Nutritious Treats that Birds Love

Sharing a meal with your bird can be a wonderful bonding experience, but did you know that it can also benefit your pet's health?

Many bird diets lack certain vitamins and minerals that birds need, which can lead to a host of serious health conditions.

Feeding your bird a healthy diet does not have to be costly or time consuming. When you feel like your bird deserves a special treat, try serving up one of these cheap and easy options that are packed with taste as well as beneficial nutrients.

  1. Fruit. Grapes, oranges, bananas, melons -- just about any kind of fruit imaginable is good for your bird. Full of taste and various vitamins, fruit is a wonderful source of nutrients and is a favorite among the vast majority of pet birds. As with any fresh food you offer your bird, remove and discard any leftovers a couple of hours after serving. This prevents bacteria growth inside of your pet's cage.
  2. Beans. They're good for you and good for your bird, too! Beans are an outstanding source of protein for your feathered friend. Try boiling a 15 bean soup mix without any seasoning. Allow the beans to cool, and then offer a scoop to your bird. Chances are that this will become a fast favorite with your little friend. Remember to never serve raw beans to your pet, as some varieties can be poisonous unless cooked.
  3. Sprouts. Do you like alfalfa sprouts on your salad? Your bird will like them too! Be sure to thoroughly wash any sprouts that you offer your bird. Some may have come into contact with pesticides in their journey from the garden to your local supermarket, and you don't want to pass these toxins on to your pet.
  4. Vegetables. Wild birds feast on an amazing variety of vegetables in their natural habitats, so it only makes sense that fresh veggies are good for captive birds as well. Try offering your pet some thoroughly cleansed broccoli, cauliflower, or greens next time you serve these veggies in your home. Other avian favorites include carrots, asparagus, and peas.
  5. Pasta. No matter whether it's cooked or uncooked, birds love pasta. The good thing is, it's full of energy enhancing carbohydrates! Try boiling some bowtie pasta with vegetables and serving it to your bird when cool. If your pet prefers his pasta crunchy, fill a few raw macaroni noodles with peanut butter for a fun and tasty snack.
  6. Whole grain breads taste great, and are a wonderful source of fiber. Try offering your pet small bites of bread as a treat for good behavior. Your pet will think he's in hog heaven!
  7. Popcorn. Believe it or not, many pet birds enjoy snacking on popcorn! You can serve your bird either popped or unpopped kernels. If you choose to serve the popcorn unpopped, boil the kernels for a bit in plain water to soften the tough hulls. If you desire, you can pop the kernels for your bird using a very light amount of pure vegetable oil. Be sure to never give your bird microwave popcorn. These varieties are extremely high in fat and salt, which can be harmful to your pet's health.
  8. Cereal / Grains. Grain farmers often complain when flocks of wild birds descend on their crops to feast. A hungry group of birds can strip a field of grain in no time -- because grains are nutritious, and very good for them! Whole grains are another good source of vital protein, not to mention beneficial carbohydrates. Try serving your bird oats or shredded wheat, and watch the feeding frenzy begin!
  9. Nuts. Nuts are extremely high in fat, and should be used sparingly to prevent obesity in your pet. They are, however, very tasty, and many birds appreciate them as special treats. Nuts can be used as exercise toys as well as treats, many birds will spend hours exercising their beak and jaw muscles on the shells of some varieties. Always make sure that any nuts that you serve your bird are clean and unsalted.
  10. Peppers. Although many humans have trouble eating spicy peppers, birds can definitely take the heat. It seems that our avian friends lack the taste receptors that pick up on a pepper's stinging bite, which makes them a favorite of birds around the world. Try giving your pet a nice fresh chile or banana pepper and watch him chomp through it to get to the meat and seeds inside. You may find out that you have quite a hot little tamale on your hands