What food do pet birds eat?


While each bird is going to have their specific taste preferences, all birds need to be fed with a diet that includes pellets that have been formulated with the needed vitamins and minerals that they need to survive in captivity. A brief description of the diet of each bird species is listed below including what not to feed them and food they don’t like.

Generally speaking, never feed a bird caffeine, chocolate, alcoholic beverages, pits from fruits, raw beans, eggplant, potato, tomato leaves, green potatoes, avocado, nutmeg, rhubarb leaves, or tobacco. Also, be cautious when feeding peanuts as they often are contaminated with aflatoxin, which is a fungal toxin and carcinogen that could cause liver damage in birds.

What does a budgie / parakeet eat?

Budgies like to feed off of the ground and grass in the wild, so until fairly recently, seeds were fed to pet Budgies as well. Though, it has been discovered that the bird receives a better balanced diet when you use pellets instead. Also, you will want to provide the bird with a cuttlefish bone, and maybe some millet every so often as a treat. They also enjoy bananas, strawberries, apples, grapes, oranges, peaches, blueberries, pears, raisins, mango, melons, nectarines, cherries, and kiwis. Tropical fruits are their favorite. Many budgies prefer bottled water. Add a few drops of cider vinegar to the water, and provide the bird with fresh water every day.

Never give budgies fried food, salt, crisps, coffee or other caffeine, bacon, pastries, chocolate, pizza, bread, peanut butter, cheese, or vanilla. Also, do not feed your budgies peas or beans in large amounts as they can trigger hormonal behavior.


What does a Canary eat?

Feed your canary a nutritionally balanced pellet food, or seeds only as part of their diet along with fresh fruits and vegetables, such as apple chunks, pitted cherries, peas, pumpkin, cucumber, kale, beets, dark green lettuce, spinach, carrot, sweet potato, and cabbage. Always stick to a regular feeding schedule, feeding at the same time every day since the canary will rely on schedules to feel calm, safe, and secure. If you give your canary grit, give it to them in the form of cuttlebone, oyster shells, or limestone which can be broken down by their digestive system.

Never give a canary iceberg lettuce, celery or other vegetables that provide little nutrients. And, never feed them avocado as it can be toxic.

What does a Cockatiel eat?

Seeds and pellets that have been properly balanced with nutrients are a cockatiel’s main diet. Also feed them dark, leafy greens every other day. And, offer them fruits, like apples, banana, or melon once a week. Also, offer them a honey stick or millet spray once a month as a treat. Always make sure the bird has fresh, clean water.

Never feed a cockatiel too much fat. If you feed them nuts, only offer them a few slivers of almond or a piece of walnut each day. Also, avoid all of the known potential toxins for birds including never feeding them onions, garlic, or xylitol.

What does a Finch eat?

Feed a nutritionally balanced pellet. Also feed fruits, vegetables and greens to make up about 20% of their diet. Offer fresh water every day along with fresh foods, fruits and vegetables. Make sure the food and water dishes are cleaned daily. Always monitor the amount of food eaten by your finch. Since they naturally eat seeds in the wild, feed them a variety of seed types but not as their main source of food. Only offer 1 to 2 teaspoons of seeds each day. They tend to selectively eat only millet, so offer them a millet spray as a treat. Honey sticks are also a treat. If the finch doesn’t seem interested in a particular fruit or veggie one day, keep trying. Some favorites include apple cherries without the pit, pear apricots, Chinese vegetables like bok choy, peas, asparagus, coconut, peppers, banana, corn, pineapple, and cooked beans.

Never feed a finch avocado as it is potentially toxic. Also, avoid iceberg lettuce, or celery that lacks nutritional value.

What does a Conure eat?

Like any bird, conures should be fed a diet of pellet food that has been nutritionally balanced to make up about 75% of their diet. Feed them also dark, leafy greens every other day. Offer the conures apples, banana, or melon once a week. Once a month, offer scrambled or boiled eggs, pasta, beans, or peas as a treat. They should also always have access to cuttlebone or a mineral block. Also, make sure they have fresh, clean water always.

Never feed conures avocado, fruit seeds, chocolate, caffeine, or alcoholic beverages of any kind. Also avoid high fat treats and sugar.

What does a Dove eat?

Doves should be fed fresh fruits and vegetables along with a nutritionally balanced seeds and pellet diet. Also feed kale, lettuce, broccoli, carrots, and apples. Often you will need to gradually shift the dove from seeds to pellets and they don’t naturally typically prefer the pellet to the seed.

Never feed your dove avocado, since they have a chemical called persin that can be deadly to birds.

What does an African Grey eat?

Start with a dry food mix that provides a variety of seed, grain, nuts, dried fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Some choose to feed their African Greys baby food with fruits and vegetables as well as dehydrated fruits and veggies. And, these birds love their sprouts. Daily flax seed will provide the bird with Omega-6 and Omega-3.

Some African Greys tend to be low in blood calcium. To accommodate for this, make sure you are feeding them calcium-rich food such as bok choy, kale, parsley, carrots, dandelion greens, apricots, figs, endive, okra, or garbanzo beans. While spinach, broccoli, turnip greens, collard greens, mustard greens, or rapini may seem the obvious choice, these are high in oxalic acid that will block the absorption of the calcium. Also, beans like Anasazi, black beans, fava, kidney beans, Lima beans, navy beans, pinto beans, or soy may cause toxicities when fed raw. Make sure if you feed your bird these beans that they are first cooked. Also, sunflower seeds may make your bird become too fat.

What does a Cockatoo eat?

Cockatoos need a healthy, balanced diet of seeds or pellets and vegetables with some fruit, nuts, proteins, and cooked rice and beans. They also enjoy table food such as cheese, corn, cereal, pasta, and even some meat. Pelleted foods also sometimes include bee pollen and coconut chips which are helpful for cockatoos.

Be careful not to over feed your cockatoo vitamin-C foods, like oranges. This could cause an iron overload disease.

What does a Amazon Parrot eat?

Amazon Parrots need a high-quality bird mix meant for parrots. Look for one that include dried fruits, vegetables, herbs, greens, superfoods, and bee pollen. Organic trail mix works nicely as well so long as there is no chocolate in the ingredients. Veggies and fruit should be a part of the parrot’s daily diet. Include apples, grapes, spinach, watercress, field lettuce, chickweed, dandelions, poppy, carrots, corn, peas, endives and sweet potatoes. Also human baby food can work nicely so long as there is no artificial dye or preservatives added. Sprouting is also a great way for parrots to get nutrients.

Avoid mixes that have sulphurated dried produce in them as they use a chemical for the processing.

What does a Macaw eat?

Feed macaws a pelleted diet of about half a cup a day supplemented with half a cup of fresh fruits and vegetables that are organic and have been washed well. Provide your macaw with a variety of green and yellow vegetables along with fruits, melons and nuts. They also like broccoli, but don’t feed this to them more than twice a week, carrots, romaine, green beans, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, strawberries, bananas, grapes, kiwi, melon, mango, papaya, and pears. Also, a limited amount or oranges. They should be fed at least once a day. Also make sure they have fresh water as they like to dunk their food. Extremely young macaws require a high fat diet with extra protein.

Never feed a macaw coffee, sweet treats, chocolate, avocado, or alcoholic beverages. Also, do not expose them to tobacco, and be careful that they don’t eat the pit of fruits, raw beans, eggplant, potato, tomato leaves, green potatoes, nutmeg, or rhubarb. Do your best not to hand feed a very young macaw unless you area experienced with this.

What does a Pionus Parrot eat?

Pionus parrots tend to have a hearty appetite and eat well. Offer them pellets that provide a nutritional balance along with fresh fruits and vegetables. Focus more on feeding vegetables than the fruit since fruit will be higher in sugar. They enjoy carrots, string beans, corn, squash, peas, broccoli, zucchini, snow peas, sunflower sprouts, pea shoots, and sprouts. They do like grapes and strawberries.

Limit oranges and other high vitamin C fruits. Always avoid avocado and chocolate. Also, never give your parrot junk food like baked goods, french fries, potato chips, or any food or drink that contains theobromine found in chocolate, cocoa, coffee, or tea.

What does a Parrotlet eat?

Parrotlets enjoy fresh fruits, vegetables, greens, seed and pellet foods that have been nutritionally balanced as well as whole wheat bread, cooked rice, pasta, and cooked dried beans. Provide plenty of kale, spinach, dandelion greens, carrot tops, apples, bananas, kiwi, mango, and pears. Supplement with low-fat seed, and allow your parrotlet to graze as they eat. They tend to eat frequently as they have a high metabolism. Use dishes that are uncovered to encourage them to eat and drink. They will not eat out of a covered dish. Also, place a cuttlebone in their cage to provide them with the necessary calcium. They enjoy whole grains like amaranth, barley, couscous, flax, oat, quinoa, whole wheat, or wild rice. Additionally, add a piece of wood for them to chew on. Place a small branch from the maple tree, alder, walnut, horse chestnut, elm, poplar, ash, willow, cherry, pear, or apple tree.

Remove any seeds from the apple or pears before feeding as the seeds will be toxic to the bird. Always avoid avocado, mushrooms, raw potatoes or onions, chocolate, tomato leaves, salty foods, caffeine, dry beans, sugar, or dairy products.

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We are avid bird-watchers who recently retired, allowing us more time to travel the world. Fortunately, we have managed to visit numerous countries around Europe, Asia, and America. Watching and photographing birds has been a passion for many years and we are making the most of the extra time on our hands!


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