Margaret A. Wissman, DVM
How do I tell if my bird is eating enough?
A normal, healthy bird will naturally consume adequate calories and nutrients during the day, as long as the proper foods are provided. Foods high in fat, such as seed, may be over-consumed, resulting in an overweight bird. Sedentary birds may take in too many calories, resulting in the bird gaining weight, as well.
A bird will maintain its weight as long as there is a balance between calories taken in and energy expended. A bored bird, especially one consistently offered a diet high in calories, may overeat, because there isn’t much else to do.For this reason, bird toys are important, and supervised playtime is also very valuable in expending calories.
Parrots might overeat high-fat bird foods such as bird seeds.
I recommend that all bird owners purchase a good-quality scale that measures weight in grams and that owners get into the habit of weighing their bird at least once a week at the same time of the day. Keeping track of a bird’s weight is the best way to ensure that a bird is maintaining a correct weight. Any gain or loss of more than a few grams in a small bird or 10 grams in a larger bird should prompt a phone call to your avian veterinarian.
A sick bird may still be eating, but it may end up losing weight, as it is expending a lot of calories just fighting infection, so food consumption can be deceptive. This is why weighing your bird periodically is very important.
Want to learn more about bird food?
What Do Parrots Eat?
Bird Food Myths & Facts