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Fresh food refusal - Lovebird

Kyndiaa

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My baby lovebird is 3 months old, and she refuses to eat anything except seeds. We switched her to a food that has no millet or sunflower seeds.

Recently, we started giving her pellets and gradually mixing them. We're to the point where if she runs out of the seeds, she refuses to eat the pellets and yanks off the top of her food bowl and throws it on the floor. Then when we go to handle her, she bites and is super territorial and angry. We also put fresh food in her cage daily and she doesn't go near it.

I've tried eating in front of her and then giving her food, and I've seen her taste fruit but she never actually eats it. She just sticks her tongue on it and pulls away. I make sure to not give her any red fruits like raspberries, apples, or strawberries because she's terrified of the color red.

I've been told that the green in her poop signifies vitamin deficiencies from her not eating fruits and veggies. So that is making me even more worried. I know she's only three months old, but is there anything I can do to try and get her to eat something other than seeds? What happens if she never eats anything else?
 

Ripshod

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Dark green poop with white urates are fine. I'm not that clued up on lovies so I'll summon @Zara, she's a fountain of knowledge.
 

Mizzely

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It takes time and patience. Basically, birds in the wild are hardwired to not eat anything they don't see as food as a ways to prevent poisoning themselves. They learn from the flock what is edible.

Near the bottom of this article I list some ideas to help. With a younger bird it is usually easier, but not always. My quaker at 3 months took about 6 months to eat fresh foods. My green cheek at 10 months took to it immediately. My 20 year old Jardine's - we are at a year and counting :lol:

My Chop "Recipe"
 

Mizzely

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Kyndiaa

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It takes time and patience. Basically, birds in the wild are hardwired to not eat anything they don't see as food as a ways to prevent poisoning themselves. They learn from the flock what is edible.

Near the bottom of this article I list some ideas to help. With a younger bird it is usually easier, but not always. My quaker at 3 months took about 6 months to eat fresh foods. My green cheek at 10 months took to it immediately. My 20 year old Jardine's - we are at a year and counting :lol:

My Chop "Recipe"
I actually buy something from the bird store called "mega chop" and they make something that looks exactly like that in the same ziplock baggies. I tried giving that to her frozen, thawed, and even a little warm. She still won't eat it :sad1:

If they learn from the flock, will eating the food in front of her and then offering it to her still help?
 

Mizzely

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I actually buy something from the bird store called "mega chop" and they make something that looks exactly like that in the same ziplock baggies. I tried giving that to her frozen, thawed, and even a little warm. She still won't eat it :sad1:

If they learn from the flock, will eating the food in front of her and then offering it to her still help?


As long as she sees you as the flock, yes :)

There are a lot more tips than that though at the bottom...smoothies, dried foods, breads, plates vs bowls, etc.
 

DoubleTake

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Are you trying to switch over to a pure pellet diet? Have you tried sprouting seeds for your bird?
 

Kyndiaa

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Are you trying to switch over to a pure pellet diet? Have you tried sprouting seeds for your bird?
I am trying to switch over to a purely pellet diet with fresh veggies/fruits. I've never tried sprouting seeds for my bird and I'm actually not quite sure what that is!
 

DoubleTake

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I am trying to switch over to a purely pellet diet with fresh veggies/fruits. I've never tried sprouting seeds for my bird and I'm actually not quite sure what that is!
Sprouting seeds and serving right when they start to sprout(tiny tail) is nutritious. Only downside is the shelf life is not very long and if they fully sprout the lose some of their nutritional value. The pic below is what I'm sprouting right now, you can see little tails start forming. Will probably start serving tomorrow.

20191008_113942.jpg

Did your vet tell you to go pellets or did you just read that pellets are the way to go? I just wanted to remind you that all parrot species and some do better on pellet diets than others. I will state that I'm not pro pellet as a main diet for a parrot, with exceptions. But I do believe that lovebirds shouldn't be on a pure pellet diet. Mine does have pellets available to her but she primarily eats a high quality seed diet as plain canary seed as the base of the mix.
 

Yoshi&Raphi

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Have you tried pretending to eat the pellets infront of them? Whenever I want Yoshi to try new foods I just pretend to eat. :rofl: He immediately wants it.
 

Kyndiaa

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Sprouting seeds and serving right when they start to sprout(tiny tail) is nutritious. Only downside is the shelf life is not very long and if they fully sprout the lose some of their nutritional value. The pic below is what I'm sprouting right now, you can see little tails start forming. Will probably start serving tomorrow.

View attachment 316843

Did your vet tell you to go pellets or did you just read that pellets are the way to go? I just wanted to remind you that all parrot species and some do better on pellet diets than others. I will state that I'm not pro pellet as a main diet for a parrot, with exceptions. But I do believe that lovebirds shouldn't be on a pure pellet diet. Mine does have pellets available to her but she primarily eats a high quality seed diet as plain canary seed as the base of the mix.
Ah! i didn't know that! I'll look more into sprouting (who knew owning a bird would result in gardening) :lolsign:
And as for the pellets, I'm actually going from word of mouth of other bird owners/friends who have told me that pellets is the healthiest option to go. We don't have an established vet for our bird yet, but we do take her to get groomed (wings and nails trimmed)
 

Kyndiaa

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Have you tried pretending to eat the pellets in front of them? Whenever I want Yoshi to try new foods I just pretend to eat. :rofl: He immediately wants it.
We've only had her for 2 months now, so I'm not sure if we're at the point where she believes 'what I eat is safe for her'. But I've tried eating fruits in front of her and she's pretty disinterested. I'll give it a try with the pellets and see what happens.
 

Mizzely

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You'll get a million different answers about pellets. I personally believe pellets should be a good portion of the diet, but no bird should be on 100% pellets. For smaller species like cockatiels, lovebirds, and budgies, etc, it seems most believe a good quality seed mix should still be included as part of the diet (vs just a treat portion).
 

DoubleTake

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What kind of seeds are you giving your bird now? Whether it is seed or pellets, just need to make sure it is a balanced diet.

This is what Loki gets. 40% of the mix is plain canary seed. She has a small pellet bowl that she doesnt really eat, she just makes nasty looking soup with it.
20190713_151433.jpg

All my birds gets something like this pretty much daily. Sprouts usually 4-5 days a week.
19942.jpeg
20190831_143013.jpg
received_373575093332514.jpeg
 
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Zara

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Lots of great responses :) Sprouts are a fantastic option and there´s lots of tips on Mizzelys article.

Try sprinkling some millet on top of veggies, or mixing in some quinoa. Some birds like to pick at bigger pieces of veg, others like chopped up bite size pieces.

Bird breads and mashes are great to try.

Remember to be persistent, patient, offer lots of variety and accept any waste while you are introducing new foods.

Also, a 3 month old bird doesn´t need their nails trimmed. Buy a good quality pedi perch and save your money ;) (I own hagen and some of my birds go over a year with no nail trims, again, all birds are different). Here´s a link on wing trimming, Should I clip my birds wings? | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum
 

Kyndiaa

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Florida
What kind of seeds are you giving your bird now? Whether it is seed or pellets, just need to make sure it is a balanced diet.

This is what Loki gets. 40% of the mix is plain canary seed. She has a small pellet bowl that she doesnt really eat, she just makes nasty looking soup with it.
View attachment 316894

All my birds gets something like this pretty much daily. Sprouts usually 4-5 days a week.
View attachment 316895
View attachment 316896
View attachment 316897
This is the seed blend I feed my lovebird, and I mix it with pellets. I got this from our local pet store. It's supposed to not have any sunflower seeds
thumbnail_Image-5.jpg
These are some supplements that i have (im not sure if they're any good or if there's any use in them) The egg food one is leftover from diamond doves that we used to have because they were laying eggs.
thumbnail_Image-4.jpg
This is the millet i use for treats and i sprinkle it on her fresh food to try and get her to eat it.
thumbnail_Image-3.jpg
And this is the fresh food that i gave her today. I mix it up with fruits and veggies sometimes. The other day i did blueberries, bananas, and carrots. I've also tried mashing up bananas and mixing millet in the mash and it didn't work.
thumbnail_Image-2.jpg
Finally, i also buy something from our local pet store called "megachop". its a mix of veggies and spices etc. that they do for the birds and they do it daily and freeze it. This is what it looks like:
61012683_672702806501448_498798444987547648_n.jpg
But she absolutely will not eat this. They told me to continue trying so i haven't stopped offering it to her.
-
Thank you for sharing what you feed your birds with me! I want to make sure I'm feeding my lovebird properly, and i've read a lot but i'd trust more of what other bird owners actually do rather than what pet stores say and what articles say!
 
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