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Myna Bird Feeding Guide – Fruit, Vegetables and Pellets

Myna birds - bath a lot

Mynah birds are omnivorous. They would naturally eat a huge variety of fruits, insects, larva, amphibians, lizards, small snakes, eggs, baby birds, baby rodents and scavenge for garbage occasionally. They are not seedeaters.

A large variety of diced fruits and some vegetables can be offered to your myna bird. Their diet should contain 60% pellets, 30% fruits with about 10% of the diet being vegetables.

Mynah birds do not have a crop to store food. In fact they have a very short digestive tract, which makes for a very quick transit time. This means your mynah bird will eat constantly so you need to replenish their food regularly throughout the day.

Mynah birds are soft-billed birds that do not chew/bite their food into pieces so make sure you chop up their food into small, easy to swallow, bite size pieces.

They will also have frequent and often very loose droppings. Don’t be alarmed if you see blue droppings about 20 minutes after they’ve eaten blueberries!

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 “Mynah birds have a short digestive tract.”

 which means they eat and poop all day long

How do I choose the best diet for my pet?

Discuss your mynah bird’s nutrition with your veterinarian or aviculture expert. Birds need a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals and water and their nutrition is often neglected by new owners.

Just like other pets, it’s easy to assume you are feeding a proper diet, when in fact you are not. Poor diet is a common reason for many health problems including  hemochromatosis or iron storage disease in mynah birds. Too much iron on their diet will be dangerous for their health and shorter their lifespan. Hemochromatosis is also irreversible. 

Commercial pelleted food for mynah birds

You can buy especially formulated pelleted food for your mynah bird. These are small, dry ( making less messy poop) and contain a balance of nutrients suitable for your pet bird. However, do check the iron content on the pellets as some have a very high iron value which can contribute to iron storage in your mynah bird. 

Whilst pellets are an excellent source of nutrition, they should never be the only thing you feed your bird.

myna bird pellets
Myna bird commercial pellets

Feeding your mynah bird fruits and vegetables

A large variety of diced fruits and some vegetables can be offered to your mynah bird. Make sure you wash them all thoroughly and cut them into bite sized chunks. You can leave the skin on as many of the nutrients will be found just under the skin and can be removed if peeled.

As we have explained, fruit is essential in their diet. But you must make sure that those are fresh fruits that do not contain too much sugarDo not give either processed fruits (canned fruit, for example) or dried fruit, because they also contain high amounts of sugar and iron, respectively, that can make your bird poorly.

The best fruits to give them are, for example, pears, apples, melons, peaches, mango, papaya, plums and guavas, among other fruits. Other fruits such as grapes, figs, cherries, apricots, raisins or strawberries, can also be given but in smaller quantities.

When you want to give your mynah bird fruit, remember to remove all the seeds. It is very important to not forget about it because some fruit seeds can be highly toxic for them

Vegetables are actually part of their regular diet too. Not in as much quantity or as commonly as fruit, but you can feed certain vegetables on a regular basis. Try potatoes, grain like corn, or cooked rice and pasta. Beans and peas are also a good source of protein.

Even so, just peas, green beans, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, among others, have large amounts of iron that can harm their health. If you need to give them those vegetables, make sure it is only from time to time and not in a maintained or regular way in their diet.

Try putting the fruits in one dish and vegetables in another to see which your bird prefers. They will have a favourite but don’t be tempted to keep feeding them the same. Variety is the spice of life and is what your mynah bird needs. In fact they are a bit like children. They might not eat new foods to start with, but you must keep offering them so that they try. You could remove their favourites for a couple of days to encourage them to try the new foods.

Always use squeaky clean dishes ( hot soapy water works best)  and remove uneaten food as soon as possible to avoid it spoiling and becoming potentially dangerous.  

Mynah Bird Food Fruit and Vegetable Lists

Table 1. Main Foods with lower iron suitable for myna birds

FruitsVegetablesOther
apple potato (boiled)lentils
plum
pear  
banana
pineapple
dates
fig
raisins (soaked overnight)
grapes
orange
watermelon
Main Foods with lower iron suitable for myna birds

Table 2. Other foods suitable for Myna birds in smaller quantities

FruitVegetableOther
cherries (not the pit)Chinese vegetables (bok choy)coconut
apricotspeascorn
pomegranateasparaguschick peas
raspberrypeppers (red/green & hot)dandelion leaves
grapefruitcucumberKidney beans
kiwipumpkinLima beans
blueberrykaleMung beans
melonsromaine lettucerice (brown)
mangobeetsprouted seeds
nectarinesspinach
strawberrybroccoli
cantaloupesquash
papayabrussel sprouts
tomatocabbage
peachessweet potato
carrotcarrot tops
parsnip
zucchini/ courgette
Other foods suitable for Mynah birds in smaller quantities

Provide fresh, clean, filtered water daily

Your mynah bird loves to bathe as well as needing fresh water to drink. They like a large shallow bowl that’s only filled up to just above their knees. Don’t be surprised when you put clean water in their cage to see them hop in and have a jolly good splash about so you need to change it again! 

You’ll need to change their water throughout the day as not only do they like to bathe at least once a day, but they’ll probably poop in it too ( by accident).  It is true that mynah birds are messy birds to keep and it is important for their health that their water bowl is not contaminated.

We also use filtered water to remove as many chemicals as possible from the tap water. You may like to invest in a water filter ( like britta) for this.

All dishes must be cleaned thoroughly every day with hot soapy water.

What about other foods?

Generally any wholesome, nutritious food that you and your family eat your bird can eat but use your common sense and make sure they are low in iron. It does without saying that junk food like crisps and chocolate should NEVER be fed to your bird. Our birds enjoy a small amount of lean cooked meat mixed with eggs occasionally.  And Henry loves a mealworm and the odd cricket and other insects (soft-bodied insects are more nutritious).

Why is it important to avoid iron in a myna bird’s diet?

Some diseases that mynah birds can have are iron storage disease, liver problems, obesity, parasitic diseases, diabetes, or even tumors.

One of the most common diseases suffered by mynah birds is iron storage disease. This disease was discovered in some birds in the seventies and even today it assumes a life expectancy of only one year after they are diagnosed.

The disease is produced by an accumulation of iron in the liver and other vital organs that produces a serious poisoning of the pet causing its body to not be able to function regularly again.

It is common that the probability of suffering the disease increases over the years due to the progressive accumulation of iron. Their probability of suffering from it may have a percentage of a genetic component, but it is a disease mainly caused by a diet with too much iron.

In summary

Myna birds are omnivorous animals that can eat nearly everything that humans eat: fruit, meat (small animals and insects), as well as grain. It is important to continually strive to improve your bird’s diet. Your bird’s health depends on how well it is fed.

So be very careful to choose their diet correctly if you want them to thrive and have a long, healthy life that you can enjoy together.

Remember:

  • Provide fresh water every day.
  • Offer variety of different fresh fruits and vegetables every day
  • Clean all food and water dishes daily
  • Always monitor the amount of food eaten every day by each bird and if they stop eating contact your vet immediately
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