“My bird is my child…” and other similar comments are repeated time and time again in pet bird circles and for dedicated bird owners this really is the case. So considering that your bird is your “child” would you then allow him or her free-choice in selecting their own diet?
It’s a nonsensical scenario for a child and it is the same for a pet bird. Birds need the responsible, guiding hand of their “parent” just as a child would along with the understanding that a bounty of “stuff” fed to a pet bird based merely on what the bird likes to eat is not doing the bird any favors.
Does the following sound like your bird? “My bird eats a seed buffet but picks out the little red things and he won’t eat the green things. He gets plenty of fruits, veggies, pasta, nuts, seedy treats and a plate of whatever I’m having for dinner – but just kicks the food my veterinarian recommends out of the cage.”
What child wouldn’t deny Grape-nuts or spinach if they had access to a bounty of candy bars and pizza all day long?
Unfortunately, the signs of typical bird on a poor free-choice diet are not quite as blatant as an obese child with chocolate all over his face. Often there are no signs, but as time goes on they will assuredly manifest themselves in more subtle ways like poor feather and beak quality. Beaks should not have to be trimmed and feathers should not be discolored, muted or frayed. The bird should not have dander or peeling feet. Molts should be seasonal and thorough. A bird that cannot complete a molt or only achieves partial molts most assuredly needs help in the diet department. Often birds seem to get “stuck” in an ongoing molt. This is dietary.
Harrison’s is essentially a line of premium, certified organic “health” foods for pet birds and has decades of tried and true results when fed in a manner as suggested via feeding directions on the back of every bag. This means discontinuing the smorgasboard of “stuff” and providing a stricter, loving supportive hand. Your bird will thank you for this with a long, healthy life with fewer illnesses and emergency visits to the vet.
While acceptance of Harrison’s by most birds is typical, certain birds (especially those with bounty of “stuff” to eat) will be picky and hesitant to eat nutritious formulated diets know that ANY bird can and will eat Harrison’s so long as the owner is committed to the bird’s dietary health. We offer a number of online tips and we have a live, friendly staff available during business hours (toll-free: 800-346-0269) should you have any questions about your bird’s diet. Harrison’s recommends any diet change be preceeded and overseen by your avian veterinarian.