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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Your Budgie's Health > Diet and Nutrition


Diet and Nutrition Discuss issues related to diet and learn about encouraging your budgie to a variety of healthy foods

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  #1  
Old 03-16-2015, 04:25 AM
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Default help with starting?

I've read some of the stickies and tried what they said, but nothing has worked for me yet...

I recently got a budgie and he's an adult who seems to have been fed seed all his life, I'm struggling to get him to eat anything else. I got some harrison's organic pellets and I've tried offering fruit and things, but to no avail, how can I get him to try them? I tried sprinkling seed on but he just picked them out.
Also, is it better to only provide food at certain times a day or should it be left always available?

As well as that, we have yet to get all that close and he stays in his cage all the time regardless of if I leave the door open, and I know that taming budgies needs patience but in the meantime I'm worried that he'll be lonely since he's in there on his own but not socialising with me much.. I've tried putting my hand in regularly and talking to him and offering food but if I leave my hand there he won't come near or anything.

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Old 03-16-2015, 05:25 AM
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Niamhf (Niamh)
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Hello,

Hang in there you're doing all the right things. Budgies are extremely stubborn little creatures and will not touch ANYTHING unless they know for sure it won't harm them!! It took a good 5 or 6 months before my little boy finally started investigating his crumble, 8 - 9 months to start sitting on my hand and a full year to start coming out of his cage and investigating the living area - and it certainly wasn't for the lack of trying and coaxing. I was told that he had been hand raised and even still although I know he trusts that I won't hurt him, he's a timid little fellow.

What helped with him was introducing a little mirror to his feeding area and eventually he started eating his crumble with the budgie in the mirror (whom I call freckle! Lol) be careful with the mirror though if you choose to go down that path because you don't want him to become obsessed with it as that can cause a whole lot of other problems. My little boy is fine with his mirror but my other bird (a kakariki) is obsessed and extremely aggressive with mirrors and reflective surfaces so he can't be around them at all - thankfully my budgie is extremely placid in that respect though.

Please always have food available for him - this is really important. Once I knew Oisin was building a taste for crumble, I very very gradually reduced the seeds and increased the crumble in his diet until eventually seeds became a treat to coax him out of his cage. But please do not suddenly remove them from his diet and just leave foreign foods because budgies would rather starve themselves than go near something they are unfamiliar with or frightened of. It's a work in progress that requires an awful lot of patience but so rewarding when you build that trust. Tell him he's a good boy every time he makes an effort to look at, approach or eat his crumble. The same goes for vegetables. I chop his veg very finely for him because larger pieces scare him. But he likes to nibble at broccoli, shredded carrot, peas and sometimes capsicum but only because the kakariki eats it!

He will get used to you eventually but take it at his pace - it's a big scary new environment for him and he needs to feel safe.

Best of luck and enjoy the process - keep us posted
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Old 03-16-2015, 05:56 AM
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Ok, thanks for sharing your experience! I'll keep working at it patiently. Oh, another thing I forgot to ask, is there anything to be particularly careful of with other pets? I wouldn't leave them together unattended of course, but I just want to be sure. We have a cat who sometimes ignored the budgie, but other times will stare at him (if I catch him doing that, I interrupt his view until he stops) and just want to know what will help the budgie feel safest
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Old 03-16-2015, 06:21 AM
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Perhaps cover part of his cage with a cotton bed sheet so that he can go in and hide away from the view of your cat.
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Old 03-16-2015, 08:23 AM
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Please don't feel like you are failing, budgies all are different in personality and their interaction. They are notorious for being stubborn, but to them they are being cautious and protecting themselves.
Keep offering the greens and other foods try different ways of offering clip some lettuce to the side of the cage, Place some basil or thyme along the perch where he sits, keep up the great work and the rewards will come.
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:58 AM
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Niamhf gives you great advice! Good luck with your budgie's diet change.

(My vet suggested that we switch to pellets and recommended a 4-day cycle:

Days 1-3: Give him pellets all day, but leave him seeds for one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening.

Day 4: If he hasn't been eating the pellets - which mine did! - then give him seeds all day.

Rinse and repeat.

Your budgie has to be healthy and comfortable before trying a diet switch, otherwise his nerves won't let him try anything new. Good luck!

)
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:34 AM
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thank you all for your advice and encouragement, I'll keep trying my best to make the best home for my budgie!
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Old 03-19-2015, 06:43 AM
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I tried PrincipePio's method and he's eating the pellet now, thank you so much! Now to just get him trying fruit and veg and he can have a proper healthy diet
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