Seeds and their nutritional value


Dr. Gysels' explanation clearly showed that a standard mix is insufficient ( cf. Article : Bird food ) to cover the food needs of birds. This finding formed for me the beginning of the search for the characteristics of the current seeds. So here are my findings.

canary seed


Canary seed grass forms the main part of common mixtures. This seed is classified under the herbaceous. It is also called white alpiste.
This seed is rich in trace elements and amino acids such as leucine and arginine. Cystine is missing.

The average values :

Humidity 12,8 %
Crude protein 15,1 %
Fat 6,1 %
Trace element 56 %
Crude cellulose 5,3 %
limestone 0,05 %
Phosphorus 0,55 %

The millet


Millet and panicum are distinguished. From a scientific point of view, the two grains form only one family. The shape is round.
Yellow millet is the best known of the family. It contains a lot of trace elements. White millet is bigger than yellow, but it is not so hard.
Red millet is very hard, but it contains a lot of trace elements.
Japan's millet is the one that contains the highest proportion of protein.
The millet of Senegal is another name for the yellow millet.
Millet contains a lot of leucine-like proteins.

The average values :

Humidity 12,7 %
Crude protein 11,1 %
Fat 3,7 %
Trace element 59,8 %
Crude cellulose 8,9 %
limestone 0,03 %
Phosphorus 0,32 %

The niger


This seed is one of the few that shows a good ratio limestone / phosphorus. The seed is very oily and contains a high percentage of manganese.

The average values :

Humidity 6,6 %
Crude protein 20,7 %
Fat 42,2 %
Trace element 13,1 %
Crude cellulose 13,5 %
limestone 0,43 %
Phosphorus 0,65 %



Oats must be peeled because they contain too many bales in their natural state. Oats can be given to young people in the nest, but care must be taken that young people do not become too fat.
Oats can be prepared by putting 48 hours in water.
Oats are rich in amino acids of the leucine and arginine types.

The average values :

  With ball Without ball
Humidity 11,4 % 10,6 %
Crude protein 10,4 % 13,9 %
Fat 4,9 % 8 %
Trace element 59,7 % 64,2 %
Crude cellulose 10,4 % 1,5 %
limestone 0,09 % 0,09 %



These are the seeds of cultivated flax. The seed contains a large amount of omega 3 acids and is used for the formation of plumage (moulting period). A seed that also facilitates digestion.
The amino acid composition is very good with among others more than 9% arginine.

The average values :

Humidity 9,4 %
Crude protein 21,5 %
Fat 34,2 %
Trace element 22,3 %
Crude cellulose 7,3 %
limestone 0,23 %
Phosphorus 0,66 %

Hemp seeds

Graines de chanvre

This cannabis species has high quality proteins.
These seeds stimulate mating. (do not give too much).
Hemp contains neither cystine nor tyrosine.

The average values :

Humidity 8,7 %
Crude protein 19,5 %
Fat 32,1 %
Trace element 18 %
Crude cellulose 16,9 %
limestone 0,81 %
Phosphorus 0,76 %

Poppy seeds (poppy)

Graines de pavot

The seeds of the papaveraceae contain a lot of fat and make the birds quiet, which can be advantageous during exhibitions.

Luk Lievrouw
Article written in 2008.

Belgische Zebravinken Club

Protein Alpine Millet Niger Oats Linen Hemp Poppy Trace element Arginine