Feeding The Birds

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This article was written for Pet Guardian Angels of America by Paige Jirsa

 

Bird Food 101: What You Need To Know


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Like all living creatures, birds need a certain amount of nutrients to survive. The winged creatures may seem finicky about the seed they choose, but their reluctance to eat could mean the food does not fulfill their needs. It is better to buy healthy, desirable feed rather than have a feeder full of seed that could potentially mold. Here is what to look for to find a nutritious mix that will encourage happy eating.

Nutrients They Need

Nearly every bird will love black oil sunflower seeds and Nyjer (thistle) seeds. These varieties have a rich fat content that supplies their bodies with the energy they need. Seed mixed with dried fruit can also attract a lot of attention due to the variety of vitamins in the fruit. Especially important are fruits that have Vitamin A and E, as well as Vitamins B and D.

Vitamin D keeps bones and feathers healthy and aids with egg laying. Vitamin C boosts the immune system and keeps the skin, eyes and reproductive system healthy. B vitamins make it easier for the digestive system to extract the nutrients in food, and Vitamin E reduces the risk of disease by strengthening cell walls.

Many companies use flax as a filler in bird food because it is inexpensive to produce. The seed has a lot of calcium, so it is not a bad ingredient in a mix. Unfortunately, despite the need for calcium, it is not unusual for a bird to ignore flax seeds for other tastier seeds. Many wild birds get their calcium from insects and vegetation, and supplements usually fulfill the calcium need for pets. The result is a lot of wasted food and money, so only choose mixed bags that do not have a high flax content.

Seed to Avoid

Not all seed mixes are equal. Consumers need to look carefully at the ingredients as well as the seed itself before they buy. All bird food should be free from chemicals and dyes. The bags should not have a lot of dust or hard clumps of food because it could indicate the seed is old. Choose reputable brands, like those listed at https://top10.today/bird-food to ensure the feed has the nutrient mix promised on the label.

Food to Avoid

Do not give human food to birds. Bread does not have enough nutrition and animals that fill up on breadcrumbs could become malnourished. Some foods like chocolate, avocado and apple seeds can be poisonous to feathered creatures. Also, avoid anything that includes a sugar substitute or has a lot of trans fats, sodium, and sugar.

A lack of nutrition puts birds at risk from a variety of infections that could shorten their lifespans. Many animals rely on feeders during seasons when there is a lack of food available in nature. Any wild animal or pet can suffer if the food they come to rely on does not have the nutrients they need to thrive.