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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 10-20-2016, 10:31 AM
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Default I'm at my wits end with Severus

Hello everyone,

Where to start-I've been trying to convert Severus to a pellet based diet and am currently trying to get him to eat his Zupreem pellets. They aren't the colorful or fruity kind. Just the all natural budgie pellets. I have tried introducing him to the Harrisons as suggest by another member, but he just simply wont take to it.

I've noticed that his poop is a little greener now due to not eating enough. I have been feeding him some of his seed but mixed with pellets and the mash and its just not working(he eats around the pellets). What do you suggest I do? I would really hate to give up and go back to his seed, but am wondering on average how long does it take for your budgies to convert? I've been doing this now for close to two weeks.

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Old 10-20-2016, 02:43 PM
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Two weeks is not a long time for conversion. Some birds just don't recognize pellets as a food source and will not eat them. It is important that you make sure your bird is getting adequate food intake and don't try to eliminate seed thinking that if the bird is hungry enough he will eat the pellets, that won't work and could put the health of your bird in jeopardy. I think I have tried just about every pellet there is and the only ones that any of my birds will eat is the Zupreem fruity ones, extra small, the ones for canaries and finches. They always have a dish of them in their cages as well as a dish with a seed mix along with assorted veggies. Some of my birds will eat the pellets pretty well but this is after months and months of having them in the cage and some after more than a year. It seems to me that once one starts eating them the others get curious and want to try them also. A few of my birds will go so far as to pick out only one of the colors of the pellets and leave the rest.
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Old 10-20-2016, 03:18 PM
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Yeah, I've been sure to keep his seeds in the cage just I've been rationing them to be less and less every few days but see hes not taking to mash or pellets. I figured that if milo and Ivy invite him to be cage mates in a few weeks that it may be a good idea seeing as they'd be good influences on him (they eat pellets). Just I hoped I could keep him separate from them.
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Old 10-20-2016, 05:25 PM
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Any time you introduce new foods to a budgie it takes a great deal of time and patience.

It is very important that Severus receives a minimum of 1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons of a good quality seed mix per day. Seed is an important part of a healthy budgie's diet even when they eat pellets.

I ration my budgies seed and they get it morning and evening.
I change the newspaper on the bottom grate of the cages and then spread the seed on the newspaper for them to forage for it.

They have a couple of different kinds of pellets available in their cages 24/7 so there is always a food source if they want it.

https://talkbudgies.com/articles-diet...ur-budgie.html

https://talkbudgies.com/articles-diet...-seed-mix.html
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Old 10-20-2016, 06:35 PM
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I followed Deborah / FaeryBee's recommendation strategy to get my bird to eat pellets and it's coming along. But slowly. I've been working on it for two months, and while it's a slow process... I've seen a little bit of progress. I've read it can take 6 months to a year to make it work, so I'm planning on it taking a long time, & will take a lot of patience.

I used the little tiny Zupreem fruity pellets (Canary sized) and my budgie did eat those without too much protest. I first did half and half [ half seed and half pellets in the same dish ] ... and I'm not sure that worked (i.e. he would only eat the seed.)

Then, I followed the Zupreem recommendation to rotate. i.e. take all food out in the evening at bedtime, and then in the morning only offer the pellets. That allowed for some progress. My bird would eat the pellets in the morning on some days. But on other days, my bird would reject the pellets completely in the morning. He wouldn't eat one. He would turn his nose up. I would take the dish out and put it back in to try to trick him (and that didn't work.) He was holding out for seeds and made it clear he wasn't going to eat those pellets. ... So on those days I put the seeds back in. [ One day, he was so mad about the pellets being in his dish... he ripped the food dish off the wall and it wound up on the floor of the cage. Fortunately that only happened once. ]

Then, I followed the plan (an option on the Zupreem site for conversion) ... where you leave the pellets in the cage in the morning as the only option, until the afternoon ( & then put the seeds back in. ) So what I was doing was extending the time that pellets were the only option.

That had some success. His pellet consumption quantity increased. But still, it was a situation where one day he would eat the pellets... another day he would not.

Then, something FaeryBee recommended I believe... I mixed the pellets up with broken up Nutriberries. This helped to turn a corner. Somehow, that mix was appealing, and my bird developed a real taste for it, and would eat it all up... eating Zupreem Pellets and the broken up Nutriberries ... in one sitting indiscriminately. (I've found this entire process requires monitoring of what he's eating and I always give him at least 2 teaspoons of seeds either morning / night... or just at night... if I'm concerned he didn't eat enough, or just as a matter of course.)

When I was confident he was eating enough of the pellets with crushed Nutriberries, I took plain seeds away for a few days because there are seeds in the Nutriberries....& because I wanted to see if I could curb his taste & desire for seeds [ I read someone who feeds pellets for 3 or 4 days, and then seeds for 3 days ] ....& taking a seed break for a couple days was useful --- (he continued to distance from the seeds)--- but now I'm at a place pretty much where it's the pellet mix in the morning all day [ crushed nutriberries + pellets ].... & I make sure he always gets at least 2 teaspoons of seeds in a day.... & I put them on the bottom of the cage on newspaper like Deborah does. But I don't provide the seeds in the morning. Only pellets in the morning. (& fresh vegetables / fruit. He doesn't really like fruit. He's picky... only likes kale & broccoli. Doesn't like romaine lettuce, cucumber, berries, bananas, etc.)

It's at a point now... where my bird doesn't necessarily eat every last seed, and I've even seen him in the pellet dish, when there were lots of seeds available. He wanted the pellets at that moment.

I would say that this is a process that takes many months. At least 6 is what I'm budgeting for it. I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing and see where I net out by January. I'm optimistic because I've seen progress. I'm just going to have to be tenacious and patient.

I've tried to work with the Harrison's SuperFine pellets ( the company will send you a sample if you write them. They have a sampling program ) ... however my bird doesn't want them.

I think once I feel more confident on my bird's consistent appetite for the Zupreem pellets every day .... then I will try to convert to Harrison's. I'm thinking I will put half & half in the dish... then slowly decrease the Zupreem pellets. At least, that's my plan.

But also to Deborah's point... my bird's diet will always have seeds, at least 20% of the diet / 2 teaspoons per day.

Hope that helps. The pellet thing is a huge pain, but it's worth it... and it just takes time and consistency and patience. From my experience.
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Old 10-20-2016, 07:00 PM
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Just as an added note -- some budgies that refuse Harrison's pellets love Roudybush.

Roudybush has pellet "crumbles" which are usually a fairly easy transition from the Zupreem Fruity Pellets.
Once the budgie gets used to the crumbles then you can move up to the Roudybush Minis.
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Old 10-20-2016, 07:07 PM
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Thanks for the tip about Roudybush....!
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Old 10-21-2016, 02:12 AM
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I guess I'll chime in here.

My budgies have been off and on Harrison's for the past two years, meaning: they have a mix and they like it that way and eat what they want from it. They now have a routine where they know what to expect and they like their food presented to them a certain way. They are pretty spoiled.

What you will find here from other members is that many have tried various different ways to introduce new food items, be it pellets to fruit to veggies to toys. It's trial and error...and sometimes with causation: *food dishes being thrown to the floor and showing their human the cage door*. We gotta love 'em!

Honestly, if a budgie has been weaned on seed then good luck changing them completely over. There are exceptions but I haven't heard one story yet where there has been complete changeover. A budgie weaned on pellets is more likely to still gravitate toward seed. What birdie wouldn't, I ask?!

Still, my story goes 2 years back when I started on Harrison's High Potency Super Fine to start them off. Then "I" went through a very short phase and thought I would give them Zupreems Regular pellets for budgies. They rejected that outright. Then it was back to the HHPSF and now they get the Harrison's Adult Super Fine.

My budgies are very particular about how they receive their pellets. I crush them, not completely to a mash, but still with enough pellet consistency yet smaller again. They really don't like to eat the pellets completely as they are and prefer them smaller than that. Go figure.

I place their seed in a dish, then I add a nice heaping amount of crushed pellets and then their herb salad on top of that so that they have to forage around in their bowl to get to the seed. It works and I know they have to eat some to get to the other stuff.

My budgie Zucchini is going through another tough molt again and he just came out of a slump and is ravenous about the Harrison's. It's the first time I have seen him demand (yes, really ) and go for the crushed pellets and not much of the seed. Something in him just decided it was time to eat the healthier stuff. Now that he is back from point zero in his molt, his spirits and energy are back up and he's rotating between seed, pellets, and millet when given.

So, there are different ways to go about this, and maybe your budgie, once introduced with your other birds, may just convert over to pellets, but you will just have to see.
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Old 10-21-2016, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewing View Post
Honestly, if a budgie has been weaned on seed then good luck changing them completely over. There are exceptions but I haven't heard one story yet where there has been complete changeover. A budgie weaned on pellets is more likely to still gravitate toward seed. What birdie wouldn't, I ask?!
I have no idea exactly how they manage it, but every budgie who has come to me as a foster has been 100% converted to Harrison's. And I promise you that they were pretty much all on a seed diet before that. My guess is that part of it is that even if they are not caged or free with the other birds, they are with a plethora of other other birds who are eating Harrison's. There are a couple of different homes that the budgies tend to go to first. One of them also usually has a variety of large parrots and I don't think they get out of cage time there. The other house sometimes resembles a budgie summer camp, so there they do eat together.

The other part is that the head of rescue seems to have a jedi knight mind control over birds. (I'm only half joking!)

I'm in no way suggesting that it's really as easy as they make it seem, but I don't want people to think it's inevitable that a budgie who has been weaned onto seeds won't make the change.
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Old 10-21-2016, 03:13 PM
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My budgies are still in the process of trying to get on pellets. I have tried a couple of brands and they are not keen. It's harder to get the roudybush crumbles in the UK but a friend is going to get me some so I don't have to pay the marked up price on Amazon over here for them.

It's the same with veg. None of my guys were on veg when I got them. There are still things they won't try but I keep offering it to them so they have the chance to try them.
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