Parker is currently being fed Hartz Bonanza Parakeet (or should say was - I've been finding she doesn't want to really eat it, and will only accept this food:https://petvalu.com/product/SCM00617...ix-health-diet if I put a little in my hand and rest it on the perch as her personal platter lol). She has never been fed pellets, and unfortunately someone (not knowing better) created a millet spray addict before I had the chance to take her home. I've offered Nutri-Berries (Tropical and the ones with cranberries), but even crumbled up, she's not interested so far.
Anyways, I was looking to switch her to a better quality diet, and finally found a shop that carries Volkman parakeet seeds, and Harrison's pellets.
I guess I have a few questions though...
I was reading Harrison's website, and by the looks of it, I should be feeding high potency super fine to start with. But I noticed it said not to give with other vitamins or supplements food products. When I look at the ingredient listing on the Volkman seeds (according to the retailer, not the Volkman site), it lists the oat groats in it as "vitaminized". Does this matter?
The other question I had was about switching over... should I start one thing at a time? And do I keep offering the old food (even the stuff she hasn't really been eating)?
The reason Harrison’s states not to use additional vitamins and minerals, is that the formula is scientifically balanced to include needed nutrients.
It’s okay if you feed the Volkman’s seeds too. It’s hard if not impossible to find a bag of seed that has not been “vitaminized”.
My birds have all taken right to Harrison’s pellets with no problem, but reportedly some birds aren’t crazy about it. Harrison’s also sells Mash, which is like a coarse powder to sprinkle and mix with existing foods so your budgie will get a taste for it. That might be a good way to introduce Harrison’s to Parker since he hasn’t tried it before.
The best way is to also keep the old food in the cage. If he’s not interested in the Nutriberries, I wouldn’t bother with that.
If you haven’t taken a look at it already, the diet and nutrition section of the forum has some good Stickies and threads for tips on diet and presentation.
I use Volkman Avian Science Super Seed Mix for my birds.
Using the seed mix along with the Harrison's pellets or mash is fine. What you do not want to do is give additional vitamins or supplements in addition to what is already included in the seeds and pellets.
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.
It worked for my all of budgies and lovebirds!
Many members seem to find the easiest pellets to use for introducing pellets to their budgies to be the CANARY sized (XS) 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 Zupreem Fruity Pellets, RoudyBush Mini Natural Pellets, Dried Herb Salad and Miracle Meal available at all times.
(Yep - I have a lot of food dishes! )
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 packing paper 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 paper with clean) and again allow them to forage for their seed.
Sorry if I may have missed the information in the diet and nutrition section, sometimes I use the search, and it comes up empty
I picked up both the Volkmans and the Harrisons, although I picked up the super-fine and not the mash.
The Volkmans so far, is a hit from what I can tell. I gave her a little by hand when I got home, and she immediately gobbled it up. I mixed a small pinch of the pellets in with it, and wasn't sure if she was eating them or picking them up and dropping them. So I pinched each pellet between the tips of my fingers, and held my other hand below. She picked them out, and dropped a few crumbs, but I think she's eating them
Yup, she's eating a few from my hand, although I find that I have to roll them back and forth with my thumb to convince her that it's safe for eating.
Now the magic question is, is there any way to keep the pellets fresh for longer than the recommended 6 weeks? I figure if I give 2 tsp (3g) for 6 weeks, I'm only using 126g of them. Smallest bag is 454g, which would be a huge waste. They charge over twice the price here, that they do in the US for a 1lb bag
I do have a food sealer... would that do the trick?
I would think a food sealer would work, also if you contact Harrison customer service they will give you the best advice on how to keep the pellet fresh, I have contacted them many times and they are very helpful.
Harrison’s bags are designed to keep the product fresh, (which is why they recommend using it and not transferring it to another container).
If you refrigerate the bag, it can help. Some companies even recommend putting pellets in the freezer to extend shelf life. The pellets don’t freeze. Don’t worry, at any rate they aren’t going to go “bad” after 6 weeks . Over time, they may loose a bit of their potency, but I wouldn’t be concerned that it’s going to change enough to matter. Not in the time frame that you’ll have it. I hope this helps.
Using the food saver and refrigerating the pellets (or even freezing them) is a good option.
I never worry about the amount of time the bags of pellets say they will remain "fresh".
To my mind, the pellets are just like dog kibble and will neither go bad nor lose potency before the bag is used up.
I've been trying to find the resealable food saver bags so that I can remove all the air and stick it in the fridge. Seems no one carries them around here (this seems to be a recurring theme lol).
As an update, we still aren't at the stage where Parker is willing to eat the pellets from a bowl, but she will eat quite a few from my hand (before she wants the new seed mix, which has really been a hit since bringing it home).
And as a bonus this week, I gave her little pieces of apple, and she spent quite a bit of time picking them up and having little nibbles. I'm not sure how much she ate, if any, but hey, it's a start.