The Necessity of Treats for Your Pet Bird
Did you know that birds receive more than just nutrition from treats? Treats also serve as comfort, gratification, and distraction for birds. Although too many treats can lead to obesity, the right balance of healthy treats is necessary for your bird. Treats are a great addition to your bird's diet when used in moderation. A good guideline is to not make treats more than 5 to 10% of your bird's diet. Treats that are a mix of fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds offer a healthy solution for training, help keep your bird entertained, and strengthen the bond between you and your bird.
Benefits of TreatsWithout regular activity, birds get bored easily, and this can lead to a variety of behavioral problems. Treats are great for keeping your bird entertained, preventing bird boredom, and giving your bird a challenge. For example, nuts that need to be broken apart require birds to use their creativity to get to the good stuff inside. You can also hide treats in bird foraging toys and places around the cage, giving your bird great opportunities to forage.
Treats are also a helpful reward as you train your bird. Birds are reward-based creatures, meaning they need a good reason to do what you're asking. Positive reinforcement is the key to success in training. Give treats consistently and immediately while training. Training treats should be small and quick to consume so that your bird stays on task. Whether you're training your bird to talk, "step up," or learn other tricks, treats will make the process more enjoyable and successful.
Most importantly, treats help increase the bond between you and your bird. Hand feeding treats to your bird provides direct contact and helps strengthen the trust he has in you.
Healthy Treats for BirdsPieces of your bird's favorite fruit or vegetable make great treats! Keep in mind that your bird will appreciate a variety of textures and colors. Ideas for fresh foods include pineapple, strawberries, oranges, mango, grapes, corn, peppers, broccoli, radishes, and green beans. When serving any fresh foods, remember to remove any leftovers before they spoil.
Canary grass and millet are natural and nutritious foods that serve as great treats and are low in fat content. Spray millet contains high levels of proteins, vitamins, calcium, and is one of the most nutritious grains you can provide to your bird.
Treats to avoid include foods that are high in sugar or fat or foods that are poisonous to birds. For example, don't feed your bird potato chips, avocado, chocolate, alcohol, persimmons, apple seeds, or caffeine.
Be aware of these dangerous foods, but make sure that your bird is receiving enough variety in his diet. You love your bird, and it is okay to spoil him with treats in moderation!
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