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Old 01-08-2019, 11:03 AM
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Protips for switching from seeds to pellets.

So my new bird zod was on seeds, of course I'm trying to switch him over to pellets like clark eats.

I've mixed them in in decreasing amounts but I even caught clark eating a seed instead of zod switching over. I was like clark noes!!!!!

I've held a pellet out and zod will bite and chew on the pellet but it looks more like he's just shredding it other than eating it.

For these first two weeks now I gave papaya treats, millet, and bought literally cheap (walmart seeds) so he'd be more comfortable (keep his weight up) with the transition and hopefully be more into the pellets, but he's being obstinate.

Any protips how to make him find the pellets better? Should I just take more and more away so he has to eat pellets or should I wait a bit longer....

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Old 01-08-2019, 11:51 AM
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Re: Protips for switching from seeds to pellets.

The Harrison's pellet conversion method worked perfectly for my flock! I'd think the process is workable regardless of brand.

Medium to large bird: Diet Conversion: Medium to Large Bird | Harrison's Bird Foods

Small bird: Diet Conversion: Small Bird | Harrison's Bird Foods
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Old 01-08-2019, 06:38 PM
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Re: Protips for switching from seeds to pellets.

Offering pellets that are soft, moist and warm makes them irresistible to Pico, my GC.

I microwave a bit of water in his food dish.
Then throw in a few Nupreem pellets.
After a 1 or 2 minute soak I cool them down to a safe temp with tapwater, then drain but leave in the warm dish.

I offer them 3 or 4 times a day, but only enough that would be eaten in a a few hours since warm wet things invited bacteria.
If he finishes them immediately I'll offer more next time.

Last edited by YSGC; 01-08-2019 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:42 AM
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Re: Protips for switching from seeds to pellets.

As Scott already mentioned, the Harrison's "Transition Plan" is probably the one that seems to work the most consistently...However, can I make a different suggestion to you?

***To be fair and totally honest with you and everyone else, I have always been a very, very strong believer that all parrots NEED to have seeds as a part of their regular, daily-diet, and all of my birds throughout my life have always gotten at least a small-portion of seed-mix every single day along with their pellets...That's what I do now with all 4 of my larger parrots (Senegal, Quaker, Green Cheek, and Cockatiel), their daily staple-diet is Tropican pellets and they have those all day long, and they they eat their dinner with me in the evening when I get home, and their dinnertime is when they get their fresh veggies/Chop, and then they get either some fresh fruit or some other type of little treat for desert...BUT they all also get 1/4 cup of a healthy, low-fat, varied seed-mix along with their pellets every day as well...Their bodies (GI Tracts from top to bottom, from beak to distal-intestine) are designed to eat seeds/hard grains/legumes, this keeps their GI Tracts healthy...But I also believe that there is a psychological/mental element to this as well, as pellets do not exist in nature, nor do they need "shell" pellets, and most-importantly they don't need to "forage" for pellets...

Anyway, back to my point for you Clark...You just brought this new Green Cheek home a week or so ago, right? It may be in your new bird's best-interests right now, since he's not settled-in yet and everything is completely new to him, to hold-off on also trying to transition him onto a totally new/different diet at the same time that everything else in his life is brand-new as well. He's pretty young and it wasn't so long ago that he was fully-weaned onto seed-mix; he then was loaded into a box, onto a truck, went to a pet shop, had hundreds of people looking at him and whatnot, and then just a week or so ago you brought him into his new home, with new people, a new house, another new bird, etc. And even though he is adjusting very quickly and quite easily it seems, it's still very stressful on any bird...So trying to also drastically change his diet at the same time onto pellets, which he's never had before most-likely, may actually be counterproductive right now...Also, it is going to be less-successful right now than it would be if you waited for at least a couple of months to let him settle-in and make your home his "territory".

***Here's the key to this whole thing though...Instead of doing what you're doing right now by buying a junky, high-fat Walmart seed-mix in order to try to switch him onto pellets as his staple-diet, instead, don't worry about switching him onto pellets right now but rather just switch him onto a very healthy, low-fat, varied seed-mix as his daily-staple that contains no sunflower seeds, no nuts of any kind, no dried corn of any kind, etc. This is a very healthy change you can do for him immediately and one that he'll most-likely accept right away; this way his staple-diet will be essentially as healthy as it would be if his staple-diet was a pellet, but he'll have no added stress of his diet being drastically changed right now while he's going through all the other changes. And then in a month or two once he's completely adjusted, settled, and under no stress at all, the transition from a healthy, low-fat, varied seed-mix as his staple to a pellet as his staple will be so much easier and will go much more smoothly than it's going to go right now with all the other changes he's going through.

There are several of these healthy, low-fat, varied seed-mixes, some of them even contain healthy pellets in them as well...And I don't know what pellets you feed, but if you compare the nutrition of most of the fruit pellets and even some of the natural pellets to a few of these healthy, low-fat, varied seed-mixes, these seed-mixes are actually better for the birds all the way around...The few that I'm aware of that are fantastic are Higgins California Blend and Tropimix...They are both very similar to each other in ingredients and nutrition, the big difference being that Tropimix also contains Tropican pellets with it. Other than that, they are both excellent, low-fat, varied seed-mixes that most birds will eat right away with no issues, and are healthy enough and low enough in fat that captive/pet birds can eat them as their daily staple and get the same or better nutrition as they would if they were eating most fruit pellets out their, such as Zupreem Fruit...

Just something to think about...This is what we have recently started doing at the Avian Rescue I work at with the birds who come in on an all-seed diet, which is probably as high as 90% or more of them, the difference being that usually the seed-mixes they've been eating their entire lives are total crap and have caused the health issues...And it's working out great for us because we're getting these birds off of the high-fat, low protein, overall bad-nutrition seed-mixes and immediately switching them to these healthy, low-fat seed-mixes the same day they arrive at the Rescue, and this dramatically changes their overall physical health in a very short amount of time...Then we can relax and gradually transition them onto a natural pellet diet without feeling like it's urgent that we get the switched-over right now for the sake of their health...And doing it this way has made the eventual transition to pellets for most of the birds much easier and more successful in the long-run.
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:59 AM
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Re: Protips for switching from seeds to pellets.

thanks YSGC that sounds doable...Ill try it for both of them as a treat!

Also thanks EllenD I've actually the other day got some different seeds with Vitamin A omega 3 & 6 probiotics etc. all that jazz.

Thats kind of what I was also asking, is it to soon? Thanks for the input. I wasn't pressuring him to much to change but I keep handing him a pellet to break up, I figure eventually he will figure out it is also food.

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Old 01-09-2019, 10:00 AM
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Re: Protips for switching from seeds to pellets.

Oh and scott also thanks, seems a lot more involved but if it comes to it like a year from now.....
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Old 01-09-2019, 11:23 AM
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Re: Protips for switching from seeds to pellets.

My experience is with older and commonly ill Amazons. Getting them healthy is the primary goal. As part of that is just getting them to eat. At first, anything that works for them (eating) and then transition to ever healthier offerings.

Ellen's high quality seed mix is much the same as ours. The only difference and likely already part of the diet base she is talking about is grains. With the exception of custom mixes, the majority include grains.

The elimination of sun flower seed for Amazons is very important. It differs for other Parrots, but regardless, as a starting point, zero /gone.

When we transition pellets into the dry mix, we start with crumbs added to the mix. We reduce the volume in the bowl so that the crumbs are scooped up more by accident than selection. With time, we increase the size. Some have loved the full adult size, others only the crumbs and with no surprise, some liked the middle. Julio, likes to dunk the pellets that he eats.

We provide a large cross-section of healthy seeds, grains and nuts with dry frozen veggies and also pellets as part of the dry mix. Greens are provided separately, commonly during the morning.
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Last edited by SailBoat; 01-09-2019 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:09 PM
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Re: Protips for switching from seeds to pellets.

Quote: Originally Posted by clark_conure View Post
Oh and scott also thanks, seems a lot more involved but if it comes to it like a year from now.....
The transition from Zupreem and a few seeds to Harrison's took about 3 weeks. They love the new pellets!
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:13 PM
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Re: Protips for switching from seeds to pellets.

My CAV says to feed about a tablespoon of seed a day and I just read on three different Google links that Hawkheads, like Mac's, need more fat in their diet.

Having said that if one plans on transitioning to Harrison's, what worked for Nike was starting her off with Harrison's Power Treat. Looks similar to their pellet and Nike loves them. After a while I started mixing them in with her High Potency Corse pellets (just a couple) and she started eating them first but then continuing on with the regular pellets.

If Nike could convert, anyone can.
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Old 01-09-2019, 05:16 PM
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Re: Protips for switching from seeds to pellets.

My two cents. Don't be afraid to start with the colorful fruity pellets even it that's not your goal. They just seem to accept them better. My 3 all gravitated to Zupreem Fruit Blend first. After that it was easy to get them to eat Harrison's. The oldest one actually prefers Harrison's now. The younger two don't seem to have a preference.
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