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Favorite Pet Bird Treats

Updated on January 25, 2012

My Favorite Pet Bird Treats

Tweet, tweet! Meet my pet lovebirds, Peach and Cherry.

I do everything I can to keep them healthy and happy, and that includes giving them treats! My little Lovies are very clear in telling me which treats they love and which treats they never want to see again, but I have to purchase it to try it, of course, so sometimes treats end up in the trash (if I had a yard or even a deck I'd compost, I promise).

To help you shop for your next bird treats I've created a list of Peach and Cherry's favorite treats. Some are healthy, every-day treats and some are once-in-a-while treats.

Vote for your favorite treats and then suggest your own favorite pet bird treat. What do YOU think should be on this list and why? If you would like, grab the list as an RSS feed or widget for your own blog or Squidoo lens.

Birdie Buddy Bars
Birdie Buddy Bars

It's easy to made homemade bird treats. I found this one at My Lovie, Peach, LOVES them, and so does Rascal, my pet rat!

P.S. Leave out the eggshell if you plan to share this with pocket pets such as rats and guinea pigs.

Tools Needed:

zipper bag

bottle or rolling pin

1/2 and 1/3 c measuring scoops

large bowl

8 or 9-inch square baking pan

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 50 min
Yields: lots of little birdies, a few big birdies


  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 1/2 cups Cheerios-type (unsweetened) cereal
  • 1 egg (shell and all and cleaned)
  • 1/3 cup chunky applesauce
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup raisins or dried currents (optional)


  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. 2. Place the cereal in a zipper bag and slightly crush with a bottle or rolling pin (only enough to break into small pieces, not pulverize into dust!).
  3. 3. Mash the banana well in a large bowl and add all the other ingredients, folding them in well.
  4. 4. Spoon into a lightly greased 8 or 9-inch square pan and bake for about 45 minutes.
  5. 5. Allow to cool and cut into bars, size depending on your bird's size.
Cast your vote for Birdie Buddy Bars

Never Gives These Foods to Your Bird

DO NOT FEED sign. Photo Attribution | Francis Storr | Flickr
DO NOT FEED sign. Photo Attribution | Francis Storr | Flickr

There are some foods your should never give birds under any circumstances. While they are safe for humans, these foods are harmful, toxic, or even deadly for birds. Others are okay in very small amounts but should not be fed more than once or twice a week. This list is not necessarily exclusive, but keep your bird away from these common foods:

  • Alcohol

    Some curious pet birds like to sip out of glasses--keep wine and other alcoholic beverages inaccessible. Alcohol depresses birdie organ systems and can cause fatalities.

  • Avocado

    Though it's been debated whether all or only parts of the avocado is unsafe it a better bet to keep all avocado out of reach from birds. The pit and skin, in particular, are known to cause cardiac distress and heart failure.

  • Butter

    Butter contains high concentrations of fat, especially saturated fat. Additionally, more than a small amount of dairy can cause stomach upset.

  • Caffeine

    Keep caffeinated beverages such as soda out of birdie reach. Consumption can lead to cardiac malfunction, fast heartbeat, arrhythmia, and cardiac arrest.

  • Candy and sugar

  • Chocolate

    Chocolate act like a poison t0 birds causing first vomiting and diarrhea and then seizures and death.

  • Dairy

    Since birds cannot digest lactose (milk sugar) the sugar sits in the gut where it for ferments, usually leading to diarrhea. Only share the smallest amounts with your bird.

  • Dried beans

    Share well-cooked beans with your bird but never uncooked beans. These contain hemaglutin which is very toxic to birds.

  • Fatty meats and foods

    Continuous excessive fat consumption can cause at best oily feathers and at worst diarrhea, fatty liver disease, and death. Excess fat also interferes nutrient absorption including calcium.

  • Holly

    Ingestion can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, and depression.

  • Mistletoe berries

    Ingestion can cause erratic behavior, hallucinations, severe vomiting and diarrhea, difficulty breathing, collapse, and death.

  • Mushrooms

    This type of fungus can cause digestive upset and, some types, liver failure.

  • Nutmeg

    Nutmeg contains myristicin, a type of narcotic. A small amount does not hurt humans but causes birds to experience dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.

  • Onions

    Regular or excessive amounts of onion, including garlic, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, other digestive problems, and hemolytic anemia, a blood condition followed by respiratory distress and death.

  • Potato skins and eyes, green potato

    Plants in the nightshade family have healthy fruits but toxic leaves and stems. Potatoes, as part of this family, are safe unless green appears near the skin. Always keep from feeding your bird potato skin, eyes, or potato located near this green color, as they contain the toxin solanine.

  • Rhubarb leaves

    As they are to humans rhubarb leaves are toxic to birds. They contain large amounts of oxalic acid, an intestinal irritant which can also cause death.

  • Salt

    A small amount of sodium is necessary but much salt leads to excessive thirst, dehydration, kidney dysfunction, depression, neurologic hyperactivity, tremors, and death.

  • Seeds or pits of fruit

    Apples, cherries, peaches, apricots, pears, and other fruits' seeds and pits have small amounts of cyanide. Humans do not have gizzards and so the seeds are not digested in the same way, leaving humans unharmed.

  • Spoiled produce

    Spoiled produce, or even produce and other foods not visibly spoiled but possibly has unseen bacteria, has cause digestive upset and, possibly, death.

  • Teflon

    What? Teflon is not a food? Exactly, but it can be inhaled when Teflon is heated and flake into food when cooking. Teflon can quickly kill a bird, so just don't use it!

  • Tobacco

    As part of the nightshades family, tobacco leaves are toxic. Ingest can caus vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures.

  • Tomato leaves

    As part of the nightshade family tomatoes have healthy fruits but toxic leaves and stems.

  • Uncooked eggs or meat

    Like spoiled produce, uncooked meat and eggs, includes sunny-side up eggs, can have bacteria and viruses unseen by the eye. Thoroughly cook any meat and eggs you may share with your bird.

Visit for an extended list.

Transport Your Bird With Ease - with a pet carrier - great for vet visits, weekend trips, cage cleanings

Human Foods Your Bird CAN Eat

Although there is a long DON'T list, there's also a much longer DO list for what you can give your bird. In fact it's long enough that I decided to use some very general terms to include them. Exceptions are listed above.

Feel free to share these nibbles from your plate:

  • Fruits

  • Leafy greens

  • Vegetables

  • Unsalted nuts and seeds (only peanuts from the U.S.)

  • Cooked or uncooked pasta

  • Scrambled eggs (remember, eggs with runny whites or yolks are not completely cooked)

  • Unsweetened cereal

  • Unsalted crackers

  • Wheat bread

  • Other bread and grains products, plain

  • Unsweetened fruit juice

**Never give your pet something from which you've taken a bite. Human saliva contains bacteria that can potentially seriously harm your bird. Give them their own, fresh portion.**

Readers Thoughts and Tips

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    • brownee lm profile image

      brownee lm 

      5 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing! I will have to get some for my two lovies!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      now I too want to have birds as pet

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Our peach faced lovebird goes nuts for peanuts! We buy the unsalted kind in the shell for our birds, and the lovebird attacks the peanut right away! You can see pictures of ours in my lens:

    • jordanmilesbask profile image


      6 years ago

      Another interesting lens..Well Done!

    • Bill Armstrong profile image

      Bill Armstrong 

      7 years ago from Valencia, California

      Love the lens, gonna discuss a few topics with Yoshi now :-)

    • shandigp profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      @StellaSingles: I recommend checking out the book "Parrot Companion: Caring for Parrots, Macaws, Budgies, Cockatiels and More" (2006) by Rosemary Low. It has great info on many of the different parrot species and info on the special needs of each species. Get it at your local library or by clicking one of the Amazon books above and searching: parrot companion Rosemary Low

    • StellaSingles profile image


      7 years ago

      I used to have birds as pets, but no longer. What is the largest bird that I can have as a pet? I'm done with the little ones.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is cute!! I would love to have a parrot as my pet..hmmm soon i hope! then i can get all these little treats for him/ her :S ha :D Well done sweety.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      My budgies are really quite boring, they won't eat anything but birdseed and millet when they are in their cage. They only get adventurous about food when I'm eating it!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      My budgies are really quite boring, they won't eat anything but birdseed and millet when they are in their cage. They only get adventurous about food when I'm eating it!

    • kateloving profile image

      Kate Loving Shenk 

      7 years ago from Lancaster PA

      Valuable information here for bird lovers. Thanks for sharing. ****Blessed****

    • howtocurecancer profile image


      8 years ago

      Peach and Cherry are so sweet!....cute...

    • wilddove6 profile image


      8 years ago

      Excellent lens!

      Love your list of things not to feed your bird, and I'm going to try the "bar" recipe!

      I've lensrolled this to my Kiwi's Kitchen lens!

      Thank you!

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 

      8 years ago

      **Blessed** and featured on My Time as a Squid Angel :)


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