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Worried about eating

Discussion in 'Cockatiel Corner' started by CourtneySC62, 10/6/19.

  1. CourtneySC62

    CourtneySC62 Checking out the neighborhood

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    I have had my sweet girl for a week! She’s a beautiful pearly pied who was weaned off hand feeds 2 weeks ago. Not sure how old she is but I’m thinking about 4 months. Not sure why I think that! Haha!
    Anyway, the vet said she’s a girl due to horizontally striped feathers under her tail. Because we are assuming that she is a girl, the vet kinda scared me about egg laying and all the extra requirements. One of those she said was important was for her to eat pellets. So far, Hedwig doesn’t like any of the pellets I’ve tried to give her. I’ve offered broccoli, green beans, grapes, cantaloupe. And Hedwig won’t eat any of it! She only likes her seed. She seems to taste things but not eat them or she just doesn’t try it! I’m worried that I won’t be able to transition her or that she won’t try things and eat a variety of things! Any helpful tips? She’s super interactive and is already doing some positive reinforcement training but I want to do the best by her as far as food goes! Thanks for your help!!
     
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  2. KiwiandLemony

    KiwiandLemony Strolling the yard

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    Although your vet has good reason to say all of those things, and Hedwig should be on a pelleted (although fresh chop is equally as important) I would just take it slow and wean her onto pellets. Pellets are a easier way to get a parrot their complete nutrition, with all essential nutrients and minerals, because of this they’re a healthy option for Hedwigs diet to be comprised of. Right now you should be okay in terms of egg binding and other issues, the most important thing is to make sure she’s getting enough vitamin, A, D and calcium in her diet while you switch her over to pellets. Egg issues would occur after she’s matured, even then you can limit her daylight hours and potential nesting areas (dark places) to discourage egg laying, but if she does end up laying, making sure she has enough calcium in her diet should help you avoid egg issues. I would keep persisting with pellets, try different kinds, soften them, make bird bread, offer in the morning, do whatever you need to do to get her on a diet that will keep her healthy and happy. Don’t get discouraged, it can take a long time and lots of persistence, but in the end, by sticking with it you will be helping Hewdig much more than she knows. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
     
  3. Shezbug

    Shezbug ASK ME FOR PICTURES OF MY MACAW! Super Moderator Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award I Can't Stop Posting!

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    It may take you quite some time to get her onto a pellet and fresh diet if that is not what she is used to. One week is not very long so just keep offering all the good foods and find some patience as you may need it......some birds take a long time to accept and try new foods :)
     
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  4. iamwhoiam

    iamwhoiam Ripping up the road Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Congrats on getting your 'tiel. If only 4 mos. old may not be a female. Your 'tiel hasn't gone through her first molt (or possibly his first molt). If the new tail feathers that come in are solid on the underside then your bird is most likely a male. My male 'tiels that I got as babies, a cinnamon 'tiel and a white-faced cinnamon possibly split to pearl, lost their barred tail feathers when they went through their first molt.
     
  5. Ripshod

    Ripshod Rollerblading along the road

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    +1 ^^^^

    Don't be tempted to bombard Hedwig with new foods, start simple. Try clipping a leaf or a brocoli florette next to the seed dish. You also have the option to move to a relatively healthier seed mix, like Goldenfeast Australian Blend or Hagen Gourmet for Cockatiels. The Hagen contains pellets that look identical to seed (also contains probiotics for her gut). This will at least get some goodness into her while you work on the diet.
    You're not the first to struggle with diet, and you'll not be the last:
    Success!!! | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum
     
    Last edited: 10/7/19
  6. mat webb

    mat webb Meeting neighbors

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    You may want to try mixing a small number of pellets in with her seed as she will probably end up eating that anyway (I only she as it isn't yet obvious and you are referring to her as she). If you see her eating the pellets as well as the seed, slowly up the number of pellets and lower the amount of seed until it is just pellets or about 80% as she might still like to have the seeds. As for vegetables, try silverbeet, spinach, carrot or corn as I have found the majority of tiels like these. At first, put a couple pieces either on top of her seed of next to her seed as then she will know thats where to get food from and that she can actually eat it.
     
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  7. Mizzely

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

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    Here are some tips that may help :) Converting Parrots to a Healthier Diet - Tips | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum

    While you are waiting for her to get onto some pellets (most people recommend equal parts seeds to pellets, so maybe your ratios would be 30% pellets and 30% seeds with 30% veggies and the rest treats), you can also use something like Harrison's bird bread which is made from their pellets, or use a multivitamin.
     
  8. sunnysmom

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

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    It can take awhile for tiels to try new foods. And if she's young, pellets may be too hard for her. You can try moistening them for her. Also, cockatiels typically don't eat fruit. I would focus on vegetables instead. I used to feed my tiel about 50% seeds, 15% pellets/nutriberries and the rest vegetables and grains.
     
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  9. Tara81

    Tara81 Rollerblading along the road

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    It will take time and patience to convert your bird into eating fresh foods and pellets. You can try shredding pieces of kale, broccoli, carrot and mixing some seed with it for a week. You can try mixing some pellets with the seeds as well. Remember to remove fresh foods out of the cage after a few hours.

    Converting will create lots of uneaten thrown away food but in the end it is worth it when they do eat more healthy.

    Some young birds may like vege mash, cooked soft veges mashed together with some cooked quinoa. The quinoa may entice them to try it as it is a grain that looks like a millet seed .
     
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  10. finchly

    finchly Biking along the boulevard Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Pellets are good, but so are fresh foods. And your baby (as others have said) needs you to take it slow. She’ll teach you patience! LOL

    You can moisten pellets with warm water and make a mash. Also my tiels like hard boiled egg and cooked sweet potato - they would never turn that down, even as babies.

    Be sure to offer the same food several times in a row. The first time, it’s a monster. The third time mor so, it’s worth investigating. Finally, she’ll taste it. And hopefully like it.

     
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  11. Chris1234

    Chris1234 Meeting neighbors Avenue Veteran

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    Those stinkers can be so picky! My Meyers was the same way and I finally have her eating sprouts and some veggies. :bliss:
    Try a bunch of different foods served all different ways. Big pieces, chopped tiny, cooked and raw, in bowls and skewered. Try giving just one big chunk of something at a time. And then try multiple veggies chopped tiny. You can also pretend to eat it and say "yum". If there's any seed or nut she really loves mix it in with the fresh veggies so she has to pick around them to get to the treats. Have you tried sprouts? Just after the first soak they still look like seed, but are way more nutritious. My Meyers likes them this way. I put them in her bowl with a few of her favorite treats (safflower seeds) and eventually she started eating it. I know it can be super frustrating. There are some other good tips in this article. Survival Guide to a Picky Parrot – Parrot Up

    I also had a parakeet that wouldn't eat pellets at all, so I bought Harrisons mash (fine) and sprinkled it over his other food. It's like a fine powder. At least I knew he was getting some good nutrition. You could try this trick over a favorite fruit...or mix it into her current food.
     
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  12. melissa68

    melissa68 Strolling the yard

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    I was in the exact same boat, no matter what veggies I offered him, my little boy only wanted seed. One morning I sat on the floor with him and his food dish and I had my eggs and toast. I broke up some crust off my whole wheat toast and sprinkled that on the floor and he gobbled it up! The next morning on the floor I gave him some scrambled eggs and he absolutely LOVED the egg. I knew he couldn't eat only egg and toast crumb every day but heck, I was just happy to have him eating something else but seed.

    I made some birdy bread and I ground up a cup and a half of the veggies I had on hand; green pepper, carrots, peas and tossed that into the bread. I also ground up a cup of Zupreem Naturals pellets and tossed that in the bread. I would crumble the bread up in his dish and I think because it resembled scrambled eggs in texture he started eating that.

    After about a week of birdy bread I would blitz some fresh veggies (sometimes fresh, sometimes frozen veggies are used) to very tiny pieces in my food processor and stir them into the crumbled birdy bread. I used the same veggies that were already in his bread.

    I always kept the above in half his dish but then I would try other things. One day I made brown rice and put it to the side of his crumbled birdy bread. If he ate it, the next day it got stirred into the birdy bread concoction. Any leftover rice I would freeze.

    We still do this but we are now up to much more that he will eat; barley, brown rice, wild rice, turnip greens, broccoli, cauliflower, sugar snap peas (he likes those whole), peas, green pepper, carrots, corn, spinach, beets... Some things he likes better than others so I'll only add a small portion the next time I make his meals.

    I'm still on that first batch of birdy bread. About once every two weeks I pull a few pieces of his birdy bread from the freezer and crumble it into a bowl. Then I pull whatever else is frozen in that freezer; small bag of cooked brown rice, cooked barley, pulse in the processor and toss that into the bread. Add in some thawed broccoli, turnip greens etc and blitz them in the processor and in they go. A cup or more of pellets ground to almost flour like texture and toss that in the bowl. I grab any fresh veggies that are in the fridge and blitz them. Stir everything together and portion a days worth into snack sized baggies and then back in the freezer they go. I take out a bag every night and by morning it's thawed.

    Surprisingly he doesn't eat much seed now lol. I'm thinking of adding it in to the birdy bread next batch I make. I did make a foraging tray and keep seed in it which he'll eat a bit of. He also has full-time access to seed in his cage at all times but doesn't eat it much.
     
  13. Rain Bow

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

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    I love the ingredients in TOPS pellets & often the smaller birds take right to them (as I understand others that have posted about them)... I mix them in Buddys seed mix & dry fruit in the evenings. I've been trying to convert him for awhile, but it can take months even a year to get a bird to eat something new. Just keep trying... I know it can be frustrating but bring persistent is the key.

    Buddy used to be (from what I could tell) on an all seed diet. He's a zon & that was terrible for him. In a years time I had him converted to a variety of fresh. Added much more in 2 years time. Then I added in sprouts.

    I love sprouting, it was so easy to convert him & my waste has been reduced in the fresh veggies & fruit category. He gets sprouts for breakfast & fresh for dinner. He still gets seeds as treats & a few @ dinner & just before bed. It's now not a bowl but less then a tblspoon a day.

    Persistance. :hug8:
     
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  14. Ripshod

    Ripshod Rollerblading along the road

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    It's not always about what what food you're offering. Sometimes it can be about where you place it. I struggled a lot getting Tau to even try chop so I figured I'd put it somewhere he preferred. It's now on a platform near the top of his cage where he feels more comfortable and he soon learned he could just nip across and eat his chop rather than climb all the way down to the bottom of his cage for his seed.
    I did the same with his pellets. They now sit right next to his roost in a convenient place. I don't need to remove his seed, it gets ignored now while there's wet food on his platform.
    Using this method I now have Roger eating chop and pellets, in less than 2 months.
     
    Last edited: 10/13/19 at 1:22 AM
  15. Rain Bow

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

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    I'm glad you mentioned the position changes. I forgot about that. I have an old 90s style cage where the bowl holders are built into the cage. I tried moving things around just taking seeds away & putting fresh in his big bowl. Didn't work at the time. Now Buddy barely uses his cage so I don't think about it. If I tried now what I did initially it would probably work. I didn't have enough confidence w/ him as I was so afraid he'd bite me. Now that he trusts me & I'm not afraid but respect the bite, he might do it. Honeymoon is over! :lol:
     
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  16. melissa68

    melissa68 Strolling the yard

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    Hey Courtney. I thought I would post a little more detail about how I got Henry to eat different foods and pellets. I use this recipe for Bird Bread:
    • 1 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1/3 cup corn meal
    • 1 cup ground pellets
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 2 beaten eggs (including shell - washed and well crushed)
    • 1 Tablespoon honey
    • 1/8 cup oil (I used less)
    • 2 cups vegetable mixture (I use whatever is in the freezer/fridge but they say some suggested vegetables: broccoli, carrots, green beans, beet tops, swiss chard, zucchini or other squash, red bell pepper, cabbage, yams, parsley, sprouts, cooked brown rice, cooked quiona, cooked barley, lima or pinto beans)
    • You can add seeds to the bread if you would like. This time I used about 2 Tbls of seeds and pressed them down into the top before baking.
    Mix everything together (I used my hands and mixed like a meatloaf), spread in 9x13 pan and baked at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes

    Here is my current batch
    upload_2019-10-15_10-49-44.png

    Crumble bird bread into bowl (this bowl I used half the pan)

    I put everything but the veggies into a bowl and then I grind the veggies in my mini chopper. Looks like this only enough to make two cups. I use 2 cups of the ground veggies in the bird bread and 2 cups in the actual mix that I make below. You can see it's a mash:

    upload_2019-10-15_10-44-2.png


    Then I put pellets into my personal drink mixer (you can also use the mini chopper but I find the drink mixer turns it into flour) I use one cup of the pellet flour in the bird bread and also one cup when I go make up his mix.

    upload_2019-10-15_10-45-47.png

    I toss that into the crumbled bread and veggie mix

    upload_2019-10-15_10-46-46.png

    Mix everything together. You can see that it's moist enough to be formed into balls but I keep it loose and crumbly when I put in his dish

    upload_2019-10-15_10-47-50.png

    I then portion about 3 Tablespoons into a snack sized baggie and freeze. This batch made about a months worth of meals (and I give measure using well -rounded tablespoons lol) I pull out one frozen baggie per day for him. I hope this helps a bit.
     
    Last edited: 10/15/19 at 8:18 AM
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  17. LovieLuvr

    LovieLuvr Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

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    I’m in the same exact boat as you. My tiel has only been with us for 3 weeks and she only eats seeds. But I have caught her accidentally eating a few pellets while picking around for her favorite seed.

    I’ve had multiple birds come to me only eating seed, but eventually they all converted to pellets. It takes a lot of patience and consistently offering it to them until it’s recognized as food.

    For now our schedule is birdie bread in the morning, chop in the afternoon...pellets and seed mix all day...I also sprinkle some pellets on bottom of her cage since tiels like foraging on the ground. (I put paper on top of the grate)
     
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