Seeds as enrichment

Seeds as enrichment

To anyone that has read my articles on diet, I have no love for the bird food manufacturers selling processed food to our birds.

As a background, I feed my birds a diet that is at least half seed, with added chop (dried fruits and vegetables), nuts, legumes, sprouted seeds, and fresh fruit and vegetables.

I’ve long argued that seed is enriching for birds to eat. They enjoy the challenge of opening and manipulating them. But there’s no research to prove that I’m right about my beliefs.

However, I did find one small reference to this on the website of Lafeber, one of the largest bird food manufacturers. In an article written by one of their vets, she says:

Seed-based diets promote normal behaviors such as beak and tongue manipulation of the various foods, sensation of textures for brain stimulation and foraging behaviors.

Nutritional Strategies for the Companion Parrot—LafeberVet—Susan Orosz, DVM—Dec 10, 2008—

Now, this isn’t an endorsement of heavy-seed diets, but a recognition that seed should have a place. The all pellet diet pushed by many manufacturers deprives birds of an enriching, natural behavior that they enjoy in the wild.

Their anatomy is uniquely designed to eat seeds and they manipulate them like they are juggling their food.

Food for thought.