A Guide To Feeding Your Bird
Getting the right nutrition is a key part of keeping our birds feeling chirpy
Birds, while not as common as pets as their furry counterparts, are still a regular feature in the UK pet population. Character-filled, cheerful and often incredibly beautiful, birds can bring a lot of joy into a household. Some birds can even help pay their way, with many households regularly enjoying eggs from their ducks and hens.
Getting the right nutrition is a key part of keeping our birds feeling chirpy. There are many species of captive bird in the UK, all with their own individual needs. We have outlined the basic dietary requirements of some of the most common pet birds below. Your local avian vet will also be able to give you advice on the best feeding for your bird if they aren’t listed, as well as taking into account individual variation in the nutritional needs of the species covered.
For more advice on feeding your bird, or to make an appointment, please find your nearest avian Vets4Pets
To see a range of nutrition options for birds, have a look at what's on offer from our friends in store.Read more about nutrition for your pet
More about feeding your bird
Timneh and Congo.
In most cases the basis of an African grey parrot’s diet is a species-specific pelleted food. Ideally this would avoid additives, such as food colouring or flavouring. These diets are specifically tailored to the needs of African grey parrots, and as such contain all the necessary vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy. They can be made more interesting to the parrot by flavouring with a few drops of a favourite dilute organic fruit juice. African greys are very intelligent birds, however, and need more than purely nutrition from their food. Food is a great way to provide your parrot with stimulation, and making your parrot work for food and treats is an important part of parrot keeping and training. Supplementing pellets with a mix of nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables helps your parrot get the variety they need. Vegetables should be given in a higher quantity than fruit, due to the high sugar content of fruit, but both add value to a parrot’s diet. Colour is a good indicator; oranges and dark greens often indicate high nutrient value for your parrot, and where fruit is concerned the more exotic the better! Green leafy vegetables have high calcium levels, which are important for your parrot. Orange fruit and veg, such as squash, carrots, peppers and sweet potatoes are great for vitamin A – something parrots may lack. Your local avian vet can do blood samples to assess your parrot’s blood levels of calcium if you have any concerns, or annually to check that your parrot’s nutrition is working well for them.
You may find that the first time you offer your African grey something new they turn their nose up. Don’t be disheartened! It can take several attempts before a parrot will try something new, so keep offering it. Just like children, sometimes seeing you eat something will encourage parrots to try a new food, so this is always worth a go for fruits and vegetables.
Although a large variety of fruit and veg are parrot-safe, there are some to avoid. These include:
- Fruit seeds
- Raw onions and garlic
- Anything containing high salt or sugar levels (most human food!)
- Excess numbers of sunflower seeds and nuts
Using puzzle feeders, toys, or simple hiding food in cardboard boxes or similar can provide your parrot with hours of entertainment. There are many ways to build entertainment into mealtimes and it’s always good to get creative!
A UV light should be used to help aid nutrition and well being as this is important in good skin and immunological health.Finally, African greys should always have access to clean, fresh water.