Picky Eater

RayOfSunshine

New member
Aug 16, 2021
8
18
Parrots
One Lutino Budgie <3
Hi! I got a pretty little budgie a few months back from a random dude out in the mountains. "She's" a very healthy and intelligent bird. and although I don't know her age or gender (she/he's lutino), I'm guessing she's about 8 months old now. However, when I got her, she was already a solid seed addict. This is my first bird, so I want to give her the best nutrition possible. I've got a couple pellet brands lined up for her to try, and I make sure she eats all her seeds instead of just her favorites. But I know it's really important for any bird to get a variety of foods in the form of fruits/veggies. I've given her figs, blackberries, asparagus, and a couple other things. But she won't try the new foods at all! She flings it around or ignores the treats completely. I've even tried a "treat bowl." I give her a teensie bit of millet in the bowl, and then once in a while I add a new veg/fruit. But nope, the new thing is bad and Sunshine would rather avoid the millet altogether than try the weird thing next to it. I just don't know what to do at this rate...I'm trying things one at a time - so variety first then pellets next. She's a very stubborn budgie, too, and very opinionated. She won't play with her toys if she sees anybody watching, but shrieks if she's not being included in a conversation. It's funny, but because of her attitude and my own inexperience, our relationship is pretty shaky (so it's not like she'll just take what I give her). Any suggestions? I just want her to eat even one thing other than seeds right now. Thanks for the advice!
 

fiddlejen

Supporting Member
Mar 28, 2019
1,157
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11
761
New England
Parrots
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).
(1) Budgies do Not need fruit. If they like it great, but if not, even better.

(2)Budgie DO need Veggies. Try clipping lettuce leaves or spinach inside of the cage, as toys for her to chew on. Also try broccoli tops, clipped by their stalks inside the cage for chew toys and/or just the tops added to their food, doing their natural masquerade as seeds. Budgies tend to naturally love Romaine leaves. Try clipping a new romaine leaf in the same, accesible spot in the cage every day. Budgies are naturally timid, despite their bravado, and it may take a few Weeks or more of this before it will deign to investigate. But Eventually it will try nibbling the lettuce, as a toy, and will probably love it thereafter.

Actually when I first got my budgies eating veggies, i diced them all as small as millet and scattered on a plate, left it all day. I would photo it in the morning and compare to see what was eaten. (Lettuce was always the first preference!) Spinach leaves are usually popular with budgies also.

(3) Regarding pellets.
---First, make sure you're giving her a good seed mix... most of the seed mixes available at petstores are pretty good, they have those seeds the birdies want, but they do have mixed in some pellets & other stuff & important vitamins etc.
---Then, know that pellets are great, and if you look on the website for Harrison's pellets they do have a "conversion protocol" which is good, and which many folks have used successfully. It can be used with any pellets, BUT
---It is not unusual for some budgies to reject pellets entirely. For example, my Jefferson-budgie refuses pellets entirely and always has. He convinced his Lady, Calliope-budgie to also not eat them Not only that, after noticing their babies were happily eating the fruity-pebbles pellets (aka Zupreem), he went to work to TEACH them to NOT eat them. (!!!!!)
---So, Not-eating pellets will be okay if she really refuses. But, don't stop trying, at least for several months. (Since the pellets usually have vitamins & such added in to help keep your bird healthy.) And even if you do manage to convert her entirely to pellets, she should still get some seeds regularly. Budgies actually do need seeds. (As I understand, in the wild they are grass-eaters and so get a higher proportion of seeds naturally, along with More greenery and less fruits, than do many of the tree-living parrots. )

Oh back to my comment about Timid. Budgies are naturally very timid and cautious... although, also boldly opinionated, so you might not realize it. Sometimes it will be 3 or 4 months of determinedly "ignoring" a new toy - or food - or something, before they suddenly "discover" their new toy. So figure out what you're gonna offer, and keep offering it in the same way and same spot daily. For budgies, "New" means, "Unsafe!" It usually has to become Familiar first, before they will consider whether they might like it or not.
 
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RayOfSunshine

RayOfSunshine

New member
Aug 16, 2021
8
18
Parrots
One Lutino Budgie <3
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Update: I finally got her on pellets! tried four different brands and flavors, but the Harrison's were the definitely the winners. I basically ended up making a kind of pellet-mush and mixing seeds in it. I gave it to her once every 3-4 days, so she'd get used to the taste. Eventually I gave them to her dry, but she wouldn't eat them because the bites were too big for her I guess. So I whipped out my mortar and pestle to make the pellets smaller and...viola! She's been eating 50% pellets and 50% seeds for the past two weeks. Now all I've got to do is get her to try the veggies...but I will say I'm pretty proud of myself for where I've got her at right now. So if there are any other budgie people who are trying to convert to pellets, keep at it! Sunshine had never been on anything other than seeds and it took her almost four months, so even if it feels like forever, just stick with it. :D
 

Cassie_Leigh

New member
Dec 2, 2021
8
9
Parrots
Two budgie ladies and a male cockatiel
Try a veggie kabob. It changed my life. Make sure it is covered in water droplets to lap up. Budgies love FUN. So if it is tasty and they can climb on it AND they can shred it... well it it is too tantalising to ignore.
 

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