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Sandra September 07, 2022

How to get your bird to eat vegetables

When transitioning your bird to a whole food diet from seeds or commercial bird foods, pet owners complain that their bird doesn't want to eat the veggies!

Sometimes young birds that have weaned off formula also don't want to eat all the veggies and healthy foods their owners are preparing for them.

Here are NINETEEN tips and tricks to get your bird to eat veggies and try different whole foods that will provide them with all the proper nutrition they need.

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19 Veggie Tips for Birds

1. Throw your veggie chop in with mashed sweet potato/peas/boiled carrots/ water egg yolk - these are flavours and foods pretty much every bird loves and binds the chop together to get them to eat it all.

2. If your bird is picky, you can start with mashing bananas or other fruit. We also did this with a wet soft birdie biscuit mixed with the chop.

3. Weave veggies in the bars of their cage or toys to introduce and entice them. They may nibble and explore this way.

4. Try steaming veggies and offer them soft and a little bit warm (different texture and temperature) - avoid this during hormonal phases!

5. Find out which veggies they will eat and start with those to make your own chop at home. You can do this by offering a buffet.

6. Powder pellets or flaxseeds and sprinkle them on top of the chop. If your bird likes their pellets (i.e. Mia and Mango LOVE Harrisons pellets) or try flaxseed because it has a nice nutty flavour most birds enjoy.

7. Allow them to play with veggies and destroy them; it's a great step towards liking veggies!

8. Finger food - offer bits of veggies off the tip of your finger. This also builds trust!

9. Model eating veggies - take a bite and show them that you are eating them; they might mimic you, and birds usually want what you are having.

10. Shake it up. Try chopped, whole, sliced, diced, shredded, mixed, or mashed. This helps you get to know which way your bird likes veggies. For example, Mia loves chopped or diced, whereas Mango loves slices, shredded or mixed. You can also vary the presentation like serving it in a pepper bowl.

11. Bake up some birdie bread and hide some veggies in there.

12. Offer fresh vegetables right in the morning when your bird is most hungry.

13. Mix in a drop of fruit juice. Drizzle some organic fruit juice – like orange or Mango – over the chop. Just a little will do!

14. When transitioning, sprinkle their usual food in/over the new diet. This shows your bird that it's edible. But, of course, they will also have no choice but to dig through the fresh stuff to get to their favourite bits.

15. Serve in the sunlight or under a UV lamp. This was a game changer for us. Birds see in UV, so their worlds look dull and grey without the sun. Putting them and their food in the sunlight lets them view their food much more appetizingly.

16. Use known favourites in their new meals. For example, say your bird loves strawberries; you can serve birdie bread with some mashed in and/or on top. Be clever and sneak new things in with old favourites. Or mix in the strawberry mash in their chop.

17. Let your bird watch other birds eat. This only works if you have other birds in your home, but it can convince any picky eater that food is safe. If they watch tv, you could put on a video of birds eating veggies. :)

18. Save the nuts and seeds for treats. For example, if your pet loves sunflower seeds, remove them from their diet and use them as rewards. This makes them extra valuable to your bird!

19. Use new places and situations to your advantage. For example, try serving a meal in a different cage, a new room, or a new area entirely. This might make them more likely to eat and try fresh foods.

Don't give up on veggies! Even with the pickiest eaters! And make sure you never starve your bird - if they don't eat their veggies, it could take weeks but make sure they are getting healthy pellets, some fruits and other healthy foods like allowing them to try eggs, cooked pasta, beans or chickpeas, sprouts, etc.