Transition to pellets and dumb questions about it

marina&zizel

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Jan 17, 2024
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Hello! I'm completely new to this forum.
I've had Prince since 2015 and ever since I've fed him with budgie seed mix (he is scared of the ones that are tailored for his kind) and some foods and vegetables.
Very recently I've discovered that I need to give him pellets so I want to buy the Harrison's ones soon.
How should I do the transition? I've read articles but I'm very confused and I'd love if someone could explain it to me and answer my questions 😅.
First of all, should it be in a different container? Is there a diet plan that I should follow?

(prince is not tamed but he is grown very attached to me recently. He's very scared in general and I don't let him out of his cage yet because I'm really stressed about potential accidents)
 

zERo

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Welcome to the forums!

There’s a few different ways to start to introduce pellets to your bird, some will eat them straight away, simply if they’re offered while other birds take more convincing.
I’d try offering a few in either the seed dish he already feeds from, just to see what he thinks.
Also, try to buy a smaller sized pellet, that can help with transition.

How well does he eat veggies? I’ve found lots of success in getting birds to start eating pellets if they’re ground up into power and sprinkled on chopped up vegggies.
 
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marina&zizel

marina&zizel

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Jan 17, 2024
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Welcome to the forums!

There’s a few different ways to start to introduce pellets to your bird, some will eat them straight away, simply if they’re offered while other birds take more convincing.
I’d try offering a few in either the seed dish he already feeds from, just to see what he thinks.
Also, try to buy a smaller sized pellet, that can help with transition.

How well does he eat veggies? I’ve found lots of success in getting birds to start eating pellets if they’re ground up into power and sprinkled on chopped up vegggies.
Thank you!
I'll def purchase the smallest size because he gets scared of big seeds easily haha
I've read the ground up trick a lot, doesn't it lose nutritional value?
 

zERo

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Thank you!
I'll def purchase the smallest size because he gets scared of big seeds easily haha
I've read the ground up trick a lot, doesn't it lose nutritional value?
Grinding up pellets wouldn’t cause the nutritional value to be lost, unless you were making it into powder to use as flour for Birdie bread, then cooking it.
 

Jcas

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Thank you!
I'll def purchase the smallest size because he gets scared of big seeds easily haha
I've read the ground up trick a lot, doesn't it lose nutritional value?
I’ve been using the trick of grinding up pellets to get my Quaker parrot to eat them. I sprinkle the ground pellets over his seeds. He is slowly getting used to the taste and will eat a whole pellet or two if I hand feed him. I store the bag of pellets in the freezer and just take out and grind up a little bit each day. That way the pellets stay fresh. Nutritional value would only be lost if the pellets are ground and then sit out for days and start to get stale.

I’ve read that smaller birds like Cockatiels do better with less pellets than the recommended 60-75% of their diet. Some numbers I’ve seen are roughly 30% pellets 50% seeds and 20% fresh foods and vegetables, although more vegetables would certainly be fine! Go slowly and be patient and hopefully your cockatiel will learn to like their pellets!
 

wrench13

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The main thing to remember when introducing new foods - do it very gradually and always have some of the original foods available to them until you are sure they are eating the new stuff well.

As far as brands or types - the best one is the one your parrot will actually eat. Buying the best pellets in the world won't help if your bird won't eat them!
 
Jul 23, 2023
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84
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7 month old sun conure
Hello! I'm completely new to this forum.
I've had Prince since 2015 and ever since I've fed him with budgie seed mix (he is scared of the ones that are tailored for his kind) and some foods and vegetables.
Very recently I've discovered that I need to give him pellets so I want to buy the Harrison's ones soon.
How should I do the transition? I've read articles but I'm very confused and I'd love if someone could explain it to me and answer my questions 😅.
First of all, should it be in a different container? Is there a diet plan that I should follow?

(prince is not tamed but he is grown very attached to me recently. He's very scared in general and I don't let him out of his cage yet because I'm really stressed about potential accidents)
My conure hated Harrison’s. He would use his beak and toss them out his bowl. I tried mixing them with his seeds, grinding them, adding them to his chop etc. After four different pellet brands he liked roudybush pellets. That being said Prince might have a preference or be picky so I would take your time. Have a slow transition with the pellets I would start off with 5-10% pellets and the rest Prince’s normal seed mix and very slowly add more each month or so, depending on how much Prince likes them.
 

GaleriaGila

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Lots of good advice above.

My two cents...
I feed Harrison's, supplemented by fresh healthy treats. My first, and later, my current avian vet recommended it. My bird loves the pellets now, but to get him converted, my avian vet suggested putting pellets out all day, and putting seeds (his old diet) out for two 15-minute periods a day. That would sustain him but leave him hungry enough to try new stuff. I presume the same technique could be used to get him to eat other healthy stuff, like fruits and vegetables! My guy was eating pellets in a couple of days, and now I can feed a good variety of other stuff, knowing he has the pellets as a basic. Pellets are out all day... fresh treats a few times a day. I also like Harrison's via mail because I never have to worry about out-of-date products. Oh, and... if you eat them (YES, REALLY) in front of him, he may be persuaded... The Rb eats ANYTHING he sees me eat!

And
kalos irthate!
(My entire Greek vocabulary)
 
Last edited:
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marina&zizel

marina&zizel

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Jan 17, 2024
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23
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One cockatiel, Prince
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I’ve been using the trick of grinding up pellets to get my Quaker parrot to eat them. I sprinkle the ground pellets over his seeds. He is slowly getting used to the taste and will eat a whole pellet or two if I hand feed him. I store the bag of pellets in the freezer and just take out and grind up a little bit each day. That way the pellets stay fresh. Nutritional value would only be lost if the pellets are ground and then sit out for days and start to get stale.

I’ve read that smaller birds like Cockatiels do better with less pellets than the recommended 60-75% of their diet. Some numbers I’ve seen are roughly 30% pellets 50% seeds and 20% fresh foods and vegetables, although more vegetables would certainly be fine! Go slowly and be patient and hopefully your cockatiel will learn to like their pellets!
Thank you, I definitely think it's the best way for prince to introduce it through grinding but we'll see! I didn't know the fridge thing so tnx!
I've heard about the percentage issues, my main concern rn is to get him to eat pellets and then we'll see
The main thing to remember when introducing new foods - do it very gradually and always have some of the original foods available to them until you are sure they are eating the new stuff well.

As far as brands or types - the best one is the one your parrot will actually eat. Buying the best pellets in the world won't help if your bird won't eat them!
Thank you! The pellets that are available in my country are limited, but Harrison's has the best reviews that's why I wanna try them. Of course I will do it gradually because I've heard of birds dying from starvation:(
My conure hated Harrison’s. He would use his beak and toss them out his bowl. I tried mixing them with his seeds, grinding them, adding them to his chop etc. After four different pellet brands he liked roudybush pellets. That being said Prince might have a preference or be picky so I would take your time. Have a slow transition with the pellets I would start off with 5-10% pellets and the rest Prince’s normal seed mix and very slowly add more each month or so, depending on how much Prince likes them.
Thank you! I am prepared that it's gonna be a long process but it's worth it.
Lots of goo advice above.

My two cents...
I feed Harrison's, supplemented by fresh healthy treats. My first, and later, my current avian vet recommended it. My bird loves the pellets now, but to get him converted, my avian vet suggested putting pellets out all day, and putting seeds (his old diet) out for two 15-minute periods a day. That would sustain him but leave him hungry enough to try new stuff. I presume the same technique could be used to get him to eat other healthy stuff, like fruits and vegetables! My guy was eating pellets in a couple of days, and now I can feed a good variety of other stuff, knowing he has the pellets as a basic. Pellets are out all day... fresh treats a few times a day. I also like Harrison's via mail because I never have to worry about out-of-date products. Oh, and... if you eat them (YES, REALLY) in front of him, he may be persuaded... The Rb eats ANYTHING he sees me eat!

And
kalos irthate!
(My entire Greek vocabulary)
ευχαριστώ☺️(thank you)
I'll give it a try! Whatever makes him feel comfortable and not scared ofc. The eating trick Def has worked for us before, that's how he started eating cucumber haha
 

Free as a bird

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Jul 29, 2023
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2 cockatiels
Hello! I'm completely new to this forum.
I've had Prince since 2015 and ever since I've fed him with budgie seed mix (he is scared of the ones that are tailored for his kind) and some foods and vegetables.
Very recently I've discovered that I need to give him pellets so I want to buy the Harrison's ones soon.
How should I do the transition? I've read articles but I'm very confused and I'd love if someone could explain it to me and answer my questions 😅.
First of all, should it be in a different container? Is there a diet plan that I should follow?

(prince is not tamed but he is grown very attached to me recently. He's very scared in general and I don't let him out of his cage yet because I'm really stressed about potential accidents)
A balanced diet is always best and always look at what your bird eats in the wild.
There are mixed opinions about this even amongst vets.
My avian vet and bird shop owner say that for most parrots (granivores) a mix that has mostly seeds with pellets is fine. Pellets are made from mostly seed anyway so it's just processed seed that may or may not have other vitamins that your seed is low in. My birds rarely touch it being granivores (grain eating creatures) they preffer natural seed.
 

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