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Old 03-23-2017, 11:22 AM
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Switching to pellets: hungry bird = angry bird, apparently

Today I started switching my green cheek conure from the seed mix his breeder gave me, to Nutribird G14 pellets. This morning, I took the seeds out of his cage, and provided him with a dish of only pellets.

Me, ~4 hours later, after more than one uncharacteristic nip: Why are you so grouchy today???

ANYWAY, half an hour or so later, it occurred to me that there might be a causal relation between these events! As soon as I realized this and gave him some seeds, he fell on them like he was starving - while squawking indignantly for like 3 straight minutes.

Can't believe it didn't occur to me sooner, because I personally turn into a murderous zombie after 2 hours with no food. And my body takes much longer to process the food than his does. Yet another reminder of how important it is to try and look at events from his point of view.

So far I'm optimistic about the diet transition - he was willing to at least nibble on the pellets, if not to eat very many of them. I'll continue to follow the great advice in the "Converting Parrots to a Healthier Diet" thread.
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:29 AM
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Re: Switching to pellets: hungry bird = angry bird, apparently

I'm trying not to laugh - Gus (Blue and Gold macaw) bit J pretty hard last night because he wanted a piece of chocolate! I wish I could have seen that - I can see the scarfing and squawking in my imagination. Yes, you can transition them and that's a good thread. Another good reference is the website for Harrison't bird food. They have some specific advice for transitioning birds to their excellent pelleted diet, and the same advice would work for you. Good luck! And if you have a way to take a video of the next starvin' Marvin seed attack please share it!
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:46 AM
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Re: Switching to pellets: hungry bird = angry bird, apparently

Thanks for the suggestion! I'll take a look at their site. (I tried the Nutribird/Versele-Laga site, but they barely have any useful content, unfortunately.)

Haha, I'll try to get some footage! I was about to write that I'm sure there'll be ample opportunities in the near future... but I just saw him grab and eat a pellet of his own free will, despite the fact that there are still more seeds in his dish. What a good bird <333 Tomorrow I think I'll try giving him a mix of both seeds and pellets, and see how it goes.

An hour after feeding him "edible" food, I dared to put my fingers near his cage again! Now he's back to nibbling nicely on my fingers and asking me to scratch his head. He really is just like me when it comes to food, lol
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:01 PM
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Re: Switching to pellets: hungry bird = angry bird, apparently

Here's my standard yak-yak about Harrison's...
I feed Harrison's, supplemented by fresh healthy treats. My first, and later, my current avian vet recommended it. 30-ish years ago, Harrison's was still a small company. My vet was actually able to talk to Dr. Harrison about my bird's species and status, and they decided on the High Potency. My bird loves the pellets now, but to get him converted, my avian vet suggested putting pellets out all day, and putting seeds (his old diet) out for two 15-minute periods a day. That would sustain him but leave him hungry enough to try new stuff. I presume the same technique could be used to get birds to eat other healthy stuff. My guy was eating pellets in a couple of days, and now I can feed a good variety of other stuff, knowing he has the pellets as a basic. Pellets are out all day... fresh treats a few times a day.
Good luck!
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:22 PM
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Re: Switching to pellets: hungry bird = angry bird, apparently

GaleriaGila, sounds like a really good strategy! I'll give it a try.
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Old 03-23-2017, 03:23 PM
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Re: Switching to pellets: hungry bird = angry bird, apparently

Abigail's method is awesome, I have always done it in a very similar way and it has always worked perfectly! I just realized that I've only brought home 1 baby bird that was weaned onto pellets and not just a seed mix, and that was a green cheek conure I bought from a really great private breeder. Even my Senegal parrot, who's breeder was an awesome couple in their 50's that were both teachers and had been breeding several species of birds for 30 years, was weaned onto a seed mix, albeit Hagen Large Hookbill Tropimix, which I still give him and all of my other birds as their daily seeds with their Zupreem Natural Pellets.

Another thing that can help you out if you have a particularly picky or stubborn 😈 bird, like my Senegal was, is soaking the pellets in fruit juice. I have all of my birds weaned onto Zupreem Natural, and of course they don't like them as much as the colorful, fruity pellets full of sugar and dyes. Same as my bearded dragon, as they get to be around a year old+ they slowly switch from 80% insects/protein and 20% veggies/greens/fruits, to the exact opposite, 80% veggies/greens/fruits and 20% insects/protein or even less. So their protein intake becomes very low, and depending on the lizard they can actually reject all insects, pinky mice, raw hamburger, raw chicken, they don't want anything but veggies and fruit. My guy is like this, he'll shovel in an entire head of mustard or collard greens, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, apples, carrots, etc. but he won't even look at a cricket anymore. So I bought a bag of Mazuri Bearded Dragon Natural Pellets thinking there is no way he'll eat these, but I'll try because they are so good for them. He wouldn't touch them, he ate like 5 little pellets from my hand and then tipped his bowl over on purpose. So I soaked them in grape juice until they were pretty soft and he attacked them as soon as I put the bowl in his vivarium. Kane, my Senegal parrot did the same thing, he loves orange juice, he would drink an entire bottle of it if I'd let him. So at first I made sure he saw me take the orange juice out of the fridge and pour it on his Zupreem Natural Pellets, and that did it. I think they like them mushy too.

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Old 04-05-2017, 12:26 PM
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Re: Switching to pellets: hungry bird = angry bird, apparently

Soak the pellets in apple juice, he'll eat it, gradually lessen the juice. I also have water right next to the dry pellets for dipping
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