What should I look for in a birdseed for my pet bird? The ultimate pet bird diet should contain more variety than just seeds or pellets. An all seed diet can cause malnutrition in your bird or an unbalanced ratio of nutrients which can develop into other types of illnesses. All birds need a diverse and nutritious diet including bird seed, along with fruits and vegetables. Those ingredients will help them have healthy feathers and skin, avoid infections and help them live a long life. Birds in the wild don't just eat the seeds. They eat nuts, flowers, grasses, insects, worms and fruit from trees.
The foundation of a good birdseed for your pet bird is to first offer the type of seed that your particular breed needs. There are many specialized (by breed) foundation diets commercially. Along with birdseed, fruits and vegetables should be offered as a daily snack. Choose colorful and dark green vegetables (no avocados) which are more nutrient dense. The more color and variety the better. Some birds are hard to please so you may want to try chopping or mashing the treat to see which they prefer.
It's also best to buy organic produce if you can. Birds are highly vulnerable to chemicals. Be sure and rinse the produce and don't leave it lying around in the cage to ensure they are fresh and not contaminated with droppings. Try apples, bananas, berries, melons, oranges and vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, carrots, celery, sprouts, squash or yams. You can also try treats such as rice cakes, whole-wheat bread or whole-wheat crackers that have no salt.
Some pet birds only want to eat birdseed exclusively, in which case you should supplement with a specially prepared birdseed mixture that contains all the well-rounded ingredients. A complete healthy birdseed mixture can help them with general health and is especially important if they are stressed, mating, laying eggs or recovering from an illness or injury.
In the wild when animals are sick they instinctively are drawn to the plants they need for healing. But if a bird is held captive and relies on humans for food they can develop malnutrition or vitamin toxicity. Pellet bird food manufacturers can hide ingredients that are poor quality just like a low quality dog or cat food. Pellets have been used successfully to help a bird recover from a health issue because they do contain balanced nutrition. But, pellets (like birdseed) should not be used exclusively or other types of health problems can occur.
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