All posts by Kathy

Healthy Bird Nutrition for Small Pet Birds

Healthy Bird Nutrition for Small Pet Birds Is The Key to a Long Life

Smaller birds like Cockatiels, Bee Bees, Lovebirds, and Rosey Bourkes require seed as part of their diet.

However, an all seed diet is too much fat and detrimental to the liver. In addition to seeds, these little birds require pellets. Pellets are an extruded diet and contain vitamins and minerals, eliminating the need for any supplements to be added to the drinking water.
Bird Paradise has carefully formulated a seed mixture and pellet based mixture for the little guys. Our seed mixture is called Deluxe Small Hookbill, containing the highest quality seeds (no sunflower or safflower),dried vegetables, herbs, and bee pollen. Click here to find out more. Our pellet based mixture is called Benji Blend, a smaller version of the best selling Ultimate Blend. Benji contains natural pellets, nuts, dried fruits and vegetables.

In addition, the key to any bird’s life, be it a cockatiel all the way to a macaw, requires lots of daily fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruits like apples, grapes, and bananas, although not harmful, are higher in sugar than more nutritious fruits like papaya, mango, kiwi, dragon fruit, blueberries, peaches ,mango, and strawberries. It is best to give more vegetables than fruits because vegetables contain the calcium and Vitamin A that birds tend to lack. With the exception of avocado, celery, spinach, and asparagus, indulge your bird broccoli, kale, romaine, green beans, peas, corn, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, etc. If the vegetable is orange, it is best to cook it, as this enhances the absorption of the naturally occurring Vitamin A. Otherwise, raw is best. Exception: do not give raw legumes.

Keep your parrot safe for the holidays!


The holiday season is a time of decorating, parties, and festivities. Here is a list of holiday dangers for birds.

  1. Candles, potpourri, incense, room and carpet fresheners are all hazardous to birds.

  2. Christmas trees are often chemically treated, including the spraying of artificial snow. Do not allow parrots to climb on or eat the trees.

  3. Holly, Poinsettias, Philodendron, and Mistletoe are all toxic.

  4. Christmas decorations, including wrappings are all made of materials hazardous to birds.

  5. Remember that non-stick cookware containing PFOA and PTFE, including fondue fondue pots, waffle irons, etc. will poison a bird’s respiratory system, resulting in death.

  6. Educate visitors on the respect for birds and the proper way to handle them.

  7. Avoid stress – birds require 10-12 hours of sound sleep. Keep your bird(s) on their usual schedule for eating, etc. and move them to a quiet place if visitors seem to to be making your bird(s) uncomfortable and stressed.


Tons of holiday savings on bird supplies


Some criteria to consider when purchasing a cage:
1. Is it spacious?
2. Is it comfortable?
3. Is it safe?
4. Is it easy to clean?
5. Does it have proper bar spacing to prevent a bird from getting its head stuck between the bars?
6. Will the cage material hold up to the beak strength?
7. Is it mobile?
8. Are doors secure to prevent a bird from escaping?

The dimensions of the cage must be adequate for the size of the bird. Macaws have a large wingspan and so their cage should have opposing sides greater than that of their wingspan. If your bird has a long tail, the cage should accommodate that tail so when the bird turns 360 degrees, the tail fully clears the sides of the cage.
The activity level of the bird should be taken into consideration. For instance, caiques and parrotlets, although smaller birds, are highly active and require cages with plenty of room to run around and expend their energy.
Canaries and other finches require wide cages so they can fly back and forth. Long, rectangular cages are much preferred over tall cages without much flying room.
Never put a bird in a round cage – they need corners for orientation.
All bird cages should be lead and zinc free. Do not use decorative cages, as those found in antique stores, as these are for aesthetics only and not to be used as functional bird cages.
Proper bar spacing is very important and a crucial safety concern. The general rule is to purchase the largest cage possible; however, be aware of the bar spacing. Larger cages usually have wider bar spacing. No bird should be able to fit its head through the cage bars. This can be life threatening.
Rule of thumb is: Parakeets and Lovebirds 3/8”
Cockatiels and small Conures ½” to ¾”
Amazons, African Greys, and similar size birds ¾” to 1”
Macaws and large Cockatoos ¾” to 1 ½”
The security of the food and entry door(s) is important, especially when larger birds are concerned. Birds such as cockatoos and macaws can be masters of escape. Also, it is common for cages meant for smaller birds like parakeets and cockatiels to have doors that slide up and down. Bird like conures and larger should have doors with locking mechanisms.
Bird Paradise and our on-line store at carries the full line of A&E cages. These are all toxicity tested and with the exception of those cages geared to the small birds, all come with secure locks on food and entry door(s).
Owning several birds of my own from cockatiels to macaws, all of my cages are A&E. They hold up to the strength of a hyacinth as well as the “Houdini” tendencies of a cockatoo! Shop A&E with confidence.