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Old 06-06-2019, 11:21 AM
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Re: I think I may have an addiction . . .

So it's important that you guys get these baby Budgies eating a healthy diet right away, because at their age you've got the ability to get the on the right track very early and prevent conditions like Fatty Liver Disease an Heart Disease...My very first pet was an English Budgie that my mom bred and hand-raised, and that she gave me for my 6th birthday...And he lived to be 18 years and 9 months old...And that should be close to the average lifespan of a Budgie in-captivity, but sadly it's not even close...There is absolutely no reason why pet/captive-raised Budgies should not ALL LIVE into their mid-teens, but there are 2 major factors causing their average lifespan to be closer to 10 years or younger: A crappy Diet that is high in fat and low in protein, and then the epidemic of mass-inbreeding when it comes to Budgies. And while there isn't much you can do about the in-breeding except to try your best to buy a baby Budgie from a reputable Breeder who knows the recent lineage of their breeder-birds, you absolutely can make sure that your Budgies eat a healthy, varied diet...And keep in-mind that "healthy diet for birds" does not have to equal "Pellets", because a lot of the Pellets sold today are just as bad if not worse for your birds than even the cheapest, junkiest Seed-Mixes are...

****This is really quite simple: [B]If you want to wean baby birds or transition your already weaned/adult pet birds/parrots from a staple-diet of Seed-Mix to a staple-diet of Pellets, the only way it's going to be worth it to do it and be an improvement in their diets is if you choose a "Natural-flavored" Pellet, rather than any of the brightly-colored Fruit-flavored Pellets, as well as the Nut-flavored Pellets that some companies are also starting to sell (Zupreem is the only one I'm aware of, but I'm sure there are others)...Fruit-flavored Pellets are loaded with Sugars, both extra Sugars that are purposely added to them by the manufacturer, and the "naturally-occuring" Sugars that all Fruit contains (and Fruit Juice)...And all of that Sugar (Carbs), when fed every day to a PET PARROT who doesn't fly 8-10 miles every day like WILD PARROTS DO while looking for enough nutrient-dense food each day, simply gets turned right into FAT and is stored in your pet parrot's Liver, just like the Fat from the Sunflower Seeds, the Dried Corn, the Nuts/Peanuts, etc. that is found in most of the cheaper, junky Seed-Mixes made for pet Parrots. That's it, not hard to understand...And when it comes to Budgies, there are less available options than for the larger Parrot species, but there are definitely enough healthy options out there...

***[B]The 2 most highly-rated, overall-healthiest Natural-flavored Pellets for Budgies, both of which would make a great daily "staple-diet" for your Budgies, are #1) Harrison's Pellets, and #2) TOPS Pellets...So if you want to transition your 5 Budgies from a staple-food of Seed-Mix onto a staple-food of Pellets, I would highly recommend that you choose one of these 2 options...They are more expensive than most, but again, the cheaper Natural-flaoved Pellet options, the most popular being Zupreem Natural, are not even close to as healthy as the Harrison's or the TOPS...I use to feed all of my larger parrots Zupreem Natural Pellets, until I started reading online about it, then speaking to a few different CAV's about it, and finding out that Zupreem Natural Pellets contain Cornmeal, Soymeal, and a lot of other "fillers" that are very unhealthy and are nothing but once again, Carbs/Sugars...So that was that for the Zupreem Natural...As for my 8 Budgies, I would much rather feed them a very healthy, varied, fortified Seed-Mix along with fresh Veggies and Dark Leafy Greens every day, and that's what I've been doing forever, and I'm extremely pleased with it.

***I highly suggest you do a Google Search for something like "Highest-rated Budgie Seed-Mixes" and then go to the places for results that are reputable and that actually mean something, and that actually EXPLAIN why they are choosing the Seed-Mixes they are as being the "Highest-Rated"...Drs. Foster and Smith, Chewy, etc., there are a ton of places that rate Seed-Mixes and Pellets based on their ingredients, their level of Fat, Sugars/Carbs, the fillers they use to make them, etc. One thing they all have in-common is they all list Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro-Health as one of their "Top 5" Seed-Mixes for pet Parrots...This isn't why I chose to feed it, it's only the reason why I chose to research it, and then based on my research of the ingredients, the nutritional-composition, what is added-in as far as supplements, vitamins, etc. and why they add it, all of these things are the reason i chose to feed it. Kaytee isn't typicaly considered a "High-Quality" parrot-food company, and some of their Seed-Mixes are also found on lists of "The Worst Seed-Mixes For 'Pet Birds", such as the Kaytee Fiesta Seed-Mix...It's just garbage that is LOADED with Fat and Sugars and contains questionable ingredients that I wouldn't want to feed my birds at all...But as far as the Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro-Health, it's an awesome Seed-Mix for all species of Parrots (available for Budgies, Cockatiels, Conures, Macaws, Greys I think) that actually already contains a lot of the supplements I already give my larger birds, such as Pre-Biotics and Pro-Biotics, Wheat-Germ, Omega-6, Omega-3 and DHA, Spirulina, Oyster Shell, as well as other specific individual Vitamins and Minerals that pet/captive-raised parrots typically are lacking-in, rather than just throwing in a "Multi-Vitamin" that contains Vitamins and Minerals that they don't need, that they will just excrete in their Urates, or that will just build-up in their bodies and cause issues down the road for them...And when compared to all of the other big brands/types of Seed-Mixes, the Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro-Health is lower in Fat in-general, lower in Saturated Fat, higher in the "Good Fats", much lower in overall Carbs, contains NO ADDED SUGARS OR SALT, is high in Protein and Fiber, and they all love it as well...I give my 4 larger parrots a daily Probiotic-powder added to their food, and with the Budgies I don't have to, it's already there...And the other nice thing is that you can order the Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro-Health on Amazon.com by the 25-Pound Bag with Free Shipping! And it's not at all expensive either...So that would be my recommendation to you guys for your Budgie's staple-diet...And then you want to give them at least one large serving of FRESH Veggies and Dark, Leafy Greens (No watery Lettuces or Cabbage, they are nothing but water and offer no nutritional value at all, stick to any of the fresh Greens that are both Leafy and Dark in color such as Mustard, Turnip, Collard, Dandelion, Escarole, Endive, Bok Choy Pak Choy, Chards, Arugula/Rocket, a little Spinach and Kale but not a lot (both are too high in Urates and can result in very chalky-Urates and actual Urate-Stones), a little Raddichio, etc., basically any dark colored, leafy Greens, and then pretty much ANY Veggies as well as long as they are #1) Fresh and not canned of course, and then also NO ONIONS, LEEKS, CHIVES, etc., basically nothing in the Onion-family or related to Onions, as they are all Toxic/Poisonous to Birds, just like Avocado is as well...As far as fresh Fruit, it contains a lot of naturally-occuring Sugars that turn into Fat, so fresh Fruit should be only given 2-3 times a week, and can be any type of Fruit EXCEPT Avocado, which is Toxic/Poisonous, and also SHOULD NOT BE CITRUS FRUIT ON A REGULAR BASIS, BUT RATHER ONLY GIVE CITRUS FRUIT ONCE IN A GREAT WHILE!!! Vitamin C causes the body to absorb all of the Iron that is contained in the food that you eat, and again, birds cannot digest nor process much Iron at all or they will develop a condition called "Iron Storage Syndrome/Disease", which can be fatal...So if you want to give your birds a little Orange or Orange Juice once in a while that's fine, just not all the time...
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Talven (06-07-2019)
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 06-06-2019, 06:08 PM
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Re: I think I may have an addiction . . .

Wow EllenD that's a lot to read through.

Thankfully I have had some experience with hand raising birds from when I was breeding cockatiels, so I knew what to watch for and what to do if needed. I have been keeping an eye on them to make sure they are all eating. The issue was the dish being clear. Poor confused little things were trying to get to the seed through it rather than climbing on it. Different dish and problem solved. All of them are now cracking seed.

I took a HUGE risk in getting older birds (10 - 12wks) to show them how to be budgies but I trust the local pet store. They have an on site vet that maintains all the animals so all of the birds are very healthy. I really wouldn't recommend anyone do this as the risk is crazy high that something will go wrong. Thankfully I have the cages available at the moment if there is an issue and minutes away from good vets. Still it was a foolish thing to do. But in desperation you take desperate measures.

In saying that the gods of fortune seem to have been smiling on me. Within a few minutes all the babies were using the perches and showing interest in food rather than huddling together on the floor. I would hazard a guess and say the first time they were away from older birds was when they came with me. It has significantly reduced stress levels for the babies which were at worryingly high levels IMO.

Here in Australia we are very limited in what pellets we can get. I would say 95% of pellets available are Vetafarm which I have stopped using. I have found a decent online supplier and am in the process of switching to Roudybush daily maintenance.

The budgies will end up with one of these blends of seed Canaryseed (50%), White French Millet, Panorama, Jap Millet, Panicum, Shirohie Millet, Red Panicum and/or Hulled Oats or White French Millet, Panorama, Canaryseed (20%), Jap Millet, Panicum, Shirohie Millet, Red Panicum and/or Hulled Oats.

I may look at mixing my own blend in the future as the online supplier I use (For the Aussie members https://parrotsupplies.com.au if interested) sell the different seeds individually as well. Definitely need to research good seed mixes first.

All my birds get seed (No sunflower seeds though) and most likely will continue to as I personally feel it's good for them to have to work a little for their food. Mental stimulation is such a huge need for them. They also have access to pellets as well as fresh veg.

All of my birds get a mix of fresh veg and sprouts depending on what's available. Usually it has carrot, broccoli/cauliflower, corn (sparingly used as very sugary), chickpea sprout, red lentil sprout and mung bean sprout as a base. Added to that is whatever looks good at the grocers. I never use lettuce or cabbage as they are mainly water.

Fruit is very much a treat and used sparingly. The high sugar content means that it becomes fouled with bacteria very quickly in our lovely warm Aussie temperatures, even during winter.

AmyMyBlueFront I will try for more pictures as best I can but it's not looking good at the moment. Not very co-operative birds for photo sessions.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 06-06-2019, 08:10 PM
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Re: I think I may have an addiction . . .

On the subject of pellets, like you here in Australia I’ve been feeding Vetafarm since it’s the most readily available. Now I find info that it’s apparently not so great for cockatiels (unfortunately the source didn’t elaborate as to why..) I get my Lilly’s lorikeet dry and wet food from parrotsupplies.com.au as it’s about the only place I can get the brand she likes (!) and lately I’ve been getting some Tropimix for my seed eaters (they love it!) I see you’re leaning towards roudybush rather than vetafarm, would you mind please advising me as to why? If it’s just a healthier product overall I might just make the switch too!
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 06-06-2019, 09:22 PM
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Albino Cockatiel (Ghost) Green Cheek Conure (Echo) Pineapple Green Cheek Conure (Ari) Creamino Indian ringneck (Lumen) Princess Parrot (Salem)
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Re: I think I may have an addiction . . .

The reason I switched from Vetafarm to Roudybush was pretty straight forward. A healthy birds droppings shouldn't have much of a smell. While on Vetafarm the droppings were pretty nasty smelling. I wasn't too keen on the colour either. I tried a colour free Vetafarm pellet but my birds wouldn't have a bar of it. The smell of the pellets themselves wasn't too great either.

I ordered the Roudybush daily maintenance crumble and was much happier with it. The smell was much better than the Vetafarm. It smelled like dried fruit rather than artificial fruit. My birds seem happy enough eating it and their poop no longer smells foul.

There is probably a better pellet out there than the Roudybush but as we are limited in what we can get I went with that. There is a thread ( Ingredients to pellets ) in the food subforum that may be of help in working out what is best for you.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 06-06-2019, 10:00 PM
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Re: I think I may have an addiction . . .

Thank you, yes I have read that thread, some very generous soul certainly put in a lot of effort with all those ingredient lists!

Happily both Fang and Val have nice healthy looking poop with no nasty odour. I’ve only just bought another big bag of vetafarm so once they’ve chewed through that I might give them a try on roudybush.

Thanx again and best of luck with all your adorable new babies!
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Last edited by LaManuka; 06-06-2019 at 10:17 PM.
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