Nutritional disease is the number one cause of death in birds. Among nutritional diseases, the most prevalent is malnutrition (nutrient deficiency). It may seem as if birds are naturally predisposed to nutritional diseases, but this is not true. In fact, most nutritional deaths can be traced to one source - the owner. Unfortunately, the main factor is lack of education. Many bird owners are not aware that seeds alone cannot nutritionally support a bird. A bird's diet should consist of 60-70% of a specialized pelleted diet supplemented by fruits, vegetables and fortified seeds.

A seed-only diet can lead to these problems:

  • Plumage disorders
  • Reduced resistance to disease
  • Liver and kidney problems
  • Reproductive disorders (infertility, poor egg quality)
  • Obesity

Proper diet and nutrition are vital to your bird's health. Just as important is cleanliness. You must take pains to ensure that everything from feeding dishes to water bowls is clean. This means washing and disinfecting every day. If your items are not dishwasher safe, you must use hot water and a disinfecting (anti-bacterial) soap, rinsing well to remove soap residue. Although diseases linked to hygienic conditions occur far less often, cleanliness is as important as diet.