New to the bird world

ramisharif

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Jan 16, 2021
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Hello all, I am new to this world. My mom got these two as a gift!!! and they were just kept in the bathroom locked in the cage all day, the cage was not being cleaned and I just felt very bad, so I took them home.

I had them now for 10 months, the cage is cleaned daily, I change their toys every few months, I re-arrange the cage sometime to keep them active. The door is open all day so they get all the fly time they want when they want. I also switched their food to organic food, I give them pellets as treats maybe once a week. I cover them mid day for an hour nap, then to bed at 8 pm and wake up time at 8 am

They really dont trust me to handle them and I dont push it I just sit and talk to them a little here and there daily :)

I just want to make sure they are happy and healthy and live very long lives

Any advice would be great. Thank you :)
 

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foxgloveparrot

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Aug 30, 2021
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Jasper (yellow-naped amazon) Lilla (senegal parrot) Ziggy and Kai (budgies) Cricket (parrotlet)
Big welcome to you and your gorgeous little budgies! You seem to be doing pretty good with them. Responsible of you to not push too hard, let them learn to trust you at their own pace. But they seem happy and healthy, good job.
My one question is: organic food? Since you said you give pellets as treats, I'm guessing you use a seed mix? Seeds are high in calories and fat, so if you do use them (and I'm not saying you do), switch to a pellet base diet with healthy vegetables and chop. Seeds are great treats for training, however!
Also, no need to cover their cage for a daily nap, unless they seem to enjoy some quiet time.
Welcome! If you have any questions, just ask! I look forward to seeing you around the forums!
 
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ramisharif

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Big welcome to you and your gorgeous little budgies! You seem to be doing pretty good with them. Responsible of you to not push too hard, let them learn to trust you at their own pace. But they seem happy and healthy, good job.
My one question is: organic food? Since you said you give pellets as treats, I'm guessing you use a seed mix? Seeds are high in calories and fat, so if you do use them (and I'm not saying you do), switch to a pellet base diet with healthy vegetables and chop. Seeds are great treats for training, however!
Also, no need to cover their cage for a daily nap, unless they seem to enjoy some quiet time.
Welcome! If you have any questions, just ask! I look forward to seeing you around the forums!
Hello :) Thank you for the kind words :)
This is their daily diet

sorry I mean mellets as treats :) Once a week


I tried veggies but they would not touch them!! Any suggestions there?
 

foxgloveparrot

Well-known member
Aug 30, 2021
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Jasper (yellow-naped amazon) Lilla (senegal parrot) Ziggy and Kai (budgies) Cricket (parrotlet)
Sprinkle seeds on the chop to get them interested. My budgies will readily eat veggies, but ONLY if they are between the cage bars, so maybe you can try that. Or eat veggies in front of them to make them jealous and try to steal some. Also, I would probably convert them to a pellet diet and instead of offering millet as a weekly treat, use it daily, but in small quantities for taming and training.
This is why we're here, to help people who need :)
Good luck with your budgies!
 
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ramisharif

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Sprinkle seeds on the chop to get them interested. My budgies will readily eat veggies, but ONLY if they are between the cage bars, so maybe you can try that. Or eat veggies in front of them to make them jealous and try to steal some. Also, I would probably convert them to a pellet diet and instead of offering millet as a weekly treat, use it daily, but in small quantities for taming and training.
This is why we're here, to help people who need :)
Good luck with your budgies!
Great information thank you :) Do you have a preferred pellet diet I can steal from you :) Also, is the food they have now not good for them? they really seem to like it. I got them pellets before and they just skipped them for this so I just did not want them to starve or feel pressured to change their food
 

foxgloveparrot

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Aug 30, 2021
412
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Jasper (yellow-naped amazon) Lilla (senegal parrot) Ziggy and Kai (budgies) Cricket (parrotlet)
Great information thank you :) Do you have a preferred pellet diet I can steal from you :) Also, is the food they have now not good for them? they really seem to like it. I got them pellets before and they just skipped them for this so I just did not want them to starve or feel pressured to change their food
You're very welcome :)
The conversion process takes time and patience. You gradually switch to pellets, don't starve the birds. And it's not that their current diet is bad, its just that it's a treat, and too high in calories in fat to be a regular diet. As for pellet brands, my favorites are Harrison's, Top's, and Roudybush. I've found that Harrison's is normally the bird's favorite, but it comes down to their preference. Here are the links to the amazon products if you can't find them:
 
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ramisharif

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You're very welcome :)
The conversion process takes time and patience. You gradually switch to pellets, don't starve the birds. And it's not that their current diet is bad, its just that it's a treat, and too high in calories in fat to be a regular diet. As for pellet brands, my favorites are Harrison's, Top's, and Roudybush. I've found that Harrison's is normally the bird's favorite, but it comes down to their preference. Here are the links to the amazon products if you can't find them:
OMG you mean I have been feeding them treats for 10 months instead of actual nutrients!!!?! I feel terrible now! I just ordered the Harrisons food, should have it in a week or so

 

Bobbystick

New member
Oct 12, 2021
9
17
Parrots
2 budgies and a green cheek conure
OMG you mean I have been feeding them treats for 10 months instead of actual nutrients!!!?! I feel terrible now! I just ordered the Harrisons food, should have it in a week or so

Hi ! Welcome !
I noticed the millet is in the cage as well. I never let them have access to it unless we do trick training or to have a good time outside the cage.
Budgies are very skittish and I find them harder to bond with than most parrots. They will need a lot of patience and effort.
But, never give up on them ! They are worthy of all the attention and love you can provide.


What foxgloveparrot said about seeds is very true, a seed-only diet can easily reduce the lifespan of budgies by half. A good non GMO pellet brand like Harrison's bird food is going to be optimal.
 

Bobbystick

New member
Oct 12, 2021
9
17
Parrots
2 budgies and a green cheek conure
Hello all, I am new to this world. My mom got these two as a gift!!! and they were just kept in the bathroom locked in the cage all day, the cage was not being cleaned and I just felt very bad, so I took them home.

I had them now for 10 months, the cage is cleaned daily, I change their toys every few months, I re-arrange the cage sometime to keep them active. The door is open all day so they get all the fly time they want when they want. I also switched their food to organic food, I give them pellets as treats maybe once a week. I cover them mid day for an hour nap, then to bed at 8 pm and wake up time at 8 am

They really dont trust me to handle them and I dont push it I just sit and talk to them a little here and there daily :)

I just want to make sure they are happy and healthy and live very long lives

Any advice would be great. Thank you :)
I just also noticed the mirror ! You might want to remove that from the cage since you have a pair. Budgies can't understand that the reflexion is not real, they might get obsessed with the mirror and develop some psychological problems.

The mirror isn't solving any needs for the budgie if he already has a friend and you to socialize with every day.

I would say it's most commonly used for single budgies that don't have enough social interactions. And, to be honest, I still wouldn't recommend.
 

widor

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Aug 23, 2021
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OMG you mean I have been feeding them treats for 10 months instead of actual nutrients!!!?! I feel terrible now! I just ordered the Harrisons food, should have it in a week or so

I know many people here have different opinion here but budgies eat seeds in the wild as well, do not think they should only eat pellets . Good if they accept veggies and other healthy things but please do not try to switch them to pellets at once ,they can starve if they do not get food they like...
 

Bobbystick

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Oct 12, 2021
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2 budgies and a green cheek conure
I know many people here have different opinion here but budgies eat seeds in the wild as well, do not think they should only eat pellets . Good if they accept veggies and other healthy things but please do not try to switch them to pellets at once ,they can starve if they do not get food they like...
You raise valid points.
Budgies are seed birds but, in the wild they have enough activity to burn all that fat and stay healthy. Which isn't the case in a home environment.
You shouldn't take out seeds from their diet and fresh veggies are definitely something to keep trying to feed them.

Personally, I try to keep a ratio of 30% fresh vegetable chop, 50% pellets, 20% seeds.

Budgies are so hard to convert, it's very important to monitor if they eat new food and try new ways to make them eat it.
They can absolutely starve themselves if they do not recognize what you serve them as food.

It took me about 2 weeks to make my budgies enjoy their pellets and it was hard work
 
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Skarila

Supporting Member
Apr 19, 2021
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āœ»Csillam the rescued budgie
āœ»Pascal the Emma's (Venezuelan) Conure

Previous owned:
āœ»Archibald the cockatiel (fostered 6 months)
āœ»RIP - 28 YO Zeleni the mischievous IRN
āœ»RIP -Sunny the budgie
You raise valid points.
Budgies are seed birds but, in the wild they have enough activity to burn all that fat and stay healthy. Which isn't the case in a home environment.
You shouldn't take out seeds from their diet and fresh veggies are definitely something to keep trying to feed them.

Personally, I try to keep a ratio of 30% fresh vegetable chop, 50% pellets, 20% seeds.

Budgies are so hard to convert, it's very important to monitor if they eat new food and try new ways to make them eat new foods.
They can absolutely starve themselves if they do not recognize what you serve them as food.

It took me about 2 weeks to make my budgies enjoy their pellets and it was hard work
I agree with you. From very small birds/parrots, seeds should be part of their diet. There were many reports of smaller birds having health issues when on pelleted diet only compared to pellet + seed mix (not just millet, but from different types of grass too), chop/veggies is a must to every bird so I will leave that one out. Our little budgie was on seed only diet for over 7 years, she was overweight since she's a perch potato (cage bound, door were left open all day, even when not home since she was a single bird), but 6 months ago she miraculously started eating pellets (the very same ones we tried for years, Roudybush). She doesn't tolerate well pellet only (starts regurgitating often and is visibly agitated), so one day she eats pellets, other day seeds. Because of the other bird (Pascal the conure) she is much more active and visibly lost some weight (she was solid 10g overweight and visibly a chonk of a bird). Getting her on scale is mission impossible at home, but I can feel by her keel bone that it's much better now.

Transitioning older/neglected budgies onto pellets is really tough, just as you said. I mean, 7 years to transition, tried numerous times. She started eating them only because of the other bird. For Pascal (conure), took me 3 days without issue to transition him. That's it. Other rescue budgie didn't even want to eat other than millet, refused to eat other seeds. 6 months with absolutely no improvement. He was a special case, though.
Cockatiel - two tries within 2 weeks success, but even for him I kept on half pellet and half seeds since he was so fussy. He would eat his pellet only with us during lunch, and I had to encourage him so often...
 

fiddlejen

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Mar 28, 2019
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The seed mix you are using, Higgins Vita Seed, is a good one. One of my budgies will refuse any pellets, and that is the best seed mix for him.

They do all eat veggies.

Try clipping large leaves of romaine inside the cage daily. At first they will be frightened of this new thing, but eventually they will decide it is a toy, and chew on it, and realize they like it. You will throw away a large piece of lettuce daily, but, after a while you will find lots of holes in it.

In the wild they would be eating grass seeds and grass leaves, so, dark leafy greens will attract them. And, the large dark outer leaves of romaine lettuce seem to be a favorite of all budgies.

If you can convince your budgies to eat pellets along with their seeds, that is great! My baby budgies will eat anything, my mama budgie will eat some pellets, but my papa budgie will not eat any. I actually do give my baby budgies "chop" daily, which they eat, and I sprinkle that with a mix of pellets and seeds.

Budgies probably really should have access to seeds, and again, the one you have chosen is a good mix. For variety, you might try Higgins Sunburst, which just has more added fancy stuff. My older two budgies, well, they just eat around all the good stuff. But my baby budgies happily eat it all.
 
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ramisharif

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Jan 16, 2021
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The seed mix you are using, Higgins Vita Seed, is a good one. One of my budgies will refuse any pellets, and that is the best seed mix for him.

They do all eat veggies.

Try clipping large leaves of romaine inside the cage daily. At first they will be frightened of this new thing, but eventually they will decide it is a toy, and chew on it, and realize they like it. You will throw away a large piece of lettuce daily, but, after a while you will find lots of holes in it.

In the wild they would be eating grass seeds and grass leaves, so, dark leafy greens will attract them. And, the large dark outer leaves of romaine lettuce seem to be a favorite of all budgies.

If you can convince your budgies to eat pellets along with their seeds, that is great! My baby budgies will eat anything, my mama budgie will eat some pellets, but my papa budgie will not eat any. I actually do give my baby budgies "chop" daily, which they eat, and I sprinkle that with a mix of pellets and seeds.

Budgies probably really should have access to seeds, and again, the one you have chosen is a good mix. For variety, you might try Higgins Sunburst, which just has more added fancy stuff. My older two budgies, well, they just eat around all the good stuff. But my baby budgies happily eat it all.
WOW thanks this is great information. Do I just try something like spinach? I also read this on here and kinda of scared me

 

Bobbystick

New member
Oct 12, 2021
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17
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2 budgies and a green cheek conure
WOW thanks this is great information. Do I just try something like spinach? I also read this on here and kinda of scared me

I also read this topic but being unfamiliar with Senegal Parrots, I'm not sure where to stand on this. I introduced the fine high potency pellets for the first few months of having my budgies then switched them to the normal adult formula. They have a beautiful healthy shape and are very energetic.

There are some factors we aren't aware from this situation. You have to be careful of how you store the pellets as well, taking air out, not letting get humidity inside. That might have contributed to bacteria developing.

This topic is for a very specific case that you shouldn't compare to your young budgies in my pov. But in any case this topic is the perfect example of why you need to monitor your birds' health with any changes that you bring in diet.
 

Skarila

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Apr 19, 2021
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āœ»Csillam the rescued budgie
āœ»Pascal the Emma's (Venezuelan) Conure

Previous owned:
āœ»Archibald the cockatiel (fostered 6 months)
āœ»RIP - 28 YO Zeleni the mischievous IRN
āœ»RIP -Sunny the budgie
I also read this topic but being unfamiliar with Senegal Parrots, I'm not sure where to stand on this. I introduced the fine high potency pellets for the first few months of having my budgies then switched them to the normal adult formula. They have a beautiful healthy shape and are very energetic.

There are some factors we aren't aware from this situation. You have to be careful of how you store the pellets as well, taking air out, not letting get humidity inside. That might have contributed to bacteria developing.

This topic is for a very specific case that you shouldn't compare to your young budgies in my pov. But in any case this topic is the perfect example of why you need to monitor your birds' health with any changes that you bring in diet.
I'm familiar with this post, it's a specific case + the person was unlucky and was talking with an uninformed (well, badly informed) customer service representative.
It is about a senior ill senegal parrot who was on low fat diet then by a misinformation suddenly put on pellets which are bit too high in fat for the bird.

Idea with high potency is for switching from seeds to pellets, then you move to the adult life time which is a low fat diet. They are not bad pellets - but you need to be smart and decide which pellet to feed which bird in which situation.
 

Bobbystick

New member
Oct 12, 2021
9
17
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2 budgies and a green cheek conure
This is the one I am getting them now, I hope its ok

Harrisons HBDALSF1 1lb Adult Lifetime Super Fine
If they are used to eating seeds only, I would probably go through a 454g or even another 1lb bag of high potency fine before serving this one. The high potency pellets will provide different nutrients to help the transition towards the adult lifetime pellets.

This is what is suggested on Harrison's bird charts online
Screenshot_20211015-185158.png


I hope this is helpful and really great on you to do research on your parrots.
 

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ramisharif

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I just got the food yesterday and after reading the package it does say to use the HSP for 6 months then switch to ALF for budgies, now I am worried about changing things up so much for them!! I worry that they will not only not adjust to it but it will somehow upset their digestive system and get sick from it :(
 

Skarila

Supporting Member
Apr 19, 2021
417
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57
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5
763
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āœ»Csillam the rescued budgie
āœ»Pascal the Emma's (Venezuelan) Conure

Previous owned:
āœ»Archibald the cockatiel (fostered 6 months)
āœ»RIP - 28 YO Zeleni the mischievous IRN
āœ»RIP -Sunny the budgie
I just got the food yesterday and after reading the package it does say to use the HSP for 6 months then switch to ALF for budgies, now I am worried about changing things up so much for them!! I worry that they will not only not adjust to it but it will somehow upset their digestive system and get sick from it :(
Don't worry, it will be fine. Bobbystick said it well that the gradual switch firstly from High potency to adut life might me better. Just get a small bag of high potency, wait till you get it then you can start the transition. Nothing bad will happen even if you offer them the adult life in meantime along with the seeds :)
 

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