Health and Nutrition

Seeds and Nuts

The Problem with Seeds and Nuts

Proper nutrition is the key to a long life, resistance to disease and a happy bird.

20131023_215725-resizedIt has been estimated that 80% of the health problems seen in cage birds are caused at least in part by poor nutrition.  Because nuts and seeds are high in fat and low in protein, vitamins and minerals, an all seed diet is not a complete diet for any bird.

Just like a child, who would rather eat a cookie than a healthy snack, a parrot will select only the food it wants and often refuse other, more nutritious foods.  Seeds appeal to a parrot’s sense of taste and ability to crack things open with its beak.  In the wild, birds eat seeds and nuts that are fresh from the plant.  Our captive companions eat seeds and nuts that have been harvested and stored for many months.  This lowers the nutritional value.

A bird that eats too many seeds and nuts has a greater likelihood of becoming overweight, having shortened life span and developing infections or illnesses such as liver and heart disease.  The same thing would happen to a person eating buttered popcorn and candy bars all the time.  Some seeds, like sunflower may contain pesticides.  In addition, some peanuts may contain mold toxins.  Over time, these toxins are harmful to the liver.