I am partially using this as a way to keep track of things for myself and as some way to look for some advice on this.
I am trying to convert my little Tiramisu onto pellets. First thing is he hates them. At first had a size was too big and seeing people had the most luck converting birds on Zupreem Canary sized pellets I switched to them. Of this he took a few nibbled the first day and has refused them ever since. I had figured at his recognizing this was food he would warm up and eat them. Alas after two weeks he is still stubborn and refusing them. He even tips his food dish over in tantrums over a lack of seeds-- this while very cute is very naughty. I have tried mashing some seeds in with the pellets, mixing them a little, just offering pellets and treats of seeds while we work on our daily clicker training. I am about halfway done with the bag and he is still not taking them. I will try another pellet brand when this bag finishes up if he is still so against it.
On top of all this he refuses all vegetables, fruits, and while this isn't food he won't nibble on his cuttlebone either (he knows what it is, he nibbled on it for a few days then hasn't touched it since.) I will keep attempting vegis and fruit on my stubborn little guy but I fear he will just never go for it.
I am worried he might not be eating enough. I know getting him to eat the other things is an excersize in patience. But I am also worried he will go underweight and not be getting enough food as well.
On the plus side of all this is doing extremely well on his training as he is desperate to do things for seeds. I fear that is the wrong reason for him to want to do it to avoid starving himself. Will continue to give updates.
I'd continue with mixing the two to get him familiar with them being there that he has to sort out what he likes from this mix. When I first got Steve, he was a strict seedy and the colored Zoopreme I think confused him and he totally rejected. This site suggested other brands and I chose Roudybush maintenance (Nibbles size) which is the same size and color as millet and he switched quickly to all pellets in one dish and another dish of seed mix. He also gets greens, grated carrot and for treats he enjoys steel cut oats and raw hulled sunflower seed. If he's a young bird he should convert fairly easily.
Steve's always been healthy for the last 4 years. Just remember to make sure he gets plenty of what he will eat (seed-wise) if not pellets, until you're sure that he is eating pellets. The advantage with pellets is that every pellet contains all basic nutrients he'd get in a good seed mix along with vitamins, and he won't sort through pellets since they're all the same. Once he's onto pellets (you see him eating them consistently, I'd still offer him a dish a a seed mix daily or at least every other day for variety, Good luck but be patient.
You can try this trick too... Harrison’s makes a mash. It is basically like a coarse powdered form that you can sprinkle and mix in or on top of the food. This gives a taste of pellets. It also gives superior nutrition, as Harrison’s is (in my opinion) the best. The proof has been in the bloodwork from the vet, on all my birds through the years, as well as the excellent feather colors and outward condition of my birds.
Harrison’s makes a super-fine size, perfect for budgies. Mine also eat the next size larger (fine size). If you can’t get Harrison’s in a store near you, you can buy it online. It does cost more, but it’s well worth it.
Thank you for the help. I am mixing pellets and seeds together while I am at work and can't get him training seed supplements. I tried giving him some of my pasta salad ingredients last night and after he was done screaming at the parsley in his dish until I removed it he ate the seeds off of the pasta and cucumber. This is a huge step up for him as before he would rather starve than eat it if it was in the same dish.
I ordered a small sample of roudybush as well as I have heard that is good. If he hates that Harrisons is his next attempt. Feather colour isn't such a big deal since he is an albino and white is the only colour his feathers will ever be. Other than the orange spot on his chest where he dyed it orange on some stained wood... I know it says that babies have an easier time trying things. My poor baby is just three months old and already being a stubborn little thing. I don't want to imagine how bad he will be after.
Thank you all for the tips, I will keep you updated. He is trying lettuce again tonight. Last time he was afraid of that part of his cage for a few days after.
So, no update really, he still refuses to eat pellets, as far as I can tell seeing as I watch him sift through his pellets for seeds. On wednesday it is being cut down again on his seeds and I just hope he tries some. He is still very active and seems happy. Still won't even touch vegis or go to the side of the cage they are on if they are in the cage. I will keep trying to out stubborn the baby budgie but he seems very stuck in his ways.
If you're using "nibbles size" Roudy, you might try offering straight pellets for the first hour in the morning when he's uncovered and keep on eye on him to see if he's eating any.
Then remove and replace with50:50 seed/pellet mix for the rest of the day. Repeat this for several days and see what happens.
I can relate. My bird dislikes all pellets except one brand, Higgins InTune, which have to be ground up to an almost powder consistency in a coffee grinder specifically for him. If I serve them whole or in a semi-crushed state he won't touch them. So perhaps experiment with consistency?
Phil has a good suggestion. And just remember you don't want to eliminate seeds fully from the diet. I give Kowhai his vegge chop (vegge, beans and sprouts) first thing in the morning, then 1 tsp of seed at 10:30am and another tsp at 6:30, and in between he has a constant supply of pellets and veggie chop. He used to dive-bomb the seeds and gobble them up with nothing left over, but after a few months he eats more pellets and vegge during the day so his cravings for seed have lessened and he is no longer desperate for them, lol.
I can try that over the weekend. The problem is I have work at 6:30 in the morning to 5:00pm (a four tens schedule.) I can wake up a bit earlier but it is difficult to monitor his seed intake and separate them into different feeding times. I can try this over the weekend and see what he does. He still won't touch the pellets- they are the smallest size and not much bigger than the seeds.
He also still refuses all vegetables and fruit, going so far as to not use that part of his cage when I hang a lettuce leaf or something for him. I was thinking of getting some grapes, cutting them in half, then covering them in seeds for him. He ate the seeds when it was on pasta, this might give him a taste for it?
I am cutting down the ratio of seeds to pellets every week and a half or so, he still gets seeds again later in the day for training-which has ground to a halt and has gone backwards some since he now bites my hand at least once before going for the seeds in my palm. While this doesn't hurt it is rather annoying and is hurting more as he refuses to use his cuttle bone to help wear his beak down. He also refuses to bathe so he gets misted every few days-not sure if he loves this or hates this yet as he seems very angry at the mister but always turns to the side so his other side gets misted and waits for it. He has a permanent bath in his cage he treats as a drinking fountain- very cute but not what I hoped he would use it for.
Anyway, I need to get rid of some of these pellets now so I will keep trying with the batches I got before trying another brand. He is a very, very stubborn boy. I hope he grows to like SOMETHING, it is a little frustrating to watch him hate everything and glare at me while it is in there like I am trying to poison him.
I will leave an update on the grape gambit I will attempt. Here is another picture of him because despite all this I love him and he is very cute.
Philw you are a genius on this! I tried it and I saw him eat two pellets after picking around, crumbs dropping down and all! It is a breakthrough and I am thrilled! Thank you so much. I will keep it up and will keep trying on vegis and fruits.