Birds eat an extremely wide variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, seeds, grain and nectar. Different species of birds have different dietary needs. Some birds only eat seeds, and no vegetables or fruit. However, most domesticated birds eat a varied diet including fruit and vegetables. A balanced, healthy diet will allow a bird to live a longer and happier life.
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Just like humans, birds need water, carbohydrates, protein, lipids, minerals and vitamins. Birds also require food from four major food groups, including grains, fruits and vegetables, protein sources and dairy products. Fruits and vegetables contain a greater concentration of vitamins than what is found in grains, according to the University of Florida. Feed birds fruits and vegetables twice a day. Different birds require different amounts and types of foods; speak with your veterinarian about your pet's needs.
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Vegetables should comprise of 15 to 30 per cent of a bird's diet, according to PetEducation.com. Birds should eat a wide variety of vegetables. Vegetables that birds can eat include radishes, endive, dark greens, parsley, green beans, tomato, sweet peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant, lettuce and cucumber. Birds also eat root vegetables such as turnips, carrots, cooked potatoes and beets. Birds decide what to eat based on sight, texture and taste. Birds should eat at least one dark, leafy green a day. Avoid onions, avocado and mushrooms. Wash any vegetable that you feed a pet bird. Feed larger birds corn on the cob to keep the pet entertained.
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Fruits should make up about 5 per cent of a bird's diet. Birds can eat most fruit, including apples, berries, kiwi, mango, cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, cherries, cranberries, bananas, pears, peaches, oranges, pomegranate, tangerines, grapefruit, papaya, plums, grapes and apricots. However, birds cannot eat apple seeds; if you give a bird an apple, remove the core. Avoid fruit pits such as apricot, plum or peach pits. Some birds cannot eat the red skin on plumbs and peaches, but can eat the flesh. To keep birds entertained, offer foods they must work for, such as oranges and tangerine slices. They must tear open the outer skin to eat the orange. Birds will eat foods they may find in their natural environment and should be offered a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.