Fruits and Vegetables in Bird Diets

Can I feed fruits and vegetables to my bird?fruits_and_vegetables_in_bird_diets-1

It is suggested that a selection of various fruits and vegetables be fed to your bird every day. They are a good source of carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. It is recommended that 15 -30% of the diet should be fruits and vegetables. There will be some specific species differences and preferences. Dark, leafy greens, and yellow and red fruits and vegetables have the best nutritional value. Although frozen-thawed or canned are acceptable, fresh, washed fruits and vegetables are the most nutritious. Cooking can rob a food of some of its nutritive value. If you must use canned products, remember to rinse them well as they are packed in a lot of salt. It is NOT necessary to cut them up too much. Larger pieces of food will give the bird something to do. Eating can be great entertainment and enrichment as well. Vary the selection continuously and try to avoid feeding the same thing every day.

 

Are there any fruits or vegetables that I should avoid?

Iceberg or head lettuce is not recommended, as it is mostly water and has little nutritional value.

"Avocados should be avoided because of the high fat content and because some of its parts are known to be toxic."

Avocados should be avoided because of the high fat content and because some of its parts are known to be toxic.

 

Will my bird get diarrhea from eating fruits and vegetables?

Because of the high water content of fruits and vegetables, owners are frequently concerned about "diarrhea".  What you are witnessing is increased urine output, which is normal with high moisture consumption.This is also called polyuria.  Polyuria can represent certain disease processes as well so if concerned, do check with your veterinarian.

Remember to feed your pet bird with the same common sense as you would for you and your family. Wash all produce well, as birds are very sensitive to pesticides, chemicals and other sprays.

Organic foods are preferred.

 

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Are there any tips for feeding fruits and vegetables to my bird?

  • Always monitor the amount of food eaten every day by each bird.
  • Offer fresh water every day.
  • Offer a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every day
  • It is better to offer a small piece of many different foods items than a big piece of one food item
  • If your bird is particularly fond of one food, consider feeding less of it to encourage the consumption of other foods items
  • Wash thoroughly all fruits and vegetables as if eating them yourself
  • Clean all food and water dishes daily.
  • NEVER place food on the bottom of the cage, this is where the bird defecates !
  • No to a food item one day does not mean no forever - KEEP TRYING!



What are the recommended fruits and vegetables to give my bird?

Some suggested food items include:

 

alfalfa
apple
apricots
asparagus
banana
beans (cooked)
such as:
chick peas
kidney
lentils
lima
mung
navy
soy
beet
blackberries
blueberry
broccoli
brussel sprouts
cabbage
cantaloupe
carrot
carrot tops
cherries (not the pit)
Chinese vegetables (bok choy)
coriander
coconut
corn
cucumber
dandelion leaves/flower
dates
endive
fig
grapes
grapefruit
kale
kiwi
lemon
melons
mango
mustard greens
nectarines
orange
papaya
parsley (in moderation)
parsnip
peaches
pear
peas
peppers (red/green & hot)
persimmons
pineapple
plum
pomegranate
potato
pumpkin
rapini
raspberry
rice (brown)
romaine lettuce
spinach
sprouted seeds
squash
strawberry
sweet potato
tomato
turnip
zucchini

 

This client information sheet is based on material written by: Rick Axelson, DVM

© Copyright 2009 Lifelearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.