Converting Your Bird to A Pellet Diet:
Birds learn what to eat from their parent when they are very young. They are true mimic eaters learning what to eat in the wild by watching their parents and other flock members. This can result in some problem for us if the birds were not exposed to a variety of foods by the person rearing the chick. Many birds can be very stubborn about accepting a change in their diet and will actually starve to death because they don’t seem to realize that the new food is eatable. Therefore, any change in diet must be done with close supervision and monitoring or the bird’s weight.
1)Limit seeds to 2 timed meals daily: I like this method because if the owner is persistent it seems to always work. The idea is to take out all seeds and place fresh pellets in their normal food bowl. It is best to leave the pellets in for the first 1-2 hours every morning and then offer 15 minutes of their regular former diet so that they do not go hungry. Repeat this in the evening. The idea is to offer the pellets when the bird are most hungry but to starve the bird into eating.
2) Choose a human grade bird pellet such as Harrison’s and allow the bird to see you eating the pellets. Birds learn by example and are likely to be interested in anything you show interest in. Do remember that birds and humans have different normal bacteria in their GI tracts do not offer food from your mouth.
3) Soak the pellets in sweetened juice or a favorite food to encourage eating based on flavor.
4) Make cornbread mix and place the old diet, veggies, and the new diet in the mix. Then feed birdie bread. Harrison’s now makes a powdered starter for birdie bread that I highly recommend.
5) Use a teacher bird. Similar to #2 this allows your bird to learn by example.