Feeding your bird

Different species of bird have different dietary requirements, but most need a balanced, formulated diet. While seeds are often a popular choice, they don't provide all the nutrition your pet needs. A formulated diet with pellets is the best base diet for your bird, as pellets contain a variety of nutrients in one form. However, it's best to supplement your pet's diet with other foods - after all, birds in the wild eat a little bit of everything!

Most birds will respond well to the addition of fresh leafy vegetables such as lettuce, mustard greens, chard and spinach into their food mix. Colourful vegetables like peppers and carrots, as well as fruits like banana, apples and melon are also a great way to give your pet a tasty treat. Scrambled eggs and small amounts of meat like skinless chicken can give them the protein they need.

Seeds are a good all-round snack food for birds, but you can make them healthier by sprouting them first. Dry seeds are packed full of fats and carbohydrates: if you let them sprout a little, these fats are converted to nutrients and amino acids. Wholewheat noodles, rice and breads are also more nutritious than white alternatives.

Remember that birds cannot digest lactose, so milk, cheese and other dairy products might give them an upset stomach. Other foods to avoid include avocados, which can be deadly toxic, onions and chocolate. Red meat and processed junk foods should not be fed to birds.

Birds can be picky eaters and some get set in their ways regarding what they will and won't eat. If your pet turns up its beak at a particular food, be persistent! Keep offering it day after day until it becomes familiar to them and eventually they'll start to eat a more varied diet.