Changing birds diet

by Carolyn

Hi Dr. B and Tracy,
I took your advice and bought some Roudybush pellets. My birds were eating a seed mix and Zupreem fruit blend pellets.

Here is what I did. I took all bowls out of their cages, dumped, washed, rinsed and dried them good. I took their main food dish and put Roudybush pellets in them. The smaller dish that they had pellets in before, I put in a good seed mix that has dried fruit, veggies, and a variety of nuts. They also have their water dish and treat dish.

I have completely changed their diet. I give them fruit, veggies, home made mashes, pasta, eggs, etc. all the good stuff. I do not give them red meat but they do get the occasional piece of chicken or fish. I have 5 goffins and a citron. Immediately, one of my goffins and my citron started eating the Roudybush. The other 4 goffins look at them like they are poison, lol. One of them will take the pellets and tuck them under her wings as a toy. Their seed mix is taken away in the late afternoon around 2 pm and not given back to them until after breakfast in the mornings. The seed dish is alot smaller than the pellet dish with about 1/4 cup of seeds per bird and is put lower than the main pellet dish.

I was so happy to see two of them eating the pellets so quickly but the other 4 are spoiled rotten and are seed junkies.

My question is this: will they gradually eat the Roudybush and if so, how long do you guess it might take? Also, a bird will not starve themselves, right?

Oh yes, they also get spray millet, avicakes and nutriberries as an occasional treat. Does this diet sound like a good diet to you all?

Thanks guys.

Comments for Changing birds diet

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 22, 2011
Changing birds diet
by: Linda

Yes, birds will starve themselves if they are stubborn, so follow the article's instructions for changing them over.

The other issue I noticed is you are feeding way too much food in general. Drop the eggs altogether as they will interfere with the balanced diet provided by the pellets. Drop anything with nuts in it as they are high in fat and low in protein. Feed no pastas as they are basically empty calories and provide nothing except something to fill the crop and stomach.

Feed no more than 10-15% of total diet in fruit and veggies as this will also interfere with a balanced diet. That means small amounts only a few times a week and not everyday.

Your birds are not so much spoiled as overfed, so please cut out mentioned foods and cut down on the others. The object is to get them to eat a majority of their diet in organic pellets, and as long as you are providing such a feast everyday, they will never, ever switch to the pellets. Bird's need to be hungry at meal time not overstuffed and forcing themselves to eat more. This does mean starving either, it means a life more like in the wild where they have to forage all day long to feed themselves. Since captive birds don't have to do this, make sure they are not being overfed.

As Tracie said, get rid of the nutriberries by Lafaeber. They contain a chemical that is used in hand lotions and face creams as a binder. This chemical tastes sweet and birds become addicted, so please throw those away or give to outside bird and squirrels as they always need extra food.


Sep 21, 2011
changing birds diet
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the suggestions Tracy. Yes I did read Dr. B's article on switching birds to pellets. I also went to the Roudybush site and read some articles there. LOL even sent links to a friend of mine who has a plucked timneh, TRYING to get her to take the bird off the Hartz food, which what we get here is really dusty, moulded peanuts, etc. I hate that stuff! Regardless of how hard I try, she won't listen. I know she loves the bird, but to me, in my opinion, if a person loves their bird enough they will do anything to give them a good diet. That is why I switched my parrots today!!! Even switched my kitty to a new healthy diet, lol. I love my Toos more than anything and I am determined to get them on a good healthy diet. Thanks again and will keep you updated.

Sep 21, 2011
Switching bird to pellets
by: Tracie

Did you read the Switching Birds To Pellets article Dr B wrote? That is one way.

I do it differently. I need to warn you that it can take months or a year for a bird to recognize pellets as food. Just be patient.

I put pellets only in the cage in the mornings. That is when they are hungriest, and most likely to try to eat them if they are in the food bowl where they expect food. That is all that is available until late in the morning until they eat a pellet and know it is food. (Of course they prefer the junk food, that doesn't change.)

Once I KNOW they will eat the pellets, then they ONLY get pellets until mid to late afternoon. Then I add seeds and treats to the cage. I measure the treats according to how much pellets were eaten.

Nutriberries, etc. are only treats, they are not considered healthy by my avian vet. He says they are too high in fat and chemicals. Try to get them to eat the Roudybush, because that is what will keep them healthy. It's like, we allow our kids to have candy, but we make sure they eat veggies etc. more than junk food.

In my opinion, if you allow them to have both the seeds and the pellets at the same time, they are going to go for the junk food, just like kids would pick the candy over carrots any day.

Click here to add your own comments