The Basics of Bird Food

Considering a bird as your next pet, or brand-new to bird ownership? Use these basic guidelines from a North London veterinary professional to discover your bird’s basic dietary needs.

Pellet Diet

The base of a pet bird’s diet is their regular pellet or seed food. These are widely available at retail stores, pet supply stores, and veterinarian’s offices. There are many types available, so consult your vet to discover which is best suited for your particular bird.

In addition to pellet or seed food, a bird’s diet can and should be supplemented with a variety of cooked and uncooked foods, like the ones listed below.

Cooked Foods

Whenever you’re cooking food for your bird, don’t use a non-stick pan, as heating the substance can release toxins into the air that can harm your bird. Use a stainless steel pan instead. Some ideas for healthy cooked foods are barley, brown rice, sprouts, beans, peas, and oats. You may even try giving your bird a small bit of cooked pasta.


Raw veggies are great sources of nutrients for your bird. If your bird is new to veggies and fruits, though, introduce them slowly—a sudden drastic increase in a food can lead to health problems, or your bird might simply not eat it. For veggies, stick to leafy greens and dark yellow varieties, like romaine lettuce, squash, parsley, cucumbers, and snow peas. Remember to avoid avocado at all costs, as it contains a harmful substance that is poisonous to birds and other pets!


While it’s likely your bird will really enjoy fruits for their sweetness, they should only make up a small portion of your bird’s diet. Also be sure to remove all pits and seeds before offering your bird some. A few healthy choices include orange slices, grapefruit, papaya, mango, kiwi, and apples (with seeds and the core removed, of course).

Call your North London veterinarian’s office to ask about more healthy food choices for your bird, as well as about any other aspects of his health you may have questions about.

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