Pets are a great way to spice up your homestead. They help teach children key life skills such as; responsibility, trust, compassion, respect, and patience. Adults also benefit from the companionship offered by pets while reducing loneliness and the likeliness of getting depression attacks. Birds make great pets and the pet owner must learn how to manage and feed them.
There are several varieties of birds you can keep as pets depending on whether they are caged in the home or living in your garden. Owing to their living conditions, the type of bird food you give your pets plays an important role in their health and nutrition. The variety of feed ranges from; seeds, nuts, dried fruits, cereals, and a variety of insects. Whatever you decide to feed your pet birds, always ensure it’s fresh.
The variety of feed is not only dependent on the species of pet birds but also on how their beaks are designed.
TYPES OF BIRD FOOD
We will examine the types of food necessary to provide sustenance for your pets depending on whether they are; carnivores, herbivores, insectivores, or nectar-eating birds;
- Sunflower – This type of feed is relatively easy to procure and also provides a great source of nutrition. The feed ranges from black oil, hulled to striped sunflower, and can be used for both outdoor and indoor birds. Several types of birds that prefer this type include; quail, pheasants, pigeons, doves, house sparrows, and blackbirds. It’s important to note that squirrels also like sunflowers, you should therefore use feeding equipment that isn’t accessible to the rodents.
- Safflower – This type attracts the following birds; cardinals, grosbeaks, finches, chickadees, and jays. This feed is preferred especially for most outdoor birds owing to its bitter taste that repels squirrels and other wildlife. The feed can also be mixed with other types such as sunflower or millet to make it more attractive to more bird varieties.
- Nyjer – This is a small black seed native to Ethiopia and India. Some common birds attracted to his type of feed include; the finch species of birds, pigeons, doves, and indigo buntings. It’s important to ensure that the seeds are treated so they don’t sprout becoming an invasive weed while still retaining their nutritional content.
- Peanuts – These are an important source of fat and proteins which is a vital source of nutrients during winters. These can be offered with or without a shell and are mostly preferred by the following varieties of birds; crows, jays, magpies, grackles, woodpeckers, titmice, and chickadees.
- White proso millet – This type is a favorite food among ground-feeding birds and is used as a filler in bird-seed mixes. This feed is a great source of starch, protein, fiber, and fat. Birds that prefer this type of food include; small bird species – finches, juncos, sparrows, buntings, doves, blackbirds, and towhees.
- Mealworms – Feeding your birds provides a great source of fat and protein for your pet birds, especially during the cold winters. These are usually sold as either live or dried worms. Types of birds that are usually attracted to this type of food include; robins, bluebirds, thrushes, chickadees, titmice, wrens, and starlings.
- Shelled and cracked corn – This type of feed is easily available in different sizes and should be offered in small amounts at a time either as a mixer or individually. Ensure this feed is stored in a cool dry place to avoid contamination by aflatoxins. This is highly toxic to both human beings and animals. Some bird species that are fed this type of food include; starlings, quail, grackles, pheasants, wild turkeys, ducks, ravens, grosbeaks, cardinals, crows, and ravens.
Keeping birds is a great way to brighten your backyard and your home. The colorfulness and brightness provided by birds zooming and chirping offer great relief after a long day while lighting up your mornings. It’s important as a pet owner to understand the types or combinations of bird food that will provide the right balance of sustenance and nutrition. This knowledge helps you not only in budgeting but also in determining the right feed type for your feeders to avoid waste and to provide enough feed, especially for ground feeders.