Your E-mail:
Will your bird get a holiday gift this year?

Printer Friendly

Alternative Food Choices For Birds

Share healthy food items with your bird

By Margaret A. Wissman, DVM, DABVP, Avian Practice

Amazon parrot, bird food, bird nutrition
If your bird sees you eating a new or suspicious food item, it might be encouraged to give it a try, too.
Courtesy Jessica Hagedorn, Wisconsin

Many birds really enjoy sharing mealtime with their human stewards, and this shared time can also provide a novel way to encourage picky birds to sample new, healthy foods. It is kind of like the “king’s taster” theory. If your bird sees you eating a new or suspicious food item without dire consequences, then just maybe it will be OK for it to nibble the same tidbit of food. However, we humans do not always choose items that are suitable to share with our birds, so it is better to be prepared and have healthy food items available to share at mealtime.

As a general rule, avoid foods cooked in fat or oil, say no to gravy, pass on foods with milk added, and stay away from butter, margarine, salty foods as well as items seasoned with garlic or onions. If the food item is not healthy for you (and most of us do indulge in these types of foods from time to time), you should not be giving your bird a piece of it.

If you are having a spaghetti dinner, try offering your bird a piece of cooked whole-wheat pasta, sans sauce or butter. A piece of breadstick would be appropriate — and personally, I just love watching a bird hold a piece of breadstick in its little claws, waving it about in the air as if conducting an orchestra. Pizza can be too greasy for a bird, so just offer it a piece of unflavored crust instead.

Mashed potatoes and baked potatoes are usually served with butter, sour cream or other additions, so serve your bird a cooked piece of sweet potato without any toppings to lower the fat content instead, because many birds do not need the additional fat and calories. If you are having a cooked vegetable in a cream or butter sauce, or mixed vegetables, offer your bird a wheel of corn on the cob (uncooked) to enjoy during your mealtime.

Many items in a tossed salad are good for your bird, but be sure to avoid dressing, grated cheese, onions or croutons. Washed greens, carrots, broccoli and other veggies are healthy offerings. Baked chicken, roasted pork, grilled steak and other meats are often relished by psittacines, however, some birds really enjoy meat more than others. Avoid greasy chicken skin and the fat trimmings that you remove from a piece of meat, but feel free to give your bird an appropriate sized bone with some meat attached to nosh on during dinner. Some birds will crack open a chicken wing bone and relish the marrow inside.

During breakfast, birds can share some cooked egg, whole-wheat toast (no butter, but a bit of jam or jelly is fine), or a few pieces of low-sugar breakfast cereal, a piece of granola or breakfast bar. There is no point to giving soggy cereal in milk.

 Give us your opinion on
Alternative Food Choices For Birds

Submit a Comment or
Join Club
Earn 1,000 points! What's this?
Reader Comments
Thank you ... at present I try a new veggie/fruit each week and appreciate the input of food items to try and way to present
Frank, Summerville, SC
Posted: 7/21/2010 1:15:37 PM
One of the better articles I've read-great food suggestions.
Jean, Lewes, DE
Posted: 6/1/2010 3:48:44 PM
Very helpful......great article
Brandi, Richmond, VA
Posted: 10/6/2009 1:04:22 PM
good article.
Mary, Portland, ME
Posted: 8/31/2009 2:52:40 AM
View Current Comments
Top Products
BirdChannel Home | Bird Breeders | Bird Species | Related Links | BirdChannel Editors and Contributors
                       | Birds USA |  
Disclaimer: The posts and threads recorded in our message boards do not reflect the opinions of nor are endorsed by I-5 Publishing, LLC nor any of its employees. We are not responsible for the content of these posts and threads.
Copyright ©  I-5 Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.
Our Privacy Policy has changed. Your California Privacy Right/Privacy Policy
Advertise With Us  |  SiteMap  |  Contact Us  |  Terms of Use  |  Community Guidelines | Bird eClub Terms
BirdChannel Newsletter Signup | Link to Us | About Us | More Great I-5 Sites
Gold Standard

*Content generated by our loyal visitors, which includes comments and club postings, is free of constraints from our editors’ red pens, and therefore not governed by I-5 Publishing, LLC’s Gold Standard Quality Content, but instead allowed to follow the free form expression necessary for quick, inspired and spontaneous communication.

Become a fan of BirdChannel on Facebook Follow BirdChannel on Twitter
Get social and connect with BirdChannel.

Hi my name's RaneBeau ('> Thank You, Friends!!

Visit the Photo Gallery to
cast your vote!
Information on over 200 critter species