4yr Budgie switching to pellets from seed diet? How to? Any seeds at all? - 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

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Old 11-29-2015, 10:50 AM
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Default 4yr Budgie switching to pellets from seed diet? How to? Any seeds at all?

Hi. I have a 4.5yr old male budgie. He has lived on small amounts of fruits & veg, and primarily seed (millet, soybeans, oats, corn). I want to switch him onto a pellet diet now that his lover just passed from a cholesterol tumor. I pray he doesn't have one and can be saved.

Will it be difficult to transition him onto pellets? Any tips or suggestions? Should I mix half seed, half pellets to start? Grind the pellets up? Go full switch? How much fruit and veg daily? Should he remove seed from his diet entirely? Particular ingredients to look for?

He's very adventurous food-wise, contrary to my deceased budgie.

Thank you.

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Old 11-29-2015, 10:56 AM
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https://talkbudgies.com/diet-nutritio...rent-diet.html

I have been unsuccessful in switching my girl to pellets....if I mix them with the seeds she throws the pellets out.....if I give her just pellets she doesn't eat so I DO NOT withhold any of her seed or veggies from her! I'm told a good quality seed diet is fine as long as she's getting veggies (fruits OK occasionally) and I give her egg occasionally mixed with cooked brown rice (which she picks out) and veggies.

Also someone did recommend grinding up the pellets into smaller pieces or wetting them a bit to make them easier to eat (you would have to throw out if not eating within a reasonable amount of time).....none of these suggestions worked for me!
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Old 11-29-2015, 11:00 AM
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Hi again, you will find valuable info by checking the stickies in this section of the forums.

Be sure to check the following links in order to be better informed and to proceed the right way with your budgie. It's not advisable to switch diets abruptly as chances are high your budgie will not recognize the pellets as food and this will lead to starvation/death when no other food source is available.

https://talkbudgies.com/diet-nutritio...-seed-mix.html

https://talkbudgies.com/diet-nutritio...r-budgies.html

https://talkbudgies.com/diet-nutritio...rent-diet.html

https://talkbudgies.com/articles-diet...ur-budgie.html
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Old 11-29-2015, 11:01 AM
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The link Tammy posted will give you some great info. It's never too late to
get our bird's on a healthier diet, we just need to take it slow...
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Old 11-29-2015, 11:19 AM
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Hi and to Talk Budgies!

I just posted all of the information shown in magenta below into your other thread in Diseases and Illnesses but here it is again:

Please take the time to read the tips on how to introduce new foods to your budgie which can be easily found in the stickies in the Diet and Nutrition section of the forum.

When I introduced pellets to my budgie, my Avian Vet recommended using Harrison's High Potency Mash and sprinkling it on the budgie's seed mix every day. This way, when the budgie hulls the seed it tastes the pellet mash and ingests bits of it as well. This helps the budgie identify the taste as a food source.

Many members seem to find the easiest pellets to use for introducing pellets to their budgies to be the CANARY sized Zupreem fruity pellets. Most budgies like the taste and the "Canary" sized pellets are tiny enough for them to easily eat them. Once they've become accustomed to the Fruity Pellets, introducing the smallest "natural" pellets is then an easy step.

Other than when I was using the Harrison's mash, I've never mixed my birds' pellets and seed together. My birds have three separate dishes each with a different brand/flavor of pellets available to them 24/7. Their seed is rationed to approximately 2 teaspoons of seed per budgie each day. I give them seed first thing in the morning right after putting clean newspapers on the bottom grate of the cages. I sprinkle their morning ration on the paper so they can forage for the seeds. I then do the same thing in the evenings (after replacing the soiled newspaper with clean) and again allow them to forage for their seed.

All of my birds have the option to eat the available pellets whenever they like throughout the day and they all enjoy them!
Zupreen Fruity Pellets (most budgies seem to accept these quickly)
Use the smallest size - the ones labeled "canary".

Zupreem Natural
and
Zupreem Avian Entrees Harvest Blend
Good seed brands are:
Dr. Harvey's
Volkmans
To enhance your budgies diet, you can begin introducing vegetables and fruit to them.

It can take several weeks for budgies to decide to try a new food.
Fruit is high in sugar content so vegetables are actually healthier for your budgies with fruits given only occasionally.

Look at the stickies in the Diet and Nutrition section of the forum for lots of good tips on how to introduce new foods to your budgies.
Diet and Nutrition - Talk Budgies Forums

The first vegetable my guys tried (and loved) was sweet corn kernels sprinkled with a teeny bit of garlic powder (NOT salt).
Budgies seem to love "spicy" tastes.
My guys adore fresh basil, cilantro and chickweed.
They also like zucchini and red pepper.

Our Budgies Diet - Cute Little Birdies Aviary

Egg Food- Our Aviary Recipe Step By Step - Cute Little Birdies Aviary

https://talkbudgies.com/diet-nutritio...r-budgies.html

Using ACV in your budgie's water works as a natural probiotic which promotes good digestive health.

https://talkbudgies.com/holistic-natu...r-vinegar.html

With a healthy diet, you should not need any vitamins or supplements other than Vitamin D3 which is used for birds who get limited direct sunlight.

Here is an article about Full Spectrum Lighting:
https://talkbudgies.com/budgie-articl...-lighting.html

This link gives you an idea for a small full spectrum light:

Clamp Lamp and Incandescent Spot Lights at Drs. Foster and Smith: Portable lighting for pet birds

You may choose to use a supplement like Soluvite D in addition to a full spectrum light:

Lady Gouldian Finch .com - Soluvite D


To familiarize yourself with the forums, please take the time to read through all of the How To Guides, the FAQs and the stickies located at the top of each section of the forum.
You'll find most of your basic questions are answered after you've read through all of them.

I'm looking forward to hearing all about your budgie and hopefully seeing some pictures soon!!

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Old 11-29-2015, 11:28 AM
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Thank you all so very much! If I had tried pellets (instead of seeds, still including fruit and veg), I would never let him starve! If he didn't take well to it the first day, I'd try many different things whilst making sure he's eating (so, the seeds etc etc mix). I know it is tough getting them to switch.

You have to understand I was just told by a professional yesterday that his diet will cause tumor or illness and that I needed to FULLY switch him onto pellets. I was probably going to consider trying half and half or sprinkling it onto his food.

You're all so wonderful. Bless you.
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Old 11-29-2015, 05:04 PM
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Hello there and an official welcome to the forums!

I just wanted to chip in with my personal experience of getting my girl to eat pellets Also, even if you do switch your little guy onto just pellets, he still needs a little bit of seed each day, as well as veggies, to maintain variety and health in his diet. Seeds aren't bad--they're just high in fat. They are healthy fats, though, and small amounts will not hurt him

Weaning budgies onto pellets can take forever and be extremely frustrating. The way I did it was 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 ate the seeds, and then begged 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 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.

Keep in mind that you'll have to monitor him closely to ensure he tastes the pellets. Some birds would rather starve, so if he is absolutely not eating them (it's ok to wait for a day or so) then re-introduce seeds, and either try again, or use another method to get him to accept the taste of pellets, as mentioned

Hope that helped a little bit--and I hope to see you around! Feel free to post a picture of your little man when you have the time

It's great to have you with us!
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Old 11-29-2015, 05:37 PM
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Quality pellet's are wonderful for ensuring all our bird's nutritional need's are being met. I don't agree with an all pellet diet but use them as a daily staple always in their food dish, and fed along with veggies, and quality seed. Egg food or mashed hardboiled egg is another great food to get your bird eating, and once he has an appetite for the egg you can introduce new food's to him in the egg. Egg is very beneficial for molt restoration, as well as flax seed. Sprouted seed's are also healthy, and very beneficial...

You should consider milk thistle, and dandelion root for your bird for a
few month's to help with liver detox...
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Old 11-29-2015, 08:08 PM
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I force converted all three of my birds; they ranged from 3 months to six and a half years when I did so. After a few hours, they all started tasting the pellets. They had a hungry day or two at first but after that accepted them readily and I now feed pellets as the bulk of their diet with seed offered three to four times per week and fresh food (eggfood, apple slices and vegetables) 4 - 5 times a week (approximately; I skip a day here and there.) My birds really like Roudybush. I also feed Zupreem fruit blend.
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Old 11-29-2015, 10:22 PM
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I converted my two budgies to Harrison's food, and it took months to do it. Harrison's is kibble, though, not pellets. Now they only eat Harrison's High Potency Super Fine. If you are interested in finding out more about this food, the Harrison's website has a ton of information. They also have fantastic customer support, which I used many times.

I will add that now that they only eat kibble, the floor around their cage is a lot less messy than it used to be.

Good luck.

Sandy
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