QUESTION

What are some vegetables and fruits I can feed my love bird?

REPLY - By Jessica Miller

Variety is the spice of life, so spice it up!!

 

It is extremely healthy for lovebirds to eat a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.  There are a small handful of foods you’ll want to be careful about, but with everything else, experiment away to see what your lovebird will accept and eat!

 

Here is a short list of “no’s” – foods that are unhealthy or downright dangerous for lovebirds:

1.       Avacados

2.       Fruit pits – cherry and peach pits are good examples

3.       Hard fruit seeds – apple and orange seeds are good examples

4.       Chocolate and things made with chocolate

5.       Caffeine – coffee and caffeinated sodas for example

 

Now, with those things said, here is an example of the types of fruits and vegetables offered to my own birds on a rotating basis.  This is not an exhaustive list, but just to give you an idea of what foods are possible.

 

Fruits:

1.       Strawberries (these can be messy!)

2.       Apples

3.       Oranges

4.       Blueberries

5.       Peaches

6.       Dried cranberries

7.       Dried bananas

8.       Apricots

9.       Pears

10.   Nectarines

 

Vegetables:

1.       Carrots

2.       Broccoli

3.       Corn on the cob (another messy treat)

4.       Collard greens

5.       Mustard greens

6.       Dandelion greens

7.       Kale

8.       Spinach

9.       Bell peppers (green, red, orange, and yellow)

10.   Tomatoes

11.   Cucumbers

12.   Sweet Potatoes

13.   Green beans

 

Other types of foods that some lovebirds enjoy:

1.       Rice

2.       Pasta (cooked)

3.       Trail mix

4.       Granola

5.       Hard boiled egg (smashed with the shell)

6.       Nuts (almonds are among the favorites of my own birds)

7.       Soy nuts

8.       Cereal

 

As far as the fruits and veggies are concerned, the offer more nutrients when they are accepted raw.  Cooking takes out many of the beneficial vitamins and minerals.  Try first to interest your lovebird(s) with these foods fresh, raw, and washed.  If that doesn’t work, steaming the vegetables is the next best thing as far as leaving nutrients behind.  If that doesn’t work, boiled vegetables and fruits is still better than none at all!

 

Some birds do not accept new foods easily, particularly those that have been eating the same diet for a long period of time.  You can experiment with different ways of presenting the food to make it more interesting to your lovebird.  Some birds like to play with their food, so prefer it in larger chunks that they can carry, throw, and tear.  Others prefer certain foods cut up finely in a food processor.  Many bird supply places are now selling skewers that you can hang chunks of fruits or veggies from the top of the cage with.  This makes the new food a toy, and sometimes can encourage a reluctant bird to try it out.  Pet lovebirds often want a taste of anything that their owner is eating.  Pretend (or really) eat some of these foods and exaggerate your enjoyment of them, and your lovebird may try to steal it away from you to eat themselves!  If you have a large number of lovebirds, offering the food to one bird and making a big deal over the fact that they are eating it may pique the interests of the other lovebirds and they may be more willing to try it themselves.

 

Getting your lovebird(s) to eat new foods and willingly accept these healthy choices is not always easy, nor is it the easiest thing to routinely keep up with once they are eating fruits and veggies, but it is definitely the healthiest thing you can do for your bird in the long-run.  And it makes for some very happy lovebirds in the end, too!

 

Jessica
Love 'n Let Aviary
www.lovenlet.com

 

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Photo credits: blue peachfaced lovebird by Vera Appleyard, black-cheeked lovebird by Deb Sandidge, Madagascar lovebird by Gwen Powell (bird owned by Roland Dubuc), Fischer's lovebird by Lee Horton.