Choosing the right birdseed for your companion bird may seem like a daunting task. With all the varieties of bird species and numerous food options, many owners are understandably confused about what their bird needs to be healthy. The answer is actually fairly straightforward, as your bird’s specific breed dictates its nutritional needs.
Since the 1990s, there has been a wealth of research published on the proper health requirements of caged and companion birds. Previously, it was assumed that they would eat similarly to poultry and were fed likewise for decades. However, this could not be further from the truth, as these birds evolved separately from poultry birds and have different digestive needs.
Currently, there are three main classifications of birdseed mixtures on the market to satisfy the needs of your bird.
- Basic unsupplemented seed mixtures simply contain pure seeds or a mixture of two or more types of seeds.
- The second mixture available is supplemented, with added ingredients to provide a more balanced diet for your bird, as unsupplemented seed mixtures may be deficient in certain vitamins and minerals for your bird.
- Lastly, companies have begun formulating extruded types of bird food, manufactured in order to provide a balanced diet of all necessary nutrients for birds depending on their type.
For example, passerines (perch or songbirds) require a selective birdseed diet while psittaciformes, or parrots, prefer a varied diet with seed mixtures with additional fruits and vegetables.
You could also choose to supplement your bird's diet with nutritious snacks like millet sprays and sprouted seeds. Both of these options are vitamin-rich and enjoyable for your bird.
For expert advice about birdseed and your bird's nutrition, please see the Smart Pet Guide. We're more than happy to alleviate you and your bird’s concerns!