What are the Types of Bird Seeds to Give Your Pet Bird?

Birds could be one of the easiest animals to feed. There are many varieties of bird seeds to give them which are commercially available and don’t require much process. You can offer these foods to them right away or just leave them on the cage and your pet bird will devour on it anytime they want. Birds eat anytime of the day but they eat mainly half an hour after sunrise and few hours before the sun sets. Below are the different types of seeds you could give your pet bird.


bird feeding on bird seeds

Photo: Dawn | Flickr


Bird Seeds for Your Pet Birds

Millet – This is one of the most common seeds for birds. It is a tiny, round grain that can be found frequently in seed mixes. This bird food can be fed to any types of birds by throwing a handful to the air to scatter on the ground.

Sunflower – There are two types of sunflower seeds that you can offer to your pet bird, these are the black oil sunflower seed and the stripes sunflower seed. The black oil has thinner shell that is very easy for birds to crack open. This type is the one normally offered as bird food. The striped ones have thicker shell that makes some birds lose interest on eating them.

Sunflower seed is known to contain high amount of fats. This is beneficial for winter birds but for those species that can easily get obese, feeding them with sunflower seeds must be closely monitored.

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Safflower – This type of seed have thick shells too similar to that of the striped sunflower seed. The oil that this seed produces attracts some species of birds like the cardinals and other big billed species of birds.

Nyjer or Thistle – These are tiny, black seeds that are often described as “needle” seeds because of it needle-like shape. This bird seed could sprout very easily particularly when placed on wet or damp environment. Producers of this seed would have it heat-treated first prior to transporting so sprouting could be avoided. Species like the finches, buntings, pine siskins, and red polls are very attracted to this kind of bird seed.

Milo – It a small grain that looks similar to the millet but the milo seeds are reddish in color. Like the millet seed, this can also be found in seed mixes as this type of seed is relatively cheaper. The milo seed is often used as fillers in a pack of seed mixes as some birds, particularly those from the East, dislike this for food and would just often leave to waste, but Western birds are just fine with this type of seeds.

Rape seed – also known as canola bird seed, this type is ideal for small bird species such as the canaries, finches, and quail because of it very small, grainy appearance. It is ideal that these seeds must be mixed with other bird seeds because there are some nutrients that most birds need that can’t be found in rape seeds.

Canary seeds – this bird seed for food come from the canary grass plant. The seed can be compared to small cereals. This is a very healthy bird food as the seeds are protein rich and with components that can help remove excess body fats. Pet birds in cages are ideal to be fed with canary seeds. Although not a favorite among bird species, these seeds can be mixed with other bird seeds.

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There are other variety of bird seeds that can be fed to your pet birds but some of them can be rare to find. The above mentioned ones are those you can easily find in pet stores. Giving your pet bird variety of seeds to eat can help get the different nutrients each seed contains. Be careful in feeding you birds with unknown seeds as it could be potentially dangerous to their health. Apple seeds and persimmon seeds, for example, are very fatal to birds so it is important to avoid giving these to them.

Having birds as pets could be a rewarding experience. They give you fun and entertainment and are very gentle companions. Aside from proper exercise, giving them only the best bird food to eat is very important so they can reach their maximum life span.

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