So many pellet options, what do I choose?

Rico_Tiel

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Hello! I have come to realize my bird isn’t a huge fan of Psittacus pellets but I like the brand. Sadly he just doesn’t like the pellets anymore so now I just have 4 pounds of pellets he doesn’t favor. He will eat it but prefers other brands.

So, when he finishes the bag, I’m going to get him into a different brand. He like Harrison’s a lot! But he burns through it. Fast. And 16 bucks a pound is too much.

We could buy roudybush, but he isn’t used to the long pellet shape.

TOP’s is off the table as it is way too expensive and is hardly in stock.

Kaytee is an option but it’s pricey and the brand is iffy with me.

I really don’t like zupreem as it has sugars in it and is a little pricey. ESPECIALLY at petco or petzoo (because yaaaay taxes. I hate taxes.)

Lafeber’s is an option but the same issue that roudybush has arises.

Hagen Tropican is definitely a possibility but it is a bit fatty. Not as bad as the tropimix but it would mean I would have to give him longer flight times and harder foraging activities.

Higgin’s InTune is also possible but it’s a bit pricey.

I could feed the Oven Fresh Bites but it is also very pricey.

I could continue to feed Harrison’s but I’m not sure my mom would be too happy about it since it’s only last 2 months maximum. She already got mad about it last month and got mad after he finished his 1lbs bag of seeds in 2 months.

So, this brings me to my question. With so SO many options, what do I pick? I want to find one Rico will like and is relatively affordable. He likes things that are flavored, crunchy, and small. He does like colors but he doesn’t prefer them.
 

zERo

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You could buy 2 different pellets and see if he’ll eat two kinds, that way it’ll last longer.

I’ve tried some of the brands you listed and evaluated the ingredients lists.
TOPs has great ingredients, when I used to use them I found ordering online was cheaper than in stores.
10 lb. For $37 plus shipping.
My Quaker responds very negatively to high soy content so I don’t use Roudybush. I feel like they aren’t really worth it.
I wouldn’t recommend Zupreem, even the natural blend has sugar. I also wouldn’t use Kaytee just because of the artificial colors.
I think Lafebers is okay, my older cockatiel male loves the senior nutriberries which are 61% pellets.
I think they make be try small sized pellets for budgies.
As for Hagen, I looked at their lifetime formula, it has 7% fat compared to Harrison’s which has 6%.

I’ve never used Higgins, but if you do use them, I would use their natural formula, while it’s not 100% natural it’s better than their other formula.

I’ve used Oven fresh bites, my conure loves them as a treat. They are expensive, even online.

It’s pretty challenging to choose a brand that doesn’t break the bank but is nutritious. Hope this helps 😅
 
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Rico_Tiel

Rico_Tiel

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You could buy 2 different pellets and see if he’ll eat two kinds, that way it’ll last longer.

I’ve tried some of the brands you listed and evaluated the ingredients lists.
TOPs has great ingredients, when I used to use them I found ordering online was cheaper than in stores.
10 lb. For $37 plus shipping.
My Quaker responds very negatively to high soy content so I don’t use Roudybush. I feel like they aren’t really worth it.
I wouldn’t recommend Zupreem, even the natural blend has sugar. I also wouldn’t use Kaytee just because of the artificial colors.
I think Lafebers is okay, my older cockatiel male loves the senior nutriberries which are 61% pellets.
I think they make be try small sized pellets for budgies.
As for Hagen, I looked at their lifetime formula, it has 7% fat compared to Harrison’s which has 6%.

I’ve never used Higgins, but if you do use them, I would use their natural formula, while it’s not 100% natural it’s better than their other formula.

I’ve used Oven fresh bites, my conure loves them as a treat. They are expensive, even online.

It’s pretty challenging to choose a brand that doesn’t break the bank but is nutritious. Hope this helps 😅
I would SO get tops! If it wasn’t so expensive. I paid 20 bucks for like, I think 20 ounces? That is including shipping.

I quit using ZuPreem for the exact reasons you mentioned and it was making Rico’s feathers a bit bronzey and staining EVERYTHING he pooped on.

There are a few Kaytee formulas with no artificial dyes but the one I’m eyeing is pricey and makes me want to throw mannequin feet at the dude who prices it.

Yeah, I looked at the a Lafeber’s cockatiel pellet ingredients and it’s looks alright.

Yeah, Hagen is kinda iffy for me. Especially the tropimix. The tropimix has so much fats that it made Rico a chunky monkey with hormones running rampant in his chunky body. So much sunflower seeds.

Just looked at the InTune ingredients and it is a bit off putting. I found sugar in it so that is off the list.

Yeah, I just re-checked the oven bites and i think the price went up last time I checked. Sigh.


Yeah, so many choices, too little that are worth it. It makes me want to steal a mannequin from target and throw it at whatever is causing the prices for everything to skyrocket! It’s so ANNOYING!
 

zERo

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If you order TOPs, do it from their website, on Amazon it’s very overpriced, as are most pellets.

Hagen makes a pellet only, it doesn’t have any seeds or fruit in it, just pellets. I’ve never looked at their site so I don’t know how prices compare.

Ah! Forgot Higgins has sugar too!

If you have a Petsmart, they sell a slightly in stores cheaper version of Caitec oven fresh bites called All Living things over fresh bites, it’s the same pellet.

Well, I think you’d need an army of mannequins to solve the inflation problem sadly!
 

Keet_Krazy

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An awesome write up on pellets, I don't have any personal experience with any of the brands you mentioned.
 

wrench13

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I always say the best pellet is the one your parrot WILL eat. You can serve up the best, most expensive pellet, but if the parrot is not eating them, it is pointless. If your cocky will eat a variety of pellets, I would go for the best one nutrionally. And get side gig to pay for them so your parents don't have cause to complain. Keeping parrots is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination.

I have yet to find the pellet that my Salty will gobble down. He deigns to eat ROudybush pellets once in a while, treating them like a between meal lite snack. He loves his chop and various nuts.
 
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Rico_Tiel

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I always say the best pellet is the one your parrot WILL eat. You can serve up the best, most expensive pellet, but if the parrot is not eating them, it is pointless. If your cocky will eat a variety of pellets, I would go for the best one nutrionally. And get side gig to pay for them so your parents don't have cause to complain. Keeping parrots is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination.

I have yet to find the pellet that my Salty will gobble down. He deigns to eat ROudybush pellets once in a while, treating them like a between meal lite snack. He loves his chop and various nuts.
Unfortunately I can’t exactly work. I could have my parents sign a paper that could let me work which I have been aiming for since February.

I learned the hard way with expensive pellets. Rico did eat TOPs but he wasn’t the biggest fan. He isn’t too picky with pellets, he just doesn’t like some flavors. Yesterday I tried a Psittacus pellet and it tasted funky. No wonder he doesn’t love it! It tastes like goofy wheat and floppy oats!

Apparently roudybush tastes like apple. Maybe Rico would like that. No clue how he would react to the shape. He really only eats ball shaped pellets that taste like floppy oats and goofy wheat or dried not salty seaweed and oats.

Rico will eat most brands but finding one he enjoys (like Harrison’s) is tough!

Decisions, decisions.
 
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Rico_Tiel

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An awesome write up on pellets, I don't have any personal experience with any of the brands you mentioned.
Ohh thank you so much!
 

Terry57

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I feed a mix of Zupreem and Tropican or Tropimix. With so many birds, it's hard to find one that everyone will eat, and while Dexter will only eat Zupreem, everyone else loves the mix of the two.
Fresh food is the majority of their diet, however.

As Al mentioned, the best pellet is the one they will eat:)
 
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Rico_Tiel

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If you order TOPs, do it from their website, on Amazon it’s very overpriced, as are most pellets.

Hagen makes a pellet only, it doesn’t have any seeds or fruit in it, just pellets. I’ve never looked at their site so I don’t know how prices compare.

Ah! Forgot Higgins has sugar too!

If you have a Petsmart, they sell a slightly in stores cheaper version of Caitec oven fresh bites called All Living things over fresh bites, it’s the same pellet.

Well, I think you’d need an army of mannequins to solve the inflation problem sadly!
The shipping is so high on their website 😩

Crap you’re right! High end does have sugar! Time to go CEO hunting to tell them sugar is not good for birds 🤪🤪🤪


There is a petsmart but it’s like an hour and a half away 😬

You are very correct about the mannequins! So, I’m teaming up with mister beats to collaborate with target to give us the mannequins to terrorize whoever decided inflation was a good idea ☺️
 
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Rico_Tiel

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I feed a mix of Zupreem and Tropican or Tropimix. With so many birds, it's hard to find one that everyone will eat, and while Dexter will only eat Zupreem, everyone else loves the mix of the two.
Fresh food is the majority of their diet, however.

As Al mentioned, the best pellet is the one they will eat:)
Yeah, in my 3 years of experience with 3 birds, I get that! The budgies only liked zupreem and seeds while Rico is less picky but has requirements like it has to be crunchy and can’t taste like a boot. Pretty minimal standards. He does like the zupreem fruit blend but I don’t feed this to him due to the ingredients such as sugar, salt, and red #40. Red #40 makes me feel very sick and pretty awful after having it so I can’t imagine how Rico feels after eating it. He likes Harrison’s, he is okay with tops, he will eat Psittacus but isn’t a huge fan, he will eat zupreem natural but doesn’t like it much either. He eats pellets like a champ and doesn’t fuss too much about it. But as long as he gets some seeds at the end of the day, he’s happy.
 

Chenetaqwa

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Hello! I have come to realize my bird isn’t a huge fan of Psittacus pellets but I like the brand. Sadly he just doesn’t like the pellets anymore so now I just have 4 pounds of pellets he doesn’t favor. He will eat it but prefers other brands.

So, when he finishes the bag, I’m going to get him into a different brand. He like Harrison’s a lot! But he burns through it. Fast. And 16 bucks a pound is too much.

We could buy roudybush, but he isn’t used to the long pellet shape.

TOP’s is off the table as it is way too expensive and is hardly in stock.

Kaytee is an option but it’s pricey and the brand is iffy with me.

I really don’t like zupreem as it has sugars in it and is a little pricey. ESPECIALLY at petco or petzoo (because yaaaay taxes. I hate taxes.)

Lafeber’s is an option but the same issue that roudybush has arises.

Hagen Tropican is definitely a possibility but it is a bit fatty. Not as bad as the tropimix but it would mean I would have to give him longer flight times and harder foraging activities.

Higgin’s InTune is also possible but it’s a bit pricey.

I could feed the Oven Fresh Bites but it is also very pricey.

I could continue to feed Harrison’s but I’m not sure my mom would be too happy about it since it’s only last 2 months maximum. She already got mad about it last month and got mad after he finished his 1lbs bag of seeds in 2 months.

So, this brings me to my question. With so SO many options, what do I pick? I want to find one Rico will like and is relatively affordable. He likes things that are flavored, crunchy, and small. He does like colors but he doesn’t prefer them.
Personally I feed zupreem... I blend the fruit blend with nut blend and natural pellets .....
Pellets are about 20 % of diet
Vegetables about 60%
Fruit about 10%
Seeds about 10%
That's daily........
 

Chenetaqwa

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Jul 16, 2022
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Winston ... 6 month old green cheek conure
4 budgies ( parakeet)
Personally I feed zupreem... I blend the fruit blend with nut blend and natural pellets .....
Pellets are about 20 % of diet
Vegetables about 60%
Fruit about 10%
Seeds about 10%
That's daily........
Another thing....check the prices at CHEWEY their prices are better than pet shop prices and delivery is usually quick and free if you spend enough
 

DonnaBudgie

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Hello! I have come to realize my bird isn’t a huge fan of Psittacus pellets but I like the brand. Sadly he just doesn’t like the pellets anymore so now I just have 4 pounds of pellets he doesn’t favor. He will eat it but prefers other brands.

So, when he finishes the bag, I’m going to get him into a different brand. He like Harrison’s a lot! But he burns through it. Fast. And 16 bucks a pound is too much.

We could buy roudybush, but he isn’t used to the long pellet shape.

TOP’s is off the table as it is way too expensive and is hardly in stock.

Kaytee is an option but it’s pricey and the brand is iffy with me.

I really don’t like zupreem as it has sugars in it and is a little pricey. ESPECIALLY at petco or petzoo (because yaaaay taxes. I hate taxes.)

Lafeber’s is an option but the same issue that roudybush has arises.

Hagen Tropican is definitely a possibility but it is a bit fatty. Not as bad as the tropimix but it would mean I would have to give him longer flight times and harder foraging activities.

Higgin’s InTune is also possible but it’s a bit pricey.

I could feed the Oven Fresh Bites but it is also very pricey.

I could continue to feed Harrison’s but I’m not sure my mom would be too happy about it since it’s only last 2 months maximum. She already got mad about it last month and got mad after he finished his 1lbs bag of seeds in 2 months.

So, this brings me to my question. With so SO many options, what do I pick? I want to find one Rico will like and is relatively affordable. He likes things that are flavored, crunchy, and small. He does like colors but he doesn’t prefer them.
As you've learned, all of the best quality pellets are "expensive", but $8-$10 a month to feed your bird what's best for his long term health doesn't seem prohibitively expensive, especially when you consider the cost of vet care for birds that are sick from eating a poor low quality diet. If your mom really objects to spending an extra $5 a month you may be able to earn some extra cash doing additional chores around the house.
I'm a huge fan of Harrisons. The ingredients are organic and my budgie Rocky was weaned onto Harrisons High Potency Super Fine granules- I mixed them with her baby formula and she's very healthy.
Buying different brands to try to find something your bird likes that's less expensive ends up costing you more. The most expensive pellets, of course, are the ones you bought that your bird won't eat!
 

TaylorLincoln99

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Hi, my Indian ring neck loves the BirdTricks brand pellets. They come in bigger pellets that easily break down into smaller pieces for any size bird.
 
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Rico_Tiel

Rico_Tiel

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As you've learned, all of the best quality pellets are "expensive", but $8-$10 a month to feed your bird what's best for his long term health doesn't seem prohibitively expensive, especially when you consider the cost of vet care for birds that are sick from eating a poor low quality diet. If your mom really objects to spending an extra $5 a month you may be able to earn some extra cash doing additional chores around the house.
I'm a huge fan of Harrisons. The ingredients are organic and my budgie Rocky was weaned onto Harrisons High Potency Super Fine granules- I mixed them with her baby formula and she's very healthy.
Buying different brands to try to find something your bird likes that's less expensive ends up costing you more. The most expensive pellets, of course, are the ones you bought that your bird won't eat!
Yeah, the prices drive my mom and I crazy! It drives me insane because I don’t want to have her start an argument and then act like I’m terrible for… *gasp* wanting to feed Rico! Oh the horror!

I do do chores but she never pays me or acknowledges it. She hasn’t since last may or something then gets mad when I can’t buy the pellets.

I would like to continue getting Harrison’s but my mom gets pretty mad at me over the price because 1lb is 16$ but Rico’s 1LBS is lasting like 2 months being half of his food.

And yes, the expensive brands are the ones birds won’t eat is spot on. We paid like 45 dollars for 6LBS of Psittacus (i asked for the 1LBS bag but she bought the 6LBS one but is mad at me) and is STILL mad at me after 3 months. The bag is still mostly full! Rico is eating it but seeds HAS to be mixed in for him to eat it.
 
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Rico_Tiel

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Personally I feed zupreem... I blend the fruit blend with nut blend and natural pellets .....
Pellets are about 20 % of diet
Vegetables about 60%
Fruit about 10%
Seeds about 10%
That's daily........
We have tried zupreem and while he likes it, it just affects his health negatively. The sugar is what made him not look too good. He is sugar sensitive and it turned his feathers a bit brown, like his feathers had been laced with bronze.
 

Terry57

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I tried Harrison's, and only one of my birds would eat it, and 2 stopped eating anything if it was in their cage. I'd gotten a 40 or 50 pound bag on clearance and ended up freezing it until Justice finished it.

I tried Roudybush and my pluckers seemed to pluck more while they were on it.

I haven't had any issues with any of the Zupreem or Tropican, so that's what they eat.

Since Rico likes the Harrisons, it's a shame if you can't get it for him. Is there any possibility you could shovel snow for your neighbours for a little extra money? Mow grass in the summer?
 
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Rico_Tiel

Rico_Tiel

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I tried Harrison's, and only one of my birds would eat it, and 2 stopped eating anything if it was in their cage. I'd gotten a 40 or 50 pound bag on clearance and ended up freezing it until Justice finished it.

I tried Roudybush and my pluckers seemed to pluck more while they were on it.

I haven't had any issues with any of the Zupreem or Tropican, so that's what they eat.

Since Rico likes the Harrisons, it's a shame if you can't get it for him. Is there any possibility you could shovel snow for your neighbours for a little extra money? Mow grass in the summer?
It would not be possible since my mom thinks I will be kidnapped and play “special tickle time” with the neighbors or something. It’s pretty dumb. Like, yes, we have some very VERY strange neighbors (like our next door neighbor who lets rabbits freeze to death or starve. He also had his chihuahua killed by his other 2 dogs. He ALSO seemed to have poached an owl. But animal control does nothing about it) and we are in a state with the highest crime rate but I doubt I would be napped and play “special tickle time” with the neighbors. It’s all just a bunch of oldies or snobs who wouldn’t even look at someone who isn’t in the same class as them lol
 

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