The digestive process in parrots is very intense. Digestive secretion occurs continuously. The bird constantly needs something to eat, because even not very long starvation can lead to death. In this regard, it is very important to be able to properly feed the lovebirds and understand the composition of the feed. The normal vital activity of the bird depends on proper nutrition.
Plant feed is divided into 2 groups – cerealandjuicy. Cereals, in turn, are mealy (contain up to 6% fat) and oilseeds (contain over 14% fat). Cereals should make up up to 70% of the bird’s diet, because they contain the basic substances necessary for life: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, up to 20% fiber, some minerals and some vitamins.
Plant feeds are the primary food for lovebirds
Various herbs, leaves, berries, fruits, root crops and tubers are juicy. They contain a lot of water (from 40 to 90%), which causes a refreshing effect. Many acids are dissolved in water – malic, citric, tartaric, formic, quinic, salicylic, coffee and others, which are very useful for digestion, cause appetite, stimulate the respiratory process. In addition to acids, succulent foods contain many vitamins, carbohydrates, some minerals, starch, fiber and pectin; the latter neutralize some poisons.
Mandatory and basic component of grain mixtures for parrots. The content of millet in mixtures should be at least 60%. Grain is rich in vitamins. Bright red contains carotene (provitamin A), and yellow – vitamins of group B. In addition, millet contains trace elements – copper and phosphorus.
The absence of millet in the feed will lead to the disease of the lovebird and its death
Millet (millet without shell)
For parrots, steep, loose crumb porridge is cooked from it. You can mix it with carrots and beets, grated. Millet contains more protein than buckwheat, rice or corn.
Proteins (proteins) are the main component of the feed, as they are part of all cells and tissues of a living organism. Proteins are involved in the formation of new cells, enzymes and hormones.
A product rich in amino acids, which perfectly complements millet grains, in which amino acids are absent. Well absorbed by the body of the parrot. The oat content in the grain mixture should be from 20 to 40%. Better to give the lovebirds the usual feed oats, rather than peeled, because the former contains more nutrients. Birds very quickly learn to peel grains, which, in turn, helps strengthen the beak.
Wheat is very rich in carbohydrates and low in fat, thanks to these properties it is a useful nutritious food. It is best to give wheat grains to parrots in a half-mature or sprouted form. They contain many vitamins E and group B, useful for growth and development. To germinate wheat or barley grains, rinse them and pour warm water on them. In the evening, the water is drained, and the grains are washed in running water. Then again fill with water and leave until morning. Usually, grains sprout by this time, and they can already be fed to lovebirds.
Sprouted wheat should be at least 30–40% of the grain mixture. Parrots are given it at least twice a week.
Corn contains a lot of starch, and in addition, carotene, vitamin K and minerals. Before giving sweethearts corn grains, they should be crushed due to too hard shells.
Corn is a very good food for lovebirds
You cannot feed birds with corn alone, otherwise they may become obese. Boiled and chopped corn is added in an amount of 20% to the feed mixture.
Like corn, rice contains a lot of starch, in contrast to it – very little fat (1%). Rice Grains Are Rich In Vitamins Bone, AT2, PP, however, after processing, they almost do not remain, so using rice as the main feed is not recommended. Rice porridge is useful for digestive disorders, and instead of water, rice broth is used.
Peas have a very high protein content (22–23%). In addition, it is rich in calcium, phosphorus and sodium. Unripe raw or canned peas should not be given to lovebirds. Be sure to boil and steam.
Calcium, phosphorus and sodium are especially necessary for young birds for bone development and blood formation. The lack of these elements can lead to softening of the bones.
Plantain and Dandelion Seeds
Parrots are very fond of these seeds, especially semi-mature. Harvest them in advance. To do this, plantain spikelets are collected in bouquets and hung for drying. And seeds are collected from dandelions when white fluff appears on their heads.
This is a very nutritious food for lovebirds because of the high oil content (32–45%) and the presence of essential fatty acids (linoleic and linolenic), as well as calcium, phosphorus and sodium. The content of sunflower seeds in the feed mixture should be no more than 15%.
All nuts are rich in fats (64–70%), therefore they should be given to lovebirds in a very limited form – no more than 5% of the feed mixture 2-3 times a week. Excessive consumption can lead to digestive disorders and obesity.
In addition to fats, walnuts contain vitamins C, E, B, salts of potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, iron and volatile. Hazelnuts contain a large amount of protein (20%) and sugar (8%). They are especially useful during mating.
Hemp – one of the favorite treats of lovebirds
Lovebirds are very fond of hemp, but it contains a certain amount of toxic and narcotic substances harmful to birds. Excessive amounts of them can cause metabolic disorders. Therefore, hemp seeds should be added to the feed in an amount of not more than 5%, before that they are boiled for 10 minutes and dried.
It is not only very nutritious, but also a medicinal feed. Flaxseed is good for the intestines, protects it from being damaged by roughage. It is recommended to give its broth instead of water with wheezing and coughing in a bird. However, due to the laxative effect, lovebirds are given it in small quantities (1–2% in the grain mixture). In this case, the seed must be fresh. It is best to buy it at a pharmacy.
Rich in carotene, good for growth. In addition, it contains easily digestible sugar, vitamins E, K, C, amino acids, oils, starch, calcium, phosphorus, iron, iodine, copper, cobalt salts. Carrots should be given to the lovebirds fresh and grated or in small slices. They especially need it in the fall and winter, as well as during the feeding of chicks.
Contains up to 8% of various sugars, pectin, starch, fiber and a large amount of protein. In addition, cabbage leaves contain vitamins C, K, E and group B, rutin, organic acids, many free amino acids and organic sulfur (necessary for feathering).
The daily norm of carrots for lovebirds is 4–6 g. It is rubbed on a coarse grater and a little sugar is added. Feed daily.
To feed the lovebirds finely chopped cabbage or give whole leaves. During the appearance of plumage, cabbage should be given every day.
Potato tubers are very rich in nutrients. They contain starch, fiber, pectin, a lot of proteins, amino acids, B vitamins and vitamin C, carotene, organic acids, mineral salts, lipids and much more. However, potato tubers also contain toxic substances – solanine and chaconin. Especially a lot of them in greened and sprouted tubers. In this state, potatoes should never be given to lovebirds. Only good tubers are suitable for food, which must be boiled before giving to the birds. The boiled potatoes are kneaded and mixed with carrots, adding a few drops of vegetable oil.
If the parrot is too picky and refuses to eat wet food and fruit, then you can go for a trick, for example by placing a small portion of vegetable or fruit puree on the tip of the branch.
Large doses of potatoes are harmful to lovebirds. You can give 2-3 times a week no more than 1 teaspoon of a mixture of potatoes with carrots.
This root crop is very rich in carbohydrates, mineral salts, vitamins C, Bone, AT2, PP and salts of manganese, potassium, iron, calcium, cobalt, phosphorus, magnesium, iodine, etc.
Like carrots, beets are given to the lovebirds raw, grated or chopped. It is especially useful for them in late winter and early spring, as it stores many vitamins.
Very rich in vitamins. They contain a large amount of B vitamins, vitamin C, carotene, sugars, organic acids, minerals, and in addition, copper, zinc, iodine and fluorine. It is recommended that only mature tomato fruits be fed to lovebirds, since greens contain the toxic substance alkaloid solanine.
They have very few vitamins and minerals. About 95% is water. However, cucumbers stimulate the appetite of birds and contribute to the absorption of feed. Cucumbers contain easily digestible iodine, which improves metabolism. Parrots give them in the form of slices.
It contains many vitamins, including carotene and vitamin C. Peppers are fed to the birds in the form of slices, without clearing the seeds and inserting pieces between the rods. Hot peppers contain a large amount of the toxic substance capsaicin, so they should not be given to lovebirds.
Watermelon, melon and pumpkin contain many easily digestible sugars, B vitamins, vitamin C, carotene, salts of iron, calcium, sodium, magnesium and phosphorus. These substances help to improve digestion, the work of the cardiovascular system and endocrine glands. Melon seeds are also very beneficial for lovebirds. They are dried and stored in a dark place, and before giving the parrots, crushed.
Apples are very useful for lovebirds.
They contain various organic acids, B vitamins, vitamin C, carotene, essential oils, metal salts, tannins, etc. Lovebirds especially like sweet varieties of apples and pears. They need to be fed slices, placing between the bars of the cell. You can give seeds of these fruits, they also love parrots.
Oranges are rich in carbohydrates, organic acids and vitamins. They are fed to lovebirds, dividing into wedges along with the peel. Lemons also contain many vitamins and organic acids, as well as various sugars, essential oils, fiber and enzymes.
Especially in lemons is vitamin C, which protects against infections. Lemon juice is added to the drinking water in a few drops. Whole slices give harmful.
Giving citrus fruits to lovebirds should peel them, since imported fruits are always processed with chemicals. With the peel, you can give only citrus fruits grown in Russia.
Mango, Papaya, Persimmon and Avocado
They are harmful to lovebirds. Therefore, feeding them these fruits is not recommended.
In addition, you should be careful not to give candied fruits, as well as vegetables from dishes in which they are usually salted and saturated with fat, which is very harmful to birds.
Sweet persimmon is best kept away from your favorites
Rowan berries are rich in organic acids, tannins and pectin, as well as vitamins, essential and fatty oils. Dried rowan berries should be softened before giving the parrots, for which they are poured with boiling water overnight, and then crushed and added sugar in the morning. The mountain ash thus prepared is then added to the wet feed mixture. Fresh berries are hung in clusters at the top of the cage.
Grapes are rich in acids: tartaric, malic, citric, oxalic, formic, flint, succinic, salicylic, phosphoric, etc. In addition, grapes contain glucose and sucrose, tannins and biologically active substances (potassium, phosphorus, fluorine, manganese, bromine, calcium, boron, iodine, rubidium, sodium), as well as many vitamins (vitamins A, Bone, AT2, AT6, C, PP, etc.). Fischer lovebirds and masked ones are especially fond of grape berries.
These berries are rich in vitamin C. Its content in currants reaches 40%. In the presence of this vitamin, the action of vitamin P is especially activated.one,which strengthens the walls of small blood vessels. Its content in blackcurrant is also large. In addition to these vitamins, carotene, folic acid and thiamine are in the berries.
Lovebirds are fed both berries and currant leaves, as well as jam, which is pre-mixed with grated carrots
Freshly frozen berries should be thawed before giving parrots. Otherwise, birds can catch a cold very easily.
Gooseberry berries have medicinal properties that help with metabolic disorders. They contain a lot of carbohydrates, organic acids, minerals (potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, etc.), coloring and pectin substances, B vitamins, vitamin C and carotene. Lovebirds are fed both fresh and dried berries, after soaking it.
Cranberries are a valuable source of vitamins, as they are stored in berries for a very long time. In addition to vitamins, cranberries contain citric, benzoic, quinic and ursulic acids, sugars and pectin.
Berries are periodically fed to lovebirds, especially in winter and spring. Cranberries mixed with carrots are useful for vitamin deficiencies. However, during the course of gastrointestinal diseases, blueberries should not be given to birds.
Rosehip berries are the richest among plant foods in terms of vitamin content. Fruits have a healing effect in many diseases, increasing the body’s resistance.
Fruit seeds, as well as berries of bird cherry contain hydrocyanic acid, toxic to birds, so you should not feed them to lovebirds.
Lovebirds give an infused rosehip decoction 2-3 times a week instead of water, especially in the spring, when the reserves of vitamins in vegetables and fruits are depleted. During the period of feeding the chicks, a rosehip broth is also added to drinking water.
Due to the content of astringents and tannins, blueberries have a healing effect that is favorable for diseases of the stomach. In addition, blueberries are high in sugars and organic acids. Blueberries are rich in pectin, which cleanses the intestines from rot, and iron, which is well absorbed by the body due to the presence of vitamin C.
Blueberries have a healing effect
Dandelion leaves produce a good vitamin feed, which lovebirds love to eat. In addition to vitamins, dandelion has a lot of mineral salts, as well as substances that cause appetite and promote digestion. You can feed the birds with dandelion leaves until late autumn, and prepare vitamin food for winter. In summer, vitamin leaves are made from young leaves.
Spinach contains many vitamins (C, Bone, AT2, E, D, P, carotene) and minerals, as well as proteins, sugars, easily digestible iron and potassium salts. Spinach leaves are good for the heart and circulatory system. However, it is not recommended to feed it to lovebirds in large quantities – this can cause diarrhea in birds.
Spinach is a precocious plant; it is easy to grow it on your windowsill or on your balcony. Budgerigars are given young leaves, plucked before flowering.
This plant contains many vitamins and mineral salts, as well as substances that act soothingly on the nervous system. Salad, like spinach, is a ripening plant and is easily grown at home.
Rich in Vitamins C, Bone, AT2, PP, carotene and other beneficial substances. Lovebirds give young shoots.
Contains B vitamins, carotene, vitamin C, calcium, iron and phosphorus salts, as well as essential oils. It is recommended to feed young leaves to lovebirds.
Vitamins of group B have a beneficial effect on the activity of the nervous system, regulate metabolism, increase the protective properties of the body, participating in protein metabolism, and also contribute to tissue repair.
Rich in vitamins C, Bone, AT2PP and carotene. Onions are very useful for parrots and have medicinal properties. It improves digestion, contributing to the secretion of gastric juice, destroys microbes and bacteria of dysentery, diphtheria and tuberculosis bacilli, streptococci and staphylococci, and is also a good prophylactic against helminthic diseases in lovebirds.
Nettle is a very nutritious food for lovebirds
Nettle contains a large amount of protein (20–24%), fiber (18–25%), nitrogen-free extractive substances (31–33%), and fats (3–4%). In addition, nettle contains a lot of vitamin K, salts of calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, iron, phosphorus and other useful substances. Young nettle leaves should be boiled for 2-3 minutes, then squeeze, chop and add to the wet mixture.
Young shoots (or branches) of plants
They are rich in vitamins, tannins, glycosides and other biologically active substances.
This type of food is available in winter and spring, when birds need vitamin feeding. Usually lovebirds are given shoots of fruit trees, as well as mountain ash, currants, raspberries, viburnum, birch, willow, ash, aspen and linden.
Parrots are very fond of nibbling young twigs and eating fresh buds from them
It is not recommended to give lovebirds branches of trees such as oak, bird cherry and pear, containing tannins, as well as poplar, in the bark of which there are many harmful substances absorbed from the atmosphere.
Spruce and pine needles contain many vitamins, especially carotene, which is a great addition to the food of parrots in the winter. In addition, the needles are rich in biologically active substances that contribute to the normal functioning of the birds.
Before giving the parrots, the needles should be chopped, and then mixed with the grain mixture. It should be included in the diet no more than 2 times a week, and the amount should not exceed 5% in the composition of the sweep. From the needles you can make infusions and give them to weakened parrots and young birds.
The needles infusion is prepared as follows: the needles are crushed and poured into a thermos, then they are poured with boiling water and insisted for 10-12 hours. Birds needles infusion is given in a cooled form.
It is rich in vitamins, but it is very harmful to parrots. Veterinarians do not advise feeding her birds.
In addition to plant foods, animal feed, rich in proteins and some useful substances that are not found in other feeds, is introduced into the diet of lovebird parrots. They are given with the expectation that birds eat it within 2-3 hours, since animal feed is a perishable food. They should be given in a separate feeder, which is thoroughly washed after each feeding and dried.
Of animal feed it is strictly forbidden to give meat, fish, seafood, as well as cheese and butter to lovebirds.
This feed contains many organic substances, which in the yolk contains up to 70%, and in the protein – up to 28%. Eggs are rich in B vitamins, as well as vitamins A, D, E, K, many minerals such as potassium, magnesium, chlorine, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, iron, sulfur, etc., and amino acids.
Lovebirds are recommended to give chicken or quail eggs. Adult birds – once every 2 weeks, and young birds – 1-2 times a week, for the development of the body. Eggs must be cooked for 7-8 minutes in boiling water. And you can give them to the parrots as a whole, with a few pricked shells, or chopped, mixed with semolina, grated crackers, carrots or beets.
It is a very nutrient rich product. Milk contains many vitamins (including vitamins A, D2, B2, carotene), amino acids and minerals (including easily assimilated calcium). However, the milk sugar contained in milk, sour cream and cream does not have time to completely break down in the stomach of a parrot and begins to ferment, which leads to dysbiosis. In addition, cream and sour cream are too greasy. Therefore, these products are not recommended for feeding lovebirds. You can add milk powder to the diet of birds that does not lead to fermentation, but in moderate sizes.
Kefir, yogurt, yogurt, fermented baked milk, etc. are very useful for lovebirds. These products are rich in easily assimilated calcium and contain microorganisms useful for the microflora of the intestines of birds.
However, the fat content of dairy products should not be higher than 3%. Parrots can be fed without restrictions. It is better to give from a spoon, without mixing with other feeds, as these are perishable products.
Lovebirds are advised to give low-fat cottage cheese. It is very useful for birds, because it contains a protein completely digestible by the body, as well as calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and other minerals, vitamins and lactic acid.
Unbroken cottage cheese is mixed with semolina. It’s good to add some honey to the curd
Cottage cheese is given as a separate feed 1-2 times a week for 2 tablespoons. It should be crisp, dry and fresh. Sour curd should be removed immediately, as it can cause poisoning in birds.
This is a high-calorie product with healing properties. It contains many easily digestible sugars (70–80%), vitamins B2, AT6, PP, C, H, K, E, organic acids – such as lactic, citric, malic, oxalic – essential oils, minerals and enzymes. Honey is very useful for lovebirds. It is added to drinking water and in wet mixtures or spread on a slice of bread. Serving – 0.5 teaspoon per week.
Worms and Larvae
In nature, lovebirds sometimes accidentally eat the larvae of beetles or grasshoppers. But it is not recommended to give such live food to birds in cages, because it is possible that it is infected with parasites.
Minerals are essential for the body of lovebirds. Their content in plant and animal feed is often insufficient for the normal development of the birds. In this regard, it is recommended to include in their diet feed enriched with minerals.
This food is rich in calcium, phosphorus, sulfur, iron and magnesium. The washed, boiled and dried shells are crushed in a mortar and sieved through a sieve with a mesh size of 2 mm. In this form, it is fed to birds.
In the cage must be present dishes with mineral feed. Especially parrots need such feeding in the period of molting and nesting.
It contains calcium (37%) needed by birds. Lovebirds are fed fodder chalk, mixing it with sand or adding to the wet mixture at the rate of 0.2 g per day. You can also give hydrated lime to parrots (not earlier than 7 months after extinguishing) or dry plaster by inserting pieces of it between the bars of the cage. Stucco is also rich in calcium.
They contain a lot of calcium (38%), which is absorbed by the body of birds better than that found in chalk and lime. Before feeding the shells of lovebird parrots, they are thoroughly cleaned, dried and crushed, and then sieved through a sieve.
It is rich in calcium and phosphorus, which are necessary for the formation of feathers. It is recommended to mix it with sand or add to wet mixtures.
Salt is rich in chlorine and sodium, which are most lacking in other feeds. It improves appetite, digestion and blood circulation in the body of a bird. Parrots need to be fed, dissolving in water 1 g per 0.5 l, not more than 2 times a week.
It is necessary for birds along with shell and sand. Coal partially neutralizes poisons, helps the body of parrots get rid of harmful gases and salts of heavy metals. Instead of charcoal, activated tablets can be used.
Charcoal must be in the cage
The water in the cage of lovebirds should always be fresh and clean. It is better to pass tap water through the filter and boil, then cool. Lemon juice is sometimes added to it at the rate of 1 teaspoon per 200 ml of water. In addition to water, lovebirds can be given vegetable and fruit juices, preferably freshly squeezed and without preservatives. Grape juice is recommended to be given in limited quantities, since it contains many different sugars. Juices fortified with vitamins are also not suitable for lovebirds.
As a drink, you can offer decoctions of wild rose and chamomile, useful for digestion and the nervous system.
Chamomile broth has a general healing effect on the bird’s body
The broth is brewed in the proportion: 1 tablespoon of dry chamomile grass or rose hips per 200 g of boiling water. Insisted 30-40 minutes in a water bath.
Lovebirds have highly developed individual tastes regarding feed. Therefore, their feeding requires a special approach. The feed ration is made taking into account all the nutrients necessary for life and the normal development of the budgie.
Approximate daily ration for lovebirds:
Millet, buckwheat, rice (in the form of porridge) – 2 g;
Canary seed – 3 g;
Sunflower seeds – 1 g;
Grass seeds – 2 g;
Grated carrots – 2 g;
Fresh cottage cheese – 1 g.
Cereal mixtures are composed of cereals, mealy and oilseeds. The approximate composition of the mixtures (in%):
Canary seed – 10;
Sunflower seeds – 5;
Flaxseed – 1.
The more diverse the grain mix, the more useful it will be for parrots
The main component in grain mixtures is millet. Its absence can lead to bird disease. In the grain mixture, you can add and reduce the number of minor components, such as nuts, grass flour, etc. However, the mixture must include at least 4 types of grain. Oil feed in the grain mixture should not be more than 15%.
Wet mixtures consist of peeled and crushed grains, boiled or steamed, as well as dry and semi-dry products that are moistened with grated carrots or beets. Dry foods include semolina, oatmeal and corn flakes, dried biscuits, crackers, milk powder, and semi-dry ones include eggs, cottage cheese, dried fruits, and loose cereal.
Wet mixtures are prepared for single feeding because they are perishable. In the cell, the mixture should be no more than 5 hours.
The wet mixture is the main food during the period of feeding the chicks. 2 days before the appearance of chicks, greens and fruits, as well as hemp, are excluded from the diet of adult lovebirds. In winter and spring, various vitamins are added to the feed, depending on their lack of products.
When keeping the lovebird parrots in the cells, it is important not only to properly compile the diet, but also to use the necessary and suitable food for feeding. Therefore, when buying food, you should pay attention to its condition, so that there is no mustiness, mold, processing with fertilizers, disinfectants or salt. In addition, you need to pay attention to the expiration date and packaging (it is recommended to purchase feed in a plastic bag that is completely sealed).
The mixture is poured into the trough in the evening. Then in the morning, when the birds wake up, they will not rush about in the cage in search of food. Feed the chickens who love the lovebirds give food 2 times a day: in the evening and after dinner.
The amount of feed poured into the feeder should not be more than the parrots can eat per day, otherwise they will start to choose their favorite grains in the mixture and become too picky and moody. If the feed is poured less than normal, then the birds will remain hungry.
To determine the norm for your pets, you should watch them for some time.
To accustom the lovebird to new feeds, you need to mix them with the old one, leave pieces of fruit next to your favorite toys, you can even hang a whole garland of vegetables and fruits in a cage.
Do not include too many fat-containing components in the diet, otherwise inflammation of the intestinal mucosa may occur.
It should be remembered that dandy food, even of the best quality, quickly becomes boring, and parrots may lose their appetite. Therefore, we must try to make their food diverse, but not overly caloric. In no case should you overfeed the birds.
In addition to grain mixtures, parrots are fed additional feeds (cereals, cottage cheese, eggs, crackers, cookies, etc.) mixed with wet mixtures at the rate of 0.5 teaspoon per bird. They should be placed in a separate bowl, which is thoroughly washed and dried after each feeding. Cookies and crackers can be inserted between the bars of the cell.
Drinking water and additional green feed give in the morning. During the feeding of the chicks, both water and feed are changed 3 times a day, and the remains are removed at night.