Bird treats should be given once in a while not only because our birds are special to us, but also as a way to give them something to do. But just what kinds of treats are appropriate to give to your pet birds?
Remember that the best way to prevent boredom is to give your bird something to work at - a stimulating challenge. What better thing to work at than a treat? The reward is built right in.
For larger birds, vegetables and fruits are a great choice not only as part of their daily diet, but because they can be attached to the cage and snacked on all day long. Nuts - shelled for smaller birds, unshelled for larger birds - are also healthful and appropriate, if given in small quantities, since they have such a high fat content.
For all birds, food/toy combinations, such as Mineral Logs, Nutri-Berries or Avi-Cakes are a great alternative. They both use the same "work for it" principle, so the bird can have some fun as he treats himself. Some toys such as the 4-Way Forager or Rings of Fortune, are designed to hold treats and made with built-in challenges. All you have to do is place a treat inside. Your bird goes to work trying to manipulate the toy in order to get the treat out - just as she would have to do, at times, in the wild.
Hang Cuttlebones on the cage for your bird to pick at since this provides much-needed calcium for building bone. Females especially need this important mineral in order to form eggshells. Cuttlebones are also one way birds use to keep their beaks trimmed.Treats to Avoid
Some foods are on the do-not-feed list. These include foods that contain high amounts of sugar or fats (junk foods: potato chips, doughnuts, etc.), avocado, chocolate, alcohol, or caffeine. Do not give fruit pits. Persimmons are also on the do-not-feed list.
Provide a well-balanced diet and plenty of water to your feathered companion, and be sure that fun treats are part of your pet's nutrient makeup. Because a treat does a lot for bird-owner bonding, remember that a treat should be something special, or it may lose its treat appeal.