Reading time: ± 3 minutes “Coco wants a cracker.” Just like us, our bird friends also love a tasty snack. However, they actually understand snacking to be something else than our sweet treats. This is logical, because in nature they also eat nuts and fruit, for example. Snacks that are given by their owners have a social function in addition to being a tasty snack. In this way, you can create a bond with your bird. So how do you let your hummingbird enjoy some treats in the healthiest and most responsible way possible? If your bird receives a complete, balanced feed, snacks are not really necessary. All the nutrients he needs are already present in his food. Birds do enjoy having something different in addition to their daily feed. The more variety the better. Therefore, there are best snacks that you can give them, which do fit into their balanced menu. Please note that the amount of snacks is never more than 10% of the amount of the daily main food.
FruitMany parrots eat fruit in their natural environment. This is a good thing to give them as a snack. Fruit can be given fresh or dried. Dried fruit is available in most pet shops. Fresh fruit, on the other hand, is a bit more of a challenge. You can wedge a piece of apple between something so that it is more difficult for your bird to get it out and eat it. Then you have created a fun activity for him.
NutsDid you know that nuts contain a lot of fat and should therefore be eaten in moderation by your bird? Nuts are a good snack, but you must make sure that they do not eat too many fats. Choose quality nuts, so that they do not get moulded. Preferably leave the nuts in their shells. Parrots use their beaks to break open the nut shell. If you leave the nut in the shell, your bird will have to put in some extra effort to eat his snack, which is good physical and mental stimulation for him.
VegetablesWild parrots eat a wide variety of vegetables in their natural habitat. It is therefore logical that fresh vegetables are also good as a snack for them. Do you have broccoli or cauliflower on your menu, for example? Then think of your bird and give him some thoroughly washed or rinsed vegetables as a snack. Other vegetables that are favourite snacks for parrots are kale, carrots, peas and root vegetables. Beans also serve well as a treat. Be sure to cook them and let them cool, as raw beans can be toxic to birds. Some types of fruit and vegetables contain high levels of iron. Give them therefore in moderation. This is the case with: citrus fruits, tomatoes, kiwi, strawberries, grapes, currants, sultanas, egg yolks and dark green vegetables such as spinach.
Special snacks for birdsThere are also many snacks on the market that are made especially for birds. One example is Wisbroek Sesame Sticks. These are delicious, crunchy snacks that you can feed to your bird responsibly. Again, make sure that you never give more than 10% of the daily nutritional intake. With other snacks for birds, make sure they do not contain too much sugar or other nutrients that are not particularly healthy for birds.
So there is plenty of choice to treat your bird to a tasty snack that does not necessarily have to be unhealthy. As long as his maintenance feed remains the main feed and provides your bird with all the nutrients. Do you have any questions or comments following this blog? Send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our nutrition expert will be happy to help.