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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello

So we have a 2 year old parakeet. When we got him he was only 4 months old and he never had a problem eating enough.

We bought a new one a week and a half ago named Tundra.

At first Tundra only ate millet for first 4 days or so-normal I know. Now he is eating half stick of millet a day and maybe a tablespoon of seed.

I know what he should be eating in terms of good parakeet diets (veggies pellets etc). I will transition once he has mastered his seeds that he was given by his breeder. I don't want to switch it all up until he's settled and eating normally.

**My concern is: is he eating a large enough quantity a day? I'm not asking about variety but just sheer volume: around half spray millet and one tablespoon of seed enough calories for him a day? Every chart i sees separates it down : pellets, seeds and veggie percentages. **I need to know just sheer amount to sustain weight. **

I worry because years ago (and we've had a few birds -conure, cockatiel in past that all were healthy and happy voracious eaters) but one baby cockatiel was sold to us that had a problem eating and slowly starved to death. It was a problem undiagnosed by our vet at the time who repeatedly said she was just fine and the amount she was eating was fine. My mommy instincts told me it wasn't normal but by time I took her to another avian vet (the one I go to know) she died the day of the appointment. So those wounds, while years ago, still come back when I see a baby possibly not eating enough.

So can anyone tell me if this volume is enough? It's only my second parakeet and it's hard to compare Tundra to our Tiki who eats a lot and is much older.
 

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That sounds like a fair amount of food. It is good to hear you are planning on getting Tundra on healthier diet soon. I would highly recommend getting an inexpensive gram scale, and get in the habit of weighing your bird's regularly. It will often help alert us to problems much sooner, and brings real piece of mind to know they are maintaining a healthy weight......:001_smile:
 

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No need to worry, with that amount your budgie is not starving.
At this point, your Tundra is more than old enough to try a variety of foods and it would be best to slowly reduce the daily dosage of spray millet and to have a good seed mix and pellets readily available for him.
You can also start by introducing fresh foods to him. A good starter veggie is romaine lettuce, most budgies will go for it the moment they see it.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So he is still eating the same.

Today and yesterday I was putting in some millet as well on top of fresh ground up veggies. He barely touched, maybe because there is a whole bowl of the good stuff right there next to it. Maybe also because I wake up a little later currently, 8 or 9am.

He seems to eat quite early in the morning before I wake up. Should I take seeds/ millet out over night and in morning when I wake put in millet and some seeds on top of veggies for first hour? Then follow it by millet/ seeds after. That way he tries his veggies.

I feel if he is already stuffed upon waking he won't really eat his veggies enough perhaps?

Should I maybe try: pellets overnight in case he wants a midnight snack. Veggies with seed and millet on top when I wake, then seeds millet after that?

I want him to get onto pellets soon and not have the terrible eating habits my first parakeet came with. I bought him Harrison's High Potency Super Fine.

Does this sound like an ok plan or is it detrimental to take out the only thing he eats overnight: seeds and millet?

Thanks everyone for all your help!
 

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1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of a high quality seed per day is all your budgie needs as far as the seed portion of the diet goes.

The pellets can be left in the cage 24/7.

Please take the time to read the tips on how to introduce new foods to your budgie which can be easily found in the stickies in the Diet and Nutrition section of the forum.

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 Roudybush minis and Zupreem Fruity Pellets whenever they like throughout the day and they all enjoy them!

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, I use mash on my other parakeet as well and he really likes it. And want to start offering it to Tundra as well starting tomorrow. Increasing it over time. Tiki eats through a super thick layer of it daily. He never warmed up to pellets but does like mash with his seeds.

Doing only 1-2 tsps of seed for the moment I worry my new guy, Tundra, being will not enough so I'm in a catch 22 here.

I suppose should I keep seeds at 1 tablespoon and sprinkle tiny bit of mash on it, increasing a bit daily the amount. Offer a half a spray millet. Then take this all out at night and leave pellets in, then give veggies in the morning?
 

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I agree with everything except the 1/2 spray of millet.
I'd cut that back to no more than 1 1/2 inches of millet per day.

If a bird has the opportunity, it is going to eat millet and forego the healthier options.

Are you weighing Tundra regularly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I worry if he doesn't eat spray millet though except an inch and then barely any more than 1 tablespoon of seeds he may not sustain his weight. He also seems to only it seeds when spray millet is mixed in. Maybe i should decrease the amount down to an inch slowly over next week?

I just bought a scale yesterday but it was just too bit and he was too scared.

I bought a pocket one today on amazon so hoping that will work better. It's tricky as i have to put his food bowl on it, then hope he lands on it before the power cuts haha. But we'll get there in the end.
 

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Yes, you are definitely going to need to cut down on the amount of millet because if you don't, that is all he's going to eat -- as evidenced by the fact he doesn't want to even eat his seed without millet mixed in.

If it makes you feel more comfortable to cut the amount of millet down gradually over a week that's fine. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So I put millet on veggies for tundra -he won't even touch it. Lol I had even taken out seeds/millet late last night so he'd be ready to consume in the morning . Left only pellets (which he didn't want)

Did it for tiki too, the bird that had hated veggies for two years- he ate it! Not tons but I saw him get some odd veggies in there while foraging for millet. Go figure! Lol
 

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After a few days: success! Tundra is enjoying his millet and veggies! So it's working out. Tiki took a step back and isn't as enthusiastic but I think his is based on the time of day. He only wants them early morning while Tundra is game all day long but especially loves them at dinner.

Btw after all those veggies (yesterday was kale and carrots) his poo was lighter olive color green. Much lighter than normal. Is that typical with veggies? Is that ok?

Thanks!
 

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Yes, that colour is normal for budgies who have eaten veggies, and is good proof that he's doing so :thumbsup: Well done!
 
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