The exact nutritional requirements for most species of birds are still unknown. The exceptions are birds raised for food or other products, such as poultry Nutritional Requirements of Poultry Poultry convert feed into food products quickly, efficiently, and with relatively low environmental impact relative to other livestock. Their high rate of productivity results in relatively... read more , ostriches, and pheasants. Avian diets for many species are extrapolated from the Nutrient Requirements of Poultry published by the NRC.
When working with large zoological collections containing disparate species, a team approach is critical to manage nutrition for multiple species. The keepers’ experience regarding the birds’ habits and preferences, combined with input from the curator, veterinarian, and outside nutritional consultants are all necessary. Input from other institutions where a given species has a history of longevity and successful reproduction can be invaluable. In large collections, decreasing waste, spoilage, overfeeding, and excessively time-consuming diet preparation must be considered along with improvement of the birds’ nutritional intake.