Harrisons came in the mail today!!! Now to get him to eat... - Talk Budgies Forums


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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
Thread Description:Need help switching

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Old 07-01-2015, 06:39 PM
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Question Harrisons came in the mail today!!! Now to get him to eat...

There are so many different ways that I have heard people say and I am stuck. My mind can't handle so many choices! I really do not want to waste food, as Harrisons is very expensive.

Anyway, I have tried with fruits and veggies, to mash them with seed, and he will not have it. Our old seed has "pellets" (poor quality feed he came with) and I tried smashing them and making a mash out of them, and he hardly ate. So my conclusion is that mashes aren't going to work that well.

My next plan is to only give seeds for 15-30 minutes a day and only a teaspoon or so. The rest of the day, he will have fruits and veggies (in the morning), and pellets (afternoon). I believe that may work, because hunger will take over, but he will get some seed so he doesn't starve. If he is getting too thin, then I will add more seed for a while, then slowing try again. I have been doing this with fruits and veggies for three days and he has started to pick at the fruit and eat little pieces. At 12 he would get his seeds for the rest of the day, and in the afternoon he will get some millet with fruit mashed in and he will kind of pick at it. He will give up on getting the millet if he keeps getting too much fruit.

He is soooo picky!!!

I am going to the farmers market tomorrow and buying fresh seeds for him to eat, instead of the crappy seed pellet mix, so hopefully he will like those seeds. I am also in the process of sprouting lentils for him to try.

The biggest thing is I want him off the really crappy food. Even if he just eats fresh seed of a little bit and then starts picking up pellets and fruits/veggies, I'll be happy.

Any ideas that can help me?

Thanks so much!

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Old 07-01-2015, 07:04 PM
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Wow, it's awesome that the pellets are here! A new and healthier diet is just on the horizon...if he would eat it!

Weaning budgies onto pellets can take forever and be extremely frustrating. The best way is to do it in ratios: Every time you change his food, add in a few more pellets, then a few more, then a few more (about a teaspoon more every two days) and after a week, the ratio should be at about 25-30% pellets to 70-75% seeds.He'll probably only eat the seeds in the beginning, and beg for more seeds when he's finished, while ignoring the pellets.

At this point, do not give in to their begging for more seeds. Most birds will only begin to eat pellets after there's no other option.
This seems kind of dramatic, but that was the only way my little girl learned to eat pellets, and now she loves them!

Eventually, increase the pellets until they are 50-50 with the seeds, and finally mostly pellets, then cut out seeds entirely. Budgies can go for 2 days without food, so don't worry if they don't eat. They're usually inclined to take a nibble during this time!
After a few days or so with just pellets, you can add seeds back in, I currently have my little girl on 70% pellets and 30% seeds, if I had to estimate. Best of luck! It sounds like you're definitely on the right track.

As for veggies, just keep trying! Favorites are parsley or cilantro hung on the cage, shredded carrots, and romaine lettuce or spinach. My girl is very, very picky, and these are some of the only things she likes. Keep on varying what you offer him in different ways, too, and he'll eventually get curious.

Good luck
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Old 07-01-2015, 07:13 PM
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He is starting to pick at the pellets as we speak so that is good! He isn't eating them, just trying to find seed, but I do hear a little bit of popping, which may be him picking up so pellets!

Thank you so much for your explanation, it helped me a ton!

So since I am getting better seed tomorrow, should I let him pick at the pellets for tonight (since he is showing some interest) and then just buy fresh seed tomorrow and start the transition then? Or should I go ahead and give him some of his old seed tonight? He has had a teaspoon of seeds today (he usually eats 2-2.5 tsp a day).

I have tried spinach, Zucchini, Mango, apple bananas (really small bananas), apples, and basil. Spinach is getting eaten and so is the Mango, but not to the point I like, just more picking at it because he is hungry.
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Old 07-01-2015, 07:53 PM
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That's a good start Jennifer!

I did exactly as StarlingWings suggested with my birds. When I switched to Harrison's I had two budgies and one was pickier than the other. Even now, after many years the one budgie I have left will still throw pellets out of her bowl at times because she's hoping to find seeds at the bottom. I only give her millet or seeds by hand, never in her bowl because I don't want her to get push the pellets away even more, plus it makes it a special moment between the both of us.

She also eats greens from time to time, but is super scared if I show her anything else than a green leaf. She's scared of applie pieces, baby carrots, little bits of bananas, etc.

So keep going at it and don't get discouraged or give in when your budgie will not eat. It might take some time, but you'll manage to make the switch. Remember that whatever fresh food your budgie will eat is just bonus, so don't worry if your budgie doesn't eat a big variety of fresh food. The Harrison pellets will give your budgie a well balanced diet that will keep them healthy. The fresh food, the vitamines, etc. are just bonus.
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