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Picky Paco, need advice

Discussion in 'African Grey Alley' started by Snowghost, 10/2/19.

  1. Snowghost

    Snowghost Sprinting down the street

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    I am ready to toss in the towel.
    Paco will eat, veggie pasta, hard boiled egg, cooked carrots, nutri-berries and avi cakes. Pumpkin seeds, peanuts, sun flower seeds. He does not get many of the later. He did nibble on canned mung bean sprouts, no sodium.

    Will sometimes eat squash green pepper, strawberry, corn and black beans cooked.

    Used to like pineapple, fresh, sweet potatoe and brown rice.

    Won't touch leafy greens, radishes or chop

    Tried pomegranted nope, red or green hot peppets, no way. He doesn't play or chew anything and doesn't know how to forage for food. I am looking for advice fellow beak freaks.
     
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  2. Clueless

    Clueless Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Good grief girl, that bird has TONS of likes. Secret is ridiculous. MC is better but still picky.

    In a bird's world, new can be fatal. He's fighting for his life on a minute by minute basis.

    That's why I tolerate Secret. I think that bird was half grown when the bird was swiped from the wild and man, the hissing shows it! If it wasn't for MC the bird wouldn't try anything new.
     
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  3. Mizzely

    Mizzely Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Vendor

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    I'm a year in with Ripley. He will only eat Zupreem fruity, dried banana chips, sometimes dried payapa, sometimes fresh apple, almonds, walnuts, nutriberries, safflower seeds and sunflower seeds. Sometimes bird bread. It is not easy converting a bird to a new diet. They are programmed to be wary of food that their flock has not shown them to be safe.

    From my blog:

    Serving Tips


    Not all birds take to chop immediately. Here are some ideas to encourage eating.

    Serve less, not more. Remember that birds only eat about 15 to 20% of their body weight daily. For Jingo, I usually only give him 1 to 2 tbsp of chop a day because I also want him to eat pellets. If you provide your bird with a large amount of food, they tend to pick their favorites. Offering less may encourage them to eat what they are given.

    Eat with your bird. It is instinct for birds to avoid things they don't recognize as food. They learn safe foods from their flock, and in our homes, you are part of the flock! If they see you eat it, it shows them that it is edible and safe. You can also even try just sitting next to them while they eat, as eating is a flock activity.

    Vary the presentation. Sometimes they don't like the way things are cut, or the bowl, or the temperature. Try offering it warm, or cold. Try cutting up things in different ways - for example, carrots can be diced, cut into coins, or sticks. Sometimes a new shape will encourage them to eat. Try a plate vs a bowl. Some birds really like to eat veggies on a plate on the cage floor, while others prefer a bowl at the top of their cage! Eventually you will find a willing combination!

    Try not letting ingredients touch. Some birds prefer that their food is not all mixed together and would prefer that their carrots and peas don't touch! Try offering a plate with things dividing vs mixed together.

    Offer first thing in the morning. Birds tend to be hungriest when they first wake up. Try offering chop as the first meal of the day!

    Let them "steal" it off your plate. Do you have a bird that won't eat anything given to them, but will eat anything you are eating? This trick works on Jingo every time! I let him think he is stealing something tasty off my plate, and he will eat it everytime! Stolen food must taste better.

    Mix in favorite foods. While they will likely pick out their favorites first, veggies tend to stick to each other in a chop and they may accidentally fall in love with whatever is attached to their favorite food! If nothing else, it makes a positive association that can help bridge the gap.

    Make bird bread. You can use a pre-made mix or make your own with low glycemic flours. Add in veggies and your bird ingests the veggies and hopefully gets a taste for them! This has worked well for me with pellets as well.

    Make veggies fun. Put them in a foraging toy, hang them up on a skewer, or weave them through the cage bars!

    Try smoothies. Some birds love nothing more than to drink down a tasty smoothie! Take your chop and blend it into a drink and see if they will eat it that way. You can also make it into a puree (think baby food consistency) and feed it on a spoon for a nutritional bonding session,

    It will be messy. No matter if they love or loathe chop, it will be messy. This is also natural. One of the things parrots do in the wild is help things in the top of the trees make it to the ground. This feeds the tree itself, as well as insects and animals that can't reach them. It is an important part of the jungle, but unfortunately the behavior comes inside with them!

    Patience. It will take time for some birds. Keep offering! If you stop offering, there is no chance for your bird to accept it.

    Alternatives

    If you cannot get your bird to eat fresh veggies, or you simply have no time for a fresh version, another option would be a dehydrated or freeze dried vegetable mix, either as is or re-hydrated. Re-hydrated would be best simply because pellets and seeds are already so dry. Also, check the label and offer only those that do not contain sugars, salt, onions, oils, or Sulfur Dioxide.

    Sprouts are another alternative. Many birds seem to really go for sprouts because they are seed like. Sprouts are super healthy and really easy to make! Store bought sprouts are not recommended as they have a greater chance for spoiling. They can make up most of the fresh food part of your bird's diet.

    Cook 'n' serve mixes can also be a good supplement if your bird won't eat veggies. I have found good luck with Avian Organics mixes, and usually I can sneak in a few extra veggies without them noticing!
     
  4. Icey

    Icey Rollerblading along the road

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    @Mizely you always offer amazing advice! :) Thank you
     
  5. Mizzely

    Mizzely Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Vendor

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    :heart:
     
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  6. Snowghost

    Snowghost Sprinting down the street

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    Thanks, what awesome advice as usual. I never knew they were scared,
    I'll try eating with him. Such a wealth of info from you both thank you. I feel better knowing he is eating sime what good. Better then the Hart parrot seed he was on.
     
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  7. LynnInColorado

    LynnInColorado Meeting neighbors

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    Good luck with the changes you're trying to make. My girl will eat Golden Feast's Goldn'obles pellets, but not until she gets through everything else in her dish.
     
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  8. Karen

    Karen Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

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    Great idea, aren't greys natural ground feeders?
     
  9. Mizzely

    Mizzely Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Vendor

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    I believe so :) I know Ripley is definitely a ground bird!
     
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  10. Snowghost

    Snowghost Sprinting down the street

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    Whoops, I put a saucer on top of his cage. Well u know what he did, growl and fluff. He is scared of it. May try this weekend when I have more time.
     
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  11. Arno

    Arno Meeting neighbors

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    @Snowghost if you have Facebook maybe check out these. It might help you alot.

    Sorry links won't post here wil try and copy it for you
     
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  12. Arno

    Arno Meeting neighbors

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    • Food presented in a different way to your parrot may encourage them to eat more fresh foods. Look at some of these great ideas to help encourage your birdie to eat new foods.
     
  13. Arno

    Arno Meeting neighbors

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    @Snowghost

    Pet Parrots & Ground Foraging
    by Laura Doering

    Take a look at the birds outside your window, and you’ll see many of them on the ground. They’re hopping or walking around in search of edibles. Parrots in the wild are no different — many also spend a good part of the day on foot looking for items to munch. And so it stands to reason that the parrots in our homes might also enjoy walking on their own two feet to see what they can find. Here are some tips for creating a bottom play and foraging area for your pet bird.

    Clear Space
    Remove the grate from the cage bottom, or roll out a thick layer of paper or a flat piece of cardboard or other hard surfaces on top so your bird doesn’t have to contend with the unevenness of the grate and to prevent treats or other chewable items from falling through the grate bars out of reach. Make sure the pull-out tray is pushed in all the way to prevent a gap, as some birds have ended up with a beak, toe or wing caught in between.

    Cleanliness Matters
    If your bird enjoys spending any amount of time on the floor of the cage, you might have to change the cage liner daily or twice daily to make sure it’s clean enough for your bird to play on. Of course the paper you lay down can in and of itself be a cheap and easy “destroy toy.” Some birds love to wad up paper into tightly formed balls (cockatiels anyone?), or neatly tear paper into strips (hello lovebirds) or revel in leaving a path of paper destruction (Amazon?). Roll the paper debris up with the liner, replace and let your bird start fresh the next day.

    A Fun Walk
    Creating an edible path of healthy treats for your bird to explore can be as fun for your feathered friend as it is for you when you hit up all the samples at Costco. Crumble up some millet, place a blueberry, roll out a Nutri-berrie or make a little pile of shredded carrot strips for your bird to explore and taste. Some birds might even be enticed to try a new food offered in this manner. I get my cockatiel, Gracie, to eat her pellets by sprinkling them around the floor about for her to find.

    Up the level of your bird’s foraging prowess by placing shredded paper over the treats and toys so your bird has to excavate through it to find a treat or foot toy. You can also turn the cage floor into a pool party by providing a shallow, broad dish of water, or layout wet lettuce leaves — your bird might be among those bird types who like to roll around on wet “foliage.”

    Have a hanging toy that your bird ignores? Offer it on the ground to see if that gets your bird’s attention. Ignored toys can become transformed into favorite toys when placed on a flat surface instead of hung. Foot toys become wrestle partners, and balls are rolled and chased instead of being dropped from the top of the cage or play gym for you to fetch over and over again. (If you notice your bird sitting on the toy and/or being overly protective of it, your bird might view the toy as an egg to incubate. If this is the case, remove the toy.)

    Outside The Cage
    Sulphur-crested CockatooYou can also make a foraging ground outside the cage. Plenty of birds love to hang out on the bottom of their T-stand or table-top play gym. Keep it clean with frequent wipe-downs or a paper change after each use. Some birds can be territorial near their cage, so a table-top gym can be moved to a more neutral location, and it offers a defined area that the bird can be taught that staying within it earns it treats and interaction.

    Create a floor play area by laying down a blanket or towel and placing some toys and treats on it. Direct your bird back onto the playground if he/she begins to wander off. Keeping a tangible on-the-ground boundary such a blanket will prevent you from becoming lax and allowing your bird to roam to wherever he/she wants to … which can lead to trouble. Of course, whenever your bird is outside the cage, whether on a gym or the ground, never assume that he will stay where you put him — supervision is a must.

    Nikki Sampson- Oscar the African Grey from Brainy Birds Parrot Rescue had a good dig in the soil after a good rain.
     

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  14. Snowghost

    Snowghost Sprinting down the street

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    @Arno great ideas. I do not have a grate onthe bottom of the cage. What about poo? He sits on a perch right now. He is still very much a scardy cat of everything. I have only had him for 6 months. I am third owner and he has been cage bound for 19 years. He has made great progress. I will try these wonderful ideas. Thank you so much.
     
  15. Snowghost

    Snowghost Sprinting down the street

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    Well I tried a rolled up plain tortilla and that went over like a fart in church. I'll keep trying. I love the green pepper idea! I'm pretty sure he will be scared of skewers, still trying to get him used to a new toy. I'll keep at it.
     
  16. Arno

    Arno Meeting neighbors

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    Key is to take it very slow and let them explore on their own terms and time.

    Know alot of grey owners found success in placing new objects in plain sight for them see a few meters away and every few days when you see ut doesn't bother them anymore mobe it a meter or 2 closer and then hang it on the outside of the cage and lastly then inside the cage.

    Alot of people did that with new cages by moving it closer to the old cage also and usually within a week or so it was right next to the old cage and then out of their own they will start exploring the new cage on their own
     
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  17. Snowghost

    Snowghost Sprinting down the street

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    I have been doing that. It's been 6 months with this new toy and he is still scared of it. I just keep trying. I am introducing chopped up spinach in the morning and putting it on top of his favs, carrot sticks and cucumber. I don't give a lot of cukes it makes his poo watery.
     
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  18. Clueless

    Clueless Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Terri,

    It truly sounds to me like he's doing leaps and bounds over my Amazons in the food department.

    Secret takes quite a bit of time to accept things in her cage. A toy can be in there for months .... then she suddenly starts attacking it.

    Do you think you are just worrying too much? The bird will pick up on that too.
     
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  19. Snowghost

    Snowghost Sprinting down the street

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    Oh I don't think so. I just express my worries here. Bugsy, my Amazon was wild caught and a seed eater, very little healthy food and 25 years of trying to change she wouldn't eat veggies and.fruit. She ended with gout and crystals on kidneys, I opted.to put her down and not force her to live at the.bottom of a padded cage on meds. I know birds need vitamins and Paco is adapting very well. I just don't want make the same mistakes. Thanks for the encouragement, I have no bird friends to talk to. My goalis to get him a nice travel cage and vet check. His second oner said he was sexed and vet checked but no paper work
     
    Last edited: 10/4/19
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  20. Rain Bow

    Rain Bow Rollerblading along the road Mayor of the Avenue I Can't Stop Posting!

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    You have friends to talk to here! We just live w/in your computer. I recommend the vet check sooner than later. Buddy may have had the infection (the vet found) for 1 week or 6 months... She had no way of knowing... I pray it was the 1 week but I fear it was at minimum a month & at the very least he was extremely uncomfortable. After that I felt like a big butt, because I didn't listen to everyone here telling me to get him in.
     
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