Birds feeding guide for pet birds

Feeding caged birds

The exact nutritional requirements of caged birds are unknown, in spite of claims to the contrary by some product manufacturers, retailers and breeders. Far too much emphasis has been placed on seed and nut diets for caged birds. They represent a relatively nonperishable convenience for bird owners but are a miserably deficient diet for pet birds, especially the larger hookbills. Such diets are excessively rich in oils, extremely deficient in certain vitamins (notably vitamin A), and have an unacceptable calcium to phosphorus ratio. Furthermore, recent research has shown that the high oil content of these food items confers an addictive quality on them. We highly recommend that formulated pelleted foods are the diet of choice. These diets include Harrisons, Hagens, Lafebers , Roudybush just to name a few.

Suggested diet for maintenance of adult caged birds:

  Canary Budgerigar Cockatiel Conure Amazon/ African grey Cockatoo/Macaw
Offer Daily            
Whole grain bread or monkey biscuit


¼ Tbs. ½ Tbs. 1 Tbs. 1 1/2Tbs. 2 Tbs. 4 Tbs.
Fresh dark green or yellow vegs


½ Tbs. 1 Tbs. 2 Tbs. 3 Tbs. 4 Tbs. ½ cup
Protein source

(cheese, hard-cooked egg, meat, mature legumes)


¼ size of pea ½ size of pea size of pea ¼ tsp. ½ tsp. 1 tsp.
Dry seeds (two 15-minute .periods)


 All  All  All  All  All  All


0 0 1 Tbs. 2 Tbs. 2  Tbs. 4 Tbs.
  Small seeds   (canary, niger, poppy, rape, millet, safflower. Hemp)


Ad lib Ad lib Ad lib Ad lib Ad lib Ad lib
2 to 3 Times Weekly            
Fruit (cantaloupe, apricot, apple)


1/8 tsp. 1/8 tsp. 1 tsp. 1/12 apple 1/12 apple 1/6 apple
Citrus fruit


0 0 0 1/12 orange 1/12 orange 1/6 orange
Fresh corn on the cob


3 or 4 kernels 1/8” piece ¼”piece ½” piece ½” piece 1” piece


0 0 0 1 2 4
Add Temporarily for new birds            
Vitamin A (from 10,000 IU capsule)


1 drop  /week 2 drops /week 3 drops /week 1 drop /day 1-2 drops /day 4 drops /day
Yogurt drop few drops ¼ tsp. ¼ + tsp. ½ tsp. 1 tsp.

Always Available

Calcium/mineral supplements (cuttlebone, mineral treat block, oyster shell, calcium lactate)

Feed sweat potatoes for African Greys as a source of calcium

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