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converting an old cockatiel

CAGatiel

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I truly wish I didn't have to deal with so much drama with feeding my birds, but evidently the brand new totally sealed bag of my old cockatiel seed is full of bugs and its totally rotten! I have never been able to get him to eat pellets. I tried Harrison's pellets and their bird bread with no luck at all. I tried many strategies, including cold turkey, over a few months before giving up. He's spent all of his 20 years of life eating a seed mix & seems to have done well on it. He is picky about the seeds he eats out of the mix. As far as I can tell, he mostly just eats the millet seeds. I have a couple of samples of seed mixes from other companies plus some TOPS pellets, but I'm debating with myself what really is fair to him. On the one hand, the TOPS pellets are more affordable since both seed mixes are double the cost of his old seed mix. On the other hand, I feel guilty about trying to make him eat something new at his age. He also really doesn't like coming out of his cage. Looking back, the pet store he came from was a bad one and he probably wasn't raised well. Poor guy has never managed to fly properly (always goes backwards) and just has never been as well adjusted around humans as my first cockatiel was. I also don't recall him being as interested in eating human food when offered it, unlike my other cockatiel was. I want to do right by the little guy, but I also don't want to push things too far since he is old. Especially since right now I do have barely enough food for him to get through until I can get more. I just didn't expect that this bag would be full of bugs.

I just went through everything that Petsmart & Petco sell & they don't have anything that is soy & peanut free. I'm allergic to both.

Is it fair to try to transition an older bird to pellets? If not, is there a good seed mix for cockatiels?
 

Shezbug

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Cockatiels do need some seed in their diet so an all pellet conversion is not the best idea for him regardless of his age.

@sunnysmom @Tiel Feathers might be able to help with some different ideas.

I wonder if he would take to freeze dried veggies, if so, maybe you could mix some into a seed mix of your choosing for him.
 

sunnysmom

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I would not completely take him off seeds. Since cockatiels are granivores, I think they need seed in their diet. I actually feed about 50% seeds to my tiels. It's never too late though to improve a bird's diet. My cockatiels love freeze dried vegetables. I got them both as seniors and believe they had been on all seed diets. They took to them right away. They also really like Higgins Worldly Cuisine Mixes and you can chop up some vegetables or mash up some pellets and sneak them in there. I also give my tiels senior nutriberries which have supplments, etc aimed at helping older tiels. And you can always keep trying fresh vegetables. I usually get my seeds from Amazon. Right now, I am using Volkman Avian Science for cockatiels but I periodically switch things up.
 

CAGatiel

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Thanks. I was a mean human and just gave him some TOPS pellets overnight. The good news is that he will eat them! The bad news is that he's lost about 3 grams over the past 19 hours. I think I'm going to give him a 50/50 mix of the TOPS pellets & the seed samples I have until I can get some stuff shipped here. I guess I just got too frustrated & disillusioned by how unpalatable both my birds found Harrison's that it made me doubt that they'd eat any pellet. I also have some dried mango I got for my CAG and I'll probably give him a little of that too.
 

CAGatiel

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So transitioning him has not gone well at all. He ate the TOPS pellets & seed for a few weeks and then he stopped eating the seed & pellets a couple days ago. I was giving him about 80% seed & 20% pellets. Luckily I still had a sample of another company's seed mix and he'll eat that with no problem. I'm just going to listen to him and just feed him a seed mix. At the end of the day, it's really not worth fighting over it. If seed makes him happy, then it's seed he'll get. I might put a couple pellets in with them since I have a lot of them, but it seems he's spoken and I need to listen.
 

Nichole615

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You can always consider making your own seed mix to ensure the ingredients you're allergic to aren't included.
 
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