Guest Author - Mavis Metcalf
A dry seed-only diet does not provide sufficient nutrients for pet birds. Pellets by themselves are not sufficient either, but pellets combined with fruits and vegetables will provide your bird with a healthy diet.
There are several different pellet manufacturers and many of them also make more than one size and type of pellet. You may wish to purchase a few small packages of various brands in the appropriate size for your bird. Sometimes a size larger or smaller may interest your bird as well so be prepared to try other options. Many of the pellet manufacturers will send a small free sample of their product if you contact them directly.
Converting a bird to pellets does not happen quickly. Your bird will not recognize them as a food and will not immediately eat them. Do not remove the seeds in the hope that he will eat them when he gets hungry. Unfortunately, your bird could starve himself to death before eating something that he does not know is food.
Some suggestions to get you started on the conversion are:
1) If your bird eats fruits and vegetables, you can press some of the pellets into the fruit or vegetable.
2) Mix some pellets in with the seeds
3) Spread a little peanut butter on toast and sprinkle pellets on it.
4) Pour a little warm water or apple juice on the pellets – these must be removed before an hour has past due to the potential growth of bacteria.
5) If you make a bean mix for your bird sprinkle some pellets on top of it.
It is just as important to make sure your bird is eating fruits, vegetables, sprouts, birdie bread (see a recipe at Book Review – For the Love of Greys) and other cooked foods.
A younger bird is easier to convert than an older bird is but for either, it may take months before your bird may decide to try those “things” that have been sitting in his cage.
It is possible that your bird will never convert to pellets. If you decide after a few months that your bird is one of the ones who will not convert, don’t worry about it as long as you have him eating as many other foods as you can. Some birds live to a healthy old age on a seed-only diet.
See Converting Birds From a Seed-Only Diet
See Convert Your Bird to Eat Fruits/Vegetables
See Sprouting Seeds
See Foods to find the various pellet manufacturers as well as recipes for you to make nutritious foods for your bird.