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10 tasty and healthy treats for pet birds

Updated on January 26, 2015

10 tasty and healthy treats for pet birds - Welcome!

We all enjoy a treat every now and again and so do our feathered friends!

Feeding your pet bird treats is an excellent bonding method for both human and bird alike.

These treats will keep your bird happy, chirpy, fed and healthy!

Amazon Parrot eating a watermelon (Wikimedia Commons Image)
Amazon Parrot eating a watermelon (Wikimedia Commons Image)

1) Fruits

Birds absolutely love fruits.

Fruits are bursting with taste and flavour. Fruit is also a wonderful source of vitamins and nutrients for birds. The majority of pet bird species favour fruit over any other kind of treat.

Oranges, grapes, bananas, apples, mandarins, melons, you name it, are perfect, healthy treats.

However, you should never feed your bird avocado, as it is toxic to them. The seeds and pits should be removed from the fruit before serving, as some, particularly apple seeds, contain small traces of cyanide.

And please remember to remove any discarded or unwanted fruit from the bird's cage within two hours of serving, otherwise it will attract bacteria and unwanted insects.

Fruit suggestions for birds

RHS Grow Your Own: Fruit (Royal Horticultural Society Grow Your Own)
RHS Grow Your Own: Fruit (Royal Horticultural Society Grow Your Own)

A very good, well detailed book on how to grow your own organic, fresh fruit.

 
African Grey Parrot enjoying a carrot (Wikimedia Commons Image)
African Grey Parrot enjoying a carrot (Wikimedia Commons Image)

2) Vegetables

Yes, vegetables are a treat to your birds.

In the wild, birds will happily munch on fresh vegetables in the farmer's field.

Leafy greens such as lettuce is a favourite to most birds.

However please avoid iceberg lettuce, as this is mostly water and has no nutritional benefit to birds.

Other veggies that birds enjoy are broccoli, carrots, watercress, tomatoes and peas.

Some birds even enjoy eating dandelion leaves, which you can find in almost any grassy area.

Avoid giving birds any rhubarb, the leaves/stems of tomatoes, raw potato, avocado, onion, mushrooms and eggplant, as these are toxic to birds.

Please ensure you wash all vegetation before offering it to your bird as it may have insecticides on it.

Vegetable suggestions for birds

RHS Grow Your Own: Veg (Royal Horticultural Society Grow Your Own)
RHS Grow Your Own: Veg (Royal Horticultural Society Grow Your Own)

A brilliant guide to growing your own amazing vegetables.

 

3) Grains And Cereals

Grains and cereals are an ideal snacking treat for birds, both captive and wild.

Grains and cereals are very nutritious for birds. They are a source of protein, which is vital to bird diets, and they contain beneficial levels of carbohydrates.

Wheat, barley and oats, rice and groats are ideal grains and cereals for birds.

Even placing a millet twig in your bird's cage is enough to delight your feathery pal.

However you should avoid feeding sugary cereals to birds, such as breakfast products designed for human consumption.

Something To Try

Why not mix some fruit and grains together? Your bird would be in feathery heaven!

4) Wholegrain Breads

Wholegrain breads taste amazing to birds and ensure they get a good source of fibre.

However, white breads are difficult for birds to digest and are therefore not recommended at all.

There are many recipes available including birdie cornbread, pumpkin bread, pecan corn bread and so on.

Do you know of any great recipes for bird breads, either on Hubpages or elsewhere?

Please feel free to share them in the comments and I will mention them here!

Macaw eating pasta (Wikimedia Commons Image)
Macaw eating pasta (Wikimedia Commons Image)

5) Pasta

Yes, I am being serious.

Birds do enjoy munching on pasta

Pasta can be fed to a bird whether it is cooked or uncooked, though those with smaller beaks would probably appreciate it if you cooked the pasta.

Pasta is full of carbohydrates for energy, which is great for larger birds which fly freely in your home or a large aviary. Flying uses a lot of energy.

Try boiling some pasta (maybe bow-tie pasta as it is difficult to accidentally swallow whole) with some vegetables as a treat for your bird. If your bird enjoys crunchy food, why not add some uncooked macaroni noodles and unsalted crunchy peanut butter too?

6) Nuts

Nuts are a delicious treat for birds.

Sometimes they are great exercise and toys too as the bird will spend hours exercising their beaks, jaws and feet trying to break the shells off of certain nut types.

Any nuts you offer a bird should ideally be clean and unsalted. Birds do not require any salt in their diet.

Nuts should only be offered to your bird ideally as a rare treat, because they are high in fat, bearing in mind that birds have smaller bodies than we humans do.

Why not try a bird bread recipe with some nuts thrown in? See the 4) Wholegrain Breads part of this article!

Something to try

Mix nuts and fruit together for an exciting fusion of treats for your bird.

Some nuts will go great with berries, especially in the autumn.

Nut products for birds

In Shell Peanuts Bird Treat 5 lbs
In Shell Peanuts Bird Treat 5 lbs

Peanuts in shells are ideal snacks, toys and exercise for birds.

 
Kaytee Nut and Fruit Blend, 10-Pound Bag
Kaytee Nut and Fruit Blend, 10-Pound Bag

This mix of fruit and nuts is a tasty delight for birds!

 
Cockatiels sharing sprouted seeds (Creative Commons Stock Image)
Cockatiels sharing sprouted seeds (Creative Commons Stock Image)

7) Sprouts

Sprouts are a yummy and healthy treat for birds too.

You can feed sprouted seeds to your bird, just as long as you are aware of how to properly store the sprouted seeds to keep bacteria away. Sunflower, wheat, maize, almond and peanut seeds/nuts offer tasty sprouts.

These tasty seed sprouts will provide a healthy supplement to your bird's diet.

Other sprouts you could use are broccoli, watercress, cabbage, rocket, celery, spinach, lettuce, pea, bean sprouts and clover.

Do not feed onion sprouts, as onions are toxic to birds.

Cockatiel and budgies sharing a bowl of legumes (Creative Commons Stock Image)
Cockatiel and budgies sharing a bowl of legumes (Creative Commons Stock Image)

8) Beans Or Legumes

Cooked beans or legumes are a great source of protein and fibre for birds.

They are healthy, cheap and contain almost no fat whatsoever. Beans or legumes also make birds (and humans) feel fuller for longer, which is great for trying to wean birds off of fatty foods (for example, if it has been adopted from a clueless previous owner).

Some examples of yummy beans for birds are black-eyed peas, lentils, lima beans, garbanzo beans and haricot.

Ensure that you fully cook any beans before feeding them to birds. Uncooked beans can cause complications and may have bacteria or fungi teeming on them.

Bean / legume products for birds

Tropimix Low Fat Parrot Bean Mix, 5-Ounce
Tropimix Low Fat Parrot Bean Mix, 5-Ounce

A yummy mixed bean meal for birds.

 
Goldenfeast Hookbill Legume Blend 64oz Bird Food
Goldenfeast Hookbill Legume Blend 64oz Bird Food

A treat-worthy legume mix specifically for hookbilled birds.

 
White Cockatoo enjoying a red chili pepper (Creative Commons Stock Image)
White Cockatoo enjoying a red chili pepper (Creative Commons Stock Image)

9) Peppers

Peppers are a fantastic treat for some bird species.

Birds lack certain receptors in their tongues which enables them to eat peppers without experiencing that stinging, spicy bite.

Offer your bird a fresh chili pepper or a banana pepper, the two most popular peppers available in stores relatively cheaply. Your feathery buddy may enjoy munching away at the fleshy pepper and the seeds within.

Peppers are known to contain chemicals which help to prevent certain diseases from developing, depending on the type of pepper. They also contain a good amount of vitamins as well as vital nutrients, including Vitamin C, Vitamin A, potassium and iron.

Make sure the peppers are washed before offering to birds.

A Senegal Parrot enjoing popcorn (Creative Commons Stock Image)
A Senegal Parrot enjoing popcorn (Creative Commons Stock Image)

10) Popcorn

Popcorn?

Really?

Yes!

Birds will happily munch on popped or unpopped popcorn.

However if you are offering unpopped kernels to your bird, boil them in water first to soften the tough shell for your bird.

Your bird may enjoy popped kernels as they are easier to nibble on.

Unsalted and unsweetened popcorn is obviously the smart and healthier choice. Never use microwaved popcorn as this kind is extremely high in fat and calories.

Now you can share a bowl of popcorn with your bird during movie time! It;s a great way to give your bird a treat while socialising together.

Something to try

How about threading some popped popcorn and cranberries together and hanging it in your bird's cage?

Popcorn and cranberry kebab!

Bowie the indian ringneck shares a salad with his owner

A Quick Question

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    • profile image

      Coco 4 months ago

      Very useful. Thanks a lot!!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      Always looking for new things to feed the birds that is healthy. I didn't think pasta was something they could eat though. Thanks for the information.

    • Scott A Butler profile image
      Author

      Scott A. Butler 3 years ago from England

      @SheGetsCreative: Thank you! I hugely appreciate that. :)

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Pinned to my Pets board