Harrison’s bird diet

HeatherG

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After a year of work, I got Willow (Quaker) switched from seed to Harrison’s high potency bird diet pellets (fine). I had heard you should switch your bird to the lifetime pellets after he’s been eating the high potency for 6 months to a year (can’t remember how long) so I bought some lifetime pellets and blended them for a few weeks. Noticed that he seemed to be eating less, or not all, of his pellets. I normally put a bit more than Willow will eat in one day in his dish.

Anyhow, I used up the blend and switched over completely to Harrison’s lifetime pellets. I was finding a lot in the dish and Willow was very crabby for several days. So I started treating him with avicake when he came out and was amazed because he was SOOO hungry! I couldn’t believe he could want to eat that much, but he did, and then he was his old sweet self. It seemed like lifetime pellets weren’t working.

I messaged the Harrison’s people last night and they said that Willow could eat high potency pellets all the time, unless the vet said otherwise. So I ordered another bag of Harrison’s fine high potency pellets. I notice they have about twice as much protein and fat as the lifetime pellets. Well, of course he likes them. Just like I prefer popcorn with butter!

Does anyone know more about Harrison’s pellets and Quakers? Willow looks great and is not plucking or barbering. He’s coming out of his shell and becoming more outgoing and exploratory. But I thought I needed to be careful with the fat and protein, although the levels on high potency diet aren’t THAT high they are twice the regular food.

I am wondering if I ought to make sure Willow gets vegetables and a bit of fruit each day? If I am feeling badly sometimes he just gets pellets. Willow is not skinny but I don’t believe he’s fat either. I felt his breast muscle and it’s fine.
 

Rival_of_the_Rickeybird

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None. My wife has one too many. Kidding!
The Rickeybird has eaten high Potency Harrison's for 35+ years. Not sure how/why the decision was made but I know that the conversation involved Harrison and our bird's original vet back in the 1980s. Good luck. We use mail order to ensure supply and freshness.
 
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HeatherG

HeatherG

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The Rickeybird has eaten high Potency Harrison's for 35+ years. Not sure how/why the decision was made but I know that the conversation involved Harrison and our bird's original vet back in the 1980s. Good luck. We use mail order to ensure supply and freshness.
Good to know. I thought it was too “rich” or something.
 
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HeatherG

HeatherG

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I brought Willow down to the lobby of my building to pick up his Harrison’s pellet order (high potency fine pellets). It came in a box and I was juggling bird, box, and a few other odds and ends back up to my apartment. Two guys were gawking at me from the elevator as I tried not to drop my packages. Grrr! But we got to my door before I dropped any thing.

I’d planned on a snuggle and scritches session but changed my mind upon finding the pellets. I opened the box and then the bag—they sent me a small sample of pepper lifetime fine pellets— and immediately gave Willow a big scoop of pellets in his dish. He’s been crabby lately and pinching me when he comes out. I think he’s hungry.

Anyhow, I hear NOTHING from the living room. Most likely there’s a soft crunching sound. But no screeches or yells. Willow is pleased.
 
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HeatherG

HeatherG

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Willow has learned to expect avicakes when he comes out of the cage this past week. I’ve been supplementing the pellets he didn’t like with them. But just now he came out and settled down for pets right away. He did not wander around searching for avicake. I think Willow is eating the high potency pellets again and must not be frantically hungry!
 

kme3388

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I'm a big fan of harrison's. I emailed them for sample's, and they not only sent sample's but they sent an entire pamphlet of their diet. I learned a lot reading on their food, treats, and bread.

Nico love's the birdie bread that harrison's makes. He didn't care for the power treats. He just made that into powder for whatever reason. He is on a prescription pellet for his boronavirus.

My conure is the definition of a picky eater. She is awful. I've tried multiple pellets. I have given up. I finally have gotten her transitioned to zupreem nut flavored pellets which was a HUGE deal for her. She was on a seed mix diet for years, and just picked out seeds. It's not pretty trying to convert her. Fruits, and veggies she won't even give a chance to. I'm actually concerned for her well being if I place these in her cage.
 
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HeatherG

HeatherG

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Now that Willow has experienced AviCakes, he’s decided they must be part of his diet. He never had them before until we ran out of high potency Harrison’s. He isn’t finishing his pellets in his food dish, but is bitey when he comes out until he’s eaten some avicake. I’m a bit worried because he’s figured out to chew around the pellets in the avicake to eat the seed and molasses binder.

Then again, I saw Willow REALLY HAPPY on Saturday for the first time since we ran out of his old food (1 1/2 or 2 weeks) I checked and clipped his wings and then we went for a walk and he was duly admired. Then we sat down for some more scritches and snuggles and he got all puffy and licked me. I put him back in his cage and he was very puffy and had a romantic interlude with his favorite hanging toy. Not much success as the thing kept swinging away but he looked so puffy and HAPPY with the goofiest look on his face that it made me laugh.

Willow had stopped being as loving, not preening or licking me for the past couple of weeks, and I think he was just crabby because he was hungry. But I worry that now his diet is unbalanced if he’s eating mostly Harrison’s high potency and the seeds chewed out of avicakes. (Yes, I looked at the scraps he leaves behind and they’re all the little cylindrical pellets and some binder. If I gather them up and give them back to him he THROWS them.).

Anyhow, I was having a pain and migraine flare and wasn’t regularly feeding the birds fruit and vegetables in the last month. I need to get back to doing that. I have three big jalapeños that I’m going to slice crossways and freeze and then I can serve those piece by piece. But I would rather him not have jalapeño beak every day! Being preened would be really unpleasant.
 
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HeatherG

HeatherG

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Sr Willow refuses to eat his Harrison’s high potency bird diet. Now that he’s tasted avicakes, he thinks they’re better. Besides, he can chew around the pellets.

Does anyone have suggestions for what I can do? I just bought a big bag of Harrison’s and Willow was doing SO well on that food.
 
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HeatherG

HeatherG

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I just remembered what finally got Willow to eat the Harrison’s before—I gave it to Jasper and he thought it was delicious. (I sampled some, too.). Then Willow decided he MUST have the Harrison’s high potency diet.

But when I tried to convert Willow to Harrison’s lifetime diet, he picked out the new lifetime pellets, and then refused to eat the lifetime pellets. I had to order high potency pellets and feed him avicake in the meantime. He’s decided he only wants avicake now.

I think I will feed Jasper the high potency pellets (in addition to his big zupreem pellets) and then maybe Willow will go back to eating them. I hope he will, anyhow. Avicakes are rather expensive to feed a bird on them alone.

What do you think?

I could also mix the pellets with applesauce and see if he will try them. Or moisten with water.
 
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HeatherG

HeatherG

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Today we are ALL eating Harrison’s high potency bird diet to convince Willow that it’s ok. I can’t hand feed it to him in his cage because he’s so snippy around his cage. Jasper thinks it’s great which it IS in comparison to his big Zupreem pellets!

So now I’ve got Willow on his basket and he made a tiny little poop. He must be really hungry! So I have given him a big square of Avicake.

He has been eating Harrison’s high potency for months but when I tried to switch him to Harrison’s lifetime he decided he didn’t like any of it.

I guess I will be handfeeding this stuff for a while.

—hmm. Willow will eat the pellets if they are wet. We have something new to try.
—after hand feeding some wet pellets, now he’s trying the dry ones. Ok? I’m not sure what to think here.
 
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HeatherG

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Willow didn’t eat much of the dry pellets today but started eating them when moistened with water and a bit of pear juice. He seemed convinced by my stirring in his dish with a spoon.
————————
We are going to take a bunch of steps back and I will be hand feeding Willow his high potency pellets, moistened, because he doesn’t want to eat them. I don’t know what to do. He was eating them well before until I ran out (trying to switch to lifetime pellets) and then wouldn’t eat the new kind. Willow has decided he only wants avicakes and is a very very grouchy bird.
 
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HeatherG

HeatherG

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Willow was very grumpy when he came out of his cage just now. I ate his pellets in front of him and he decided to have some. I hand fed him, pellet by pellet, until he was slowing down.

Now Willow is very mellow and wants to be pet. He was so funny last night! He kept getting upset if I only pet him with one hand and not two. I’m not sure how I’m getting away with typing except maybe he is having an intensive preening session. Goofy bird!
 

kme3388

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Avi-Cakes are more of a treat to Willow. It would be like giving us sweets in comparison to a veggie. A piece of pie or a carrot? So when you are trying to give him a pellet he is getting mad because he would rather have his avi-cake. Nutriberries are kind of the same concept. When you are going from something more sweet, to something very bland... You are going to have some behavioral issues unfortunately. Some birds are more vocal about it. Willow has decided to give you a harder time! He sure is a cutie pie though.
 
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HeatherG

HeatherG

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Well, I read that you CAN feed avicakes as a main diet so I thought they’d be ok for the four or so days when I was out of the pellets that Willow would eat.

And now avicake is all he wants…☹️ I can’t let Willow starve. I mean I’m tempted to let him get hungry enough to choose to eat the pellets but I don’t want to be cruel or to kill or hurt him!!
 

Vampiric_Conure

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Well, I read that you CAN feed avicakes as a main diet so I thought they’d be ok for the four or so days when I was out of the pellets that Willow would eat.

And now avicake is all he wants…☹️ I can’t let Willow starve. I mean I’m tempted to let him get hungry enough to choose to eat the pellets but I don’t want to be cruel or to kill or hurt him!!
Aren't Avicakes like 40% pellets? You might be able to make your own Avicakes and add the Harrison's in with the seed.

Don't mind me. Just mumbling out loud over here, LOL!
 

kme3388

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harrison's, roudybush, and some of these pellet's aren't going to be very sweet.

Avi-cakes, and nurti-berries I thought were treats? Maybe I am wrong? I honestly could be. I've given nutri-berries as a treat to my ekkie once in awhile for foraging to try to engage him in activities.

My assumption here is that Willow has a sweet tooth. Maybe trying to mix the two together as the above poster suggested could help. I know my conure is on her zupreem nut flavored pellets because she's picky. I caved, and just gave into her. I threw out probably 5 different bags of pellets that she refused to eat. Once a bag is opened you cannot donate them to a shelter either. With her seed mix diet all she would eat out of that was the sun flower seeds.
 

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