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Top 10 Best Bird Foods

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Harrison's Adult Lifetime Fine 5lb ... Kaytee Peanuts In Shell For Wild Birds, 5-Pound Kaytee Nut And Fruit Blend 10 Pounds
Harrison's Adult Lifetime Fine 5lb ... Kaytee Peanuts In Shell For Wild Birds, 5-Pound Kaytee Nut And Fruit Blend 10 Pounds
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Top Choice
1

Harrison's Adult Lifetime Fine 5lb ...

  • Harrison's Adult Lifetime Fine 5lb ...
RATINGS
Durability
Value
Overall
Specifications:
Manufacturer: Harrison's Bird Foods
EAN: 0086011511056
UPC: 781163814412
Model: ALF5
Part Number: ALF5
Size: 5lb
Height: 1 foot 1 inch
Width: 3 inches
Length: 8 inches
2

Kaytee Peanuts In Shell For Wild Birds, 5-Pound

  • Kaytee Peanuts In Shell For Wild Birds, 5-Pound
  • Kaytee Peanuts In Shell For Wild Birds, 5-Pound
  • Kaytee Peanuts In Shell For Wild Birds, 5-Pound
  • Kaytee Peanuts In Shell For Wild Birds, 5-Pound
  • Kaytee Peanuts In Shell For Wild Birds, 5-Pound
RATINGS
Durability
Value
Overall
Specifications:
Manufacturer: Kaytee
EAN: 0071859949277
UPC: 071859949277
Model: 100213752
Part Number: 100213752
Size: 5 lb
Height: 1 foot 6 inches
Width: 1 foot 1 inch
Length: 3 inches
3

Kaytee Nut And Fruit Blend 10 Pounds

  • Kaytee Nut And Fruit Blend 10 Pounds
  • Kaytee Nut And Fruit Blend 10 Pounds
  • Kaytee Nut And Fruit Blend 10 Pounds
  • Kaytee Nut And Fruit Blend 10 Pounds
  • Kaytee Nut And Fruit Blend 10 Pounds
  • Kaytee Nut And Fruit Blend 10 Pounds
  • Kaytee Nut And Fruit Blend 10 Pounds
RATINGS
Durability
Value
Overall
Specifications:
Manufacturer: Kaytee
EAN: 0014891421998
UPC: 071859158365
Model: 100063945
Part Number: 100033783
Size: 10-Pound
Height: 1 foot 7 inches
Width: 11 inches
Length: 2.5 inches
4

Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Egg-Cite! Conure & Lovebird Food, 3-lb bag

  • Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Egg-Cite! Conure & Lovebird Food, 3-lb bag
  • Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Egg-Cite! Conure & Lovebird Food, 3-lb bag
  • Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Egg-Cite! Conure & Lovebird Food, 3-lb bag
RATINGS
Durability
Value
Overall
Specifications:
Manufacturer: Kaytee
EAN: 0695627908350
UPC: 700580234054
Model: 100032228
Part Number: 100032228
Size: 3 Pound
Height: 9.25 inches
Width: 6.25 inches
Length: 4.5 inches
5

Wagner's 62059 Greatest Variety Blend, 16-Pound Bag

  • Wagner's 62059 Greatest Variety Blend, 16-Pound Bag
  • Wagner's 62059 Greatest Variety Blend, 16-Pound Bag
  • Wagner's 62059 Greatest Variety Blend, 16-Pound Bag
  • Wagner's 62059 Greatest Variety Blend, 16-Pound Bag
RATINGS
Durability
Value
Overall
Specifications:
Manufacturer: Wagner's
EAN: 0070805620598
UPC: 070805620598
Model: 62059
Part Number: TRTAZI11A
Size: 16-Pound Bag
Warranty: Satisfaction Guaranteed. At Wagner's we use only the highest quality of bird food products available. If you are not completely satisfied with our product, Wagner's will gladly refund your full purchase price. Simply send the proof of purchase along with your cash register receipt to the address below.
Height: 1 foot 1 inch
Width: 1 foot 8 inches
Length: 3.8 inches
6

Wagner's 62050 Nyjer Seed Bird Food, 10-Pound Bag

  • Wagner's 62050 Nyjer Seed Bird Food, 10-Pound Bag
  • Wagner's 62050 Nyjer Seed Bird Food, 10-Pound Bag
  • Wagner's 62050 Nyjer Seed Bird Food, 10-Pound Bag
  • Wagner's 62050 Nyjer Seed Bird Food, 10-Pound Bag
  • Wagner's 62050 Nyjer Seed Bird Food, 10-Pound Bag
  • Wagner's 62050 Nyjer Seed Bird Food, 10-Pound Bag
  • Wagner's 62050 Nyjer Seed Bird Food, 10-Pound Bag
  • Wagner's 62050 Nyjer Seed Bird Food, 10-Pound Bag
RATINGS
Durability
Value
Overall
Specifications:
Manufacturer: Wagner's
EAN: 7129984746636
UPC: 756635766032
Model: 62050
Part Number: 0
Size: 10-Pound Bag
Warranty: Satisfaction Guaranteed. At Wagner's we use only the highest quality of bird food products available. If you are not completely satisfied with our product, Wagner's will gladly refund your full purchase price. Simply send the proof of purchase along with your cash register receipt to the address below.
Height: 3.1 inches
Width: 10.1 inches
Length: 1 foot 3 inches
7

ZUPREEM 230353 Natural Medium Bird Food

  • ZUPREEM 230353 Natural Medium Bird Food
  • ZUPREEM 230353 Natural Medium Bird Food
  • ZUPREEM 230353 Natural Medium Bird Food
RATINGS
Durability
Value
Overall
Specifications:
Manufacturer: ZuPreem
EAN: 0605283555362
UPC: 605283555362
Part Number: 230353-2PK-PHIL
Size: 5 lb/Medium
Height: 10 inches
Width: 4.5 inches
Length: 8 inches
8

Wagner's 76027 Black Oil Sunflower, 25-Pound Bag

  • Wagner's 76027 Black Oil Sunflower, 25-Pound Bag
  • Wagner's 76027 Black Oil Sunflower, 25-Pound Bag
  • Wagner's 76027 Black Oil Sunflower, 25-Pound Bag
  • Wagner's 76027 Black Oil Sunflower, 25-Pound Bag
RATINGS
Durability
Value
Overall
Specifications:
Manufacturer: Wagner's
EAN: 0070805760270
UPC: 070805760270
Model: 76027
Part Number: 26027
Size: 25-Pound Bag
Height: 2 feet 4 inches
Width: 1 foot 3 inches
Length: 3.5 inches
9

Vitakraft Peak Health Formula Egg Food Daily Supplement, 1.1 Lb

  • Vitakraft Peak Health Formula Egg Food Daily Supplement, 1.1 Lb
  • Vitakraft Peak Health Formula Egg Food Daily Supplement, 1.1 Lb
  • Vitakraft Peak Health Formula Egg Food Daily Supplement, 1.1 Lb
RATINGS
Durability
Value
Overall
Specifications:
Manufacturer: Vitakraft Sun Seed
EAN: 0051233347356
UPC: 051233347356
Model: 34735
Part Number: 34735
Size: 1.1 lb
Warranty: If you are not fully satisfied with a Vitakraft product, simply return the unused portion for a replacement, substitution, or full refund.
Height: 9 inches
Width: 3.25 inches
Length: 7 inches
10

Lyric Fruit & Nut High Energy Wild Bird Food - 5 lb

  • Lyric Fruit & Nut High Energy Wild Bird Food - 5 lb
  • Lyric Fruit & Nut High Energy Wild Bird Food - 5 lb
  • Lyric Fruit & Nut High Energy Wild Bird Food - 5 lb
  • Lyric Fruit & Nut High Energy Wild Bird Food - 5 lb
  • Lyric Fruit & Nut High Energy Wild Bird Food - 5 lb
  • Lyric Fruit & Nut High Energy Wild Bird Food - 5 lb
  • Lyric Fruit & Nut High Energy Wild Bird Food - 5 lb
  • Lyric Fruit & Nut High Energy Wild Bird Food - 5 lb
RATINGS
Durability
Value
Overall
Specifications:
Manufacturer: Lebanon Seaboard Corporation
EAN: 0088685473432
UPC: 088685473432
Model: 26-47343
Part Number: 26-47343
Size: 5 lb
Warranty: Lyric guarantees you will be satisfied with the performance of this product when used as directed, or your money back. If not satisfied, describe the nature of your problem and simply send proof of purchase to Lebanon Seaboard Corporation, 1600 East Cumberland Street, Lebanon, PA 17042.
Height: 6 inches
Width: 7 inches
Length: 8 inches

Time lapse of a bird leaving a caged suet feeder

 

Feeding birds, in the home or out in the yard, provides them with nourishment and gives enthusiasts a fun and safe way to interact with them. In the case of pet birds, feeding is a critical aspect of their maintenance and upkeep. It can be difficult trying to determine what food is best for specific species, however.

 

That is where this handy guide can help. It will cover the basics of feeding birds, both wild and domestic, as well examine the types of food that will provide them with a healthy diet while avoiding waste.*

 


 

Avian Food Sources

Let's start with the basics: What makes up a general avian diet? How does nutrition differ amongst wild birds and pets?

 

A yellow and black bird with an apple slice in its beak

What Do They Need for a Healthy Diet?

The answer depends on the specific kind of bird in question. Seed-eating varieties will require a completely different diet than non seed-eating species will, for example. Some need to eat nectar. Fruits, vegetables, and even insects can round out a balanced meal for others.

 

Providing birds with a healthy diet will help them live fuller and healthier lives. If their intake is balanced, it can fend off diseases as well as keep their feathers shiny and maintained. High-quality food sources also work to prevent bacterial, fungal, and viral infections by boosting their immune systems. Overall, it can make pet birds feel more energetic and happy.

Wild Bird Food

A brown bird with a worm in its beak

 

Birds, also known as aves, that live in the wild will forage for the foods that will sustain them. All four seasons offer distinct nutritional sources, and these creatures will eat what is available to them. According to the The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), natural food sources can consist of:

Striped sunflower seed is a common base used in most wild bird food available for sale. Bird seed mixes will usually include other fillers consisting of one or more of the other items from the list above.

Pet Bird Seed

A blue budgie cuddles against a pale bird food tin
Find someone who looks at you the way this parakeet looks at its food tin.

 

Indoor aves cannot forage for sustenance and must depend upon their owners to provide them the nourishment that they need. Bird foods for both a large and small pet can consist of one or more of the foods listed above. Many owners or keepers also use certain toys or other interactive feeding methods (more below) to keep their feathered friends entertained while mimicking how they would work for food in nature.

 


 

Pet vs Wild Bird Food

Bird feed with lots of striped sunflower seeds and some fruit
Fruit & nut mix is a popular option for a wide range of aves.

 

Some people have heard of the phrase "eat like a bird." This old saying, referring to finicky eating habits, does have some basis in reality. Birds will devour food sources that they like while ignoring those that they do not. This makes it vital for bird enthusiasts and pet owners to choose their food carefully to avoid waste.

 

Cheap outdoor mixes will contain fillers that almost all birdies dislike, such as red milo. Sometimes, those unwanted fillers can account for more than half of the container's volume. It is best to avoid these cheaper alternatives if possible.

 

Seed for a wild bird can provide calories and fats at higher levels. This can be an important consideration for offering seed to wild aves during the cold winter months. However, these high levels of calories and fats may not be healthy for indoor pets. That can make outdoor foods a treat option rather than the main source of nutrition for indoor birdies.

 

Many indoor formulas are designed for specific species. These foods may offer outdoor aves with a balanced diet if their natural habitat mirrors that of a pet's, but it can also lack the calorie count or fat levels that many wild birds need.

 

In either case, enthusiasts and owners alike should remember that birdies will pick the things that they like from the blend of bird seed that is offered. What they do not like they will either leave be or discard from their bird feeders.

 


 

Suet Bird Food

Black and white woodpecker eating suet from rectangular wire feeder
Various types of food & water bowls & feeders are available. Wire or mesh varieties are better suited for suet.

 

Suet is the hard fat found around the kidneys and loins of cattle or sheep. For bird enthusiasts, this refers to commercial or homemade products that are used as a food source favored by aves that feed on insects. While it can be offered all year long, this type of nourishment is great for winter months when the environment limits available sources of nutrition. It can supply animals with much-needed energy and help them generate heat effectively.

 

This substance can be rubbed onto tree bark or offered in a mesh or wire bird feeder. Feeders work best when hung near the trunk of the tree, approximately five to six feet from the ground. Those who garden should make sure to place the feeders near it; visiting birds can eliminate some of the insects that live near it and could damage the garden during the growing season!

 


 

Bird Treats

Green bird on wooden post picking at orange peels
Fruit & nut meals can make many aves happy.

 

Treats are a great way to supplement an ave's diet. They also act as a fun way to add some variety or even play into a pet's life. There are a variety of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) and commercial options available, especially for indoor pets.

Commercial Treats

Seed Cakes: These treats are made from seeds that are stuck together with products like honey. They can take on various shapes and force birds to work for their food using their beaks. This mimics what they would do in nature.

Sprayed Toys and Sticks: These varieties have a plastic or mesh body covered with millet or other seeds sprayed onto them. Again, birds have to work the seeds off with their beaks, which helps to keep them entertained.

Filled Toys or Items: There are products available that can be filled with foods that pets will enjoy. These treats also encourage exploration and play.

Homemade Treats

Fruits: These can be a great source of vitamins. Many will not want to waste anything, but uneaten pieces of fruit need to be removed from feeders after sitting for a couple of hours. This will prevent bacteria from growing on them.

Cereals or Grains: This type of food can offer good carbohydrates and proteins to aves. Oats are a favorite for many birds.

Treats to Avoid

No one wants to waste food mix. To shop responsibly means taking into account not only what will reduce food waste, but also what aves do not need. In fact, some things to avoid when going to the pet shop include:

 

Grit: This does not refer to the corn-based food product. This term instead refers to fine, pebbly grains, sand, crushed shells, or dirt that many animals ingest to help digest food. Many a pet shop carry commercially available grit products, but there is controversy as to adding this to a bird's diet. Wild aves will digest grit as they need it. Many avian keepers feel that these products are unnecessary for a pet, however.

Certain Sugars: Avoid offering "people" foods that contain higher levels of sugar. Pets not only do not need them, but they can even be unhealthy for inside birdies.

Certain Fats: These are another type of "people" food to avoid. Things like potato chips are not healthy for a pet or wild bird.

 


 

What Do Particular Species Eat?

Budgie Food and Parakeet Treats

Blue and yellow budgie eating out of a hand

 

Budgerigars or budgies—also known as parakeets—are a seed-eating species that will enjoy a variety of fruits, grains, greens, seeds, and vegetables in their feeders. Some popular foods or mixes for budgies include:

 

Seeds - Millet, nyjer, rapeseed, and sunflower.

Grains - Canary seed, oats, quinoa, and wheat.

Fruits/Vegetables - A variety that includes leafy greens.

 

There are many premade mixes and pellets that contain one or more of these sources. Owners might start a budgie out with fruits and vegetables early on to encourage them to eat these healthy foods.

Canary Food

Yellow canary foraging through moss

 

This seed-eating species will benefit from a fully balanced diet that also includes fruits, grains, greens, and vegetables. Food mixes or pellets for a canary should contain some of the following:

 

Seeds/Grains - Canary grass, flax seed, hempseed, nyjer, oats, and radish seeds.

Fruits/Vegetables - Apple, carrot, cucumber, dandelion leaves, kale, and lamb's lettuce.

Proteins - Crickets, mealworms, and wax-worms.

 

As with other species-specific commercial supplies, there are mixes and pellets that contain the sources listed above. Canary owners might want to shop for protein-dense products. If a canary consistently eats meals free of proteins, it may stop recognizing them as potential sources of nourishment.

Finch Food

Light colored finch eating lettuce and seed from a bowl
Lettuce talk about the perfect avian diet.

 

Finches are seed-eating birds that will benefit from additional fruits and vegetables in a healthy diet. There are a few preferred food items, such as:

 

Grains/Seeds - A variety of grass seeds, millet, and small grains.

Fruits/Vegetables - Apple, banana, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage, and dandelion.

Proteins - Eggs (boiled or scrambled) and grubs.

Cockatiel Food

Yellow and gray cockatiel eating seed from a clear plastic container
Food & water bowls & feeders need to be regularly cleaned to ensure that harm comes to neither a domestic pet bird or wild bird. This can keep such containers free of mold or other growth that can hurt aves.

 

This popular species is a natural ground forager, and it will require more than seeds for a balanced diet. Some sources to consider:

 

Grains/Seeds - Grass seeds, safflower, and sunflower.

Fruits/Vegetables - Assorted berries, broccoli, bananas, cantaloupe, and grapes.

Proteins - Occasional servings (small) of beef, chicken, or fish. Pet parents must note that a small pet bird should avoid peanuts.

 

A proper mix or pellet formula should contain a variety of ingredients listed above. Owners should supplement missing sources for a well-balanced diet. It is also important for owners to check that fruits are free of any and all pits.

Parrot Treats and Food

Red parrot cracking a nut with its beak and claws
NOM.

 

The various subspecies of parrot are omnivores, meaning that they will need protein sources to compliment grains and seeds within their diets. Parrot food & treats will often consist of the following:

 

Grains/Seeds - Barley, corn kernels, safflower seeds, oats, rice, and sunflower seeds.

Fruits/Vegetables - Beans, blueberries, carrots, flowers, leafy greens, and sprouts.

Proteins - Almonds, cashews, various insects, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts.

 

While parrots love seeds and nuts, their diet should contain a wide spread of nutritional ingredients. Any blend of bird seed should be supplemented if they do not contain everything this avian variety needs to provide a more balanced diet.

 


 

Choosing Bird Feed

Three colorful budgerigars fight over an apple slice
"Mom said it's my turn on the
XBox
 apple slice."

 

Bird lovers need to think about a lot when shopping for food products. Beyond the nutritional needs of a certain species, the following are also important considerations:

 

Packaging - Partly or fully clear packages allow potential buyers to see what's inside while they shop. Consumers should check for dust, mold, or other signs of a stale product. A resealable container can be a great way to keep products fresh and free of contaminants.

 

Freshness - A product that is fresh will be free of crushed dust or empty husks. There will be no signs of mold or mildew growing in the contents. It should also lack signs of infestation, such as insects or animal feces in the container.

 

Proportions of Mix - Potential buyers should look for products with higher levels of high-quality seeds like millet or sunflower. It's advisable to avoid products with excessive fillers like red milo.

 

Ingredients - Avian enthusiasts should take the time to study the ingredients listed on the container. It's better to only buy products that offer a majority of ingredients that your birds will eat. It is also important to verify that the food sources are free from chemicals that can be dangerous to birds. One such chemical is capstan, which can appear as a "red or pink coating" on items like cracked corn, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

 

Price - Potential buyers should keep in mind that price isn't everything when it comes to bird foods. A larger price tag may not reflect the contents, so it is important to research a product before a final purchase. Local sales and buying in bulk can save even more money.

 


 

Final Thoughts

Small bird eats yellow seeds from a clear feeder

 

Research is an important aspect of a healthy avian diet. Domestic and wild birds can benefit from high-quality, well-rounded diets that address their species' specific needs. Wild bird food might work well for certain outside aves, but may not be the best option for all inside birdies. The best methods for providing proper nourishment to these feathered friends include contacting a vet with specific questions and looking into a species' particular dietary needs.

 


 

Disclaimers/Image Credit*
Disclaimers: At the time of writing, prices and ratings are correct and products are in stock at Amazon. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the site owner or any brands and companies mentioned here. This article is purely for reference purposes and does not constitute professional advice and may not be reflective of the best choice for your unique situation. This site strives to provide as much accurate information as possible; however, sometimes products, prices, and other details are subject to change. Therefore, this site does not verify for the accuracy of the information presented in this article. This site does not assume any liability for any sort of damages arising from your use of this site and any third party content and services.

Disclaimers/Image Credit: This article should not replace the advice of a veterinarian. Individuals with comments, questions, or concerns should consult a licensed professional before introducing new food to their pet's diet. *Cover photo(s) used under license from Shutterstock.com. motorolka/Shutterstock.com*

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