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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 11-24-2017, 05:24 PM
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Default Food Recognition

Hi Everyone,

So my wife and I are new budgie owners, and like most people, are having some difficulty weaning them off of seeds. At present, we have been following the directions on the bag of pellets (Kaytee Exact Rainbow Parakeet and Lovebird food) to slowly phase out the seeds and replace them with pellets.

To date, they have steadfastly eaten around all of the pellets, and only eaten seeds. They do, however, eat apples, oranges, eggs, and bread that we have put into the cage. We have also eaten a few of the pellets in front of them (not too bad actually - mildly sweet), to show them it is food. So the question then is this:

Is there a definitive way to determine if the bird recognizes the pellets as being edible, and just does not want to eat it, as opposed to not even knowing that the pellets are food? Clearly we don't want to starve our birds.

Thank you in advance.

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Old 11-24-2017, 07:04 PM
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You could try and remove the seed bowls after they had their "breakfast" if you normally have the bowls in for the whole day with seed, just add the bowls again with pellets that way you will find out soon enough if they see it as food, they will not starve from you trying this, for half a day.

Also, if your birds will eat seeds from your hand, hold a little amount of seeds and pellets and see if thy only go for the seeds.

Or, you can simply add some extra bowls with pellets around the cage and se if they go there to eat

Either way, do not get to hung up on having to remove the seed from their diet.
If I were you, I would start by offering some more fresh vegetables and maybe sprout some of the seed instead, as I am sure they will get the point of pellets also being food eventually, just keep adding them to their diet

From my own experience, I tried the conversion from seed to pellets through going from more seeds and less pellets in the same bowl to more pellets and less seeds, but that was not a success, now I just have some small bowls placed around the cage with pellets, and what do you know, all my birds will now visit those bowls and eat some pellets a couple of times every day.

Just my 2c

Edit: also, how big are the pellets, it might simply be a question of them being to big?
I started out with the Zupreem fruity ones in the "budgie size" but it was not until I tried the "Canary size(very small)" they started eating them.

Last edited by ReneBC; 11-24-2017 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 11-24-2017, 07:27 PM
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Thanks Rene.

They do eat seed from our hands, and every time we've offered up the pellets they just mouth them for a bit before spitting them out.

We will definitely go with more fruits and veggies, since they seem to have no problem with those.
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Old 11-24-2017, 07:31 PM
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I see, then remember to add some pellets to the fruit and veggies also, if the pellets are always with the food they eat, I'm sure they will get the "idea"
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:54 PM
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I found that crushing the pellets and spinkling them over their seed each day helped convert my budgies over. However it's still reccommended to give your budgies 1 and a half to 2 teaspoons of seed a day along with their pellets and veggies.
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Old 11-25-2017, 07:17 AM
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It can take several weeks (or even months) 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 (once or twice a week)

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

Please take the time to read the Budgie Articles and the Stickies posted at the top of each section of the forum.
Most basic questions have been answered there.

You will find many different tips with regard to presenting vegetables and encouraging your budgies to try new foods in the Diet and Nutrition section of the forum.
The first vegetable which my budgies that had not been weaned to vegetables tried (and loved) was sweet corn kernels sprinkled with a teeny bit of garlic powder (NOT salt).

Budgies seem to love "spicy" tastes.
They also adored fresh basil, cilantro, chickweed, zucchini and red pepper.

Diet and Nutrition - Talk Budgies Forums

Using Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother)
as a natural pro-biotic is very beneficial to your budgies:

https://www.talkbudgies.com/articles-...r-vinegar.html

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!

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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.

Lady Gouldian Finch .com - Soluvite D

Here is an article about Full Spectrum Lighting:

https://talkbudgies.com/articles-budg...udgie-get.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
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