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krosp

Worried About The Conversion To Pellets

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As you may have read, Cosmo got very sick just over a week ago and I took him to an avian vet. He is heaps better now, and so we are just guessing that is due to the lucrin treatment he's getting. But we aren't too sure why he's so much better or why he was even sick (couldn't afford the x-ray and blood test).

 

So anyway, the vet also told us we had to change his diet from seed to pellets. I have read a lot about this before, but not so much recently (haven't had time recently but plan to read everything again this week). I know there's some controversy around this. But the vet was insistant that seeds are bad for my birds. We do give them some vegetables as well but they have never had pellets. She wanted us to transition completely to pellets.

 

So anyway... the recommended way of converting them over to pellets is by having the pellets in their old dish, and having small (decreasing) amounts of seed in a new dish.

 

Last week when Cosmo was recovering, I just added a small scoop of pellets to their seed mix just so that they can get used to having pellets in their food dish without actually eating them (I was not supposed to do that, but I did not want to convert to pellets while he was so sick). Now today was my first day of the real thing.... gave them veggies as well but they still seem so hungry. I have put Cosmo on the pellet container a few times and he always picks at it and digs around looking for seed, but he doesn't eat the pellets. Him and Piccolo have devoured the small amount of seed and keep going back to it, I can tell they're really hungry.

 

I don't really like this... I don't like starving my birds, especially when Cosmo has been so sick. Is it really safe to do this? Do I really have to or can I do it in a nicer way or anything?

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I would wait till he was heaps better....its been too soon since he was sick.

 

 

PS I wouldnt convert to pellets in the first place, but if you are going to now is not the time.

Edited by KAZ

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Thanks Kaz.... that is good to know. I just want him to be healthy, I'm not too keen on pellets either, especially having only pellets... although it would be nice if they recognised them as food so they could eat them if I did include them in with other stuff.

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I wouldn't convert to pellets either .... still a firm believer that budgie seed and fresh veggies is the best. :huh:

 

Did your vet explain why the recommendation of changing over to pellets? :)

 

You know birds like seeds ~ their beaks and digestive system is geared towards them! ;)

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I agree that now isn't the time; I'd wait a until he'd been well for a few weeks at least. Nutritional disease is often slow and can be healed with time. But whatever unknown is going on with Cosmo may not be able to tolerate him starving himself because he doesn't recognise the pellets.

 

How I convinced by birds was this: I took the pellets and let them soak in some water until it quite mushy. I mixed their dry seed through it and added a mixture of chopped fresh veggies. Veggie patties for the birdies - they went for it :) They were trying to get the seed and veggies and got a taste of the pellets while they were at it. I slowly took the seed out (but I am not a believer of 100% no seed). Since the recommendation is to feed the pellet dry, over many weeks I decreased the water content until there were dry pellets and dry seed. They gradually recognised that the food was a bit different but it was still edible.

 

Some other ways that have been used are to put the pellets on a mirror on the ground, or put a mirror next to the pellet container. They see the budgie in the mirror picking at it and want some for themselves. Or if Cosmo is humanised and will eat what you eat, pretend that you're eating it :huh:

 

I don't like the method you've described, since it can be very dangerous if they don't recognise the pellets as food. I personally think it's cruel to starve them into eating it. Especially when they've been sick. I wouldn't drastically decrease seed in one day like that; I'd start with a ratio that slowly changes the other way.

Edited by Chrysocome

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The vet advised me earlier this year to take Charley off birdseed and put him on pellets (sayinghe was a little overweight). She said birdseed is not a natural feed for birds :) ..I found this strange. She also said not to mix the two as then he would still go for the seed. I tried the pellets, he wouldnt even look at them and I also didnt want to starve him so I gave the pellets to someone else with birds and went back to the birdseed.

 

I have changed to Canary seed but have since read on here that Finch Mix is better?

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The vet advised me earlier this year to take Charley off birdseed and put him on pellets (sayinghe was a little overweight). She said birdseed is not a natural feed for birds :) ..I found this strange. She also said not to mix the two as then he would still go for the seed. I tried the pellets, he wouldnt even look at them and I also didnt want to starve him so I gave the pellets to someone else with birds and went back to the birdseed.

 

I have changed to Canary seed but have since read on here that Finch Mix is better?

 

 

Canary seed or canary mix ? There is a difference. There is actually a seed called canary, but there is also canary mix.

Finch mix is a perfectly fine blend for budgies...they eat it all.

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I don't like the method you've described, since it can be very dangerous if they don't recognise the pellets as food. I personally think it's cruel to starve them into eating it. Especially when they've been sick. I wouldn't drastically decrease seed in one day like that; I'd start with a ratio that slowly changes the other way.

 

I'm glad to hear that because I really felt uncomfortable with it too. They were so hungry yesterday I couldn't stand it anymore and put a small amount of seed on my hand, which Cosmo just sprung upon and wolfed down in no time. So today I have given them their usual amount of seed (mixed with the pellets, simply because the pellets were still in their seed dishes and I didn't want to tip them all out).

 

He did mouth at the pellets a lot yesterday but I only saw him chewing up one of them and I don't think he ate any. Piccolo wouldn't even stay on the food dish with pellets.

 

A bonus is that they seemed to eat a lot more of their veggies than they would have normally.... but I am taking everyone's advice to leave the conversion for a couple more weeks.

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