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Converting Parrots to a Healthier Diet - Tips

Monica

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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?
Sometimes you just have to be creative!


If he likes oranges, then perhaps stuffed mini sweet peppers? You can stuff them with sprouted seeds, apple, kale, and other healthy items. Hang them up or place around the cage for him to explore.


It's usually best to offer new foods first thing in the morning without their regular foods. You *can* mix some of what they are familiar with into the new foods to make it more enticing, but not much.
 

NClive

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Sometimes you just have to be creative!


If he likes oranges, then perhaps stuffed mini sweet peppers? You can stuff them with sprouted seeds, apple, kale, and other healthy items. Hang them up or place around the cage for him to explore.


It's usually best to offer new foods first thing in the morning without their regular foods. You *can* mix some of what they are familiar with into the new foods to make it more enticing, but not much.
Thak you so much! I will try that.
 

JoeAndElla

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Hi! I've been doing something very similar: crushing the pellets, adding water, mixing with seed, and rolling into little 1/2" - 3/4" balls. Wanting to make a large batch in advance and was wondering if I should back them to dry them out (or even just let them dry in the sun?) and if so, what temp/duration I should bake them at?

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!
 

Monica

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I haven't baked them so I'm not sure... there may be other people who have, only concern is that once they dry out they might crumble?
 

IustinGSV

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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)
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Pellets in a coffee blender
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Pellets being grounded down to a dust
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The pellet dust
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50/50 Seeds and Pellets
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The seeds/pellets divided into daily containers
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Some water
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Mix a tiny amount of water (you don't want it runny) with the pellets and seeds.
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Add to the dishes
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"Cake" bit - just flattened out
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View attachment 321036




And the birds eating it!

View attachment 321017
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Hi, if I make pellet paste, will the seeds have the vitamins, minerals, amino acids that the pellets have or not? I ask because my parrot likes pellet paste more than dry or wet pellets.
 

Monica

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@IustinGSV Seeds are nutritionally lacking in a lot of vitamins and minerals - which the pellets help to bridge that gap. You can try mixing in dry pellets to the paste to try and convert your bird over to eating them dry.
 

IustinGSV

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xic droppings (see description above in Controlled Cold Turkey), add more of the original diet for a week or
@IustinGSV Seeds are nutritionally lacking in a lot of vitamins and minerals - which the pellets help to bridge that gap. You can try mixing in dry pellets to the paste to try and convert your bird over to eating them dry.
I tried, but he doesn't want. I am feeding him Vitakraft Cockatiel Mix + Pellet Paste. I will try to do with apple juice..
 

IustinGSV

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@IustinGSV Seeds are nutritionally lacking in a lot of vitamins and minerals - which the pellets help to bridge that gap. You can try mixing in dry pellets to the paste to try and convert your bird over to eating them dry.
I think you understand wrong, i was saying if i will make pellet paste, does the seeds get the minerals,vitamins, aminoacids that the pellet i blend have?
 

Monica

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@IustinGSV Sorry, it sounded like your bird was already eating the pellet paste.

The idea is that as your bird forages for the seeds in the 'paste', they will get a taste of the pellets. This makes it easier for them to accept eating pellets. It becomes familiar.


If they STILL refuse to eat the pellets in dry form, you can add seeds AND *dry* pellets to the pellet paste, slowly phasing out the seeds over time and hopefully less paste.
 

IustinGSV

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@IustinGSV Sorry, it sounded like your bird was already eating the pellet paste.

The idea is that as your bird forages for the seeds in the 'paste', they will get a taste of the pellets. This makes it easier for them to accept eating pellets. It becomes familiar.


If they STILL refuse to eat the pellets in dry form, you can add seeds AND *dry* pellets to the pellet paste, slowly phasing out the seeds over time and hopefully less paste.
I gave him the pellet paste for 5 days, and I still give it to him. I also gave him dry pellets, but he seems to refuse them, take them, eat a little and then throw them away. I don't know what to do, I think I'll still give him the pellet paste, but will the seeds just taste like the pellets or will they also contain the vitamins, amino acids and minerals that the pellets have?
 

Monica

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Okay, it's been 5 days! It may take longer! Don't give up! As long as your bird is eating the pellets, even if in "paste" form, it's better than not eating any. It can take weeks or even months to convince some birds to try new foods.

The seeds will not have the same nutritional content as the pellets, but you are adding the seeds into the paste to make the paste more enticing to eat.
 

IustinGSV

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Okay, it's been 5 days! It may take longer! Don't give up! As long as your bird is eating the pellets, even if in "paste" form, it's better than not eating any. It can take weeks or even months to convince some birds to try new foods.

The seeds will not have the same nutritional content as the pellets, but you are adding the seeds into the paste to make the paste more enticing to eat.
Thanks!
 

IustinGSV

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Okay, it's been 5 days! It may take longer! Don't give up! As long as your bird is eating the pellets, even if in "paste" form, it's better than not eating any. It can take weeks or even months to convince some birds to try new foods.

The seeds will not have the same nutritional content as the pellets, but you are adding the seeds into the paste to make the paste more enticing to eat.
Hey again, a month I tried to make him eat, he just refuse. He eat very little of the dried ones, then throw them away. he spreads the wet ones like chewing gum and then throws them away, and I don't really know what to do .. I tried to give them water, and apple and orange juice, I also made pellet paste, I'm induced in error. what can I do?
 

Monica

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Have you tried feeding first thing in the morning with no other foods? After 30-60 minutes, you can take it out and replace with other foods.


If you feed sprouts, they can stay in all day long. If your bird is comfortable with sprouts, you can finely chop in one or two vegetables at a time to slowly increase variety in diet that way.
 

IustinGSV

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Have you tried feeding first thing in the morning with no other foods? After 30-60 minutes, you can take it out and replace with other foods.


If you feed sprouts, they can stay in all day long. If your bird is comfortable with sprouts, you can finely chop in one or two vegetables at a time to slowly increase variety in diet that way.
I dont feed sprouts, he doesn't like it. And I did the thing in the morning, but he doesn't like he starts screaming that he is hungry, and the vet said not to keep him uneaten, because he can lose weight quickly and he will die. I don't really know what to do ..
 

Monica

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I don't recommend starvation either.... merely, changing how he's fed.

You need to be creative and figure out how to make his food more enticing to eat.


Did you feed soaked seeds? Day old sprouts? Three day old sprouts? Or sprouts that were growing into plants and several inches long?
 

IustinGSV

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I don't recommend starvation either.... merely, changing how he's fed.

You need to be creative and figure out how to make his food more enticing to eat.


Did you feed soaked seeds? Day old sprouts? Three day old sprouts? Or sprouts that were growing into plants and several inches long?
Nah, I talked with a friend and he told me to grind the pellets in a coffee grinder to add a little warm water then seeds after a little more water and make them like nutriberries and leave them in the fridge for 3 hours, he did so with his cockatiel
 

Monica

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@IustinGSV when I'm talking about sprouts, I don't mean mixing those with pellets... I mean, trying to grow the seeds into plants - but for 5 days or less.


 

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Nah, I talked with a friend and he told me to grind the pellets in a coffee grinder to add a little warm water then seeds after a little more water and make them like nutriberries and leave them in the fridge for 3 hours, he did so with his cockatiel
I converted one of my birds to pellets after so many years of trying. I’ll try to give you some tips and i hope it works out for you.

-if you try with a brand and he refuses to eat it, try a different brand until you find a brand he will like.
I tried most of the brands out there and he finally converted with Oven Fresh Bites by caitec.

-Practice eating with him (only food that’s healthy for him to eat) and after awhile (maybe a week of doing it everyday)

Put the new pellets in your plate and pretend to eat, and you have to actually take a bite because they are smart enough to know if you’re not actually eating.

I did this trick with my sister and he immediately jumped on my plate and stole one, held it with his hand and started eating!

I hope my tips help!
Don’t give up!
 

Rain Bow

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Put the new pellets in your plate and pretend to eat, and you have to actually take a bite because they are smart enough to know if you’re not actually eating.
I read somewhere that parrots eat in flocks in the wild. (Can't remember where). Anyways... They actually watch their flock mates eat food from unknown areas or types & make sure that "1st partot to try" doesn't drop dead from the said consumed food. The reason has to do w/ toxins & poisons & immediate death (supposedly). Then they will eat.

I agree abt trying the pellet or veggie/fruit or sprouts. It's not going to hurt you & they'll eat better.

They know & I also want to explain this disgusting thing I do. Every mother says chew w/ your mouth closed.... Right? Well I show Buddy it's in my mouth & I am eating it, even swallowing it... He's a Zon whom was particularly aggravated that he wasn't getting his once 1/2 bowl of seeds & peanuts after bring w/ it for 25+ yrs of this terrible diet. I had to go that far w/ it! Gross but it worked!!! 4 yrs gotcha tomorrow & he now eats a 1-2 tablespoons of seeds a day (including treats). He eats pellets, sprouts & fresh anything we buy + occasionally warm food items like his 1/2 scrambled egg a week.

Anyone can do this if they take much time & practice on a bird.

Congratulations @Reems w/ doing this w/ your birds!
 
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