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Dietary rules for Ornamental birds

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For ornamental birds to stay fit and healthy, they need a balanced diet that is appropriate for their species.

What is allowed and necessary:

1. The basis for all bird nutrition is high-quality, ready-made feed. Look for good quality and only use a mix that is appropriate for your type of bird.

2. Measure the ready-made feed precisely. Birds definitely need ready-made feed, but not exclusively and not too much, otherwise you run the risk of them becoming overweight. The first rule of thumb is: two spoonfuls of ready-made feed per bird per day is enough. The second rule is: each bird should have their own food bowl.

3. Cuttlebone is a must-have in any bird cage or aviary as it provides birds with calcium and other important minerals.

4. Alongside ready-made feed, birds need fruit, vegetables and herbs for a balanced diet. Once or twice a week, give them a piece of fruit with hard pulp such as an apple. Feel free to give them some vegetables, organic salad, mugwort or chickweed on a daily basis. A piece of carrot or cucumber goes down well from time to time too. Find out in advance which types of fruit and vegetables your type of bird likes and is able to digest.

5. Nibbling is not simply a way for birds to nourish themselves – it also keeps them busy. As a result, offer them untreated twigs regularly from apple, pear, hazelnut, beech or birch trees.

6. Even though a lot of ornamental birds come from very hot regions such as Australia, this does not mean that they need less water than other birds. On the contrary, they should always have an ample supply of fresh water.

7. During the moulting and egg-laying seasons, birds also need more animal protein, which you can give them in the form of special egg and soft feed mixes. It makes sense to give them complementary feed when they are moulting too.

What to keep out of the food bowl:

1. Crackers and foxtail millet are popular, but unfortunately they’re also fattening. As a result, you should only give them to your bird once or twice a week.

2. Never give your bird preserved or sweetened fruit – this will make him ill.

3. Don’t keep seeds in large supplies, as bacteria and fungi can thrive in high humidity. Instead, opt to buy fresh produce more often.

4. You should avoid feeding your bird fruit with soft pulp, such as bananas, as it can clog up their nostrils.

5. Some foods are absolutely forbidden including sweets, leftovers, avocado, grapefruit, green beans, raw potatoes and all types of cabbage. All these foods are poisonous for birds and can cause life-threatening colic.

6. Never put fruit or green treats on the floor of the cage. You should place them in a separate food bowl or a special fruit holder instead, removing any leftover food after a couple of hours. Remember, vegetables are only good for birds when they are fresh.

7. Never feed your pet fruit or vegetables that have been sprayed with pesticides. The same goes for grasses and herbs that have been exposed to exhaust fumes. Look for organic quality and natural, clean food.

Call into your local store today to discuss your bird’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts.

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