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Old 02-25-2016, 12:26 PM
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Baby food and crushed pellets?

So I adopted my African grey about a year ago, and she has been a plucker from the start. I have no background information on her (she was in a car accident where her owners died. She was taken to the zoo I volunteer at and no one claimed her, so I took her in) so it’s been just a laundry list guessing game of trying different things for the past year to see if anything helped the plucking. I think I finally pinned it down a few weeks ago – she’s allergic to corn or wheat, because I took her off her Roudybush pellets for a few weeks and the plucking improved, not gone completely, but she definitely has more feather growth than usual. I even tried Harrison’s afterwards, and the plucking started going downhill again.


So began the journey of trying pellets without corn or wheat. I tried Roudybush rice and Golden’obles, and she refused to touch the stuff. I tried forcing her by putting it in there and nothing else for 24 hrs (which worked when feeding her normal Roudybush, she gave in and ate it within a couple hours) and she wouldn’t budge on it at all. TOPS was the only stuff she’d eat, but it became powder so quickly and she wouldn’t eat it once it became powdery, she’d throw her bowl on the floor. She’s also a picky eater about fruits and veggies. The only thing she will eat is grapes. I’ve tried apples, peaches, carrots, kale, broccoli, squash, peas, peppers, banana…all sorts of fruits and veggies in small pieces and large pieces and she won’t eat them.


In-between the different trials of pellets, I made her some chop so she had something to eat. She wasn’t a big fan of it, even finely chopped she would nibble a little (I’m sure out of hunger desperation) and toss out the rest. My friend recommended baby food, and she LOVES the stuff. I buy the Gerber stage 2 baby food (making sure the iron is under 5%) and whether its veggie or fruit, she eats it with gusto.



So since TOPS is so easy to crush (and the last one I tried), I tried putting in crushed TOPS pellets in with the baby food and she eats it just fine. I buy the ones that have the two packs of baby food, 3.5 oz each, and for the past week I’ve been giving her one veggie pack in the morning with TOPS mixed in and a fruit one in the evening, again with TOPS mixed in. If I put too much crushed TOPS in, she won’t eat the baby food, so it’s been a delicate balance of how much to put in before it changes the consistency/flavor too much and she won’t eat it.



But I’m just not sure how healthy this is for her. Is it okay to be feeding her baby food with crushed pellets mixed in? I’ve just gotten to the point that I don’t know what else to try so she will eat.
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Old 02-25-2016, 12:44 PM
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Re: Baby food and crushed pellets?

Sorry to hear she appears to be so reluctant to try fresh foods. That must be quite frustrating.

I'd be careful mixing baby food with pellets as I'd worry about the softened pellets going badly rather quickly in the moist baby food. Also, unless the baby food is certified organic, there may be stuff in there that's not so healthy for her, if you know what I mean.

Don't know if you've seen this great write-up on plucking yet, it' definitely worth a read: Plucking: A Search For Answers

As for foods, please check out the following links:
Converting Parrots to a Healthier Diet - Tips
Ingredients to pellets
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Old 02-25-2016, 12:51 PM
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Re: Baby food and crushed pellets?

Hi could you replicate the flavours she will eat of the baby food with home made? Made to the same consistency if that's what she likes?
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Old 02-25-2016, 05:22 PM
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Re: Baby food and crushed pellets?

I tried the whole chop thing, blending things in a blender, but personally it's just such a chore for me I'd rather not do it. Buying the fruits and veggies, chopping them up, blending them, freezing them...just not for me, which is why I kind of liked that I could just buy baby food already all made.
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:10 PM
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Re: Baby food and crushed pellets?

What about a "bread" recipe you could put everything in and give twice a day? I put carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, veggies, everything in mine.
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Old 02-26-2016, 03:08 AM
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Re: Baby food and crushed pellets?

Quote: Originally Posted by corkyness View Post
I tried the whole chop thing, blending things in a blender, but personally it's just such a chore for me I'd rather not do it. Buying the fruits and veggies, chopping them up, blending them, freezing them...just not for me, which is why I kind of liked that I could just buy baby food already all made.
Hi it's a shame that you find giving your bird the very best not for you and not something I have come across here on this forum which has so many devoted parronts who would quite likely spend their last dime on their bird rather than themselves. I have tried to find out the nutritional content of Gerber Baby food but as not in USA was not able to access. But the nutritional content will have been correctly proportioned for a human baby of a certain age not a parrot.

By doing bulk chop sessions - it is possible to do enough for many weeks - it is possible to give your bird the best without too much time involved. It can be made interesting by letting your bird sit nearby and watch, feed tit bits as you go along. I make an almighty mess whilst doing it, put the radio on and it's great fun being in the same room as my bird, interacting with him and having fun. He loves me being there and I'm doing something that is good for him and worthwhile. I have looked at baby food content over here time to time but have shied away as not convinced that it is OK. I hope you will re-consider but if not I sincerely hope that your parrot does not suffer later on for a little time well spent now?
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Old 02-26-2016, 06:14 AM
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Re: Baby food and crushed pellets?

^^^ ^^^

VERY well said, plumsmum, and I agree 100%!
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Old 02-26-2016, 06:19 AM
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Re: Baby food and crushed pellets?

Thanks Wendy, if I had a cockatoo crest it would be well and truly up!
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Old 02-26-2016, 07:33 AM
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Re: Baby food and crushed pellets?

I don't think that's a very fair thing to say. That's like shaming a mother who says she doesn't want to breastfeed and rather just give formula. Does that mean because she makes the decision not to breastfeed she doesn't want the best for her child? I love my parrot and just because I don't want to make chop for her doesn't mean I'm not devoted. I'm a busy college student who although I sit and do homework with her every night, I don't even have the time to prepare nice dinners for myself. Im sure there are many parrot owners on this forum who also decide they don't want to make chop.

But thankyou doublete for the bread idea, that seems more manageable then chop and easier.
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Old 02-26-2016, 07:36 AM
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Re: Baby food and crushed pellets?

And may I suggest a super easy chop made of a bag of mixed veggies, a bag of chopped spinach, any other frozen veg you want and cooked quinoa or cooked quinoa pasta? If I'm running short on time my chop gets altered to make it quick. This one literally is easy. No cutting involved

The bread you can throw anything in.
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