1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Pellet Diet

Discussion in 'Food And Diet' started by Bonnie, May 7, 2019.

  1. Bonnie

    Bonnie Regular Member Registered

    so I’ve been advised to move my jenday conure onto a pellet diet (he was born in November)

    I knew this was going to be difficult but my gosh...
    He’s in a foul mood and he’s not willing to try it... he’s biting.. just not happy
    I’ve squeezed an apple all over the pellets in hope that he’ll try it...
    But he’s funny anyway... he’ll only eat seed and apple. I’m still trying to introduce fruit and veg but he’s not having any of it...
    does anyone have any advice? I’m stuck...
    And I don’t know where I stand with giving him seed alongside the pellets so he doesn’t go hungry... I just don’t know ‍♀️ Please help! Lol

    I’ll share my number with whoever can help me through some things if that would be okay?

    133C725F-C240-487C-A07A-A06525FE9851.jpeg 9BC4158E-B861-427E-B0AF-DF783EE6E0CA.jpeg
  2. TomsMum

    TomsMum Administrator Staff Member Admin

    Who advised you....why and which pellets are you trying to use?

    There is nothing wrong with a seed diet for a bird such as a conure...providing it’s a good brand...and you can supplement with a vitamin supplement, plus keep on trying with the fruit and vegetables....sugar snap,peas are often well liked.
  3. Bonnie

    Bonnie Regular Member Registered

    The vet has... she said he’s slightly underweight... she’s advised me to try Harrison’s high potency fine pellets for 6 months and then move onto another after then...
    What seeds would you suggest for my conure so I can try them too... he’s just in such a bad mood, he never bites and he’s starting to bite now...
    I’ll try the sugar snap peas.. I haven’t tried those yet... thank you
  4. CaptainHowdy

    CaptainHowdy Regular Member

    Have you tried sprouting the seeds for him? Mine love sprouted seeds.

    Likewise when offering veg pretend to eat it yourself and don't let him have any. Make a big deal about it lots of Mmmmm noises when you pretend to eat it. Then when he's really interested as he will be if you're keeping it from him, let him try some. Once he's had a taste pretend to eat it again yourself. Do this with every new thing you introduce.

    Some he won't like that's normal but by making a huge deal out of it he will be more likely to try it than just popping it in a dish.
    Oli Fry and Bonnie like this.
  5. Bonnie

    Bonnie Regular Member Registered

    I did try that he just tends to walk away from me.. I’ll keep trying though. Trust me to have a fussy one lol
    CaptainHowdy likes this.
  6. Ararajuba

    Ararajuba Regular Member

    What types of fresh food have you tried? The conures in this establishment have always eaten most types of fresh food happily, besides a few strong dislikes which it is not worth feeding them (they do eat seed and pellets happily too though). One of the dislikes is banana which they have always hated (a few conure owners recently have mentioned that theirs don't like it either, so this may be common, at least for the pyrrhura family). Sprouted seed is another - they have always refused it and shown no interest, so I don't bother offering it any more considering how much other fresh stuff they do eat.

    I would suggest making sure there is no food in the cage overnight and then putting only pellets first thing in the morning, if you really want to get him eating them. They are hungriest at this time of day. Not really necessary though, as Tomsmum said - if you can get him eating a better range of fresh foods.
  7. Bonnie

    Bonnie Regular Member Registered

    I’ve tried raspberries, melon (I ate a whole melon trying to show him its nice and to keep him trying it lol.. still didn’t want to have it), blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, kiwi, banana, grapes, broccoli and some others... he tries it and never goes near it again.. I’m guessing if I just keep trying... he’ll only eat apple and is trying to use it as a source of water too.. it’s a nightmare... I feel like a bad bird owner :(
    I haven’t tried sugar snap peas... so I’ll buy some tomorrow and keep introducing them too... any other suggestions to try?

    I’ll take all the seed out of his cage tonight and try that in the morning.. that may work. He’s very stubborn.. but worth a try!
  8. CaptainHowdy

    CaptainHowdy Regular Member

    Have you offered cooked foods?
    You can start by mashing it up and mixing seed in it to get him to taste it. Then over time start adding bigger chunks of veg in.
    Oli Fry likes this.
  9. Bonnie

    Bonnie Regular Member Registered

    I suppose I haven’t really known what cooked food to give him as I’m worried about salt and sugar content in it.. what would you suggest?
  10. Ararajuba

    Ararajuba Regular Member

    The only from that list that ours regularly eat are strawberries (they quite like them, seem to have gone off them a bit though) and broccoli, which they enjoy but make a lot of mess eating (it tends to stink the place out too; I never realized it smelled so bad till I had conures ripping it up and throwing it about). And apple, which they enjoy. They will take grapes but don't seem particularly enthusiastic, so I don't give them often as there are more nutritious options anyway. Have never tried things like raspberries and blueberries as those are temperate-zone fruits that are not all that commonly available here (blackberries not at all!). I think they may have had a kiwi once and showed little enthusiasm - I dont really like them myself and neither does the wife, so we rarely buy them anyway. They much prefer melon seeds to the fruit, so I would try offering those to yours when you open one, as they are quite nutritious compared to most dried seeds.

    As to what they will eat: They enjoy all types of fresh leafy greens, collard (spring) greens being a particular favourite, but they will also take things like cabbage and kale pretty happily. They will also take things like radish and turnip tops, and cauliflower and broccoli, especially the outer leaves. Sometimes they get a sprig of fresh herbs like basil or mint. I don't bother with lettuce as it is less nutritious than other green options, though they would probably take it.

    Orange fruit and vegetables are particularly good for them as they are high in carotene, which helps prevent vitamin A deficiency, and they will happily take things like carrot (raw, washed and peeled, I tend to leave whole as they have more fun chewing it up then) and papaya (they take both seeds and fruit). They will also take cooked sweet potato and pumpkin, though they don't enjoy the texture as much as carrot (plain boiled or steamed, best not to add anything). I don't usually give these raw, especially sweet potato, which contains anti-nutrients when uncooked.

    Other things: Orange and tangerine always go down well. They particularly like guava, and eat both seeds and fruit (good for keeping them occupied too, though it is also a messy food once parrots have finished with it). You might not be able to find it there though. They will also take lychee and pear, though they seem to like apple better than either. They also take a lot of more exotic fruits and vegetables which I won't bother mentioning here as you won't be able to get them, but this should be enough to get you started with some alternatives.
    Bonnie likes this.
  11. Bonnie

    Bonnie Regular Member Registered

    Better get my shopping list out :D I’ll let you know how it goes down! I’ll try that over the weekend!
  12. Michael Reynolds

    Michael Reynolds Regular Member

    My conure's love Banana grape, apple, pear, Kiwi, and on the veg side there favourite is carrot, lettuce, chillies and dandelion leaves. but mine are not fussy and will eat most fresh food but will pick there favourites out first. to get any to take pellets I have to mix it in with there seed if I was to put it in on its own they will not touch it except for my Nanday Lou Lou she has hers separately.
    Bonnie likes this.
  13. TomsMum

    TomsMum Administrator Staff Member Admin

    I am puzzled. You shouldn’t try to do a diet change if a bird is unwell or weight compromised, so I’m puzzled by the vets advice if being underweight is the problem that needs to be solved, as if he won’t eat the pellets, then he’s going to be losing more weight. Were any tests done, such as full blood count to highlight any deficiencies?

    Many of us have faced the vet, and been told that we should be feeding a pelleted diet, me included! This general advice, does not mean this type of diet is better, they just think it’s easier for us humans to administer, as it has the vitamin content contained in it! I personally feed a mixture of seed and pellets so my bird gets a variety of textures, I use Harrison’s Adult Lifetime and TOPS.

    Regarding the seed mix, Tidymix (available directly from them or the usual online parrot supply companies) is well balanced. I use one of the Delinature mixes, these are available in species specific mixes from Garden Feathers
    And you can always phone them and ask Rachel for her advice.

    If your bird isn’t taking to the pellets and does like seed, then another thing to try would be Lafeber Nutriberries, and these have added supplements and the “Pelletberries” have little pellets added too.

    If you do decide to continue with the conversion then I’d suggest you follow the advice given by Harrisons
    On diet conversion.

    Do keep us posted on how you’re getting on.
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
    Bonnie likes this.
  14. TomsMum

    TomsMum Administrator Staff Member Admin

    The average weight for a Jenday conure is given as 118g with the usual range of 105-130g and heaviest as 139g
    Bonnie likes this.
  15. Oli Fry

    Oli Fry Regular Member Registered

    Yeah, I think the vets generally assume that most owners are only semi-interested in their birds and therefore give them a very limited diet. Where that is the case, pellets are definitely best as an alternative to the traditional bowl of seed. But things have moved on from that now, at least in these circles!
    Bonnie and TomsMum like this.
  16. plumsmum

    plumsmum Regular Member

    I have a Patagonian and he has taken to Harrison's HP fine, he also seems to quite like a veggie chop, containing loads of veggies (eg carrots, squash, sweet pot, corn, peppers, apples, pomegranate, cauli, etc). Despite mainly being fed seed all his life he has taken a liking to chop. I have also whizzed up some TOPs pellets and added that to the chop. You could try some on a small scale, sometimes it is the size and texture that puts them off. Keep an eye on your birds weight with regular weighings. I have with confidence withdrawn seed in the day until late afternoon with him. If you just leave a pot of pellets to become familiar, new things take time. Sprinkling some seed on new things will at least hopefully get them to investigate and potentially get some of the taste.

    My AV muttered in response to me saying that my birds get a little seed said "prefer none!".
    Bonnie, cazimodo and Oli Fry like this.
  17. DizzyBlue

    DizzyBlue Administrator Staff Member Admin

    Hi and welcome to the forum
    Strange how vets vary in opinion my AV is happy with the seed diet I feed they also get a large varied veg and fruit selection, plus nutrobal once a week to ensure their nutritional intake is covered with any of the minor minerals I may miss on making sure they eat, their yearly bloods come back as well within parameters for their various species so the vet isn't stuck on the feed pellet record. Although my oldest bird he says she likes fresh peas too much and has to have them limited as she will eat hers and anybody else' she could steal including mine! Obviously food and water is available at all times.
    Youngsters can burn off a lot of energy flying around if they are very active those that have a couch potato attitude obviously tend to put the weight on.
    Most vets recommend pellets when they see an overweight bird as they assume the bird is targeting the high fat items in the seed but an under weight bird?! That's a new one on me. My old hen african grey in stature is a whole lot smaller than the other two hen greys that I have and her weight is relevant to her size if she weighed the same as my larger grey girls she would be well over weight.
    Here's something for you to try out
    When you touch your birds chest beneath those super gorgeous feathers the chest muscles are either side of the keel bone that runs down the middle.
    Very gently run the flat of your finger (in a kind or hook shape) down the middle and see shat you feel.
    Do you feel that the keel bone is it raised and the chest muscles are flattened down and the keel is protruding - this would show loss of weight/condition.
    Or do you feel that the chest muscle is even either side of the keel bone and they are all at the same level either side - this would show the bird is at or very close to normal weight for its size.
    Or can you not find the keel bone as its dimpled down and the chest muscles are protruding above the keel bone either side - this would show the bird to be getting or be over weight.
    How old is your little one and how long have you had him/her?
    Does your bird tend to only eat when your in view and spend the rest of the time zipping around and bouncing around trying to find you? Just pondering on how attached and dependant he feels to be with you, some youngster can get really highly bonded to their owners and will only sit and eat properly when their "parent" is stood right alongside them - type of flock feeding behaviour as other eyes are watching out for anything that may wish to eat them. If you watch garden birds they wish to eat in gangs and there is always somebody checking around ready to raise the alarm if there is anything dangerous around and ready to shout the alarm.
    Bonnie, TomsMum and cazimodo like this.
  18. cazimodo

    cazimodo Regular Member

    Hi there. Just to add to the super advice others have already given, I started my two out by actually sprinkling some of the Harrison's fine mix (the powdered stuff) over their seed for a few weeks. Then I started adding pellets to the seed mix and they took to that easily. I feed a mix of seed and pellets and fresh food throughout the day and they get something different for lunch each day to keep bit interesting. When Frodo was ill he lost a lot of weight and we had to build him up again. I used Parrot Feast (Fruit) which he loves. It also had added vitamins and minerals.

    Sent from my Moto Z2 Play using Tapatalk
    Bonnie and TomsMum like this.
  19. Latindancer

    Latindancer Regular Member

    I have a picky eater, I’m sticking with foods I’d normally buy. I’m a parrot slave he prefers his veggies cooked, preferably roasted. I roast carrots, parsnips, potatoes and sweet potatoes in a small amount of coconut oil. He has a selection of these a day, mixed with red pepper strips (he only eats red), blueberries, apple, peas, sugar snaps and a tiny piece of wholemeal pasta or cous cous, Yep he get his dinner and dessert in one bowl. I’m still persevering with pellets, but it’s painful and they go the way of the banana chips, he posts them through the bars.

    I’ve tried crumbling the pellets on his veg, or tidymix, he knows and he leaves it. If we ever have to give him medication we’re screwed
  20. KEV H

    KEV H Regular Member

    Crush the Harrison's completely then wet it into mash with warm water and mix some seeds into it he will get the taste of it keep doing for few weeks then slowly give less seeds and add more pellets soon be eating them it's worked with all my six birds
    Bonnie likes this.