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Cockatiel afraid of vegetables

Pippa!

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Hello! Before I get to the diet problem I would like to give you some background about this bird. Last July I adopted a 6 year old female cockatiel(Steve). She was living in a lovely home but the family just didn’t have the time to take her out as much as she needed. This family fosters animals in need of a home and has a whole farm full of them. Before they got Steve she was living in another house which we don’t know much about. When she first came to us she was very skittish but would sit on your finger. She is still skittish but not with my family, only with noises and new people. She is the sweetest little thing. However, I suspect that she was mistreated in her very first home because she gets nervous when anyone raises their hand. She is seems over bonded with specifically my mom. And panics whenever she is left by herself in a room. We keep her in our living room so she mostly see us when we move around the house.
Now for the problem. The people we got her from were feeding her an all seed diet. I didn’t change the seed diet until she was settled in our house. Then I started to offer her pellets. Lucky for me she really loves the pellets. She is not a picky eater. She loves oatmeal, rice and Quinoa. However, when it comes to anything green or red she is terrified of it.Now when I offer new foods to my other birds they are a little shy about them, but they all try the new food. Steve just won’t eat his food until the green stuff is taken away( I usually offer a new food in with a food I know is a favorite). I leave the vegetables in the dish for a while ( about two hours). But she won’t go near them. So I was offering the veggies in another dish or on a clothes pin in another part of the cage but she would just ignore them. Does anyone know of some ways to get her to eat veggies? Or is there something I can offer as a substitute that she might like? She’s very sweet and I want her to be with us for yearsThanks! 53BB26CF-D4F9-4811-8C32-BC5AAC0A6A72.jpeg
 

flyzipper

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I'd try different sizes and shapes -- everything from whole leafy greens to the same item shredded, or using the bottom of a bell pepper as their seed bowl.
You can also play with different placement -- attached to the side of their cage or on a skewer hanging by their play stand, for example.
Also, when I offer new items to my guys and they initially refuse it, they often give it a try if they see me take a bite.
Lastly, change can take a while, so patience and time.
 

Mizzely

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You can also try freeze dried veggies. Those might look a little less intimidating :)
 

QB1rd

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Would blending them up help, maybe?
 

Mizzely

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I usually serve veggies blended and it doesn’t help with Steve.
If you usually blend them, try big ol chunks. My bird wouldn't touch diced veggies for over 2-3 years and now that I started giving him chunks the size of his head he loves them. He definitely eats thigns better when the skin is on them too!
 

Screech

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I think whole pieces are best for getting birds to eat veggies, for my birds that wouldn't touch veggies, it was always the whole ones that they finally would eat. And they all learned from watching my other birds.
If I remember correctly you have other birds, do they eat veggies?
If you do, you could perhaps take out some of their favourite veggies, and let them eat from where she can see them. And maybe Steve will show some interest, even just observing the other birds eating it from a distance could spark something. If she's bonded to you, you could try eating some too like flyzipper suggested.
For my lovebirds the first veggie they ate was Broccoli, I think it's quite common for them to mistake the florets for seeds.
 

Pippa!

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I think whole pieces are best for getting birds to eat veggies, for my birds that wouldn't touch veggies, it was always the whole ones that they finally would eat. And they all learned from watching my other birds.
If I remember correctly you have other birds, do they eat veggies?
If you do, you could perhaps take out some of their favourite veggies, and let them eat from where she can see them. And maybe Steve will show some interest, even just observing the other birds eating it from a distance could spark something. If she's bonded to you, you could try eating some too like flyzipper suggested.
For my lovebirds the first veggie they ate was Broccoli, I think it's quite common for them to mistake the florets for seeds.
Today I am trying out big chunks. I have some leaves of Romain broccoli and some carrots. I will keep you updated on what she does :)
 

CrazyKozmo

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In my experience, the gateway "drug" to get budgies and cockatiels to eat veggies, is corn kernels (frozen thawed or from the cob...no salt no butter). I also remember my budgies liking peas. In the past, I would get a bag of frozen mixed veggies and thaw a daily portion. I remember budgies and cockatiels being pretty stubborn when it comes to food...I'm impressed that Steve likes pellets! Be patient and persistent.
 

Pippa!

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So… Steve did at least try the broccoli but wasn’t a fan. She didn’t touch the romaine or carrots. But like everyone is saying it takes time. I am hopeful that she’ll will realize veggies are friends and food:D I’m definitely going to try corn!
 

Mizzely

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Ripley does not like broccoli, romaine, or carrots :lol: I don't know why. For orange foods he really likes sweet potato.

This was his bowl today:

sweet potato (microwaved for 45 seconds)
beet root
yellow squash
zucchini
parsnip
radish
pepper top
sugar snap peas
a grape

I find that if you give the inside of a pepper with all the seeds that tends to help encourage them to check out the rest :)

PXL_20220504_125143398.jpg
 
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