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New year's pellet conversion resolution

CeddysMum

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Thanks, Gerard,

yea, I've lost weight as well - not that I'm complaining :D so I am hoping that is the reason. She really is active and vocal pretty much as usual, poops well, demanded a bath today etc., so hopefully there's nothing more sinister going on.

Today she's actually eaten more rissole than fresh except for her large piece of pear which she cobbled all up. She really is the fussiest eater and her preferences seem to change day by day! <sigh>

I do believe she's actually eating some of the pellet mash since most days there's more 'rissole weight' gone than there were seeds in it and not that much on the cage floor (which I try to retrieve as much as possible before weighing the 'leftovers') Part of it will be evaporated water as the pellet mash dries, of course, but there is usually also some seed left (which the wild birds are very happy about :p) so I guess that would kinda make up for it. So :fingerscrossed:

As to which pellet I'll want in future ... I would like to either stick with Vetafarm Maintenance ... or, if I find she just really needs more 'calories' in her diet (similar to a 'thin' person who can't gain weight no matter how much they eat), I might go for a high performance type.

Perhaps Vetafarm Paradise which is also slightly sweet and specifically for fruit eaters - mainly for Ekkies but also suitable for Asiatics, or maybe South American Mix which is also suitable for Asiatics. I do have a near new 2kg bag of Paradise (uneaten, of course :cool:) but maybe the South American Mix would be more to her liking since it contains nuts.

The point is, I'll likely stay with Vetafarm. My guess is, once she's used to eating pellets it won't be too difficult to try and convert her to another blend (well, I hope)

Oh, I don't know :lol: Maybe I'll end up mixing them all up for some variety :rolleyes:
 

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I'd just stick with the maintenance pellets if that is the way you wish to go. Once you start introducing artificial flavours or colours it becomes much more difficult to switch them to another brand down the track. Roudybush will cost you a similar amount to Vetafarm for a superior pellet. Out of curiosity where are you acquiring your Vetafarm pellets from? The 350g bag I bought to do the photo demonstrations for this thread cost $18 dollars at Fins & Feathers in Kilsyth which is incredibly expensive given that you can by 2kg from our Avian Vet for around $33-$35. At $18 it's about 30% more expensive than Harrison's. :eek:
 

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Hi Gerard,

well, she was another 2g less when I got up this am but she hadn't had brekky or done her morning poop. In fact, she appeared to be just waking up. It happens sometimes, seemingly her just having a sleep-in. After brekky (some pear + some rissole) she's now back up to yesterday's weight of 197g (after bekky).

If she looses any more weight by tomorrow (or tonight), I'll put her back on seed to see if it stops the weight loss by Friday.

If not she I might need to take her back to the vet on Friday. I don't want to go through another weekend like last time when she was sick and I couldn't find a bird experienced vet all weekend :eek:

I just bought a new 2kg bag of Maintenance pellets at Mad About Pets in Mountain Gate at $30.50. If I remember correctly, the 350g bags where similar to your price (didn't really look too closely). I do tend to buy food online, though I can't remember the price there at the moment.

__________

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You can give Corrie or Colin a call if you're concerned. My thoughts are that if she's eating well, then I wouldn't be too worried. If she's eating the pellet mash as well then her poop should look a little more brownish/sandy colour than normal. If you're going to put her back onto seed then do it for at least a week. Ceddy's your bird Astrid and therefore it will always your call. While I'm here to assist with the conversion it should not be done at the expense of putting excess stress on Ceddy or yourself. :)
 

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Oh I know that, Gerard, thanks :)

Well, I wasn't happy early afternoon because she was just 'nibbling' on her foods (fresh as well as the rissole) so I gave her some probiotic via syringe (mixed with apple or orange juice she drinks it well, good girl!) and for the rest of the day she ate much better again even than yesterday, both fresh and rissole.

So yea, I don't think the weight loss has anything to do with the conversion attempt, just simply that the recent "heat stress" might have given her another slight "tummy upset" (not as bad as the last one in October!).

Since both, Corrie and Colin (for anyone reading this thread: Corrie and Colin are the avian vets Gerard and I both use), have in the past treated those 'upsets' (the one in October and one nearly 3 years ago) with nothing more than probiotics, I'm going to continue with the probiotics and, provided she maintains her weight again now, the conversion as planned - closely monitoring her, of course.

Her poops do have a more lighter brownish colour than usual sometimes. But she had cherries in her fresh foods the last few days which, of course, turn her poops a nice dark purplish kinda colour :coffeescreen: so it's a bit hard to tell.

Just to see what happens I also already put 10g dry pellets in a separate bowl before dinner today ... she climbed over enthusiastically, looked at it ... and then at me ... should'a seen her face! :rofl: Kinda like: "What are you putting THAT stuff in my bowl for :confused: ... :gag:".
So no, she's not gonna make it that easy :rolleyes:
 
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CeddysMum

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Ugh, too late again to edit my above post so, today's Update:

We're back on track, I think, Ceddy's weight was steady today and she ate well all day :fingerscrossed:

So we started phase 3 with 12g seed, 16g pellet mash in the rissole and 10g pellet in a separate bowl (I'm just leaving that in the cage now, who knows?)
 

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I'd take the dry pellets away for now and we'll re-introduce them in a another 10 days time. It was just to see what happened, but you'll need to hold your nerve as the seed content keeps getting smaller. If she reduces her food intake and starts losing weight once we get to 8g seed and under, just bump her seed content up 2g in the rissoles for a week and then reduce it back down again. It's a bit like playing "slowly, slowly catch a monkey". It's going to be hot 38C, humid and stormy today again so expect her to drop a gram or so...again. I've got a couple of big mangos in the fridge for today and their not for the birds either...I love my mangos. :)
 

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Seeds are often fattier than pellets are, so this could be another reason for the weight loss.


Parrots don't stick to a constant weight range year round. Daylight hours, temperature, excerise, food, environment (including stress from fireworks or other things happening outside the home), etc can all play a role in a birds weight. Here's a graph of a senegals weight over a period of 4 years. The senegal, if anyone is interested, is owned by Keith, who owns the following website. Pepper -- A Senegal Parrot









I found this method of pellet conversion a great one! In fact, I included it as part of a conversion thread. I've been kind of following this thread, and can't wait for more updates!
 

CeddysMum

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Update, day 4 of phase 3:

Ceddy's weight (ca. 196g - 197g, give or take a gram or 2) and food intake (both, fresh & 'rissole') have stabilised very well again so from tomorrow we'll start

Phase 4: 10g seed, 16g pellets
(correct, Gerard? :) )

@ Monica: Thanks!
Yea, I guess I panicked a bit when her weight took a sudden nose dive last week. I'm still sure the recent heat stress here had given her another stomach upset which does seem well under control now. I'm still giving her probiotics daily at this point, so :fingerscrossed:
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Good to hear it!!! I think, as long as her weight is mostly steady, she'll be fine, but if her weight really takes a nose dive, that's when you need to be concerned! Here's hoping she continues to progress well on the diet change!
 

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Thanks for providing the weight chart Monica. It is interesting to see the 5% weight variation, which is about what I had based the limitations of weight range that we are working with here. I'm sure it's provided a lot more comfort to Astrid and thank you so much for your encouragement & support of this thread. Astrid, Ceddy & myself really appreciate it. :toyou:


Astrid, keep Ceddy on Phase 3 for one more day and then go onto Phase 4...and yes 10g seed, 16g pellets. We are now entering unchartered waters with Ceddy as there will now be less seed in the mix than what she normally consumes. So to maintain her weight she'll now need to do something she doesn't want to do...eat the pellet mash. ;) If Ceddy at any point drops to 191/192g take her off the mix and put her back on seed for a week or two until she regains her weight and then we'll try again beginning at the Phase 3 level. The 191g limit is what I set as 5% leeway regarding her weight. Don't feel bad if this occurs, I had to do it 3 times. Fussy birds are like that. :rolleyes:

Apart from Monica, I know Danita (Dotty 4) keeps an interest in this thread and they are both cheering for you and Ceddy. There are probably others too, so I hope they drop a reply in with messages of support. Ceddy and yourself are doing great and best wishes with Phase 4.
:)
 
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CeddysMum

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Thanks, Gerard, will do!

Of course, her other option, rather than eating the pellet mash, would be if she would actually eat more of her fresh foods - that wouldn't be a bad thing in itself but wouldn't exactly help our current objective, of course :rolleyes:

See what happens!

@ Monica, thank you again! The chart certainly does help! (I couldn't see it too well on my smartphone so I just had a closer look on my laptop now)

I knew something other than 'conversion weight loss' or 'usual fluctuation' was going on last Thursday when Ceddy pretty much 'went off' food altogether, including her fresh food. That's when I started her on the probiotics which, thankfully, like under vet supervision on two previous occasions with 'stomach upsets', got her back on track very quickly again. The last time in October she had a full blood work and gram stain and all was well apart from the 'upset tummy' so Ceddy just seems to have a bit of a sensitive stomach that responds quickly to any type of stress :( Oh well, I just have to keep a close eye on her.
 

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Good to hear Ceddy is going so well and has put on a few grams Astrid. Keep Ceddy at this level until the 22nd. If all is still going well reduce the seed 8g and use 16g of pellets. Maintain for a further week and keep an eye on her weight as usual. As a side issue, I have always given my birds probiotics twice a week on suggestion of our mutual avian vet. :)
 

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Yep, time for another update, day 5 of Phase 4
Ceddy's continuing to maintain her weight :dance4:, even slightly up (hovering around 198g at present).

I added 10g dry seed in a separate bowl again today to see what happens. She went and took 1 pellet but dropped it after a taste and that's it so far :rolleyes: Well, at least she did pick one up which is more than last time :p

And yes, Thanks Gerard, I've put her back on regular probiotics again as well - I used to give it to her at least once a week but then stopped when she hadn't had digestive issues for over a year.

(and thanks for your recent phone call to check on Ceddy - very much appreciated and a lovely chat! :) )
 

CeddysMum

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Day 2 of phase 5 (8g seed, 16g pellet mash)

Ceddy had dropped a couple of grams again, already before I reduced it to 8g seed, but is steady again so I'm putting it down to normal fluctuation.

She's eating well and there's still an average of 15g gone from the 'rissole' at night, part of which will be evaporated water, of course, as it's drying up throughout the day.

From what I can tell she's still digging for the seeds rather than eating the mash - I think she considers it 'foraging fun' :rolleyes: but so far so good :)
 

CeddysMum

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Hmm, Gerard, Ceddy's now losing weight
slowly but steadily, down to 193g-194g this a.m., but eating well and no sign of illness.

So I'm thinking I might have to up her seeds again for a while?

Question, in your experience should I:
A. increase back to 10g seed/16g pellet (previous stage) OR
B. give her plain seeds, say at dinner time, to up her weight OR
C. make a larger rissole with, say, 10g or 12g seed/*18g-20g* (respectively) pellets? (that way she'd still have to "work" for her seeds similar to now)

Thanks :)

PS: :rofl: I just realized that sounds like a multiple choice test, so, Gerard, you have 10 minutes to complete the test (time starts when you first read this) :lol:

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Stormcloud

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Hmm, Gerard, Ceddy's now losing weight
slowly but steadily, down to 193g-194g this a.m., but eating well and no sign of illness.

So I'm thinking I might have to up her seeds again for a while?

Question, in your experience should I:
A. increase back to 10g seed/16g pellet (previous stage) OR
B. give her plain seeds, say at dinner time, to up her weight OR
C. make a larger rissole with, say, 10g or 12g seed/*18g-20g* (respectively) pellets? (that way she'd still have to "work" for her seeds similar to now)

Thanks :)

PS: :rofl: I just realized that sounds like a multiple choice test, so, Gerard, you have 10 minutes to complete the test (time starts when you first read this) :lol:

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What happens then??? Does the thread self-destruct??? :rofl::rofl::rofl:

Given that she's approaching the limit of 191g and she's losing weight steadily, I'd put her back on seed for the moment with her normal veggies until she regains some weight. One we get her back to around 198g we'll go again at 10g of seed and 16g pellets. She may regain the lost weight within a few days, but leave her on seed with veggies and fruit for a full week regardless. We'll see where she's at on Friday before resuming.

Looks like she's going to be as tough as Hototo and Chiku were to bust onto pellets. I had to put them back onto seed several times before winning. When was the last time you put just dry pellets in? (Don't do it, just curious) :)
 

CeddysMum

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What happens then??? Does the thread self-destruct??? :rofl::rofl::rofl:
Uh, where's that "Mission Impossible" theme song coming from that I'm suddenly hearing? :rofl:

Given that she's approaching the limit of 191g and she's losing weight steadily, I'd put her back on seed for the moment with her normal veggies until she regains some weight. One we get her back to around 198g we'll go again at 10g of seed and 16g pellets. She may regain the lost weight within a few days, but leave her on seed with veggies and fruit for a full week regardless. We'll see where she's at on Friday before resuming.
Thanks, will do.

Looks like she's going to be as tough as Hototo and Chiku were to bust onto pellets. I had to put them back onto seed several times before winning. When was the last time you put just dry pellets in? (Don't do it, just curious) :)
Told 'ya, she's gonna be a tough nut to crack :cool:
I gave her dry pellets last on the 23rd, so 5 days ago. That was another No-Go, of course (I wasn't expecting anything else, really)
 

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Update:
Ceddy's now back up to 197g (yesterday and today) so I'll continue seeds only until Monday incl. (= 1 week) and
then resume the 'rissole' with 10g seeds/16g pellet from Tuesday.

The odd thing is, she's only been eating an average of 8g seeds daily this time around, cheeky girl!

I could swear she's laughing at us behind our backs! :rolleyes:
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Stormcloud

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Astrid, I'd keep her on seed a little longer and see if we can bring her weight back up to 200g. We now know a lot more about what we can expect from Ceddy as we go through the process of conversion now. Each bird will be different in how they react, but this is the knowledge we've acquired so far;

1) We know that Ceddy will forage through the mix to get to her seed.
2) We know that the current tipping point for Ceddy losing weight is 8g seed to 16g pellets.
3) We know that by operating in our current manner gave us 4 weeks operating time.
4) We know that Ceddy will regain weight rapidly when put back onto seed if her weight approaches that 5% leeway.
5) We also know that Ceddy has rejected dry pellets every time you've presented them to her.

This is all important information that we can use and I'll show you why as we deal with each point in turn.

1). Given that Ceddy hasn't rejected the rissoles and will forage through the pellet and seed rissoles means that we can keep using this method. It will just be a case of us being more stubborn, persistent and determined than Ceddy to achieve the desired result.
2). Now that we've established a base-line tipping point where Ceddy will lose weight our aim this time is to get her to 6g seed/16g pellet rissoles before we have to put her back onto seed this time. Ceddy may or may not particularly like this as we proceed along the path to conversion, but that's what's going to happen, lol.
3). The amount of operating time is important as it gives us a likely timeframe in which to work with to achieve our next goal. Remember we started with 16g seed to 16g pellets and this made it very easy for Ceddy to acquire her daily seed fix, but this time we are going to be starting at only 10g of seed to 16g of pellets. This means that we that we're only likely to have an operating window of around 2 weeks this time around before we have to put her back onto seed again, because we'll be starting off a lot closer to that tipping point this time around. Therefore it's important that we make it count and why it's important that her weight is back up to around 200g before proceeding.
4). Knowing that Ceddy will regain any lost weight rapidly is important. Since we know this, I wouldn't hesitate in using that 5% weight leeway this time and run her down to 190/191g, but it is important that you have that weight margin up your sleeve if we are to keep reducing that tipping point at where she loses weight.
5). I would not present any dry pellets to her for a while as so far she's just rejected them. We don't want reinforce that behaviour of rejecting the dry pellets every time she sees them because it may become a habit. As you were making up the rissoles toward the end of stage 1 where we were using less seed, you should have noticed that you needed less water for them to hold together. Only use just enough water that the rissole holds together. If you pull it apart you should notice that although wet, the pellets still resemble (look like) pellets and not mud. This is very important because eventually it will twig in Ceddy's mind that dry pellets are food. She will associate the shape of the damp pellets with the dry pellets.

You and Ceddy are doing really well, but for now, let's bring her back up to that 200g so that you can have a decent operating window for Stage 2. Trust me, you'll burn up that 5% weight margin far more rapidly this time around.
:)
 
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