A Healthy Diet for Your Bird

Bird diets are much more than only pellets and seeds. If you are the proud owner of a feathery friend or if you are considering getting a pet bird, it’s important that you know which foods and dietary requirements are best for your bird. A healthy diet is key to providing a long and healthy life for your bird, promotes feather production and improves their overall quality of life. It’s important that you stay up to date with the do’s and don’ts of a healthy diet for your bird. So, we’ve compiled a list of the top tips to keep in mind when it comes to feeding time.

A Healthy Diet for Your Bird

May 07, 2018

Every Bird is Different

Yes! That’s right. Every bird is unique, down to that one favourite feather you love, that looks magnificent when the light hits it right. There are, however, certain general guidelines that apply to most species. Apart from these guidelines, it’s important that you talk to your vet and ask them about the right diet for your specific bird. Be sure to consult your avian veterinarian before making any harsh changes to your bird’s diet.

FPC Tip: Foraging is very important to the behavioural and physical health of your bird. Whenever possible, try to incorporate some foraging strategies in your bird’s diet.

A Good Base

It’s important that your bird has a good base diet. A base diet is what makes up the majority of your bird’s diet. A good base consists out of high-quality premium daily pellets and should be offered every morning when your bird is the hungriest. This ensures that your bird is getting the healthy and balanced, pesticide-free nutrition it needs. Dietary needs for important vitamins and minerals, without exceeding the calorie requirements for your bird can be met with a diet that consists out of approximately 70% pellets and about 30% carefully selected healthy low-fat table foods. This also allows your bird to favour foods such as nuts, fruits and veggies when used to reinforce good behaviour.

Note: Small birds have fast metabolisms, and most choose to eat throughout the day. Make sure you give them a top-up at night if their bowl is almost empty.

Fruits and Veggies

Fruits and veggies make great daily snacks, especially for parrots, finches and canaries. Dark green or fruits and veggies are best because of their high nutritional value. Fresh fruits and veggies are also a great addition to birds who are on a high seed diet as it will add needed vitamins that may be lacking. Try out different bird-safe fruits and veggies to see what your bird prefers. If your bird is particularly picky – you can try serving the food in different ways (chopped, mashes, grated etc.) If you see that the fresh food isn’t getting eaten, be sure to take them out of your bird’s cage before they go sour or attract pests.

This can include apple slices, baby carrots, blueberries, pear, mango, pawpaw, kale, corn, peas and spinach.


A healthy diet, however, is not only about food – your bird needs water. Fresh and clean water. Always. Make sure that the water is changed daily. If you are using a water bottle – check that the tip is working and clean. Dehydration can occur within the first day without water.

Healthy Snacks

Although it is important that you provide your bird with a good base diet, variety remains key. Snacks should be a special treat for your bird. Although everyone loves snack time, it’s important that snacks should only make up about 10% of your bird’s diet.

Healthy snacks can include:

  • Almonds
  • Papaya
  • Red peppers
  • Wheat Grass
  • Sweet Potatoes


There are certain cases where pet birds refuse to eat anything other except seeds. Alternatively, your bird might not be getting in his needed nutrients because of moulting, laying eggs or recovering from illness or trauma. In cases like these, your avian veterinarian will recommend a dietary supplement. Speak with your avian veterinarian about dietary supplementation before you start giving them to your pet bird.

Foods not recommended for birds

  • Flour-based foods
  • Dried Fruit
  • Grapes
  • Bananas
  • Citrus Fruit
  • Fried foods
  • No raw beans
  • Fatty animal meat
  • Foods sweetened by artificial sweeteners

Family Pet Centre Bird Food

Here at FPC, we provide a large variety of food for your bird. Visit our website for more info: https://familypetcentre.co.za/collections/food-for-birds or visit our store for #EverythingYourPetNeeds. We would love to chat and hear more about your pet bird, so we can help you formulate the perfect diet for your bird.

The FPC Family



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.