Good Food for Birds | Custom Cages

A Bird’s Diet in the Wild

In the wild, birds forage throughout the day, feasting on a variety of healthy foods. They eat a combination of fruits, berries, bugs, grubs, plants, trees and insects. In a given day, they are able to consume all the protein, carbs, fat and vitamins their body requires. They fly from place to place searching for the exact foods they need to thrive.

Macaw Eating

In captivity, birds rely on their owners to provide them with the necessary food for proper health.

What to Feed Your Bird

It’s paramount that your bird receives a rich, nutrient dense diet that satisfies all his nutritional requirements. A healthy, balanced diet will help your bird thrive and develop into that loving companion you’ve been hoping for.

A bird that is ill or suffering from a nutritional deficiency will not live long and will have a poor quality of life. Just as your parrot cannot stay confined in his bird cage all the time and be happy, he cannot eat the same food every day and be healthy.

Originally it was believed that birds could thrive on a seed-only diet. Owners would simply set a bowl of seeds in front of their bird and call it good. Today, we know that this is not the proper way to feed a bird.

The Scoop on Seeds

In the wild, birds love seeds. They are packed with the protein and fat birds need to survive. But seeds are only available during certain times of the year. So when they are available, your parrot’s instinct is to consume as many as possible. So if you feed your bird an abundance of seeds, he will neglect all the other food you put in front of him, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies and obesity. Seeds should comprise no more than 20% of your pet’s diet.


Fruit is a rich source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. You can feed your bird a variety of fruits including:

  • Figs
  • Cantaloupe
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Plums
  • Apricots
  • Cherries
  • Mango
  • Watermelon
  • Honeydew
  • Peaches
  • Kiwi
  • Pineapple
  • Papaya
  • Nectarines
  • Cherries
  • Pomegranates

One thing about fruit: It has a tendency to attract fruit flies around bird cages. This is not a big deal, as the flies are harmless. But they can be annoying.

In order to eliminate these little pests, be sure to clean your bird cage of all excess fruit about an hour or two after your bird has finished eating. If you feed your birds in theiroutdoor aviary, the fruit flies won’t bother you as much.


Vegetables are a great source of nutrients for your parrot, and should be a regular part of their diet. They should be fed in generous amounts. The more veggies your bird eats, the better. Green leafy vegetables are especially nutritious for birds, as they are loaded with Vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency is the most common nutritional disorder among birds. Seeds are devoid of this essential vitamin, which is another reason why an all-seed diet is harmful to parrots.

Parrots love a variety of vegetables, including:

  • Yams
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli leaves
  • Kale
  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Beet tops
  • Greens
  • Corn squash
  • Peas
  • Green beans
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Tomatoes
  • Pumpkins
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrot tops or roots
  • Swiss chard
  • Turnip greens>
Should it be Organic?

If possible, it is best to purchase organic produce for your birds. Unfortunately the majority of fruits and vegetables are treated with harmful pesticides and chemicals. Strawberries, apples, peaches, celery, cucumbers and apricots contain the highest level of pesticides. Bananas, corn, watermelon and broccoli tend to have less of these chemicals.

If you cannot afford organic produce, be sure to wash everything thoroughly before feeding it to your bird.

Human Food

You can always share your own dinner with your parrot. Birds thrive on a diet with lots of variety. If you’re making spaghetti, or pasta share some with your bird. Parrots can enjoy things like meat, chicken, hard-boiled eggs, and turkey, all which are excellent protein sources.

Remember, because birds have a faster metabolism and higher body temperature they eat more food per pound of body weight than humans. Generally birds eat nearly 20% of their body weight.

Nuts as Snacks

Nuts make a great snack for birds. They are high in protein, vitamins and essential amino acids. They are also high in trace minerals like iron, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. However, nuts have high fat content and should be fed sparingly, especially to Amazons, who are prone to gaining weight. Many birds enjoy cracking open the nuts themselves. Walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, palm nuts and Brazil nuts are great for most birds. Nuts are especially important for Macaws, as their native diet is compromised of a high level of nuts.

Cleaning Up After Meals

Birds are messy eaters. They love to fling their food all over the place—on the floor, out of the cage and in their water dish. Cleaning up after your bird’s meal is important in maintaining their health.

After your bird is finished eating, be sure to remove all dropped pieces of food out of the cage. If you use disposable liners at the bottom of your cage, it will be much easier to clean up after each meal. Simply remove the liner and throw it away.

You may also want to consider a removable floor for your bird cage. This enables you to simply slide the floor out to easily clean up and dispose of any waste.

Nutritional Supplements

It’s paramount that your bird receives the nutrition he needs to thrive. After all, a healthy bird is more prone to be a happy bird.

There is an ongoing debate as to whether or not you should feed your bird a nutritional supplement. If your bird readily eats a variety of foods described in this article, a nutritional supplement is probably not needed. However, if your bird is exceptionally picky and will only eat a few selected foods, you may want to consider some sort of vitamin and minerals supplement.

Regardless of your bird’s appetite and tastes, a calcium supplement is required by all laying female parrots. Custom Cages offers a Cuttlebone & Calcium Perch for birds. This perch provides nutrients vital for your bird’s health and acts as an attractive bird cage perch at the same time.