How and when to start introducing varieties of food?

Claires

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Dec 23, 2023
17
55
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Blue Fronted Amazon
I have BFA who’s obsessed with dry banana chips and sunflower seeds. She’s about 4 months old, in the middle of weaning stage (half syringe of formula every couple of days or 1/4 once a day). She’s eating well on her own, but sometimes she still begs for formula. I’ve had her since 7 weeks old.

I put like 3 bowls in her cage containing veggies mix, seeds & water (since shes a baby) and she barely touches the water and fruits veggies mix bowl. I understand she still on a tad of formula so she’s not drinking water but she never touches any of the fruits and vegs bowl. I tried to hand feed her vegs and fruits and she kept on refusing it! Shaking her head and flew away whenever I hand fed her the veg & fruits.

My previous BFA wasn’t so picky on food and loves any kind of vegs & fruits & nuts, when he was on the same age as Beannie (the current baby), but in my defense, he’s just food motivated and he’s bigger than any of his siblings (about the same size as adult yellow napped when he was 7/8 mos, he is pretty big but the bird specialist vet told me that he’s not overweight 🤥🤥).

So my questions are:
1. would the age of bird influence their “exploration” of food? Or it doesn’t matter and my approach has been wrong?
2. is she being picky? Or female parrot is just picky in nature? (I’ve always had male birds/parrots, all lucky draw😬)
3. what would be a great approach to introduce fresh vegs and fruits?

Sorry if this is too long or maybe confusing, any ideas or suggestions would be highly appreciated😆
 

wrench13

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Some answers below.

1. would the age of bird influence their “exploration” of food? Or it doesn’t matter and my approach has been wrong?
She is at the right age to explore new foods. Your approach was wrong to even start her on sunflower seeds which are possibly the worst thing to feed a parrot. They are like crack, and now you have an addict.

2. is she being picky? Or female parrot is just picky in nature? (I’ve always had male birds/parrots, all lucky draw😬)
If she has not been exposed to all sorts of foods, she is not being picky, she is just not experienced. Females are no more picky then males.

3. what would be a great approach to introduce fresh vegs and fruits?
Slowly, over a period of 3 or more weeks, reduce the amount of sunflower seeds in her diet, and start introducing veggies, a wide variety of them. Some birds like veggies in big chunks, some smaller, some like thiers finely chopped, so vary the presentation. Also, let her see you eating these veggies, and show some real gusto and pleasure from it. For an idea of what I serve to my Amazon, in the form of chop:

1 lb single ingredient pasta
1 cup steel cut oatmeal
3 cans no-salt corn
1 ea red and orange pepper
1 can lentils, rinsed and drained
1 head cauliflower
2 heads broccoli
2 bundles parsley
2 bags matchstick carrots
1 bunch kale greens
1 bag baby spinach
2 bags Brussel sprouts
14 large jalapeno peppers
5 big handfuls of habanero peppers
12 red hot chilies
1 lb green beans (cut into 1" pcs)
1/2 lb snap peas in pods (cut to 1" pcs)
1 bunch collard green leaves (no stems)
 
OP
Claires

Claires

Member
Dec 23, 2023
17
55
Parrots
Blue Fronted Amazon
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  • Thread starter
  • #3
Some answers below.

1. would the age of bird influence their “exploration” of food? Or it doesn’t matter and my approach has been wrong?
She is at the right age to explore new foods. Your approach was wrong to even start her on sunflower seeds which are possibly the worst thing to feed a parrot. They are like crack, and now you have an addict.

2. is she being picky? Or female parrot is just picky in nature? (I’ve always had male birds/parrots, all lucky draw😬)
If she has not been exposed to all sorts of foods, she is not being picky, she is just not experienced. Females are no more picky then males.

3. what would be a great approach to introduce fresh vegs and fruits?
Slowly, over a period of 3 or more weeks, reduce the amount of sunflower seeds in her diet, and start introducing veggies, a wide variety of them. Some birds like veggies in big chunks, some smaller, some like thiers finely chopped, so vary the presentation. Also, let her see you eating these veggies, and show some real gusto and pleasure from it. For an idea of what I serve to my Amazon, in the form of chop:

1 lb single ingredient pasta
1 cup steel cut oatmeal
3 cans no-salt corn
1 ea red and orange pepper
1 can lentils, rinsed and drained
1 head cauliflower
2 heads broccoli
2 bundles parsley
2 bags matchstick carrots
1 bunch kale greens
1 bag baby spinach
2 bags Brussel sprouts
14 large jalapeno peppers
5 big handfuls of habanero peppers
12 red hot chilies
1 lb green beans (cut into 1" pcs)
1/2 lb snap peas in pods (cut to 1" pcs)
1 bunch collard green leaves (no stems)
Yeah now I got an addict at home🥲🥲

Tbh, my previous BFA has the same approach as her, sunflower seed mix but he didn’t seem to mind trying new one.

I’ve offered her like frozen mix veggies, definitely defrost it and put some small apple slices and she like ‘nahhh’. I’ve been paying attention all day today, it seems lile she doesn’t really enjoy fresh fresh veggies & fruits? I mean like not a dried up veggies & fruits. She HATES anything containing water:(
 

hiriki

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Yeah now I got an addict at home🥲🥲

Tbh, my previous BFA has the same approach as her, sunflower seed mix but he didn’t seem to mind trying new one.

I’ve offered her like frozen mix veggies, definitely defrost it and put some small apple slices and she like ‘nahhh’. I’ve been paying attention all day today, it seems lile she doesn’t really enjoy fresh fresh veggies & fruits? I mean like not a dried up veggies & fruits. She HATES anything containing water:(
What veggies have you tried?

I give my birds a lot of variety. Here's a pic:

IMG_0253.jpeg


Each bowl has frozen veggies (corn, peas, carrots, green beans), chop (which is just a ton of different veggies put thru a food processor, I made a post about it a while ago, https://www.parrotforums.com/threads/my-bird-chop-process.100808/) and then I cycle through toppers, sometimes I throw broccoli florets on top, sometimes jalapeño slices or cucumber... I also have brown rice and rolled oats in each bowl. You might notice the chunks of corn cob... corn is almost as sugary as fruit so it's not particularly healthy but oh my god do my birds go nuts for it... lol.

This works for my flock because my birds love veggies and so if it's in this bowl they'll probably at least try it, and they'll certainly know it's food. By the time I take the bowl out after breakfast they've eaten a bit of everything (there's always leftovers but I mean I give them so much so I don't blame them 😂).

In your case, I think what I would recommend is starting easy. Check out my thread on making chop. Make some chop, you can use a similar recipe to mine if you want or you can make something way different but you just want to make sure it's mostly veggies and only a little bit of fruit.

When you've thawed a portion and are ready to serve....... mix seeds into the chop. Your baby will recognize its food because she'll see the seeds, but she'll definitely get some veggies in her beak when she tries to grab the seeds, and voila! She realizes it's food. Slowly reduce the number of seeds you're serving until it's mostly or all chop in the chop bowl, and then you can maybe start adding larger solid veggies like broccoli florets or herb leaves to the mix.

ETA: you should be monitoring weight any time you're making diet changes, don't do this without monitoring weight, but slowly decreasing the seeds in the seed bowl is also going to make your bird more likely to eat veggies, once she recognizes the veggies as food. I was giving my conure................ a lot of nutriberries every day after she stopped eating pellets when her best friend and cage mate passed away. I was throwing her favorite food at the problem and hoping she'd feel better. I was talking to my vet about how she was refusing to eat pellets and veggies... he told me to cut the nutriberries amount in half... suddenly she's a veggie fiend 😅
 
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texsize

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Birdy bread is also an option.
 

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