Bird Diet

What ‘eating like a bird’ really means.

Eating like a bird typically means not very much. But in the case of our feathered friends in the wild, it’s defined as a whole menu of goodies like grasses, plants and seeds, changing as much with the seasons as rhubarb pie. And somehow – perhaps like little chefs – free birds manage a balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals, all by themselves.

So, even though Polly says she wants a cracker, bird owners should also give their beloved budgies a variety of nutritious meals daily, such as washed seed, fruit and vegetables. Each dish should be served with fresh water, in clean bowls.

Now, of course different breeds of birdies have different dietary needs – kind of like our gang of gluten-free friends. And certainly, not every bird can talk, to let us know they’d actually love a cheeseburger, fries and a milkshake (bread-flavoured, of course). So, definitely speak to your pet store or vet, to get their recommendation. At the end of the day, we just want to make sure Tweety’s fit and flapping for years to come.

What generally makes a healthy diet for our peckish friends? Let’s give you a bird’s eye view of the best foods for birdies:

Seeds.

Seeds should make up about 50 percent of Kiwi’s daily diet. So, you’ll want to serve up some sprouting ones, such as split peas, sunflower mixes and soak seeds. Now we all think Bogart looks great no matter what, but fattening seeds, such as sunflower and safflower, should be kept to just a small bite, here and there.

Greens and other veggies.

Just as wild birds love a good garden, greens should make up about 30 percent of your indoor darling’s diet. Pet birds prefer dark-green, leafy vegetables to light-green veggies. So, think broccoli, spinach and cabbage, as opposed to lettuce and celery. Yellow vegetables such as sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot and sweet corn are also highly recommended for your favourite Finch. And if you really want to pack in some protein, a little bird told us beans and peas are the way to go. Now, if your choosy chirper isn’t used to eating greens, he may have a bit of diarrhoea, at first. It sounds fowl, but don’t worry – this will quickly pass as his digestive system adapts to a healthier diet.

Fruits.

Exactly what type of fruit to feed your flapping friend will depend on the country he originated from. Parrots from South America, Africa, Asia and the rainforests of Australia sing love songs about fruit. But birds that come from central Australia could skip it like a scratched record. Generally, any fruit will float Calypso’s boat, but the most popular include apples, stone fruit and melons. It’s also best to serve the fruit in small amounts, at any one time.

Supplements.

If your Parakeet pal has had a poor diet in the past, or is a bit on the stressed side, it’s a good idea to give him some extra vitamins and minerals, or supplements. But rather than just winging it, see what your vet or local pet store recommends.

Pelleted diets.

Complete pelleted diets are highly recommended for our pets because they kill three birds with one stone: They take the guesswork out of preparing a balanced diet for your pet bird, plus promote good health and vibrant-coloured feathers. Greens and fruits should be fed as side dishes to this menu, however, vitamin and mineral supplements won’t be needed.

So, there you have it. Feeding time for your feathered friend has never been easier. Chirp, chirp!