Seeds to Pellets Conversion Advice

BirdAddictK

Member
Sep 26, 2021
72
55
Hey y'all! I haven't got a bird yet and before I do, I would like to know all the possible personal experiences of seeds to pellets conversion so that I can work on it with my new bird.
I wanna know the ways of conversion, when to start conversion and also the best pellet brand.

Thanks,
BirdAddictK.
 

Miles

Active member
Dec 16, 2021
198
Media
17
224
Virginia, USA
Parrots
Miles, Yellow-sided Green Cheek Conure
Hey there!
I brought my GCC Miles (pictured in my avatar) home just over a year ago on the fifth of December. He was on seeds mostly, and he was chubby. He wouldn't eat just veggies, but I needed to get him off the seeds. I'm sure you know since you're asking this, that the high fat content in a seed diet will eventually lead to a premature death.
I looked around for a pellet that didn't have colors and such junk. Roudybush is what I went with. I tried the California blend, but Miles just picked out the dried fruits and left the dried veggies and pellets. So I switched to the Daily Maintenance, which is just pellets. He likes them just fine. He has lost weight down to a nice healthy size. They are high quality and not terribly expensive from Amazon.
As far as the actual switching, I went pretty much cold turkey with Miles. I had to try twice I think, but the second time he just took to them. You can try cold turkey with your bird, and if it doesn't work, try gradually mixing more of the pellets with less of the seeds over several weeks until your bird is eating all pellets. The duration of a gradual switch always depends on the individual bird. Just keep a close eye on the bird's appetite, and if it doesn't eat well for more than about two days, give him some seed back and keep trying.

Always watch for abnormal actions or habits. They could be indicators your bird isn't eating (with a cold turkey switch).
With a gradual switch he will still have seeds to eat for awhile at least. But if you get to the point of all pellets/no seeds and he quits eating, you need to back up a bit and try again.
Just make sure your bird is always eating well. Make sure he's happy with the pellet you gave him. He may not like Roudybush. You will just have to see.
One more thing. If you start out with the gradual method, and your bird becomes picky and isn't eating the pellets you're adding to his diet at all, then go for cold turkey and see what happens.

Hope this helps! Be sure and let us know when you bring your new feather baby home! Do you know what you want to get?
 

Ria.345

Well-known member
Jun 23, 2021
261
651
New York City
Parrots
Sun Conure and Umbrella Cockatoo
Hello!
I agree with the post above. You have to take things gradually and at their pace. It’s what works best. The thread above explained what I wanted to explain so there’s no need to get into extreme detail, but overtime, take away the seeds little by little, and eventually he will be left with just a pelleted diet. Of course along with some fresh fruits and veggies everyday.
Its also best to try different brands of pellets, it doesn’t have to be the best brand if your parrot is getting a varied diet, but you want to try to do what’s best for your birds health. So that means if your parrot doesn’t seem to budge in the conversion process with one brand, go for another and keep doing that until you find one they do like. And will eat eventually.
Refrain from colored pellets due to their unnecessary dyes and their unhealthy additives and preservatives. And also avoid hot processed pellets.
Some of the brands you could try are Roudybush, Harrison’s, or Tops since they seem to be great quality and offer the essential vitamins your bird needs to prevent health ailments like obesity, nutritional deficiencies, or fatty liver disease (I’m sure you know this lol). Way Better than seeds.
When to start conversion? If you don’t have your parrot yet, then wait it out until you have met with the breeder to discuss the parrots age and current diet.
If the parrot is weaned off of formula, it is okay to introduce pellets but understand that babies can be “fussy” about it in that they are still learning to get used to hard foods from the initial soft food.
If your parrot is younger and close to adulthood, it is best to start feeding pellets (the conversion process) then because at that point they are still young and trying new things everyday.
And unfortunately an older parrot that is “set in their ways” may have the tendency to be stubborn so they might be slower with the conversion process or be very picky about the whole thing. It’s best to just be patient with them.
Hope this post helps and enjoy your evening!
 

Ria.345

Well-known member
Jun 23, 2021
261
651
New York City
Parrots
Sun Conure and Umbrella Cockatoo
Hey y'all! I haven't got a bird yet and before I do, I would like to know all the possible personal experiences of seeds to pellets conversion so that I can work on it with my new bird.
I wanna know the ways of conversion, when to start conversion and also the best pellet brand.

Thanks,
BirdAddictK.
By the way, if you are talking about when to start conversion as in “when to start after bringing the bird home” then I can answer that as well.
In that case, I’d let the bird acclimate to the new environment before starting the pellet conversion process at all. Just let him or her eat their seeds for those first couple of days or a week or two. Just to let them feel comfortable and get used to your presence.
Then you’d want to start the process from scratch. And work your way towards the goal of only pellets. Seeds as treats.
 
D

Deleted member 42416

Guest
Dear BirdAddictK,
So wonderful that you are getting this advice beforehand!

The best time to start the transition is about 3 to 7 days after birdy has come home. We do not want too many changes at once!

As other members have mentioned, the best pellet is the one your bird will eat! Our flock is also on Roudybush.

Now the EASIEST method which is only feasible if you already have birds at home eating pellets is having the newbie see other birds eat pellets.

But as this is a first birdy situation, that does not apply.

Conversion methods such as Cold Turkey or mixing dry pellets with seeds then reducing the seed amount never worked for me in the past. They either wouldn’t touch the food or would only pick out the seeds and then starve. Here is how my current flock all got on pellets:

1. Angelo (sun conure, rescue, we are her third owner) was already on pellets and easily changed to Roudybush.

2. Zazu (sun conure, rescue, we are second owner) was on seed. Once he came home and saw Angelo eating pellets, he ate them from his food bowl as well. Stopped needing to give him seed after a week.

3. Norrie (gcc) was on seed and the “fruity pebbles” pellets from the breeder. Saw Angelo eating Roudybush. Mixed the 2 pellets and decreased the fruity ones till he was only on Roudybush. There is a fruity pebble method that works well for resistant birds and I’ll explain it later.

4. Rico the LSC Cockatoo (we were his 4th owner when we adopted him at the age of 4). He had never been on pellets, only seed, and even then he only ate the sunflower seeds out of the mix. He took a full 9 days to convert. I made a “mash” with Roudybush crumbles by mixing in water and heating in the microwave at 50% power. Make it the consistency of oatmeal. I then put it in his food bowl and arranged sunflower seeds on top with half to 3/4 of each seed sticking up out of mash. He had to taste the mash when he ate the seed. Because the food is wet, this needs to be replaced 3 times/day. I gradually reduced the number of seeds daily until he was only on pellet mash. We still do the mash as it is easy to administer his medicine that way.

5. Budgies (in the past). Hopper was hatched in our house and saw his parents eating pellets. Pistachio is a rescue and started eating pellets on day 1 when she saw Hopper eating them. But the original parents who have since passed…they were the hardest to convert! I tried all the traditional methods and nothing worked until I did the FRUITY PEBBLE method. Ok, in the USA there is a horribly unhealthy kid’s cereal called FRUITY PEBBLES. It’s also terribly delicious. Zupreem’s “Fruitblend” flavor smells and looks just like FRUITY PEBBLES (not Katy, they look the same but no aroma). I made a mash of the Fruitblend pellets using orange juice (not water). (I know other members are cringing right now…just hold on). I sprinkled the millet on top. They absolutely got the mash on their beaks and loved it. I reduced the amount of millet daily (which only took 2-3 days). Then I changed the mash to being made with water. Every day I reduced the water until they were on dry pellets. Then I slowly started mixing Roudybush in until they were completely on Roudybush pellets.

It’s important to note that
A. Birds will starve themselves to death. Always monitor to make sure they are eating. Larger parrots will also respond to YOU eating a pellet, since you are a flock mate and we learn from our flock!

B. Colored food will turn their poopies all sorts of weird colors, even orange or red. Don’t flip out. I mean no disrespect to those Fruity Pebblers out there, but a lot of the colored pellets have dyes and sugar that may not best long term for your bird. (Still better than an all-seed diet).

Well, best wishes on your new birby baby to come!
 

Miles

Active member
Dec 16, 2021
198
Media
17
224
Virginia, USA
Parrots
Miles, Yellow-sided Green Cheek Conure
By the way, if you are talking about when to start conversion as in “when to start after bringing the bird home” then I can answer that as well.
In that case, I’d let the bird acclimate to the new environment before starting the pellet conversion process at all. Just let him or her eat their seeds for those first couple of days or a week or two. Just to let them feel comfortable and get used to your presence.
Then you’d want to start the process from scratch. And work your way towards the goal of only pellets. Seeds as treats.
Wholeheartedly agree. I waited a couple of months actually after bringing Miles home until we had finshed the initial bonding process and he trusted me completely. At that point it was less scary to him to switch foods because he trusted Mommy.
 

zERo

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2021
296
434
Texas
Parrots
Tony-Green QP(M)
Tom-Pineapple GCC(M)
Ryuk-Cockatiel(M)
Sheer Khan-Cockatiel(F)
Romeo-Cockatiel(M)
Billy- Green budgie(M)
Hedwig- Green budgie(F)
Striga- Blue Clearwing budgie(M)
Grim- Mauve budgie(F)
I've had the most luck when switching some of my parrots to pellets off of seed mixes they used to eat with previous owners, by making birdie bread and sprinkling ground pellets on top of the chop; they have to get taste of it because they want to eat their chop. Birdie bread is helpful too because most birds like the texture of bread and if you put ground pellets in the bread they taste it.
 

Scott

Supporting Member
Aug 21, 2010
32,675
7,880
San Diego, California USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
Parrots
Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo /

RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Respect for researching dietary challenges before adopting!! Definition of healthy diet varies by species with no shortage of opinions.

Given parrot fickleness, the adage of "best pellet is the one your bird will eat" rings true. I began with Zupreem Fruit Blend, widely tolerated albeit predominately corn and sweetener based. Transitioned entire flock to Harrison's Adult Lifetime Course two years ago using their conversion protocol. Sharing their methodology as technique quite effective.


Primary consideration is never starve a bird into submission!
 

Mashed_Potato2021

New member
Nov 21, 2021
29
21
Parrots
Peach faced Lovebird
Hey there!
I brought my GCC Miles (pictured in my avatar) home just over a year ago on the fifth of December. He was on seeds mostly, and he was chubby. He wouldn't eat just veggies, but I needed to get him off the seeds. I'm sure you know since you're asking this, that the high fat content in a seed diet will eventually lead to a premature death.
I looked around for a pellet that didn't have colors and such junk. Roudybush is what I went with. I tried the California blend, but Miles just picked out the dried fruits and left the dried veggies and pellets. So I switched to the Daily Maintenance, which is just pellets. He likes them just fine. He has lost weight down to a nice healthy size. They are high quality and not terribly expensive from Amazon.
As far as the actual switching, I went pretty much cold turkey with Miles. I had to try twice I think, but the second time he just took to them. You can try cold turkey with your bird, and if it doesn't work, try gradually mixing more of the pellets with less of the seeds over several weeks until your bird is eating all pellets. The duration of a gradual switch always depends on the individual bird. Just keep a close eye on the bird's appetite, and if it doesn't eat well for more than about two days, give him some seed back and keep trying.

Always watch for abnormal actions or habits. They could be indicators your bird isn't eating (with a cold turkey switch).
With a gradual switch he will still have seeds to eat for awhile at least. But if you get to the point of all pellets/no seeds and he quits eating, you need to back up a bit and try again.
Just make sure your bird is always eating well. Make sure he's happy with the pellet you gave him. He may not like Roudybush. You will just have to see.
One more thing. If you start out with the gradual method, and your bird becomes picky and isn't eating the pellets you're adding to his diet at all, then go for cold turkey and see what happens.

Hope this helps! Be sure and let us know when you bring your new feather baby home! Do you know what you want to get?
I know I’m really late to this chat, but what does cold turkey mean?
 

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
15,702
4,313
Western, Michigan
Parrots
DYH Amazon
As was just touched on, it is critical to 'know' the specifics of Parrot that will come to take-over your home! There are vast differences between Species and what diet is required!

It is very important to remember that the vast majority of studies completed regarding the need to transfer a Parrot from a 'Seed' diet to a 'Pellet' diet are based on the super-cheap, wild Bird seed! Not the high-quality seed packages that are available.
 

Scott

Supporting Member
Aug 21, 2010
32,675
7,880
San Diego, California USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
Parrots
Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo /

RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.

Kentuckienne

Supporting Vendor
Oct 9, 2016
2,603
888
Middle of nowhere (kentuckianna)
Parrots
Roommates include Gus, Blue and gold macaw rescue and Coco, secondhand amazon
This isn’t pellet related, but in general most parrots don’t like to eat strange foods. They have to see someone else eat the stuff first so they know it’s safe. When we got Gus, he was good with pellet, but wouldn’t eat fruit. So I got, say, an apple and cut some pieces off. I put a piece in his bowl and he barely glanced at it. I ate a piece myself, making yummy noises. He sidled over and looked in the bowl, then back at me. I ate more apple, yummmm…he reached into the bowl and touched the apple with his beak. Then looked at me. I ate another bite,mmmmmm, he reached in the bowl, picked up the apple piece, then dropped it and looked at me. Finally he licked it and dropped it..,then ate it. After that I could cut a chunk from an apple so it just hung by a flap and let him pull it off himself. He’s learned to eat a few different things that way, and it’s the ONLY way he will ever try anything new. All birds are different, but they are smart, and they learn what’s safe by watching the rest of the flock which will be you.
 

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