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What treat to give greys who hates nuts?

Hibiki

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Hi everyone, I recently adopted a CAG named Oz and he is around 6 months old. The previous owner had been feeding him Zupreem fruit blend plus seed mix daily, and apple slices as treats. Maybe because of his previous diets, he is a huge fan of fruits. Being with me for two weeks, I switched his diet to Harrison's HP plus occasional veggies and reserved nuts and fruits as training treats. However, I found that he has an unusual preference for food. Among everything I had got him to eat, his ranking is like any fresh fruits > Harrison's HP > veggies > sunflower seed (shelled only) > Zupreem fruit blend > cashew > his own poop > almond, walnuts, brazil nuts, peanuts, unshelled sunflower seeds, dried corn, pumpkin seeds, dried fruits (kiwi, banana, coconut, grape, papaya). Because fresh fruit is not ideal for training and he loves his pellet above everything else, I've been having a hard time training with him. Have you guys dealt with similar issues before? Are there any other treats I should try? Should I switch his pellet brand because he loves it too much? Any advice or comment is appreciated!
 

StellaLuna

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My CAG's favorite treat is an unshelled pistachio (unsalted of course). Have you tried that yet?
Also, have you tried freeze dried fruits, like mango & strawberry? (Not just pieces of dried fruit, but freeze dried, so that they are crunchy).
 

Mizzely

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Have you tried using small foot toys etc for training? That was effective for my Green cheek. You can also slice up tiny pieces of fruit to use for training. I agree that freeze dried fruits tend to be more popular than air dried/dehydrated. You could also try to use small pieces of homemade crackers, or store bought crackers made with nuts that are low in sodium (usually in the gluten free areas)
 

cnyguy

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You might try popcorn-- that's the favorite treat of both Scooter the CAG and Ralph the QP. Of course, it has to be made without oil, butter or salt for parrot consumption. I use an air popper, an old one that's Teflon-free.
 

Hibiki

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My CAG's favorite treat is an unshelled pistachio (unsalted of course). Have you tried that yet?
Also, have you tried freeze dried fruits, like mango & strawberry? (Not just pieces of dried fruit, but freeze dried, so that they are crunchy).
Thanks! Freeze dried fruit is a brilliant idea. I'll definitely try it and pistachio as well!

Have you tried using small foot toys etc for training? That was effective for my Green cheek. You can also slice up tiny pieces of fruit to use for training. I agree that freeze dried fruits tend to be more popular than air dried/dehydrated. You could also try to use small pieces of homemade crackers, or store bought crackers made with nuts that are low in sodium (usually in the gluten free areas)
Thanks for the reply! How do you use foot toys for training? Do you give your bird foot toys to play with as trick rewards?

You might try popcorn-- that's the favorite treat of both Scooter the CAG and Ralph the QP. Of course, it has to be made without oil, butter or salt for parrot consumption. I use an air popper, an old one that's Teflon-free.
Thanks, popcorn is a great idea too! But since I don't have the equipment, I'll have to see if I have any luck finding some oil-free popcorn at my local stores.
 

Hibiki

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Just an update here, I've got Oz to eat macadamia, pistachio, pine nut, freeze-dried apple, and freeze-dried blueberry. I had to try very hard like eating in front of him, putting them into forging toys, ground and mixing them with his pellets, etc to finally let him has a taste. However, he still loves pellet over everything else and has an attitude with me feeding him all those "nasty unedible" stuff. :dead:
 

Mizzely

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Thanks for the reply! How do you use foot toys for training? Do you give your bird foot toys to play with as trick rewards?
Yes, my green cheek was not food motivated, so food didnt work for her. She really liked throwing noisy toys at the ground so I would give her a bell or something with plastic chain on it, anything that was easy to pick up and throw, and use that to train her :)
 
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Shezbug

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Thanks! Freeze dried fruit is a brilliant idea. I'll definitely try it and pistachio as well!


Thanks for the reply! How do you use foot toys for training? Do you give your bird foot toys to play with as trick rewards?


Thanks, popcorn is a great idea too! But since I don't have the equipment, I'll have to see if I have any luck finding some oil-free popcorn at my local stores.
A clean brown paper bag and a microwave is all you need to pop some popcorn.
 

BrianB

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Have you tried eating nuts in front of him and making a big deal out of it, but not letting him have any? Put some on a plate and make a big deal out of it, and when he expresses interest turn your back so he can't see it or get to it. Just make a huge fuss over it like it's the best thing ever. Eventually, the curiosity will get the best of them and they will try to take one from you. We used this to get a macaw interested in pellets. It took about a week of not letting her have any and finally she just jumped over and took some from the plate.
 

S.A.S.K.

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Millet Spray should be fine, as it is better as a treat and not very good to be a part of a bird's diet. (Seeds contain lots of fat.)
 

Pixiebeak

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If he loves pellets, why not use them as treats? I hand mine pellets, and even tho the pellets are in the bowl not two feet from them they are thrilled.

Like previous poster my guys love popcorn as well.

The reward they used with the famous Alex, was a single cheerio.

2 weeks is very successful diet swap. I hope you share your tips with us! It can be a real struggle. Did he drop any weight?
 

Hibiki

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A clean brown paper bag and a microwave is all you need to pop some popcorn.
That's good to know, thanks!

Have you tried eating nuts in front of him and making a big deal out of it, but not letting him have any? Put some on a plate and make a big deal out of it, and when he expresses interest turn your back so he can't see it or get to it. Just make a huge fuss over it like it's the best thing ever. Eventually, the curiosity will get the best of them and they will try to take one from you. We used this to get a macaw interested in pellets. It took about a week of not letting her have any and finally she just jumped over and took some from the plate.
Yes I've tried that. Actually that's how I made Oz taste all those treats. But I guess he doesn't like the tastes as he was still reluctant to take the treats after trying them.

If he loves pellets, why not use them as treats? I hand mine pellets, and even tho the pellets are in the bowl not two feet from them they are thrilled.

Like previous poster my guys love popcorn as well.

The reward they used with the famous Alex, was a single cheerio.

2 weeks is very successful diet swap. I hope you share your tips with us! It can be a real struggle. Did he drop any weight?
I tried using pellets as treats, but it didn't work well :( Unless I don't feed him full in the morning, which makes him starve a bit during the day, or if I give him a pellet he just tosses it away.

Diet switching was actually quite easy for Oz. What I did was grounding the old and new pellets into small pieces and powers, then mixed them together in his food bowl. I also decreased the portion a little bit so that he had to double-think before tossing food away. The other day I still grounded the mix, but into larger pieces. On the third day I went straight to giving him the mix without grounding things up and observed him eating the pellets. On the fourth day, he's off the old pellet already. I think I just got lucky that Oz likes the flavor of Harrison's pellets.
 

fashionfobie

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I don't see pine nuts in your list. Those are a very high value treat in my house, maybe your birdo likes them too :)
 
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