Pellets and Weight


Supporting Member
Mar 28, 2019
New England
Sunny the Sun Conure (sept '18, gotcha 3/'19). Mr Jefferson Budgie & Mrs Calliope Budgie (albino) (nov'18 & jan'19). Summer 2021 Baby Budgies: Riker (Green); Patchouli, Keye, & Tiny (blue greywings).
So last weekend out walking my parrot in Newburyport, I spoke with a woman who used-to breed Sun Conures. She asked if Sunny will eat pellets and if that is what I feed her. Well, in fact she seems to greatly enjoy them as a Side Dish Only. (She gets veggies in her cage, tropical nutriberries (from which she picks out and eats safflowers & possibly some of the dried fruit), and seedmix in her dish. Its a good seedmix with all sorts of other healthy stuff... and she mainly picks out and eats the safflower seed.)

So this breeder chastised me, stating so many people have birds that simply will Not eat pellets, yet mine will, so I ought to have converted her.

Well due to the little mousies who are again attempting to make my home, theirs, I have returned to removing all food in the afternoon. (Around 4:30ish or 5:30ish, depending when my Lunch Break occurs.) (Along with changing papers, cleaning, sweeping, etc etc etc). But then I modified , leaving small amounts of pellets in the dishes overnight. That way, IF birdies want to snack at night or in the morning before I awaken, they have some pellets.

Also I began making sure I add in some extra pellets into the seedmixes. (I was already always doing this. But really the pellets IN the food dishes do not get eaten, neither by Sunny nor the Budgies. They will eat them -- as, "side dish," that is, smaller quantities, from separate pellet-only dishes.) I just restocked Harrison's for this. (I have tried others. The birds all seem most willing to sort-of-nibble Harrison's & Lafebers, moreso than any other pellets.)

Anyway. I know Sunny likes to Play with food as well as eat it. And I know birds can easily "pretend eat."

So I pulled out my kitchen scale. I know, i know, I should've been doing this all along. But this is My first time weighing her. (Really, it's only fairly recently that she was willing to step onto the little perch I'm using on the scale!)

Google tells me the proper weight for a Sunnie is 100-130 grams. My kitchen scale tells me She weighs 98-100 grams. (Mostly settled near 100 - but fluctuated each time she moved.) Now, I do Not have another scale to compare against, so I weighed various kitchen items to compare. (Stick of butter - energy bar - packet of tunafish - 5 packets of sweetener.) Turns out, scale comes up consistently Under by a few grams. Maybe its rounding Up - and maybe half-gram for packaging?

Even so I think it likely she currently weighs slightly UNder 100 grams. (Heh - she weighs Less than a Stick of Butter!)
((I plan to call the vet tomorrow, ask what she weighed at her previous visits there. HOPEfully this is not a weight Loss, I'm HOPEing this is normal for HER. I mean, she is my Only sun conure, so I do not have any others to measure here against. Maybe she is just Small?))

So anyway this makes me a little concerned about continuing to attempt pellet conversion. Ive watched her in the past, examining her cornucopic food dish, playing with her food but holding out for what she really wants. And I'm assuming that I can (?maybe?) be successful with her following a changeover protocol. But. IF she is actually at the lowest acceptable weight, is it worth risking further weightloss, in order to changeover?

She does truly eat SOME pellets most days. So I know she's getting some vitamins from that. And she gets veggies, of which she seem to ingest a reasonable amount. She really enjoys her orange-peppers. (Actually I think she prefers orange-colored food. I wonder if I could get some food-based orange food-dye and dye the pellets Orange?)

Plus the nutriberries. Even digging out the safflowers & discarding the rest, still, they are supposed to be all coated with the good stuff. Like the way, Maryland steamed crabs -- all the seasoning is on the outside, yet in picking out the crabmeat to eat it, you get plenty seasoning inside you too.

Maybe it would be okay and safer too, to just continue letting her have plenty Nutriberries, as I already do? Even though she digs out the safflowers & discards the rest, still, Im sure she's getting pellet-nutrients that way.
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Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
myself personally, I'm not a fan of all pellets and veg diet. I do have one nutritional study in my ornithology thread that backs that up, some seeds are good. Most pellets are made with ground seeds , but of couse have added vitamins and minerals .

My quakers are in weights lower end of normal weights, some older birds charts just had larger birds, ive seen a trend in smaller sized parrots as the years go by and captive population gets further from wild caught founder breeding stock...

My parrots favorite pellets are oven baked bites made by all living thing's, sbd i like tgeir ingredients list.

Trend in weights most important. As us stool, feather, Besk quality, and palpation of keel

Yes all my parrots even budgies choose to eat pellets as part if their diet


Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
I do pellets, quality seed mix, cooked plain oatmeal, fruit and veg.
The seed/pellet mix is available whenever (mind you, she hates pellets and doesn't get sunflower seeds, peanuts, corn, etc)
Her fruit/veg is 1-2 times a day (usually chop and/or a few bits by hand)
Oatmeal/fruit/veg mixture 2x daily (breakfast and dinner)

Mine is on the thinner side of normal, but not skinny...She's a good weight/healthy, but I always expect her to weight more.

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