Regardless of the breed of bird you own, whether it’s large or small, it will eat seeds, but knowing what kind of seed to feed it can be tricky. With all the names, colors, and mixtures available, if you want to be aware of your bird’s health, it may be difficult to understand which seed is best suited.
So here’s a guide to understanding some basics that can help you choose.
Blue poppy seeds
This is a special type of poppy seed, a slightly blue and black seed that is perfect for periodic giving. It’s often mixed with egg because the seeds are very small and are easily lost. It’s given to both insectivorous birds and those that feed on seeds.
Contrary to what the name implies, canary seeds are not only suitable for canaries. It’s a small and thin seed but it’s a great daily meal for any bird, from budgies to canaries, finches, cockatiels, and pigeons.
It is a very common meal for ground-eating birds such as quail, blackbirds, or garden birds and starlings. It’s great because it provides oil and starch and is inexpensive. Often the coarser and more common version is used along with slightly more expensive seeds. Thin corn instead can be mixed with other seeds or eggs, if necessary.
Hemp is a great seed to feed birds from time to time, but don’t give it too often. This is because 40% of the seed is made up of oil and is rich in protein. It can be given alone or with eggs and provides around 560 calories per 100g.
Millet is a grass seed that is very popular with small birds such as finches and sparrows; it comes in many colors and varieties. It contains a lot of starch and is a great food as it can be grown at home. The most common types are red, white, yellow, Japanese, and prose millet.
- The proso millet is recommended for the smaller finches as the zebra finch and negrofinch.
- The white millet can be eaten by smaller birds such as budgies and is the largest among the types of millet because it contains a lot of carbohydrates.
- The Japanese millet can be eaten by ducks, waterfowl, and birds to hunt.
- The red millet contains high levels of protein and carbohydrates that enter the birds act slowly in the body, thus providing long-term energy.
- The yellow millet is a great source of vitamin B, which is very important in the mating season and during the growth of the birds; it is also composed of iron and protein.
Twig of millet
If your little bird is like mine, It’ll go crazy for millet twigs. They are also excellent for chicks that move away from the nest because they are very soft and easy to peck. These twigs are also loved by larger birds such as budgies, parakeets, and parrots.
Black seeds are small black seeds that contain a lot of oil and are eaten by almost all small birds, including quail, which takes them from the ground. They are more expensive than other seeds but less is wasted than the others and there are special dispensers to minimize losses.
Perilla is another recommended seed for English finches such as greenfinch and goldfinch. Parrots like it too.
Safflower is a seed of an annual plant and is usually liked by larger finches and other medium-sized birds such as doves and cardinals. It’s not always found in seed mixes for sale, but can be bought separately in bulk and added as a supplement.
Sunflower hearts, or peeled sunflower seeds, are very common among many types of songbirds; they have the advantage of leaving no mess in the seed bowls. They are more expensive than regular sunflower seeds but can be cheaper if the wasted shell has been removed. They are an excellent source of calories and are rich in oil. They do not break if they fall to the ground. They are suitable seeds for finches, sparrows, cardinals and other songbirds.
Thistle is a very common herbaceous seed among goldfinches but also loved by other small birds. It can be grown in the garden as the seeds are easily found and the birds love to eat straight from the plants.
Mixes for parrots
In addition to these seeds, there are other varieties that can be found in parrot seed mixtures currently on the market. These include: buckwheat, wheat, oats, rice, pumpkin seeds, and other red and white seeds.
However, for a balanced diet, one should include nuts and other foods such as peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, barley, raisins, carrots, peppers, and corn.
There are also special mixtures available for specific types of birds. One of these, for example, is that for the gray parrot which includes sunflower, buckwheat, safflower, wheat, rice, dari, hemp, corn and pumpkin seeds with other extras such as beans, cedar nuts, paprika and banana pieces.
This mixture is made to provide a balanced diet and avoid waste and mess for those gluttonous parrots.
There are also dietary requirements for those birds that don’t just eat seeds, fruits, and nuts. Nectar, for example, is needed by many types of birds such as Lori and lorikeets; or, brown sugar and palm nuts are needed for other birds’ other needs.