Bird Booklet

Converting Your Bird to A Pellet Diet:

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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.

3 thoughts on “Bird Booklet

  1. Jeannie silva"

    I love your site!! When I was in there the other day we were speaking about the 2 new additions to our Noah arc the finches. I got the part about broccoli tops but am still unclear on the herbs. I understand that I would need to rotate the plants just not clear on what type :(

    1. admin Post author

      Hi Jeannie,
      Glad the info helped out with your new finches :) Below are some links that I hope will help as well. Basically, any greens we can eat are safe for your birds. The dark green leafy veggies are the best. Any site that sells plants or seeds for human consumption should be safe – just ensure plants are not sprayed with anything. I often use and have a 4×4 ft raised garden bed that I’ve planted their french garden in and pull those for bird goodies. I also sprout their seeds in the easy sprouter and that works well and is great nutrition for the birds. To ensure a plant you’d like to place in the aviary isn’t toxic check these links – and For a safe plant list check this link – And this link shows what we’ve done with our outdoor aviary build – Lastly here is a nice article on a planted finch aviary –
      The important thing to remember is don’t place any plants in the cage that have a pesticide on them or in the soil and if using in an indoor cage you will need to rotate the plants out because the little finches will eat them like crazy which is great nutrition. So basically you’d plan a rotation schedule just as you would a grazing pasture for horses. Hope that helps and welcome to the bird crazy bug :) Jill

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