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Parrot Nutrition, Diet and Feeding Discuss parrot nutrition, diets, foods and feeding.

 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2010, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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Pellets

I currently have all my birds on a seed based diet. In addition to the seeds, I of course give them all extra foods such as grains, vegetables, and fruits. For a while, I had been homeschooled, which gave me plenty of time during the day (especially in the mornings) to prepare all of their foods and make sure they are eating them. Now that I am going back to public school (something I really wish I wasn't doing for the sake of my birds) I am finding it more and more difficult to consistently give them the extra foods they need to have a well balanced diet.

The reason I used to not want to feed my birds pellets was because I felt as if pellets were artificial and that seeds would be more like what the birds would feed on in the wild. I have read, however, that seeds are more fatty and can lead to obesity and bad habits/behaviors in birds. I have also read that pellets give a whole lot more nutrition than seed, so less of these extra foods would be needed (but of course, not completely abandoned) and therefore makeup for what I don't have energy to provide in the mornings. I know switching from seeds to pellets is a long and hard process, but if it'll end up being better for my babies, I'm all for it. What are your experiences and opinions on seeds and pellets?

Another question I have is regarding Harrison's Bird Foods. While at the vet one time, I picked up a pamphlet about Harrison's Bird Foods, which are pretty much pellets. The experienced vet highly suggested that we think about switching to Harrison's Bird Foods and that it will greatly improve the health of our birds. Now, (with Harrison's Bird Foods) not only would it be a long and hard process, it would be expensive and difficult to buy, as I've never seen Harrison's Bird Foods sold in regular pet stores, only a few specialty places and on the internet. Does anybody have any experience with Harrison's? Would it be worth buying, more than any other pellet brands?

What other pellet brands would you suggest? I want the healthiest kind I can find, with lots of nutrients.

Any help on this topic would be great, thanks.



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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2010, 09:21 PM


 
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I feed pellets. I believe they are better balanced nutritionally, but that could be incorrect. It is what the manufacturers espouse. My avian veterinarian also recommends pellets.

I use TOPs, Totally Organic Pellets. I like the fact that they are organic. I also feed Harrisons, which is organic, but not totally. I feed Zupreem naturals Garden blend, too. It is not organic. I don't like it as well, but I also want my birds to be used to more than one thing in case I ever can't get what I really want to feed them. If I could find more organic recipes, I'd probably try them, too.

I think lots of people on here feed Roudybush. It isn't easily acquired in my area as far as I am aware.

I think it can be very hard to get budgies to convert to pellets. Other types of birds seem to accept them more readily.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2010, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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My budgies will be especially hard to convert, but I'll give it a try. I especially want to convert my cockatiel, though.

I like how you feed your birds several different brands. I agree, that is a good idea. I think I'm going to research more about the different pellet brands, but I think I definitely want to switch.

Thanks!



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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 09:52 AM


 
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The bird shop where I buy my birds, their supplies, toys and food, recommend Roudybush Pellets. They also breed some birds, and finish handfeeding the babies they buy from local breeders. These birds are all weaned to Roudybush Pellets, along with fresh fruit and veggies.

They sell Harrison's and all the other types of pellets as well, but use Roudybush for the birds they sell, so my birds came home eating Roudybush.

My avian vet also recommends pellets, along with fresh fruit, veggies, etc. He said Roudybush and Harrison's are the top two pellet manufacturers.

My birds also get "birdy bread" (which has fruit, veggies, pellets, etc. in it), Beak Appetit (which is out of business-darn!), and Goldenfeast Petite Hookbill Blend (which has a ton of fruit and veggies in it). When my Beak Appetit is gone, I'll be purchasing a cooked mix from my bird shop, which is similar to Beak Appetit.

They also get a Nutraberry once in a while and other treats here and there. They get very little seed. I do give them Hemp seeds, but this is only given during clicker training as a reward.

So, yes, I do feed pellets, plus lots of other stuff. Pellets are always in their cages. Roudybush comes in many different "sizes", but mine prefer the Roudybush "crumbles" (even my Conure).

I've never had to switch a bird over from seed to pellets, but I imagine it can be difficult. Definitely worth the work though.

By the way, I don't think the "pellets, yes or no issue" will ever be solved! However, I think we all need to do what we think is best for our birds.

Good luck!

JoAnne, Libby (2/10),Angelina (12/07), and Charley (11/10)
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-12-2010, 12:02 AM
 
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We feed Zupreem pellers, Kaytee pellets,fruity kind. They also eat Volkmans seed blends. I also buy some Hagens pellets for canary/ budgies. In fact I like Hagens best. The birds like the others so we mix and match! Try putting pellets in a silo feeder it will draw them like flies to honey. I have access to Harrison's, but it is too spendy for my budget.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-12-2010, 05:53 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you guys for the help. I'm definitely switching to pellets, but it'll have to probably wait until after Christmas. I'm already planning on spending a ton on new cages, perches, and other things for my birds.

I think my cockatiel might be easy to switch over to pellets, however, some of my budgies have been living with me for YEARS and have always eaten seed, so I don't think I'm looking forward to having to switch them.



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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-12-2010, 09:53 AM


 
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Just a note of caution, budgies are notorious for starving themselves to death if you try to force them to switch to pellets by totally removing the seeds, so really monitor your budgies' droppings when you are switching. Other birds usually switch more easily.


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Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-12-2010, 03:35 PM



 
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I can't give you much help other than be careful with sunflower seeds as they make birdies get a bit too fat if too many are ate!
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-12-2010, 04:36 PM
 
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I've also heard that sunflower seed is like caffeine for birds - especially in Greys and Zons. It can promote aggression, screaming, and plucking if they eat a lot of it on a regular basis



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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-12-2010, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, I don't plan on totally switching at once. I'll slowly mix the pellets into the seed. It's gonna be a long process.

And I've heard that exact same thing about sunflower seeds. I've never fed them to my budgies, I've offered some to my cockatiel but she's never seemed too interested in them, luckily.



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