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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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Old 08-01-2015, 04:23 PM
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Default want to be converted

I have been researching pellet diets and can see that it is much more nutritious for birds. I would like to convert Rio and Dorian to pellets, but I have many questions.

Which brand of pellets is the best? My guys won't eat fruits or veggies yet. Is there as particu8lar brand that would provide them the nutrients they would get from the fresh foods?

I saw several methods, but I think the one that would be most effective for my guys suggested giving them seed for about 20 minutes in the morning, and then offer only pellets for the rest of the day. So does that mean no seed until the next morning? Or should I offer them more seed at bedtime? I've heard thar some birds will starve before eating something that they don't like or know.

Can I still offer them millet during the day as part of the taming process or should I stop until they are fully converted to pellets?

Please help! I want to start the process ASAP. Or should I wait until they are more tame?

I feel like I'm feeding them McDonald's everytime I fill their food bowl with seed. I have recently ordered Dr. Harvey's seed, but I know pellets would still be more nutritious.

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Old 08-01-2015, 04:38 PM
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Hi Tracy
It's great you've decided to switch them onto pellets! The best way to do this is to introduce them gradually, to avoid upsetting their stomachs.

I like to do it in ratios: Every time you change their 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. At this point, they usually only eat the seeds, and then beg for more seeds, 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.

My little girl eats ZuPreem Fruitblend. Although it has added colours, it is often the most appealing to seed eaters, and still has all the nutrients and vitamins. Get the XS Canary size because it's easier for budgies to eat. Added bonus: you know when they've started eating them because their poop changes colours

Other good brands are Harrison's and Roudybush Keep us posted, hope it works out!
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Old 08-01-2015, 07:57 PM
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Hi Tracy..
First a disclaimer: I'm not nearly as knowledgeable as Starling Wings. I just want to give you my experience, so if it helps, Great!
My birds were strictly seed eaters when I got them. I've experimented with many ways of getting them to eat pellets. I've tried different kinds/brands of pellets.
They first learned to accept a few veggies. Not many and no fruit. So, I find it odd that they accepted Zupreem Fruit Blend xtra small (for canaries). They will also dabble with Roudybush crumbles.
I feed them seed in the morning.. I've worked up to about 20% pellets in their seed. Then I take it away during the day when they are out and about. They have free access to their pellets, though.
At bed time and overnight, they get their seed mix. This is where we are now, and though I'd like them on a higher percentage of pellets, they are doing a great job where they are! And I'm a happy camper, too.
Hope this helps a bit??
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Old 08-01-2015, 09:49 PM
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So it sounds like you feed them a mix of seed and pellets in the morning (20% pellets). Then you take that bowl out and put in a bowl with all pellets for the rest of the day. Then you put the seed back in at night?.

I'm thinking about just giving them seed in the morning. Then putting only pellets in until the next day. Faery Bee said she sprinkles the seed on the paper in the bottom of the cage so they can forage for it. Sounds like a good idea to me.

I wonder if that's too sudden of a change. Maybe I'll try Starling Wings idea to gradually increase the pellets in their seed until they have all pellets in their bowl.

I have ordered the Zupreem Fruit Blend x small.
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Old 08-02-2015, 06:52 AM
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Tracy... I think you'll quickly get a feel for what is working for your flock and what doesn't. A bit of 'dabbling' will tell you what they like and will eat and what they will "turn their beak up" at and won't touch. I like it that mine are on a seed and pellet mixture... I don't think seeds are a bad thing if not the exclusive diet.
Good luck and have lots of patience. Keep us updated
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Old 08-02-2015, 02:50 PM
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Hi, Tracy --

I really think it depends on what you are most comfortable with.

I started off with Sunny by sprinkling the Harrison's high potency mash over his seed every day.
I then put dishes of pellets in his cage but still gave him his ration of seed each morning and evening.
I have never "filled" food cups with seed. I roughly measure the amount of seed the budgies are given morning and evening and allow them to forage for it on their clean newspapers morning and evening.

Sunny is a tiny little guy and only weighs about 28 grams.
It took awhile but he nibbles at his pellets throughout the day (and especially loves "eating out" by going over into Peachy's cage to "steal" his pellets during out-of-cage time.

I've never personally tried the method of mixing the seed and pellets together.
Even when I used to put seed in a food dish, I roughly measured it and only put enough in for that day.
This allows you to have a better idea of how much your budgies' are actually eating with less waste.
All "leftover" seed in with the hulls is thrown outdoors for the wild birds.

I believe it is very important that the budgies get a good seed mix in addition to their pellets even when they are "converted".

Good luck and we'll be looking forward to an update in this thread on how things progress.
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Old 08-02-2015, 04:47 PM
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Very good points, Faerybee. As usual, I'll be trying some of those suggestions beginning today. I like the idea of using the seeds as foraging only. I don't 'fill' my food dishes either, but I'll try the forage only method... Do all of your guys forage?? Cody and Lemony (of course ) don't like to forage... but I'll give it a whirl anyway. They didn't like veggies or pellets either and they adapted after awhile (even if I do get the 'stink eye' from Lemony occasionally)
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