run into health problems and die too soon. It's the same way with birds who eat nothing but seeds.

So, what's a better, more healthy diet?


First, seeds.  A diet of nothing but seeds becomes unhealthy, but seeds themselves are good in limited amounts. There are intersting ways to get seeds. You can just get a bag of seeds. Those are fun to crack apart, but you can also get these little biscuits or balls of seeds. Those are easy to hold onto and fun to break apart. Some birds like seedy bread. I personally don't care for it, but that's just my choice. One word of caution, though. If you get seeds that have been colored with food dye, you may end up with brightly colored bird poo, walls, and floors.

Pellets. Some people like to use pellets because they're supposed to be a full diet. Some people say that the way they're made takes all the healthy stuff out.  Me? I'm not a fan because when I chomp down, pieces go flying. That's fun to watch, but I don't get much to eat that way.  Boo hiss.  Again, like the seeds, if you get dyed pellets, you should expect to have bright-colored walls, floors, and bird poo.

Fruits and Veggies. Veggies and fruits are fun and tasty. Like humans, some birds don't like to eat their veggies, but like humans, they really need to. I personally like corn, beans, and carrots. My  human gets frozen ones and thaws them out for me. Other people use fresh veggies and fruit. Both are fabulous.  Keep in mind, though, that some fruits and veggies are messier than others.

Bird Candy can be good for snacks, but we need to watch our birdie figures. Too much bird candy will make us gain unhealthy weight. When I say "bird candy," I don't mean the chocolate and sugary stuff you humans are fond of. That stuff can be dangerous for birds.  I'm talking about seeds glued to a stick with honey or about yogurt-covered stuff. Some is okay, but a lot is not.

Nuts are fun and tasty, but unless you're a macaw -- they need the extra oil -- keep the nuts to a limited number. I don't like more than a few a day, myself. Some people say not to give birds peanuts because of an icky mold-related disease called aspergillosis. Some people say that peanuts are fine if they don't have any spots or shell damage. I'd say, ask your vet on that one.

Those are some things to think about when you go grocery shopping for your bird. Next week, I'll tell you about some toxic stuff to avoid.

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