Nita's Nest - Beginning With Birds Diet Pg.1
There are many brands as well as a variety of types of bird food available.  There are plain seed mixes, vitaminized mixes, mixes with pellets or crumbles, and pellets of all sizes.  It seems everyone has their own preference and swears by their choice.

We feed a good seed mix as a base.  You can check for the freshness of the seed by trying to sprout some of it.  If it germinates it is nice and fresh.  If not, it is dead seed and has little if any nutritional value.

Sometimes the seed has a webby look to it most likely caused by seed moths.  If you freeze the seed for 48 hours it will kill the moths and larva, and will not harm the seed.  If you buy seed and don't freeze it, you may look up one day to see little white caterpillars crawling on your ceiling, and moths flying in front of your TV at night.  Once these moths get a foothold they are a pain to get rid of.  Bug bombs will work but you'll have to remove the birds first.  They now sell moth traps, which lure the moths with pheromones, and these do work and are small and unobtrusive.  We keep our seed in Rubbermaid-type containers, one for each type of seed mix, and these also help keep the situation under control.
Seed dishes should be dumped and refilled daily, and thoroughly cleaned as needed.  It's a good idea to determine the amount of food eaten daily.  (For example, one cockatiel will eat the amount of seed in one half of a Dixie bathroom cup.)  That way you can tell if your bird is not eating the usual amount, possibly the earliest clue that there is a problem.  This should also help you to eliminate waste.

Fruits and vegetables should be offered to your bird, although it may take a long time for your pet to try them.  Many people give lettuce but it has very little nutritional value.  The dark green (chard, spinach) and bright yellow or orange (carrots) veggies are best.  Apple pieces and halved grapes are good choices of fruit that most birds will try.  Be persistent!  Offer small amounts of different types daily, until they are tried.  I especially like to use the frozen mixed veggies that consist of peas, corn, and carrots.  I defrost and warm them, then put a small amount on top of the seeds in the dish.  If your birds don't eat any it's best to remove the veggies after a few hours so they don't spoil, especially if the weather is warm.

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Anita M. Golden
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