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Converting Parrots to a Healthier Diet - Tips

Yonads

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Hi Monica,
I hope you are still at it - I see the original post was from long ago....
In the section about switching cold turkey you said:
you can evaluate droppings. If the fecal part of the dropping is small and dark green or black or if the droppings have no fecal portion, it means your bird is not eating. You can go for two full days for small species of birds and three full days for large species of birds. If your bird's droppings are still anorexic at the end of the switch period,
I am fairly new at this, so I was wondering if you can explain more about the droppings. (Sorry to ask - I hope you have had your breakfast already).
What is meant by "the fecal part of the dropping", or fecal portion, or droppings being anorexic.
I have no idea what these terms mean - can you elaborate?
Again, sorry for asking such a technical question about bird poop.
 

Monica

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The cold turkey switch is advice from Roudybush directly.... word for word. I personally wouldn't recommend having a bird go an entire day without food.

The fecal part of the poop... usually green, but it can be brown or other colors as well, depending on what the bird eats. So not the white portion, or any kind of urine.

Roudybush is saying that when a bird's poop is "anorexic", the dropping will be dark green, black or have no fecal at all. If you see this, put the bird back on their regular diet after the "switching period" that they recommend.
 

scrape

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Just wanted to pop in and thank the person who made this thread:) My cockatiel is now eating his mash and his pellet-paste.:heart: Progress!
 

Monica

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Just wanted to pop in and thank the person who made this thread:) My cockatiel is now eating his mash and his pellet-paste.:heart: Progress!
That's fantastic news!!!! Keep it up! :D
 

Dextine

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Hi everyone,

I got a question that might be a little silly but I'd appreciate some help..

I've succesfully switched my two lovebirds from a seed mix to Harrinson's high potency.
The bag says 2-5 grams a bird.

They seem to like eating 8 grams a day.

A couple of times they had around 8 grams but would still eat seed mix if offered.
Are they over eating then? How should I balance their diet?

I've had them since september but lately I've noticed a increase in droppings, but what looks like a more healthy amount.
Can I assume that they are getting used to their new home and pooping healthy..?
A little comfirmation would be nice hehe.

Great post! Thanks for the tips.
 

Monica

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If they are eating around 8-9 grams a day between the two of them, then that sounds like a good amount for them to eat.

Some birds will make "pellet dust" by grinding the pellets down into a fine powder so it may look like they are eating more than they actually are. Other birds may fling their food...

I prefer to feed just over the amount that they would normally eat, which tells me that they are eating enough.


Do they eat anything besides pellets and seeds?
 

Dextine

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Do they eat anything besides pellets and seeds?
They do try veg. Now that I have them on pellets it's easier for me to mix in veggies and keep track of things. They tried paprika today :yes4:

"pellet dust"
They do this a little bit, on my gram scale it shows up as 0.
I recently read in another post that someone was going to add more seed to their diet, because their cockatiel was straining more with pooping.
I saw this happen too with my birds so maybe 5 grams pellets 3 grams seed mix?

Thanks again :D
 

Monica

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Pellets are a dryer food than seeds are, so birds need to drink more to compensate. They are also more nutrient dense. I usually aim for 50/50 seeds (or sprouts) to pellets for my littles, along with fresh food. Some people feed less pellets, others feed more. You can always ask an avian vet their recommendations as well as doing your own research. :)
 

PufF

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@Monica For sprouts are green beans safe?Or chili?Like the small curved red ones.Do I put them in soil or cotton,both works.
 

Zara

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Sprout using a jar or in a seive. Do not use soil. Check the beans are safe and get tips here,
 

PufF

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@Puffbrella I would not sprout in soil or cotton. This is the technique I use (I did not make this video it simply shows a method to sprout seeds.)
Could you explain it because I'm in China at the moment and China blocks Youtube.Thanks.So do I put in jar with water after it has soaked for the required time?Or is the jar not supposed to have water?Dark place afterwards and check regularly,right?Also if need water,how much?
 

Vmax

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@Monica Thank you for the recipes! I love offering my birbs variety. Watch out Gus and Max! I’m ready to experiment more in the kitchen for you:wideyed::loltears::hellskitchen:
 

KiwiandLemony

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@Puffbrella the following is the technique I use to create sprouts, this is not mine but a copy and pasted transcript of the video that I sent before, his is from the link I sent you from Flock Talk on YouTube
00:09
Hello, everybody, and welcome to Flock Talk.
00:12
Today we're gonna go over how to make
00:13
a very healthy sprout mix for your bird.
00:16
So, in order to start sprouting our seeds,
00:17
The first thing we're gonna need is some sort of jar.
00:20
It doesn't really matter what it's made out of.
00:22
I happen to be using a mason jar,
00:23
but you can use whatever you have on hand.
00:25
All this is gonna be used for is soaking the seeds
00:27
and to catch any water that drips when we're draining.
00:30
Next, what you're gonna need is some sort of strainer
00:33
or sifter -- something that has small enough gaps
00:36
that seeds aren't gonna fall right through.
00:38
And this is just gonna be used for rinsing the seeds
00:41
and for draining.
00:42
So, the actual seeds i'm using
00:43
are around two teaspoons of red millet,
00:45
white millet, and canola seeds,
00:47
which are standard seeds that you'll find
00:49
in a finch mix that you can get at any common pet store.
00:52
Next, what i'm using is around two teaspoons
00:55
of pea seeds,
00:56
which, again, you can find in bulk at your grocery store,
00:58
or you can buy specific sprouting seeds.
01:01
And then there's around two teaspoons of sesame
01:05
and two teaspoons of quinoa.
01:08
The next seed that's going in
01:11
is going to be some lentils,
01:13
and there's two teaspoons of that.
01:15
And then there's one teaspoon of wheat berries.
01:18
So, to start of this process,
01:19
what we're gonna do is take our sifter
01:21
and all of the seeds,
01:23
and we're just gonna dump them in there.
01:24
It doesn't matter what order.
01:25
It doesn't really matter how many of which is in there.
01:28
And you're just gonna dump all the seeds in the sifter,
01:30
and you're going to turn on cold water -- not hot water.
01:34
Cold water. and you're gonna thoroughly rinse them off.
01:37
And what this is gonna do
01:38
is gonna start the germination process,
01:40
but it's also gonna rinse off any muck
01:42
that might be on the seeds,
01:43
either from storage
01:45
or from when they were being picked up
01:47
at, you know, the farm or whatever.
01:48
So, just making sure they're super clean,
01:50
and we're gonna drain them
01:51
and transfer them into the jar
01:53
that we mentioned previously.
01:55
And there is no easy way to do this.
01:57
You just kinda gotta scoop them in there
01:59
and dump them in.
01:59
Use your hand to scrape off any seeds.
02:02
There is no easy way to get them off of the sifter.
02:05
But this is the only time we're gonna have to do it.
02:08
And you're gonna then fill that jar with the seeds
02:12
with some cold water again,
02:13
and you're gonna leave it overnight
02:15
or during the day for around 8 -12 hours
02:18
with a damp tea towel over top.
02:22
So, here we are in the evening.
02:24
We're gonna take the tea towel off,
02:25
and we're just gonna drain the seeds of any water,
02:28
and we're gonna give them another good rinse.
02:30
And this part is actually basically the entire process
02:33
for the next couple days.
02:35
So, day one here. This is the evening.
02:38
We're dumping out all our seeds into the sifter.
02:40
We're gonna rinse out our jar
02:42
to get any of the seeds off there.
02:43
We're gonna dump them into the sifter
02:45
and give everything a super thorough rinse.
02:48
The most important thing we're gonna do is drain.
02:52
And draining is making sure that
02:54
we're not leaving any sort of mildew
02:56
and there's not gonna be any mould developing,
02:58
'cause we don't want these seeds to be sitting there
03:00
soaking up and developing mould and going rotten.
03:03
So, once your seeds are super thoroughly drained,
03:06
what you're gonna do is just leave them inside the sifter
03:09
on top of your jar,
03:10
and this is just to catch any dripping water.
03:12
And we're gonna take a tea towel,
03:14
get it nice and damp, and put it over top.
03:16
And that's just gonna trap moisture,
03:18
but we're not keeping the seeds super duper coated
03:20
in water, which would then start developing mould.
03:23
So, this just helps prevent the seeds from drying out,
03:25
which would then kill them,
03:26
and they wouldn't be able to sprout.
03:27
And basically, we're just gonna do this process
03:30
every morning when we wake up
03:32
and every evening right before we go to bed
03:34
until we're getting the sprouts to be the right size.
03:37
There's really no magic rule to this.
03:40
There's nothing super, super difficult about it.
03:42
It's just a matter of kind of finding
03:44
the schedule that works best for you
03:46
and that seems to be yielding the best results.
03:49
Everyone is gonna have
03:50
a little bit of a different time period between rinsing,
03:53
and that just depends on your climate,
03:55
the sort of humidity in your house,
03:57
and how frequently your seeds are drying out.
04:00
In my case, it's pretty cool around here;
04:02
the seeds aren't drying out.
04:03
So I only need to rinse them once in the morning
04:05
and once in the evening.
04:06
If you do find that your seeds are drying out,
04:09
you may wanna keep them in the jar
04:11
rather than in the sifter
04:12
or you may need to rinse them three times a day
04:15
instead of two.
04:16
So basically, you're just gonna do this every single day,
04:19
once in the morning and once in the evening.
04:21
So, you're gonna wake up,
04:22
you're gonna rinse out your seeds super thoroughly,
04:24
you're gonna drain them, set them on top of your jar,
04:27
put a damp towel over them,
04:28
leave them till the evening,
04:30
rinse them out in the evening,
04:31
leave them to drain, put another towel on top of them,
04:35
and you're just gonna leave them like that
04:37
until you're starting to see something that looks
04:40
a little bit like this, where you're starting to see
04:42
some of those little tails popping out.
04:43
And at that point, when you're seeing those tails,
04:47
then they're a sprout.
04:48
Then they're good for your bird to be eating.
04:50
They're healthy. They've got a lot of nutrients.
04:52
And you can start feeding them to your bird at any point
04:55
as soon as you start to see those little tails
04:56
starting to form.
04:58
So, now that these seeds are all sprouted
04:59
to a length that I would like for my birds,
05:01
I'm just going to dump them all into that jar,
05:04
and we're gonna take a piece of paper towel
05:06
and use the lid of the mason jar to secure it on.
05:09
And what this is gonna do is it's gonna help
05:12
keep everything contained while still allowing air flow.
05:15
If you don't allow air flow,
05:16
then the seeds can start to get kinda mushy and gross,
05:19
and they can start to go bad.
05:20
And by putting it in the fridge,
05:22
what you're gonna do is decrease the rate of growth
05:24
so the seeds won't grow super, super quickly
05:27
into an undesirable length.
05:29
And in order to serve, really quick and easy,
05:32
just pull some out of the jar, pop them on a paper towel,
05:34
and your birds will go nuts for 'em.
05:36
And there you have it -- a pretty easy way to grow
05:39
some really delicious vegetables for your bird
05:41
that's really concentrated in a lot of nutrients.
05:44
And it's a really great way
05:46
to get birds who aren't liking vegetables right now
05:49
or have never been introduced to them
05:50
to really get a lot of those really good nutrients,
05:53
'cause a lot of birds really, really love sprouts.
05:55
And healthy sprouts should make up around 20%
05:59
of the average parrot's diet.
06:00
So it's a really great way to grow some yourself
06:03
to save some money and be able to give them
06:05
the best nutrition you possibly can.
06:07
And as you can see here,
06:08
my guys absolutely love sprouts.
06:11
And they love them way more
06:12
than any of the store-bought containers
06:14
you can actually buy for them.
06:15
And it's pretty easy to do.
06:17
It's just a matter of keeping on top
06:18
of sprouting new stuff when you're starting to run low.
06:21
So, I hope you enjoyed this video.
06:23
And I will see you all next time.
 

Monica

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I simply soak seeds overnight (8-12 hours), then drain and rinse a few times 2-3 times a day until ready to feed... which is usually within 3-5 days.
 

Rain Bow

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I simply soak seeds overnight (8-12 hours), then drain and rinse a few times 2-3 times a day until ready to feed... which is usually within 3-5 days.
Same process I use, I feed sprouts for breakfast & fresh veggies @ dinner. Mix of things as training rewards through the day.
 

Leih

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3 of my 4 birds readily eat fresh vegetables, sprouts, and fruit (which I give in moderation) but my lovebird.... She seems to be completely opposed to getting her beak wet! Of course she drinks water, but when I offer fresh veg, she'll touch it with her beak and then back off and shake and wipe her beak on a perch! I am still unable to figure out how to get around this with her.
Edit: she will eat freeze dried veggies, which is how I've been getting them into her.
 

Rain Bow

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Leih, have you been able to make birdy bread for her? I also purchased some "Caitec Oven Fresh Bites" they're cookies (even Big Zon Buddy only eats 1/4 @ a time). They're made w/ whole veggies & fruit. Right now I've tried the Tropi-fresh. They are yummy. 2 more types to try. Great way to get good into our fids. Buddy will not eat sweet potato's but will eat these w/ potato's baked right in.

Please excuse my dirty rug. Images of open pkg a little shaky. Let me know if you need another pic to read.

20191203_160153.jpg

20191203_160238.jpg
 

NClive

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Pellet Paste

Get some dye-free pellets and crush them in a coffee blender or food processor until they are dust. Then mix 50/50 with a basic (preferably, dye-free) seed mix. Before you feed, add a small amount of water to make a thick paste. If you get the consistency right, you can make pellet/seed balls, or even "seed cakes" with the stuff, or the pellet paste can be fed 'as is'. Even if your bird doesn't eat the crushed/wet pellets, so long as your bird will dig through the stuff to find the seeds to eat them they will still be tasting the pellets. Do this for about a week.

After a week is up, make the same recipe again, only before you feed it, add in some dried pellets and do this for another week. You can slowly increase the amount of dry pellets while decreasing the amount of wet pellets, and eventually your bird may eat the dry stuff, too!



Seed mix (Sweet Harvest Budgie mix)
View attachment 321026



Pellets (Roudybush Maintenance Mini)
View attachment 321027



Pellets in a coffee blender
View attachment 321038



Pellets being grounded down to a dust
View attachment 321037



The pellet dust
View attachment 321040



50/50 Seeds and Pellets
View attachment 321024



The seeds/pellets divided into daily containers
View attachment 321046



Some water
View attachment 321039



Mix a tiny amount of water (you don't want it runny) with the pellets and seeds.
View attachment 321031



Add to the dishes
View attachment 321044
View attachment 321035



"Cake" bit - just flattened out
View attachment 321045
View attachment 321036




And the birds eating it!

View attachment 321017
View attachment 321028
View attachment 321029
View attachment 321030






Thank you for sharing
 

NClive

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Hello, thank you very much for sharing your knowledge.
My Rorro doesn't like the pellets since in his previous life the owners left him with just pellets and sunflowers seeds, and sometimes, pumpkin seeds for a whole week. He likes the Sweet harvest Conure and lovebird food, which has several seeds grains and fruits, especially he loves the papaya on it. He has improved a lot. So far I have only been able to make him eat fresh organic orange and apple. I buy him organic banana chips which sometimes he wants them and other times he doesn't care about them.
I tried to cook some lentils and rice, but he didn't eat them at all. Only once he tried bell pepper. I also gave him finely chopped celery and carrots but they were ignored as well.
He doesn't like the clusters of dehidrates fruit with seeds. Any suggestions from your experience?
 
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