A Common Sense Approach to Feeding Your Bird Pellets
Much has been written on the benefits of feeding your birds a pelleted
or extruded diet. By feeding the pellets you are giving your pet a balanced diet which
supplies everything needed to stay healthy. It is also recommended that with the pellets
you should also feed 20% of their diet with fresh food. There are many that would never
feed their bird a diet of just pellets. This is about how to convert your bird from a seed
only diet to one that is primarily pellets. Sometimes someone reads, 'Your Bird Must Eat
Pellets or it is not healthy'. They run out and buy a bag of pellets, empty out the seed
dish and fill it with pellets. This is less healthy than eating seed. Ask yourself, if
someone took your favorite food away and said 'Here eat these brown nuggets and nothing
else', what would you do.
A couple warnings before you start. If you think your bird has any problems don't
switch until those are solved. Changing their food could make it worse. Also be aware of
your birds weight. If you feel it seems lighter or you notice a change in droppings, stop.
The goal is to feed your pet a well balanced diet and teach it to like the diet, not to
make it sick by starving itself. If youre unsure you can always ask your vet. Most
vets will recommend a phased approach. They may say all pellets should be the end result
but, you have to decide what you are comfortable with when feeding your pet.
Before you start you need pellets. There are a lot of good products on the market. The
main difference is colored or not. If you choose colored pellets be sure it is natural
coloring and not food coloring. Start by buying a pound or two until you know that your
bird likes them. You may find that no matter how hard you try they dont eat the
pellets. Dont give up. Try another brand or type until you find one that works. You
should give it at least a month before switching.
Here we go. First obtain equal amounts of your current seed mix and the pellets you
plan to use. Get a covered container that holds at least 2 cups and measuring cups. The
final diet mix will be 80% pellets and 20% seed. The transition will take a month or two
so dont rush it. This is going to be a 3-step process. Use the following
measurements for each step. If your bird is bigger than double up on the amounts. You want
to create a container that has about a 1-2 weeks of food.
Mix your first batch of seeds and pellets in your
container. You will use this until it is done. Now it is time to start. Give your bird
half a seed dish of the mix. You want to give your bird enough food for one day and no
more. The most important step is to NOT change their food until they have eaten everything
in the dish. By overfilling the dish that will never happen. There are articles that say
feed a fixed amount twice a day. For most people that isnt going to happen, but
everyone should be feeding once per day with a water change. You will find that the seed
gets eaten first and you see pellets in the dish. The first impulse is to empty the dish
and give them more, Dont. Go another half a day and see if they eat the pellets.
Granted they may empty them out of the dish and end up at the bottom of the cage, but
thats ok at the start. Theyre handling them and getting used to this new food.
From here its just feeding them the same way every day. Be sure the eat their
After the first container is empty it is time to mix step 2 and continue then off to
step 3. Once you reach step 3 you will need to be sure they are eating the pellets. If
they are not at that point you will either want to try a switch pellets or mix another
batch of ½ Pellets and ½ Seed. You are trying to help your bird but you dont want
to starve them in the process. Up until now I havent mentioned fresh food. If you
have been doing this dont stop. If you havent been feeding fresh food now is a
good as time as any.
So, its a month later and your bird still doesnt eat pellets. It is
probably time to try it different type or brand. Dont give up your pet will thank
Copyright 1999 CNC Aviary