Wild birds feed on a wide variety of highly nutritional foods that increase immunity and decrease susceptibility to disease. Captive birds, on the other hand, don’t have control over what they eat, and food availability is limited to what the owner can offer to his birds. Therefore, smart and responsible bird keepers pick and choose the best foods that provide the optimal nutritional value. In this article, I focus specifically on the best fruits and vegetables.
Best vegetables for pet birds
As a general rule, vegetables offer more nutritional value than fruits. Therefore, vegetables should be the first available choice offered to birds. But not all vegetables are highly nutritious. Dark vegetables offer more nutritional value than light-colored vegetables. For example, bell peppers are more nutritious than lettuce and cucumber.
That being said, among the best widely available and safe vegetables that can be added to birds’ diet are:
Hot pepper, bell pepper, carrot, broccoli, cooked sweet potatoes, sweet corn, spinach, arugula, radish leaves, purslane, dandelion, and beet.
Best fruits for pet birds
The best fruits for pet birds are those which come in dark yellow, orange, red, blue, and green colors such as cherries and berries (the darker the better). Compare for example an apple and a pineapple; there is a big difference in color when they are pealed. Other choices that match our description include:
Yellow and red Figs, melon, pumpkin, (biologically a fruit), mango, orange, papaya, and pineapple, yellow cauliflower, and kiwi.
The type of fruit you offer to your pet bird depends on the bird species diet and preference. Some birds won’t eat a certain fruit. For example, I find that canaries don’t like bananas when offered to them. Some birds also require more fruits in their diet than others such as lories.
- Offer fruits and vegetables all year round but more during the breeding season and molt.
- Wash all fruit and vegetables well before you offer them to your birds.
- Be aware of toxic fruit and vegetables.
- Limit watery vegetables such as watermelon, cucumber, and grapes.
- Control the amount of food that contains a high amount of iron such as spinach.
- Limit acid fruits and vegetables especially tomatoes and lemon.
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