How to feed your domestic birds
Domestic birds come in a wide variety of species, and there is no single diet that suits them all. Almost every species has its own specific needs! While most are granivorous, which means they eat seeds, some are also frugivorous and eat fruit, while others are insectivorous and need insects. We recommend that you choose a food tailored to the needs of your pet bird’s species to provide it with everything it needs.
You will need to adjust the dispensing of food according to your bird’s species. Some birds will easily adapt to feeding at set times, once or twice a day, while others have a fast metabolism and need to be able to eat as and when they want. But pay attention to quantities: some seeds are very rich and allowing your bird to eat as much as it wants could lead to weight gain or liver overload, especially as birds’ physical activity is limited by the cage.
Sometimes birds tend to sort their food, leaving the seeds they like least, which can lead to deficiencies. In the interest of a balanced diet, we recommend avoiding the temptation to give your bird only its favourite seeds.
STIMULATE SEARCHING FOR FOOD
In the wild, birds are used to searching for their food. This is one of their main activities, along with flying! You can stimulate this behaviour by hiding food in the cage, such as small pieces of fruit or vegetables, or even their usual seeds. As well as providing nutrition, this activity will also be beneficial for your birds’ mental health, leaving no time to be bored!
- Do not overfeed: on average, a bird consumes 15 to 25% of its body weight per day (more in winter than summer)
- Remove uneaten food daily to stop it rotting at the bottom of the cage
- Be sure to supplement your bird’s diet with some of its favourite treats: small pieces of fruit and grated vegetables, or insects
- Clean the feeders regularly
Advice written by Dr Padiolleau, HOPI Veterinary Surgeon.