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Why should you make the move to parrot to pellets?

Have you ever noticed your bird picking through his food dish and eating only specific items? Many of the food items he chooses are the ones that are the highest in fat. Birds are no different than humans and typically prefer the taste of fatty foods. If your parrot is on a seed only diet, this is comparable to us humans eating fast food every day. This is because most seed diets are high in fat and lack vitamins, minerals and amino acids that your bird needs.  Even if your parrot ate every last seed in his dish, his diet would still be incomplete. In order to obtain a complete diet, many vets are now recommending all parrots be fed a diet that consists mostly of pellets. The pellets are full of nutrients that are equally spread throughout every bite and ensure your parrot is getting the well-balanced diet it needs.

Research shows that parrots on a pellet diet tend to live longer, have a more natural colour, are healthier, and are more active then birds on a seed diet. Vets recommend feeding between 60-80% pellets and the rest of the diet consisting of fruits and vegetables. Small amounts of seeds occasionally are suitable for the birds but not necessary (use only for a treat or reward). White Millet or Hulled Oats are some of the best options for seed rewards since they are the seeds with the lowest in calories.

Depending on what pellet you are feeding will determine how much of the diet should consist of pellets. The Vetafarm pellets are a great option and can serve as 80% of a bird’s diet. There are a variety of pellet options to suit different species. They come in different sizes, colours and have different ingredients which are target for specific parrots.  There are even pellets for the non-seed eating parrots such as the lorikeets. The pellets may look more expensive then the seeds you have been purchasing but in actuality the price will be comparable since the birds will be able to eat every bit of the pellets (the dust of the pellets is just as nutritional and edible). With a seed diet, many parts of the diet never are eaten before it is needed to be changed out.

HOW DO YOU SAFELY CHANGE YOUR BIRD’S DIET?

If a parrot has been on seed his whole life it may be a little bit of a process when Transitioning to Parrot Pellets so be patient. You should never just completely switch out their feed and let the parrot starve until it chooses to eat what you are offering. Changing the diet gradually is the best approach. Here are some helpful hints to slowly convert your bird to a healthier pelleted diet:

  • TIP #1: Try mixing bird seed with the pellets in your regular bird dish with a 50:50 ratio. Add a small amount of hot water to make the mix sticky. The birds will get a little taste for the pellets as they dig through the mix to find their seed. Once they start recognizing that pellets are food, they will take to the pellets and you can reduce the amount of seed over time (make sure you replace the food daily if you place water in the food).
  • TIP #2: Place a 50:50 ratio of seed/pellets in the cage for one week without water. Then the 2nd week put 2 dishes in the cage and put pellets in one dish and seed in the other (60% pellets, 40% seed). Then keep decreasing the amount of seed in the ‘seed bowl’ and eventually remove that dish completely. You can sprinkle a very small amount of seed in the pelleted bowl just for a little enrichment since the parrot may find it entertaining to dig through the pellets to find the seed. This keeps the pellets fun and positive.

Once your bird is eating pellets like a champ you should feel confident that you are providing one of the best diet options for your bird and aiding your bird on the road to having a happier and healthier lifestyle. When Vetafarm is given as 80% of the diet and you are feeding a great variety of fruit and vegetables (particularly dark green or red varieties), your bird will be getting all the necessary protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.  NO supplementation is needed.

Brontosaurus stocks a variety of Vetafarm pellet options and our friendly staff is happy to talk you through which pellet is right for your bird. Visit us today to learn even more about these complete pellet diets or feel free to order them online and have them shipped right to your door!