What is Millet Seed?

Millet seed is one of the most nutritious grains you can give your pet bird. Millet is technically a grass, but resembles whole grain for a bird much like whole grain in a person’s diet. In fact, it has a protein content close to that of wheat! Millet contains high levels of protein, Vitamin B, carbohydrates, calcium, magnesium, phosophorus, and other nutrients. However, it is not a good source of Vitamin A, so it cannot be used as your bird’s entire diet. It is also contains less fat than most other seeds, making it an all-natural, nutritious treat for your bird.

There are 6,000 varieties of millet. Typically, the types fed to birds are most often foxtail millet or finger millet. The millet seeds are left on the stalk when offered to birds as a treat. Millet also varies in color. If you have a bird with a color-preference, millet spray is usually offered in colors varying from pale yellow, to gray, white, and red.

What Pet Birds Eat Millet Seed?

Most seed-eating birds will eat millet seeds from millet sprays, but it is usually the smaller pet birds and some small parrots that eat it the most.  It can also be given to pet bird chicks when they are weaning, as they need a lot of protein and calories to finish developing.

How Do I Give It to My Bird?

The best way to give millet seed to your bird is to hang a millet spray near your bird’s perch. If you are concerned about feeding your bird too much, you can cut your millet spray into smaller pieces and offer your bird a piece at a time. Your bird still gets all the nutritional benefits but you’ll be able to better control the amount of treats! No matter what the millet spray size, your bird will be able to participate in foraging activities because he still has to harvest his own millet seed from the millet spray.

About The Author Kristen Sydelko

Kristen is the Web Coordinator at PetSolutions. She has over 5 years of experience working in the pet care industry, with many more years of pet ownership experience! When not at PetSolutions, Kristen enjoys spending time with her family (which includes an extremely spoiled Lab mix), crafting, and trying to decide when to set her fish tank back up.

comments (2)

  • How long will a big box of millet sprays remain fresh enough for pet bird?

  • Hi Carol – As long as the millet spray is stored properly, you should not have to worry about the millet remaining "fresh enough." Millet is basically dried grain. It needs to be stored in a cool, dry place. You can put it in the fridge or freezer, too. As long as no moisture is absorbed by the millet, it should be fine.

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