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Pellet recommendations?

harum.t

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harum
My parakeet, Zuko, has been lethargic and his poop/behavior has been abnormal (green and semi-watery) so I of course went to the vet to get him checked out. They said they really weren't sure if anything was wrong with him (due to covid, I'm not in the room to see the vets inspect him, so this is based on what they said to me)//but I am also skeptical about this since I have another bird who's fine and healthy in comparison//

they said he just seemed to be more on the skinny side (despite his eating behavior seeming normal thus far) so I think his illness might have to be nutrition-based? I do try to feed my birds the Harrison bird pellet but they don't seem to like it I guess which is why he may be feeding off the treats i give him (rice, seeds here n there) rather than the pellet hence him possibly starving himself?

Long story short, do you guys have any mechanisms in trying to get your parakeets to like your pellets? Or do you have any other healthy pellet recommendations that your parakeets seem to enjoy?

Orrr, should I go to the vet again to do a further inspection? Because my worry is he might have a crop infection and the vets just didn't catch it since they didn't hand me any antibiotics :(

Any advice will help!
 

Laurie

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I am sorry that you parakeet is not acting normal.

If he is skinny and not eating well and you think he might be starving himself by not eating the pellets you will need to provide more food that he does like so he gets enough calories in him to sustain himself. Then you can slowly work on converting him to a better diet. How long has he been offered pellets? It can take a long time (at least two weeks would be very normal and longer would not be unusual).

You can soak the pellets in water to make them softer and offer it that way but be sure to throw them away after a few hours if you have soaked them. Just cover them with water and let it absorb. Drain off the water after they are no longer crunchy but before they get mushy. Try this for several days and see if it helps. You can also mix some of the other foods he likes into the same dish so he gets the idea that they pellets are food too.

Birds are usually not quick to try new things. Even birds who like pellets will take a while to convert to a different pellet. It took my two weeks to switch my birds over to a new brand and they have been eating pellets all their lives with me switching brands from time to time.

If you have a question about a crop infection that they may not have caught I would call the vet and ask if it is a possibility and if not why they ruled it out.
 

harum.t

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I am sorry that you parakeet is not acting normal.

If he is skinny and not eating well and you think he might be starving himself by not eating the pellets you will need to provide more food that he does like so he gets enough calories in him to sustain himself. Then you can slowly work on converting him to a better diet. How long has he been offered pellets? It can take a long time (at least two weeks would be very normal and longer would not be unusual).

You can soak the pellets in water to make them softer and offer it that way but be sure to throw them away after a few hours if you have soaked them. Just cover them with water and let it absorb. Drain off the water after they are no longer crunchy but before they get mushy. Try this for several days and see if it helps. You can also mix some of the other foods he likes into the same dish so he gets the idea that they pellets are food too.

Birds are usually not quick to try new things. Even birds who like pellets will take a while to convert to a different pellet. It took my two weeks to switch my birds over to a new brand and they have been eating pellets all their lives with me switching brands from time to time.

If you have a question about a crop infection that they may not have caught I would call the vet and ask if it is a possibility and if not why they ruled it out.

To be quite honest, I didn't even recognize he was skinny since he's been fluffy since last Friday (which is scary because I didn't notice till around Sunday and managed to get a vet appointment on Thursday and is still showing signs of the same symptoms as before).

I have been giving him pellets since I got him (back in March!) but I also did add in other food so I could get an understanding of what he might like. So I think my mistake was that I gave him a lot of options all at once and he completely neglected the pellets from there on (same with my other bird).

I will try to soak the bird food and see if they like it! I have been trying to mix their pellet with rice (because they really like rice) but I can't tell if they are really eating it :/ Hopefully, during these following days, they grow accustomed to it I just worry a bit that it might not be 100% the case for his abnormal behavior.

But yes, I'm considering calling the vet again this following week about his health, they said they might have to run a blood test if he doesn't end up getting better but seemed wary about that decision so I'm a bit lost on what to do and when to act since I can't determine how severely sick he is
 

Shezbug

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Budgies should also have seed in their diet, not given just as a treat- it should be part of their main diet as far as I am aware. Larger birds are ok on an all pellet diet with seeds only given as a treat but not cockatiels or budgies. I would offer more seeds to this skinny guy and see if he puts some weight back on.

@Ripshod is an awesome source of information on budgies.
 

Ripshod

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Get him on seeds as soon as you can. They're granivores so seed is an essential part of their diet.
A good guide given to me by my vet, and proved by my experience is 25% seed, 25-35% pellets and veg for the rest. Fruit for treats only. In your case letting your budgie gorge on seed for a few weeks will certainly do no harm.
One other thing to consider given his diet to date is probiotics. A healthy gut flora can really help against gastric infections.
A seed mix like Hagen Gourmet includes fortified pellets, dried fruit and probiotics. Look at what you can get and give the best for a while. Get him over his current problem then start working on his diet.
Eggs can be good too. Mash up a boiled egg and offer it weekly. Makes sense because there's everything needed to build a chick in an egg.
 
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harum.t

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Budgies should also have seed in their diet, not given just as a treat- it should be part of their main diet as far as I am aware. Larger birds are ok on an all pellet diet with seeds only given as a treat but not cockatiels or budgies. I would offer more seeds to this skinny guy and see if he puts some weight back on.

@Ripshod is an awesome source of information on budgies.
Oh yes! I will try to put more seeds in then! I usually do give them seed treats and replace them whenever they finish it, but I thought due to his current behavior, it could've been the issue since I know a lot of seeds can be bad for them and that's why I was pushing for more pellets. But I will keep adding seed-related food to see if he will eat some more!
 

harum.t

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harum
Get him on seeds as soon as you can. They're granivores so seed is an essential part of their diet.
A good guide given to me by my vet, and proved by my experience is 25% seed, 25-35% pellets and veg for the rest. Fruit for treats only. In your case letting your budgie gorge on seed for a few weeks will certainly do no harm.
One other thing to consider given his diet to date is probiotics. A healthy gut flora can really help against gastric infections.
A seed mix like Hagen Gourmet includes fortified pellets, dried fruit and probiotics. Look at what you can get and give the best for a while. Get him over his current problem then start working on his diet.
Eggs can be good too. Mash up a boiled egg and offer it weekly. Makes sense because there's everything needed to build a chick in an egg.
I will be sure to remember that diet percentage! Thank you! I will try out the Hagen Gourmet as well since the Harrison doesn't seem to be having luck so far, they will eat it with rice a bit (but still neglect it because of the rice) and not eat it at all when i soak the pellets. I probably still have to play around with it and see if they will warm up to the idea of eating some eventually, but yes, i will give more seeds and try out the mashed boiled egg :D.

He seems pretty okay so far! Still fluffy which still has me unease, but he's eating, drinking, and a bit less lethargic than he was before. Thank you for all the advice, it seriously means a lot since I'm a total noob when it comes to balancing out diets (especially my own diet D: )
 
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