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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 07-17-2016, 12:30 AM
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Default How stubborn are they? Budgies ignoring pellets.

Hey everyone! So Spock and Worf are my two girls I've had for about two weeks now. They are at the point where they quickly hop into my hand to eat millet and they aren't frightened anymore.

I feel like now is the time to start trying to fix their diet because they're settling into my home. They are babies - someone said they might be 3 months old or so (but it's hard to tell as they're albino and lutino).

I am trying to figure out how to feed them right, but every night they start contact calling and running to the "food door" of the cage and looking expectantly at me, and act as though I am a big cruel giant who starves them, even though their bowl is half full of pellets and empty seed casings. They hop down, look into it (like a child who repeatedly looks into the fridge hoping something better will magically appear), see no more seeds, then hop away - with a forlorn look on their faces.

I'm scared of under-feeding them! But they only pick out the seeds they like and they outright ignore the pellets. How can I convince them that pellets are the proper food for a well-behaved, good little budgie to eat?

Is it just patience?

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  #2  
Old 07-17-2016, 01:38 AM
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Patience and persistence! It may take weeks or months to finally decide they like them.
You could try giving them only pellets, with a few seeds mixed in so they don't really have a choice but to eat or at least taste pellets to get to their seeds.
That's how I got mine to eat his veggies!
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Old 07-17-2016, 04:18 AM
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Hi, there.

I am wondering what type of pellets you are trying to get them to start eating. Size is everything and because they are young, they may not fully take to a pellet that is a certain size.

For example, at one point I tried Zupreem with my birds to where I would actually try to break it down for them to eat. Nope! They refused Zupreem. They didn't like the smell, taste, or size of it.

My birds came to me already addicted to seed. Budgies are so fussy and picky that I haven't heard one 'good news' story yet where they transitioned from seed directly to pellets. What Morgan suggested about patience and persistence is about right, but at the end of the day, they just may continue to snub it.

My budgies have a mix of seed, then I have Harrison's Superfine Adult or High Potency (whichever), and still, I have to crush it down a bit, not necessarily to a powder, but just a bit crushed up, and sprinkle about 2 tsps. in each bowl on top of the seed. On top of that, I sprinkle a heaping amount of dried greens (dried herb mix). I tried to make them work to get to their seed so that they at least have to eat most of the pellets to get to their favorite food. It's kind of a foraging tactic.

They like it when I prepare it a certain way and they are finally eating more of the pellets in that form, but I don't reduce their seed simply because if it's not there then they get pretty annoyed. I have tried this for a very long time and no matter what I do, they will not eat just pellets.

So, I like where Morgan is going with this, and continue to give them a helping of seed but maybe crush the pellets down more so they have the appearance of seed size to fool them into thinking it is seed. Another part of this process is to make sure you have at least one small dish with say crushed pellets in it and maybe a bit of dried greens on top on the side, apart from the others with seed/pellet mix/greens mix.

I know there can be confusion around this issue of pellets and seeds and what to do and not to do. Vets recommend pellet only, and maybe it works when they are at a young age because you have a better chance to change them over to it, but adult birds on seed feed to pellet -- my personal opinion is "good luck with that". There may be members here who have a good success rate with that, but not me, and it's not for a lack of trying. And, much discussion around this topic that I find here at TB is that it is perfectly fine to have both available to your budgie. Personally, I and my birdies are content with that approach.

My personal choice is a generous helping of their favorite, good quality seed mix, with crushed pellet and dried greens on top. It works for them and I am happy that they are at least eating the pellet that I give them while they have their seed and greens, too. And, of course, I give them vitamins in their water most every day because I know they still need some because the pellets are only a small heaping amount.

In the end, it's all good in how you are trying to encourage transitioning your little ones from seed to pellet, but, as Morgan said, you will need quite a bit of patience and persistence. They may just come around, but don't expect it to happen in a month or two...it may take a bit longer. Whatever you do, do not starve your bird -- they still need to eat so don't forget to encourage fresh fruits and veggies, too.

Good luck with the switch. I am sure you and your little one will find a happy medium on the food front. Give it time. No need to rush the process.
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Last edited by bluewing; 07-17-2016 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:13 AM
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Hello, my belief is a budgie needs a varied and appealing food choice. They are natural foragers, this is why they will hop around the bottom of the cage , or if allowed out for free flight time will hop around picking at anything they can find.
If your budgie's getting a mixed diet of fresh green food, seed, pellets. Access to calcium bells, egg and biscuit mix when moulting or been sick they should be fine.
A pellets only diet in my opinion is dull, it takes time and patience to change a budgies diet, they have fast metabolism's and need to eat frequently, they can become stressed if you keep them from food hoping the will eat the pellets. Nine times out of ten a budgie will not eat the pellets they will starve themselves to death sadly.
Articles: Diet and Nutrition - Talk Budgies Forums
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Old 07-18-2016, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by immorgan View Post
Patience and persistence! It may take weeks or months to finally decide they like them.
You could try giving them only pellets, with a few seeds mixed in so they don't really have a choice but to eat or at least taste pellets to get to their seeds.
That's how I got mine to eat his veggies!
I've read, though, that some birds would rather starve to death than eat foods they don't like (a lot like my picky eating, actually). So maybe this would harm them? When I put more pellets in, they came to the bowl, looked at it, then hopped away without eating. I think they really hate them and might suffer if I tried not giving them an option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewing View Post
Hi, there.

I am wondering what type of pellets you are trying to get them to start eating. Size is everything and because they are young, they may not fully take to a pellet that is a certain size.

For example, at one point I tried Zupreem with my birds to where I would actually try to break it down for them to eat. Nope! They refused Zupreem. They didn't like the smell, taste, or size of it.

My birds came to me already addicted to seed. Budgies are so fussy and picky that I haven't heard one 'good news' story yet where they transitioned from seed directly to pellets. What Morgan suggested about patience and persistence is about right, but at the end of the day, they just may continue to snub it.

My budgies have a mix of seed, then I have Harrison's Superfine Adult or High Potency (whichever), and still, I have to crush it down a bit, not necessarily to a powder, but just a bit crushed up, and sprinkle about 2 tsps. in each bowl on top of the seed. On top of that, I sprinkle a heaping amount of dried greens (dried herb mix). I tried to make them work to get to their seed so that they at least have to eat most of the pellets to get to their favorite food. It's kind of a foraging tactic.

They like it when I prepare it a certain way and they are finally eating more of the pellets in that form, but I don't reduce their seed simply because if it's not there then they get pretty annoyed. I have tried this for a very long time and no matter what I do, they will not eat just pellets.

So, I like where Morgan is going with this, and continue to give them a helping of seed but maybe crush the pellets down more so they have the appearance of seed size to fool them into thinking it is seed. Another part of this process is to make sure you have at least one small dish with say crushed pellets in it and maybe a bit of dried greens on top on the side, apart from the others with seed/pellet mix/greens mix.

I know there can be confusion around this issue of pellets and seeds and what to do and not to do. Vets recommend pellet only, and maybe it works when they are at a young age because you have a better chance to change them over to it, but adult birds on seed feed to pellet -- my personal opinion is "good luck with that". There may be members here who have a good success rate with that, but not me, and it's not for a lack of trying. And, much discussion around this topic that I find here at TB is that it is perfectly fine to have both available to your budgie. Personally, I and my birdies are content with that approach.

My personal choice is a generous helping of their favorite, good quality seed mix, with crushed pellet and dried greens on top. It works for them and I am happy that they are at least eating the pellet that I give them while they have their seed and greens, too. And, of course, I give them vitamins in their water most every day because I know they still need some because the pellets are only a small heaping amount.

In the end, it's all good in how you are trying to encourage transitioning your little ones from seed to pellet, but, as Morgan said, you will need quite a bit of patience and persistence. They may just come around, but don't expect it to happen in a month or two...it may take a bit longer. Whatever you do, do not starve your bird -- they still need to eat so don't forget to encourage fresh fruits and veggies, too.

Good luck with the switch. I am sure you and your little one will find a happy medium on the food front. Give it time. No need to rush the process.
Thanks for your input. So, let's say my budgies are stubborn little gals and NEVER eat pellets even though I always provide them mixed with their seed. Am I a bad pet parent if I can't get them to change over? Do some budgies just choose to eat how they want and that is that? (like people would?)

Thanks for the input. I want to try giving them a wider variety of food once I can easily take them out of the cage to clean up the mess it would make.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pretty boy View Post
Hello, my belief is a budgie needs a varied and appealing food choice. They are natural foragers, this is why they will hop around the bottom of the cage , or if allowed out for free flight time will hop around picking at anything they can find.
If your budgie's getting a mixed diet of fresh green food, seed, pellets. Access to calcium bells, egg and biscuit mix when moulting or been sick they should be fine.
A pellets only diet in my opinion is dull, it takes time and patience to change a budgies diet, they have fast metabolism's and need to eat frequently, they can become stressed if you keep them from food hoping the will eat the pellets. Nine times out of ten a budgie will not eat the pellets they will starve themselves to death sadly.
Articles: Diet and Nutrition - Talk Budgies Forums
Ideally, I'd like to get them eating all pellets as their main food, and I could offer them different veggies to eat every day. However, it seems pretty tough to get them to try anything. My understanding is that as prey animals, they are really suspicious of new things so they will be hesitant to try anything. I would never withhold other food because I've already seen them avoid food when I tried lessening their seeds one day. I gave them another helping of seeds and they went nuts eating it- as though they hadn't eaten in weeks!!!

That said - they're also smart and curious, so I hope I'll get them to try new things. It seems so hopeless. Little do they know, I am very stubborn myself, and we can try to out-stubborn each other every day.

Last edited by StarlingWings; 07-18-2016 at 01:25 PM. Reason: Merged posts
  #6  
Old 07-18-2016, 12:39 AM
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Do you have paper on the bottom of the cage? It is very easy to simply take out the paper and replace with fresh new ones daily. This gets rid of poop, food and mess .
Don't give up on the other foods , simply try different ways of offering have you tried a mash?
https://talkbudgies.com/recipes-budgi...die-bread.html
https://talkbudgies.com/recipes-budgi...step-step.html
https://talkbudgies.com/recipes-budgi...y-budgies.html
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Old 07-18-2016, 01:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpockSkunk View Post
I've read, though, that some birds would rather starve to death than eat foods they don't like (a lot like my picky eating, actually). So maybe this would harm them? When I put more pellets in, they came to the bowl, looked at it, then hopped away without eating. I think they really hate them and might suffer if I tried not giving them an option.
Provide seeds as well, but just in smaller quantities and mixed in with the pellets so when theyre rooting around in their dish trying to get some seeds, they'll be somewhat forced to notice the pellets. Chances are they dont really realize theyre food. My boy was hesitant like yours, but once he accidentally took a bite, he realized what he had been missing
Perhaps try other brands or flavors as well.
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