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Old 12-25-2018, 05:31 AM
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White faced cinnamon male cockatiel and 3 lutino cockatiels. All hand-raised and are never caged.
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Re: Periodic vomiting

Spinach and lentils has approximately 4mg of iron per 100 grams with pumpkin seeds having approximately 16 mg per 100 grams. Scanning through other seeds and their derivatives tells me that iron is a ubiquitous nutrient and in high concentration per gram. Broccoli and other greens are rich in iron. So while Cerelac is higher per 100 grams of iron (vs green vegetables but not varieties of seeds), seeing as how it's such a small % of their diet makes it difficult to pinpoint that as the reason for the two isolated vomiting episodes that have had, so far, no after effects whatsoever.

That said I'm going to try pellets again, even if I have to hire someone to sit there and have them eat out of hooman hands (weird way to get them to eat their veggies in a much larger quantity per sitting).

Last edited by DaBirbs; 12-25-2018 at 06:25 AM.
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Old 12-25-2018, 08:56 AM
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Parrots:
Senegal Parrot named "Kane"; Yellow-Sided Green Cheek Conure named "Bowie"; Blue Quaker Parrot named "Lita Ford"; Cockatiel named "Duff"; 8 American/English Budgie Hybrids; Ringneck Dove named "Dylan"
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Re: Periodic vomiting

Well I'm glad you know you shouldn't be feeding them any human baby formula/cereal...Once again, regardless of how much Iron content certain veggies or anything else has, I've seen both Ceralac and Similac kill numerous birds, and it's because you're not looking at the amount of Iron versus the amount that you're feeding them...I would absolutely stop feeding them any Cerelac, Similac, or any other human baby cereal/formula immediately...

If they are adult birds that are fully weaned, then they shouldn't be eating any baby bird hand-feeding formula at all either, not unless they are sick and have become anorexic and require tube-feeding, or unless ordered by an Avian Vet to treat a nutritional deficiency...It contains way too many calories, fat, carbs, and is way too nutrient-dense for adult birds. They will at best become overweight, and at worst develop Fatty Liver Disease/other Liver Disease/conditions, Kidney Disease, Thyroid Disease, GI disturbances, etc.

If they will eat seed-mix on their own, as you said the reason you're doing this in the first place is because they are "seed-addicts" and won't eat pellets on their own, then simply buy a healthier, low-fat seed-mix that contains no sunflower seeds, no nuts at all including peanuts, and no dried corn kernels or dried cracked corn...There are many seed-mixes like this that contain healthier seeds and then a variety of healthy grains, legumes, dried veggies and fruit, etc. Let them eat one of these, as it's way better for adult, weaned birds than hand-feeding formula meant for baby birds who are rapidly growing and developing and need the extra calories, fat, and nutrients, and it's obviously way better than any human baby formula or cereal....And you can buy them at any Petco, PetSmart, etc. This is what adult, weaned birds are meant to eat, it's what their bodies are designed to eat...not hand-feeding formula. They were projectile vomiting for a reason, it could just be causing them GI disturbance, but more than likely their livers can't handle all that "nutrition"...

Higgins Vita Seed California Blend and Tropimix are two wonderful, low-fat, healthy seed mixes available at any Petco that they will eat that contain no nuts, no sunflower seeds, and no dried corn at all...Even Higgins Safflower Gold (which they will absolutely eat without an issue) is much better than feeding them formula, and it doesn't contain any nuts, sunflower seeds, or dried corn either, but is more "seed dense" than the Higgins California Blend or the Tropimix. So they will definitely eat it...Feed them that as their regular, daily staple diet, and then work on transitioning them over to a pellet staple slowly, over time, trying different transition methods/programs and also trying different pellets...

I don't know what pellet varieties you've tried to feed them, but you only mentioned that "they won't eat Zupreem" pellets...My birds were not huge fans of Zupreem pellets either. I only ever fed them the Zupreem Natural and the Zupreem Veggie variety of pellets, because the Zupreem Fruit and the Zupreem Nut pellets are both loaded with sugar and/or fat, and the sugar in the Zupreem Fruit turns into fat in their livers anyway...And honestly, I got a sample of Zupreem Fruit in the mail after filling out a coupon thing, so I separated it into 4 portions and mixed it in with their other pellets, and they wouldn't touch the Zupreem Fruit...I fed Zupreem Natural for a good year or so until my CAV told me that it wasn't nearly the best pellet available, and was hardly better than feeding them only a seed-mix because of the tons of "fillers" they use, such as corn meal...

So last year I decided to change pellets, and I was dreading it because I know how difficult they can be about it...They were also getting 1/4 cup of Higgins Vita Seed California Blend seed-mix each day with their daily staple of pellets, as I am one who believes that their bodies/GI Tracts were made to eat seed, as were their minds made to eat and "shell" seeds, it's just all about WHAT seed-mix you feed them and making sure it has no nuts, sunflower seeds, or dried corn kernels/cracked corn in it, as captive birds don't fly miles and miles a day to burn-off the fat and calories contained in these fatty ingredients...They absolutely LOVED the Higgins Vita Seed California Blend seed-mix, even though it doesn't look like a typical seed-mix and is full of dried veggies,
dried herbs, legumes, grains, etc.
So I kept feeding them the Higgins California Blend seed-mix and then sent for samples of different pellets to try.

I tried Tops and the Harrison's first, and of course they wouldn't go near them. I kept at it with the Harrison's, buying a huge bag (I don't remember if it was the course or the fine), and I was standing my ground and following Harrison's amazing "Pellet-Transition Schedule"...Then all 4 of them had their yearly Wellness-Exams, and I usually take my Green Cheek and my Quaker at the same time, and then on a different day I take my Senegal and my Cockatiel...So I took my Green Cheek and my Quaker, and both of their weights were down just a bit, but it worried me because they were right in the middle of changing pellet varieties...I talked to my long-time CAV about how I was switching them from the Zupreem Natural over to Harrison's but it wasn't going well at all, and they hated Tops and wouldn't touch it at all...That's when he asked me if I had tried Tropican pellets...I hadn't ever even heard of Tropican pellets before he mentioned them that day. He told me that some of his colleagues/friends from Vet School who were Veterinarians at Penn Veterinary Medical School (where he went as well) had started recommending Tropican pellets and Tropimix seed-mix to clients who refused to eat pellets in-general. So my CAV had switched his Greenwing Macaw over to Tropican pellets and he said that he started eating them right away with no issues. So I left his office and went straight to Petco, where he said I could buy the Tropican pellets (they call them Tropican "granules" on the bag), and if they liked them then he would give me some coupon-codes for places online to buy it much more cheaply (though the Tropican is't that expensive at all when compared to Harrison's or Tops anyway)...

So I ran to Petco and bought two different bags of Tropican pellets. Tropican has several different sizes (all the pellets are exactly the same, just different sizes) and I really liked that because I have 3 different sizes of birds...They have a "Cockatiel" size, with a picture of a Cockatiel on the bag, which is the smallest (I think they have one smaller for Budgies, but I didn't buy them, so the "Cockatiel" size is the smallest I buy), and then they also have a "Conure" size, which has a picture of a Blue-Crowed Conure on the front of the bag...I brought them home and gave the "Cockatiel" sized pellets to my Cockatiel and my Green Cheek Conure, and then I gave the "Conure" size pellets to my Quaker Parrot and my Senegal Parrot...The only bird who didn't eat them ALL, every pellet I gave them right then and there on the spot, was my Cockatiel, who ate quite a few of them. So that sold me...However, I had to play around a bit with what sizes I bought. The "Cockatiel" size pellets are very small, and are definitely the right size for my Cockatiel...However, my Green Cheek, though actually smaller than my Cockatiel, likes to hold his food/pellets with his foot, and they were too small for him to do so...And so do my Quaker and my Senegal...I knew where this was going, lol..
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Old 12-25-2018, 08:56 AM
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Senegal Parrot named "Kane"; Yellow-Sided Green Cheek Conure named "Bowie"; Blue Quaker Parrot named "Lita Ford"; Cockatiel named "Duff"; 8 American/English Budgie Hybrids; Ringneck Dove named "Dylan"
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Re: Periodic vomiting

To finish my long, boring, rambling story that actually does have a point, I swear it does:

In the end I started ordering 3 different sizes of Tropican pellets: I get the "Cockatiel" size for my Cockatiel, the "Conure" size for my Green Cheek and my Quaker, and then for my Senegal, who HAS TO hold each individual pellet as he eats them, I had to get an even larger size, so I got the next size up, which is the "African Gray" size...They also have one larger size for "Macaws and Cockatoos" that are huge. But my Senegal is good with the "African Gray" size...So every month I order 4 different bags of Tropican Pellets, 1 bag of Cockatiel, 2 bags of Conure, and 1 bag of African Gray. And they absolutely LOVE THEM. Even my Cockatiel, who is picky as all-hell, now eats her pellets every day...And to make things even better/easier/cheaper, I also switched to their Tropimix seed-mix, because not only is it basically exactly the same as the Higgins California Blend seed-mix, even looks exactly the same, the Tropimix seed-mix also contains some Tropican pellets! So even when they are eating their 1/4 cup of healthy,
low-fat, sunflower seed/nut/dried corn free seed-mix, they are also getting more Tropican pellets in their seed-mix!
And that's why I really love the Tropican pellets/Tropimix seed-mix daily diet, because it's healthy, it's low-fat, it's low-sugar (the Tropican pellets are sweetened only with natural fruit-juice not-from-concentrate), the Tropimix seed-mix is extremely varied and contains many, many different types of seeds, grains, legumes, dried herbs, dried veggies, etc., AND because even if they leave some of their Tropican pellets for the day, they still eat all of their Tropimix seed-mix every day, which also contains Tropican pellets, so they're getting more pellets every day anyway! And I don't think they know it, which is smart, they think they're eating a seed/grain/veggie mix but they are actually getting the same pellets in it that are in their pellet-bowl. And the Tropican pellets smell exactly like JuicyFruit gum! Yes, I've eaten them, I always try everything that I feed my birds, and they are pretty good! Much tastier than the Zupreem Natural or Fruit pellets!

***So, main point of my rambling here is that if your Cockatiels are currently "Seed-Addicts", that's okay, they are adult Cockatiels that are weaned and they are much better-off eating a seed-mix meant for adults than being fed hand-feeding formula meant for baby birds...Not only is the hand-feeding formula too high in calories, fat, carbs, and way too nutrient-dense for an adult bird, but it also encourages hormonal behavior for a number of different reasons, first because it's warm and mushy and all warm, mushy foods encourage hormonal behavior because it is what they were fed as babies, but the fact that it is actually baby bird hand-feeding formula also often causes some regression in adult birds and they start displaying typical baby-bird behaviors if they are fed it with a syringe on a continual basis (tube/Crop feeding them handfeeding formula with a crop-needle is different, it doesn't elicit a "feeding-response" and they do not actively participate in the process when they are tube/crop fed with a crop-needle)...So if your adult Cockatiels absolutely refuse to eat Zupreem pellets, obviously there are other pellets you can try, but more importantly is to first stop feeding them hand-feeding formula meant for rapidly developing, growing baby birds,
as they are much better-off eating a seed-mix meant for adult birds; and just because they are eating a seed-mix as their daily staple diet doesn't mean that it has to be a "bad" thing at all, you just have to choose a healthy, quality, low-fat seed-mix that contains no sunflower seeds, no peanuts/nuts of any kind, and no dried/cracked corn,
but rather is a varied-mix of lower-fat seeds, grains, legumes, herbs, veggies, fruit, etc.
And once you make that switch and get them eating a healthy seed-mix meant for adult birds and are no-longer feeding them any kind of formula daily, THEN you don't have to rush with transitioning them onto a pellet staple, you can take your time and find a pellet brand/type that they like. If they don't like Zupreem then that's actually not a bad thing, because as someone who fed Zupreem Natural for over a year to her own birds I can tell you that it's not that great a pellet...not horrible by any means, but not great. I'm an extremely pleased with the Tropican pellets and the Tropimix seed-mix daily diet combo, and if the Avian Vets at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine recommend Tropican/Tropimix to their clients and feed it to their own parrots, then that's good enough for me...Worth a try....

***By the way, the Tropican pellets in any Petco store are sold in 2-pound bags for $9.99, but on Chewy.com they are only $7.99 a bag...I go through one bag a month for each bird basically, so I order 4 bags a month...But keep in-mind that I'm also feeding Tropimix seed-mix too, if I didn't I'd go through 2 bag of the Tropican pellets per bird per month...But again, the Tropimix seed-mix contains Tropican pellets, so it's really a two-for-one kind of deal. In a Petco store, a 2 pound bag of Tropimix seed-mix costs around $7, but on Chewy.com they cost $5! (that's the "Cockatiel" size of Tropimix, which is absolutely the size you would want to try for your guys)...

***What I would suggest you do is to NOT BUY ANY TROPICAN PELLETS, but rather just buy a bag of the "Cockatiel" size Tropimix seed-mix first. That way you would be able to see if they like either the Tropimix seed-mix and/or the Tropican pellets since they are also included in the Tropimix...You can't lose, spend $5 on Chewy.com or $7 inside any Petco, if they hate it you're only losing at most $7, but if they like it then you've just solved your dietary/bird-food issues completely! Then you could order the Tropican pellets if you wanted to, OR what my CAV told me a lot of people are doing, since he recommends that all his clients feed pellets as their staple but also that they get a small amount of a healthy seed-mix each day too, is they are just feeding them the Tropimix seed-mix as their daily staple and that's it, no separate bowl of only-pellets, because that way they are getting both the pellets and the healthy seed-mix at one time. I am actually thinking of doing this as well, it makes sense, there are quite a lot of the Tropican pellets in the Tropimix seed-mix, it makes sense and it's a lot easier, cheaper, etc...And then I'll literally be able to feed 4 parrots both a healthy pellet and a healthy seed-mix for under $40 a month...
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Last edited by EllenD; 12-25-2018 at 09:11 AM.
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