Creating a Nutritionally Balanced Diet for BirdsMar 17, 2004 Write an essay on this topic.
Popular Products in NutritionThe Bottom Line Try to get him to eat at least something from the vegetable group each day, particularly vegetables rich in vitamin A. Ask your vet about vitamin & mineral supplements.
Just as you want to assure that your children have a complete nutritionally balanced diet, you must show the same concern for your feathered friends. As with children, too much sugar, fats and other junk foods can be unhealthy for your birds.
According to veterinarians, malnutrition is the cause of around 80% of all medical problems found in parrots in the U.S. A poor diet can also directly effect their behavior, as in the case of too much sugar causing hyperactivity.
One thing I would like to point out, that can play a major part in the nutrition of your bird is this. Just as a child may not eat everything put in front of him, your bird does not necessarily eat everything you give him. This should be taken into account when considering how nutritious of a diet your bird is actually eating.
Now, consider what kind of a diet your bird is eating on a daily basis. In other words, what does your bird eat in a normal day? Granted, this will only be a rough estimate, since as I pointed out earlier, much of the food given will not actually be eaten. Still, attempt to determine approximately what your bird eats each day.
Your bird's diet will generally consist of several parts, much like your own diet. These different parts will include various amounts of nutrition, as well as various percentages of the diet.
First, lets talk about your bird's Base Diet.
This will generally consist of seeds or pellets, and may be the major portion of your birds diet. This is an important diet, but should be supplemented with various other foods for a more complete nutrition.
Vegetables are an important part of your bird's diet because they are generally much higher in nutritional value than fruits and many other treats your bird may choose instead. Vegetables should be offered freely and encouraged whenever possible.
Fruits should be given on an occasional basis. Though they do have some nutritional value, they do not have as much as vegetables, and are often loaded with sugars.
Proteins are often contained in the vegetables, but can also come in the form of carefully selected animal proteins.
Vitamins & Minerals should be added to fresh food, as opposed to adding them to the water. When adding them to the water, you can't be sure just how much your bird is actually ingesting. Be sure you are using a combination that contains both vitamins and minerals, and not just one or the other.
Carbohydrates such as breads and pastas can be given in small portions. Though these are OK for a small percentage of your bird's diet, there are more important things that should be included first.
Junk food such as cookies, potato chips, ice cream, should be given only as special treats and in very small amounts. Keep in mind that birds can consume anywhere from 15-20 % of their body weight daily. Try to keep the quantities of their treats in perspective when feeding them.
Many vets recommend feeding a good quality pellet along with vegetables high in vitamin A. Some highly nutritious vegetables might include broccoli, spinach greens, dandelion greens, red chili peppers (dried are better than fresh), cantaloupe, beef liver, egg yolks, papaya, carrots and mango.
If your bird will not eat some of the foods offered, just keep trying. Try to get him to eat at least something from the vegetable group each day, particularly vegetables rich in vitamin A. Also, including a good vitamin & mineral supplement should help to provide a complete and balanced diet for your bird.
What your bird actually consumes will determine whether or not a Vitamin & Mineral supplement is necessary. While many birds need this supplement, some birds who consume a high quality pellet diet may not need additional supplements. It is best to check with your vet to determine whether or not your bird needs additional supplements.
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