Have you ever stopped to think about what we are actually feeding our pet birds? Parrots in the wild feed on sprouted green grasses, nuts, seeds, grains, flowers and fruit. In fact, wild parrots don’t eat much seed at all, and certainly not the type of seeds found in commercial bird mix. Seed diets are extremely high in fat and 97% deficient in all vitamins, minerals and amino acids. In the wild, parrots can compensate for these deficiencies by eating a wide variety of food. In captivity, pet birds rely on the diet we as owners provide, and if that diet consists of mostly seed, they have no way of compensating for what seed lacks. In-particular, an all-seed diet lacks calcium, which is essential to birds for bone development. Seeds also lack complete proteins, which birds require for feather growth and moulting. As seeds are high in fat, birds fed a diet consisting of mostly seed are more prone to high cholesterol and associated fatty liver disease and kidney problems.
The team at Noah’s Ark Pet Resort recommends a diet low in fat and, rich in vitamins and minerals. A diet consisting of approximately 70% pellets, and a combination of vegetables, grains, legumes, fruit and a small amount of seed, will provide your bird with a healthy, complete diet. The only exception however are cockatiels, whose diet should make up no more than 50% pellets.
Birds who have eaten seed all their life can not however be placed directly on a pelleted diet. Contrary to common opinion, birds will not readily convert to a new diet even if hungry. Birds must be placed on a conversion program, specific to their personality and breed in order to ensure successful conversion and reduce the risk of weight loss and stress.
At Noah’s Ark Pet Resort, we offer a ‘Birdy Boot camp’ to any clients having difficulty converting their feathered friends onto a pelleted diet, or even just adding vegetables, grains or fruit to their diet. We understand that it can be just as much a stressful time for you, as for your bird and that’s why we are here to help. For more information on a pellet-based diet or pellet conversion, don’t hesitate to contact us via phone or email. We look forward to hearing from you!