At the time, we wrote a guide on everything you need to know about birdhouses, in addition to feeders. This time we focus on bird food. Food is essential in all living beings and this case was not going to be an exception. Especially when you have just acquired a bird as a pet, we imagine that thousands of doubts assail you.
And it is that when feeding your pet with feathers you can not offer him anything. It needs a specific food, meeting various requirements (type of bird, age, size or if it is breeding, among others). That is why we have taken the liberty of making this guide, so that all your doubts are dispelled and you can raise your bird as it deserves.
The most important
- The feeding of the birds must vary throughout the year along with the seasonal changes, since the physiological needs change in the same way. For example, in winter birds need nutrients that provide more calories than in summer, due to the cold.
- Not all types of birds eat the same food. You must take the breed into account and, as you feed it, you will discover its tastes. But the nutritional need for these cute little friends is made up of seeds (of many kinds) and pieces of fruit and vegetables, as well as fresh water. You shouldn’t be surprised if your pet develops gourmet habits.
- We do our part, which is to write in this guide everything you need to know to give your pet quality bird food. However, sometimes it may not be enough and you have to go to your vet, especially if your bird has any special needs.
The best bird food on the market: our recommendations
If you have just been given a bird as a pet, you are in luck: in this list you can choose the product that suits you best, depending on the type of bird you have. Do not forget a criterion as important as its stage of growth because, if it is a baby, you will have to look for suitable porridge. If you are already young or old, read on.
- Best food for small birds
- The most complete bird food
- The best bird food in the form of fat balls
- The best premium bird food
- The best quality bird food
Best food for small birds
1 kg format. It is an ideal feed for small birds, such as lovebirds or canaries. The package contains a variety of seeds suitable for your pet, in such a way that, with each intake, it gets all the nutrients it needs (protein, fat, calcium, phosphorus, vitamins A, D3, E, K, B1, B2, B6 , B12, biotin folic acid, choline, sodium, magnesium and potassium.
Being a large package, it can last around 2 or 3 months (if you have a small bird). The ingredients in this formula have been carefully selected by expert ornithologists from Loro Parque, in Tenerife. This formula is what they use in their facilities.
The most complete bird food
Format of 908 g. It is a food focused on the smallest birds that we can have at home, such as nymphs and small parrots. Contains a complete mix composed of shelled cereals (which does not leave residues), legumes, nuts, vegetables and fruits. Another advantage of this product lies in the cooking of the legume, providing better digestion.
It is a very tasty and nutritious option for your pet, as it can be used for both treats and transition food. Likewise, the grains it contains, such as soybeans, corn or wheat, are extruded (cooked). As always, the bird food you choose should be of the highest quality.
The best bird food in the form of fat balls
3.6 kg format, equivalent to 40 balls. This product comes with a fine yellow grid, so that it can be hung in the bird’s cage for its best use. These balls contain a mixture of corn, wheat, sunflower seeds, beef fat, cereals and calcium. It is an ideal food for the harshest moments of winter, due to its caloric intake.
These fat balls are often used more for wild birds, but depending on the breed, they can also be used for your domestic bird. Regardless of the origin of the animal, it will always need a sufficient intake of caloric food, especially if it tends to be thin.
The best premium bird food
25 kg package, composed of basic ingredients: sunflower seeds, sorghum, yellow millet, wheat and oats. A complete mix, if we consider that a bird does not demand as many types of food as other animal species. Without a doubt, a good alternative, since due to the size of the package you could forget for a long time to buy bird food.
The best quality bird food
1 kg format. It is a package of food for birds, mainly focused on the needs of parrots, parrots and parakeets. It consists of a classic mix of quality grains: sunflower seeds, corn, wheat, oats, buckwheat, peanuts (with and without shell), walnuts and pumpkin seeds, among others. It is manufactured in collaboration with veterinarians.
That is why it comes with guarantees, both in taste and nutrition. With each intake of this product you will be offering your pet quality food, with the vitamins, amino acids and cereals that your bird needs.
Shopping Guide: What You Should Know About Bird Food
To have a bird at home and to grow healthy and strong, both mentally and physically, it is necessary that you acquire some certain knowledge about feeding for birds. For this, we present below a compendium of the most frequent questions that the owners of these friendly animals usually ask themselves.
What is bird food and what are the advantages of caring for a bird?
Bird food, broadly speaking, consists mainly of a mixture of seeds, to which other types of food can be added in the feeder, such as fruits, vegetables, vegetables, nuts and legumes, as well as food supplements, if necessary. necessary.
It is logical to have many doubts about it, especially if you have never had a pet like this at home. And it is not worth it with just any meal: always try to have it of the highest quality. The worst thing you can do is look exclusively at the price of the product, since what you save on food, you will probably have to pay the vet.
How can I supplement bird food?
Birds not only feed on seeds, but also need fresh vegetables and fruits for a complete diet, in addition to always having clean water within reach. Of course, you will have to adapt this complement to the size and tastes of your pet. For example, a parrot may require up to 3 pieces of fruit or vegetables a day.
However, since not everyone can have a parrot or another type of large bird, we must warn that you have to offer the little ones one or two pieces. What fruit is good for them? Mainly these five: the banana, the cherry, the apple, the grape and the raspberry. Clearly, always well cleaned and washed.
Finally, if you want to give a treat to your pet, you have a wide variety of snacks and nutritious treats, being able to choose between bars (honey, with cereals and egg or multivitamins) and popcorn (homemade, forget about the bagged ones, well contain many ingredients toxic to birds), among others.
What types of bird food are there?
Not all birds eat the same or eat the same way. While it is true that the base is exactly the same (the seed), there are some larger birds and some smaller ones, so their physiological needs vary greatly. Needless to say, it is very important to pay attention to this issue.
That is why we have prepared a table composed of the main breeds of most common domestic birds, so it is clear at a glance what type of food each of them consume the most. As we always say, if you need more information, you can feel free to consult a veterinarian for advice.
What bird food can a baby eat?
The needs of a papillero (a baby bird that is fed with a syringe from birth), differ greatly from those of an adult bird. While it can eat birdseed and other hard foods, the young have a less developed beak and digestive system, so we must adapt the food to their growth stage.
Today they sell a multitude of porridges in specialized stores. Mainly, they are powders to which hot water is added (about 38º), stirring carefully to avoid lumps from forming. The mixture is then filled into a syringe. In an emergency, you can make a homemade porridge based on boiled egg and breadcrumbs.
What nutrients does bird food contain?
When we carry out an investigation, more or less in depth, on what our bird has to eat, we find that it basically requires four types of food: seeds, fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables (vegetables). The combination of all these ingredients means that you can offer your pet a balanced diet.
You must bear in mind that it is not good to offer only one type of food, as it happens with humans. No one could eat only meat, for example. In the case of birds, they feed mainly on grains and seeds, but as they carry so little water, they also need other inputs, such as the freshness of the fruit or the digestive properties of the vegetables.
What can’t bird food contain?
Many people believe, because they have seen pigeons eat anything in the street, that domestic birds can feed on all kinds of food. And that is not true, since there are some toxic foods, so we must know them beforehand to avoid unpleasant surprises. If we turn a blind eye, we could end up without a pet.
Specific data on poisonous food for birds: chocolate, for example, causes diarrhea and vomiting; apple and pear seeds because they have doses of cyanide, although small. Avocado is also toxic because it causes heart and kidney problems. And of course, artificial salt and sugar because they already get them naturally.
Can my pet get sick if I don’t feed him good bird food?
As with people and other living beings, if your bird feeds during a time of bad food, of course it can become ill. We are talking about food that is rotting or moldy. This possibility must be observed especially when your pet is in the breeding stage.
If your bird hasn’t been eating well for a while, in addition to not getting the nutrients it needs on a daily basis, it could experience significant feather shedding, which is a long-term problem. If you want your pet to stay with you for as long as possible, you must make sure that it receives the food it needs.
My pet is shedding its plumage, what bird food can I give it?
Just as snakes shed their skin from time to time, just like cats and dogs, so do birds. Although in theory the procedure is simple, since it is only to replace the old feathers with the growth of new ones, sometimes it is complicated. Especially, if we talk about sick or old birds, even more so.
In this case, the options you have available vary a lot between different breeds of birds, but we recommend that you always offer your pet quality nutrition (cucumber, spelled, millet, wheat and oats, as they are rich in silicic acid, contributing to the growth) and food supplements, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables.
How often do I have to give my pet bird food?
Although it attracts attention, birds tend to ration their diet very well due to genetics. This means that they do not tend to have much propensity to gain weight. Your only responsibility in this is to clean his feeder every day. For example, you can change the food in the morning and your bird takes care of organizing itself so that it lasts until night.
This is the recommendation for the vast majority of birds. However, things change if you have a macaw or a parrot, since they are specimens that need a lot of food throughout the day. In addition to keeping their containers clean, they require that they be continuously filled. Being large birds, if they do not feed when they have to, they could starve.
What if my pet doesn’t like bird food?
What you always have to be clear about is that diet changes cannot be made abruptly. That is, it is best to alternate the different types of food. For example, each time you offer seeds to your pet, you can also include a small piece of fruit or vegetables. It is natural that your bird does not respond well to variations in feeding.
You may not even get used to the commonly sold poultry food. If that happens, the transition can be done as described in the paragraph above. However, let’s not go too crazy in this regard, since if your bird is not convinced by conventional food, there are alternatives: seeds, fruit and vegetables.
How to feed a domestic bird?
It is a question that may seem absurd, but in reality we find many bird owners who in their day to day are making mistakes when it comes to feeding their pet. Therefore, we want to dispel doubts in this regard. There are basically two ways to do it: putting fresh feed and food on it daily or putting in a seed dispenser.
If when offering bird food you choose the first option, keep in mind that it is your duty to replace and clean its container, especially if you have a large bird such as a macaw or a parrot.
What do I do if I find an injured bird in the street and what food do I give it?
Many of us have gone from walking down the street, thinking about our things, and suddenly finding a bird with visible symptoms of illness or injury. Some choose to look away and pretend nothing has happened, but others prefer to do the good deed of the day and take it home. Here we explain what to do.
- First of all, don’t even think about giving him wet bread or cookies, since you don’t know if the problem is related to his digestions. These types of foods are for humans, since they are ultra-processed and could harm the “patient”.
- Don’t give her milk either, as it is not in her nature to drink it. They do not have the necessary enzymes to digest it, so it could cause their death.
- Try to find out what type of bird it is and its nutritional needs, as well as providing warmth and consulting with a veterinarian.
- Some birds are insectivores, like swallows. Others eat exclusively seeds and grains, which is why they are called granivores. You are not likely to find them on the street, but some birds, such as herons, are carnivorous.
- Having identified the type of diet you have, we can proceed to look for the bird food you need.
You should pay attention to this section, as we will reveal what it is that you need to take into account when buying bird food. We have written a short list, followed by a short description of each criterion. In this way, you will not have any doubts when feeding your bird with the best product.
- Brand Prestige
- Bird needs
- Beak shape
- Exotic or common bird
As we have described in the shopping guide section, the ingredients in your bird’s food are very important because they will determine its health. The more quality nutrients they contain, the better fed your bird will be. Try not to save excessively on your nutrition because it will be expensive. Now, what nutrients should you look at on the label?
- Proteins: they constitute between 10 and 20% of your pet’s diet, depending on their breed. Essential for the growth and repair of your tissue, in addition to giving benefits to your immune system.
- Carbohydrates: your main source of energy. You can find it in seeds and cereals, such as rice, millet, oats or wheat.
- Fats: a fundamental component in bird food, as long as it is found in the food in balanced proportions. They carry vitamins and provide a shiny and healthy plumage.
- Vitamins and minerals: the ones you need yes or yes are: A, K, E, D and B2. If we talk about minerals, your bird will need phosphorus, iron and calcium. All this is obtained by your bird through the grain, such as carbohydrates.
It does not matter if the brand is big or small, but it is good. And when it’s good, its reputation precedes it. So, if we choose a feed without thinking about a specific brand, we recommend at least that you inquire with a professional, either in a pet store or a veterinarian. They will recommend you based on your pet.
In any case, you cannot always go to a third party, so you will often have to decide for yourself. In that case, we can tell you to try. If you don’t know any good products beforehand, you will end up knowing it by trial and error. It’s the only way to learn, really.
Like all living things, your bird will not always be full and happy. There will be times when you will fall ill or go through certain moments of stress, when you will not want to eat or will be restless. This is when you must observe it and make certain decisions. One of them may be to investigate if there is any food that is making you feel bad.
Despite the fact that if that happens you should take him to the vet as soon as possible, keep in mind that your bird will not recover overnight. That is why you will need food and not just any. A good option is to buy a special meal for sick or critical birds, since the composition of the meal makes it easier to digest.
You already know the diet of the birds, as well as the fact that the shape of the beak will be decisive in deciding what type of bird food to buy. For example, birds with cone-shaped beaks are granivores. Those with a finer beak, insectivorous. And finally, if your bird has a curved beak, it is a carnivore.
However, we cannot always go exactly by theory because there are times when that is not entirely true. This happens with the toucan: it is a bird with a very strong and curved beak, but it uses it to eat fruit, not to eat meat. That is why you must be informed, to be able to acquire the best food for your pet.
Exotic or common bird
Each breed of bird has specific needs when it comes to feeding. And this difference increases if you have an exotic bird at home. For this reason, we are forced to write a small diagram with three specimens of exotic birds, including the foods they eat the most. Based on this guidance, you can decide which bird food to buy.
We can say that having a bird can be very satisfying. Hear him sing when you get home, see him move, caress him or even gladly watch him get used to you. They are unique situations, which differentiate these animals from any other pet. That is why you must take care of it as it deserves.
And what better way to watch over your bird than by being interested in its food, among many other things (cages, feeders, accessories and veterinarian). We understand that sometimes the standard of living cannot be fully adjusted to the requirements of your pet, but that does not prevent you from making an effort for the great bond that unites you and your bird.