Transition to Pellet Food

by Linda
(Morgan City, Louisiana)

I am writing this in hopes that someone has or is facing the same delima I am and could offer me some advice on how you worked out your issues. I have a GC Conure and am trying to change his diet from seeds to pellets. I cannot and I mean cannot get her to eat the pellets or any other food for that matter. I have tried baby food, baked them in breads, muffins, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and pizza. It's almost like she knows that the pellets are in there. Takes a whiff, a couple of bites and that's it, then she starts screaming for her seeds.


I've tried recipes from the Healthy Parrot Cookbook. I've measured the food with 50/50 mix of seeds and pellets together, decreasing the amount of seeds each day and increasing the pellets. She in turn just picks through the pellets to get to the seeds. I've tried the process from the article that you recommend, that definitely did not work, she basically starved herself.

Now, I am back to square one because I weighed her before I started and she has now lost six grams so now I have her on straight seeds again so that she can gain her weight back. I took her to the vet before i started the food transition and I was told then that she is in good shape but too thin and needed to gain weight and the pellets would help her do that only I can't get her to eat them. HELP...Any suggestions???

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Mar 11, 2011
Transition to Pellet Food
by: Robin

I also have a very stubborn Tanday Conures and he was resistent to eating the pellets. Would pick them out of the bowl and toss them on the floor of his cage . . . what a mess. he was having fun, I think. However, I think Tracie has something here:

"We ONLY provide pellets starting when we go to bed at night, until the afternoon the next day. That way the bird only has pellets when it wakes up starving, and only has pellets until the afternoon. Then we add the food it was weaned to in the afternoon, so it never has a chance to lose weight. "

I followed that advice and so far he seems to be accepting the pellets, somewhat grudgingly, but I caught him the other day chomping on a green one. good luck.

Mar 10, 2011
Helping bird switch to pellets
by: Tracie

Dr B will answer this, and hopefully shed some light on the subject. Don't give up, it took me over a year to get my budgie to eat a seed, because it was weaned to pellets, and that is all it would eat.

The way we transition our birds, is a bit different than the article on our site. After we see the bird eat a pellet, then we start the heavy handed conversion. Until then, it becomes a game of just getting the bird to see the pellets as food.

You might spend a small fortune trying to find a pellet your bird will try, if it has never had pellets. Goldn'obles smell great, and many birds like them. Harrison's high potency would be the best for your bird, if you can get him to try those.

The very first thing we do, is put a few pellets on our plates every single time we sit down by the cage. We pretend to eat them and enjoy them. We share them with each other too. The bird sees his human "flock" eating these all the time, and potentially will want to try them too.

After a few days of doing this, and making sure the bird is paying attention, then we get up and ask the bird if it wants one too? We "eat" one and then hold one out for the bird to eat.

We do this for a week or so, making the bird think they are a special treat. THEN when the bird has eaten them, we start the "hard line" training.

We ONLY provide pellets starting when we go to bed at night, until the afternoon the next day. That way the bird only has pellets when it wakes up starving, and only has pellets until the afternoon. Then we add the food it was weaned to in the afternoon, so it never has a chance to lose weight.

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