From time immemorial, pet birds have been primarily fed on seed diets. Studies over the last 30 years have brought out that seeds, though high in palatability (taste) by the birds, are poorly suited to meet their nutritional requirements. 85% of the problems faced by our feathered friends like picking of feathers, making a lot of noise or a bad temperament, are directly or indirectly related to nutritional issues. A good balanced diet can improve all these behavioral disorders as well as other issues. Certain relevant recommendations are brought out in the succeeding paras below.
Vegetables - A captive bird needs a nutrient rich diet and this is where leafy greens veggies like spinach, kale and romaine lettuce foot the bill as they provide variety as well. Snap peas is another variety which goes down very well with birds as it is tasty with an intense flavour and add crunch to their diet. These can be consumed raw and thus easy to feed upon.
Melons - A bird’s digestive tract is sensitive and this fact cannot be overlooked or ignored. Melons, including cantaloupe, watermelon and even pumpkin, by virtue of being rich in fibre, are good for the bird's digestive tract. They are also a good source of vitamin C which facilitates the pet to maintain a healthy immune system. Small cut pieces of seedless melon could be offered to birds that would enjoy every bit of it.
Beans - Beans and sprouts are healthy additions to any pet bird's diet as they provide the necessary punch of protein apart from being delicious to eat.
Carrots - As in the case of humans, this vegetable is a rich source of vitamins that help in maintaining good eyesight, which is always essential for birds. Moreover, raw carrots are one of the best fresh foods available to help the birds exercise strong jaw muscles.
Popcorn - It is well known that pet birds enjoy snacking on popcorn. They could be served either popped or unpopped kernels which should be boiled in plain water a bit so as to soften the tough hulls. If desired, kernels could also be fed to the birds with a very light sprinkling of pure coconut. It should be kept in mind that micro waved popcorn should never be given to them since they are high in fat and salt which could adversely affect their health.
Pepper - Unlike many humans, birds are known to sustain the spicy flavour of pepper naturally. This is attributed to the fact that they are devoid of the taste receptors that get activated by this spice. That is why it is universally acclaimed that pepper is a favorite amongst birds globally.
Grains - Grains possess certain nutritional values not found in other foods. Apart from being an excellent source of vital protein, they contain beneficial carbohydrates. It is always recommended that birds be fed with grains.
Turmeric - This is one spice that is widely accepted as a virtue both, in humans as well as in birds. Studies have revealed that in birds, it prevents roundworm, enhances the immune system, is anti-fungal, helps alleviate nausea and facilitates digestion. It can be extremely beneficial to young chicks suffering from crop problems. Turmeric can be sprinkle on food or mixed with a little yoghurt to feed our birds.