Monday, May 23, 2005

Converting Birds From A Seed Only Diet

A dry seed-only diet does not provide enough nutrients to allow your bird to live a long, healthy life.

In the wild, our pet birds would be eating both fresh and dried seeds, grasses, leaves, various fruits, vegetables and berries, insects and grubs.

If you have the time and are capable of duplicating the nutrients in this diet at home, your birds will be just fine.

If, however, you do not have the time or are not capable of duplicating the nutrients in this diet at home, you should consider converting your bird to a pellet/vegetable/fruit diet.

Pet birds that have been hand fed by the breeder are fed a pellet based handfeeding formula and are usually weaned onto a pellet diet supplemented by fruits and vegetables. If you obtain your pet bird directly from the breeder and continue this diet, your bird will be eating a healthy diet, although there is certainly more that you can add.

Many of the smaller birds, such as Budgies and Cockatiels are not hand fed and are raised on a seed diet. Unfortunately, these birds seldom have their diet supplemented by fruits or vegetables as they are often obtained from a breeder who produces the birds in huge numbers. These are the birds that you are likely to find in a pet store.

It is important to get fruits, vegetables and pellets part of your bird’s diet as soon as possible, but a bird that has never eaten these foods does not realize that they are food.

There are several mixes you can buy to cook a nutritious meal for your bird as well.

You do not have to remove dry seeds from your bird’s diet completely. The seeds can still be mixed in with the pellets or used as a treat or just kept in a separate dish, but hopefully once he is used to eating more nutritional foods, will not be a major part of his diet.

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