Your pet needs a balanced diet and lots of clean water to stay healthy
Feeding your pet rightly for optimum health has never been easy than it is now. Once upon a time, buying a seed mix, and possibly supplement the seeds with some fresh greens and a piece of fruit was the standard way of feeding bird pets. Though the pet birds see seed mixes as tasty, the mixes are fattening and lack many essential nutrients for good health. Many pets died young of preventable diseases as a result of this.
A couple of decades ago, the research into avian nutrition had made a tremendous success. This research has brought about excellent pellet foods and ready-to-serve mixes for many kinds of bird, which will ensure your pet lives a long healthy life.
Every bird needs clean water available all the time. Some flocks of doves in the wild travel for more than sixty miles every morning and every night to get to water. The idea is to keep the water fresh and clean. Food, and feathers, and possibly droppings will get into your bed’s water dish, even if you use a hopper instead of an open bowl. Make it a routine to always clean the dish and replace the water twice a day.
Pellet foods put together all or most of the components required for a healthy diet into little biscuits, so the bird won’t just pull out the pieces he likes and leave the rest, like a child faced with Brussels sprouts and chocolate. High-grade pellets are carefully formulated based on the current research in avian nutrition. These should be key to a healthy bird’s diet.
Mixtures of fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and other items are available for most kinds of birds. Add this to some fresh produce, and if you can get some “bird treats” and insect pates too, these mixes round out the diet and help prevent your bird from getting bored. You will get insect patés in ready-to-serve packages, just like any other standard pet food.
For nectar-eaters, a high-grade pellet is also needed in their diet, but the pellet portion will have to be less than half of their food.
Some birds depend on “grit” in their diet to break open and crush their foods after they swallow it. Doves are a perfect example of birds that require grit. You can walk into any pet store to get boxes of “budgie gravel” and this will surely get the job done for the majority of the birds that need grit. Take note that generally, parrots do not need grit.
For a healthy bird, a large amount of calcium is needed in his diet. Calcium is more vital for a “she” bird because of the possibility that she will lay eggs. A bird may die while laying eggs if her calcium levels are low. A good source of calcium is a crushed cooked egg shell and cuttlebones.
Birds like snacks and treats just as humans enjoy a sweet snack from time to time.
Breadcrumbs are popular examples which are often fed to semi-wild ducks and pigeons. Don’t feed your bird regular bread; they are really not very good for birds, but many of them like it, much like we might like ice cream or a glass of wine. There are mixes available out there to bake healthy bread specifically for pet birds: these are fast and easy, and the bread may be broken apart and frozen so it could be used over a period of weeks.
Many birds like pieces of fresh fruits, as do julienned strips of carrot. Some birds are very keen on non-sugared breakfast cereals, such as “Cheerios” (preferably the all-oat variety)
Every bird has specific nutritional needs. Find out that of your bird and see if you have been missing anything.