Feeding issue Please help......

by Sandy
(Jacksonville Fl)

I have a 6 month old Quaker and I cant get that lil booger to eat any kind of pellets- Supreme or Harrison's..I have spent Soooo much money.I have tried to mix and do the month long mixing from 50% now to 10%. I give him fresh fruits and Veggies on the weekend and every night we eat dinner I give him a little. He dances when he wants his seeds that's how we have trained him to dance, so I think he is starving because when I get home and change his water he will dance up a storm when I give him pellets he drops them out the bowl. I took him to the vet to discuss this issue and all they said was to keep mixing it, not much help. When I feed him the pellets by my hand he will eat about 3 pellets or so I think he is grinding them and crumbs are falling. If I give him only pellets on the weekend and NOTHING else will he starve himself. Thanks in advance for any help

Comments for Feeding issue Please help......

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Jun 27, 2009
Switching bird to pellets
by: The Vet

Mixing will not work. He will just pick through them and eat other things in the dish. Tracie has my Switching Birds to Pellets article
that will help you switch him. Follow the instructions exactly and he will be eating pellets in 1-2 weeks, probably less. The Harrison?s is the best. Work with that one, but use the High Potency. The coarse my be too large, so try the fine.

Buy a scale and monitor his weight to be sure he is eating. Also, monitor his droppings. If they are dark green or black it means he is not eating. If you follow the instructions attached, he will not starve. He will be getting small amounts of other food 2-3 times daily in the beginning. You will gradually reduce that as he is eating more pellets.

Dr. B

Jun 25, 2009
Not Eating
by: Linda

Yes, changing them over from an all seed diet can be difficult. My Amazons refused to eat the Harrison's for about a year, and I kept mixing the foods. I found something that worked well for us, and you may wish to try it too. Buy some organic Apple Juice or a good brand that does not use fructose or table sugar in the store. It would be best to get it from a health food store as refined sugar of any kind is a poison to birds.

I used a small syringe and put a few drops on each piece of Harrisons. I was surprised to see that they dove right in and cleaned up the bowl! I wish I'd thought of it sooner. So for a while, they would not eat it unless it had a little apple juice on it. Don't soak it in it as that is too much apple which causes stomach upsets. Just a drop or so on each pellet and see if he will eat it better with that addition. Most birds also love baked sweet potato, and later, I ground up some Harrison's pellets and mixed it in with some baked sweet potato. Again, they LOVED it! So, just try using a few little tricks for a while. Now, my birds eat them, some of Harrisons Birdy Bread (get some of that here, and use the organic red palm oil, Sunshine Factor that Tracie also has for the oil). I'll bet he will love it too. My birds put up a screaming fit when it is Birdy Bread day, and we are SLOW to get it in there. I feed them some as a treat a few times a week.

One other thing, do not feed any table food as birds will stop eating their regular food because they like table food so much. Also table food is bad for them as salt and other seasonings are not good for birds at all. If he makes a big deal out of it, put him in his cage and go on with dinner. If he starts screaming, take cage and put in another room and offer him one of the above treats until he hushes. You may want to put the special treat in his dish before you all sit down to eat, and will most likely eat his food while you eat yours (in a perfect parrot world!)

DO NOT STARVE HIM, as birds go down quickly when not eating their food. They are stubborn little things and are just like 4-5 year old children all their lives, so make sure he is eating enough each day. I think he'll do better with the apple juice and sweet potato thing (banana is good too), and the birdy bread mix is loved by all. Birds love bread, so they are actually eating a lot of the Harrison's and don't even know it! The change-over just takes some tricks up our sleeves so to speak.

Let us know how it goes,

Jun 25, 2009
Bird not eating pellets
by: Tracie

Sandy, I am sorry you are having so much trouble "making the switch." It can be very frustrating getting a bird to change it's eating habits.

As an example, I have a Budgie that was weaned to Harrison's pellets and refused to eat seeds. I wanted the bird to enjoy some seeds in it's diet, so I started adding seeds at the end of the day to it's dish.

This crazy bird would NOT eat seeds for over a year. Finally one day he ate a seed, instead of playing with them or picking them out of the dish, and found out he LOVED seeds. LOL

You just have to persevere. When I switched a bird to pellets, I gave him only pellets until we ate dinner. Then I would add seeds to the dish at dinner time and remove them late at night before going to bed. That way when he woke up the next morning hungry, he only had pellets to eat. ;-)

I did weigh him every day, in the early afternoon at the same time, to make sure he was eating and not losing weight.

Hang in there! Just in case, did you read the Switching Birds to Pellets article?

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