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To help newbies (and some "old"bies too) #365297 05/10/09 04:59 AM
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Caribbean mom :)
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There are a lot of questions lately about getting your budgie to eat veggies and/or pellets. I thought if I started this thread, others who have also gotten a successful conversion could add to my thoughts and maybe we can put together one good post that can be bumped over the years when it is needed again.

I know that the whole %of pellets/seeds/veggies varies no matter who you talk to. One Avian SPECIALIST will tell you all pellets, the next will tell you mostly pellets and yet again many more will tell you always seeds and pellets a few times a week. I am not starting this thread to debate that issue. Just help the new people convert and they can worry about the ratios in another thread or with their vet.

That said, here is something I have posted on a few threads over the past months. Please feel free to add any additional ideas success/failures you have experienced. *anything I post here is my understanding after talking to my vet and doing independent research. It is in NO WAY to be taken as FACT!*

(this is long-sorry)

Conversion to veggie/pellets can be trying with some keets.

The thing about pellets is that in the wild they get some stuff that they just don't get from the veggies that we can get them here. The pellets are made to cover ALL of their dietary needs. Also, it has been found that too much seeds cause tumors.

The change to veggies is pretty much the same as pellets and this can pertain to both. They are both important to your budgie.

There are so many ways to introduce and change over to new foods.

My boys did the conversion to veggies with first using organic baby foods. I would sprinkle seeds on top and gently push it down in, that way, even when they are just picking the seeds off of the top, they still get the taste of the veggies while hulling them. While you are offering this (maybe 2 hours or so) you can remove any other food because you do have some familiar seed on the top so you shouldn't have to worry about starvation or anything.

Once they got to where they were eating some of the baby food on purpose, I started adding very finally chopped veggies. After a while they would eat the veggies with out the baby food or seed (though they still love a dish of baby food w/seed mixed in.)

Once they were eating the veggies good chopped up, I slowly started putting some bigger pieces in there. Some veggies they will eat whole (corn, broccoli flowers, romaine lettuce) and some I still need to chop.

Pellets you can start sprinkling them on the baby food too. Crush them fine and add them in. When you buy them, be sure they are small. Most brands, you will want to get the canary/finch size. If you get Harrison's, go with super fine.

As far as what is "right", I went through the same frustrations. What my vet said was that even at the aviary seminars he has been to, he can go to one "expert" and they will say one thing, cross the hall to another and they say something totally different.

I feed mine pellets 24/7-some will say that is not good. I feed veggies all through out the day and seeds intermittently throughout. Mostly the seeds are sprinkled on something or in a foraging toy. The foraging toy they always have access to when they are out of the cage-most of the day.

Too much protein is not good - can cause gout. Pellets have mostly about 14 grams of protein in a "serving". This is where the controversy arises as to if they should be offered 24/7 or not. I have yet to find anything that says how much protein is TOO MUCH. One of the top avian scientists worked on formulating the Harrison's pellets to most closely resemble what they would get in the wild so I have a hard time believing that the 14 gr. of protein / oz is TOO MUCH. That's me

Re: To help newbies (and some "old"bies too) [Re: ] #365303 05/10/09 05:35 AM
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tealcandtina Offline
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A great idea to help us all. We have not used pellet only food yet. The Kaytee food we use has some pellet in it so they get a very small amount. On the Kaytee food debate, we looked at other brands suggested here and compared, I had to take my reading glasses! We went to their website and other sites and decided it is as good as any other brand.
We also offer them molting and conditioning food mixed in small amounts. Also honey treat sticks.
Millet not everyday,they won't eat anything else if there is millet!
We give them a paper plate full of what ever veggies we have,beet tops, celery chopped fine, broccoli, either whole or chopped they will eat, different lettuces, bell pepper cores with the seeds! They eat all the seeds off.
They won't eat off the paper plate on the floor of their cage, so
I put the paper plate in a natural uncoated basket with low sides and hang it from one of the branch perches! They seem to like it up high.
I tried rice, they didn't like it. Dry toast they do like. That's as far as we have progressed. I will say if we don't get their veggies before our first cup of coffee we get no peace!

Re: To help newbies (and some "old"bies too) [Re: tealcandtina] #365325 05/10/09 11:24 AM
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Dixie&Miss' Mama Offline
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We use the Kaytee food as well. I use a seed mix - Fiesta Mix.

We also get them egg-perch-stick.
And honey-sticks that for the keets.

The egg-stick is called a perch but it isn't.
But the honey-sticks are. They have a slide-thingy on them so you can attach them to the cage on the side. Let me tell you, if Dixie and Missy never had that honey-seed they would go crazy!
About in January me and my work friend came home and tried red peppers and tried them in different ways.

Sliced them and fed them it.
Cut it up and put it in their seed bowl.
Attached it on the cage door and side area.

Still didn't work. So I have no knowing of what to do. If you could post me a picture of what you feed them (veggie wise) & how you feed them it, Caribbean Mom, that would help. Thanks.


Birds - Missy & Dixie
Fish - Chai-Chai

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Re: To help newbies (and some "old"bies too) [Re: Dixie&Miss' Mama] #365337 05/10/09 02:54 PM
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skipperdog Offline
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This is a good topic. I have found that keets learn to eat new things from each other. My first keet wouldn't eat any veggies. Then I got her a playmate, and they both developed the confidence to try new foods. My newest boy ate the veggies on his first day with us, I think because he saw the older birds do it. My keet's favorites are:

chopped broccoli florets
flat leaf parsley stems and leaves
grated carrot
whole strawberries (they like to pick off the seeds)
any kind of lettuce/spinach
shredded wheat biscuits (no sugar or salt added)
quartered hard boiled eggs

To get them to eat the pellets, I put them on their veggie dish and they eat them readily. I think they associate the veggie dish with good food, so they try whatever I put on it.


Re: To help newbies (and some "old"bies too) [Re: skipperdog] #365352 05/10/09 04:30 PM
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Caribbean mom :)
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I use different veggies differnt days. DO NOT feed (and I should have thought of this in the first post)
-apple seeds or the area right around it (toxic)
-avocado
-chocolate
-anything with sodium (this includes almost all canned veggies and a few frozen-read the labels)
-alcohol
-sugar

When feeding Strawberries they MUST MUST MUST be organic!! Because of the nature of the fruit it is highly sprayed with pesticides etc and it goes into the whole fruit-you can't just wash it off.

Organic is always the best way to go but I know for me, it is hard to find organic and sometimes I just have to do a lot of washing/soaking before I feed them.

Organic baby food is easier to come by so I use that a lot.

Dixie&Miss' Mama just try each method mentioned in the first post and as I said, stick to ONE method for AT LEAST a week before moving on to the next. Some birds are more reluctant to try new foods.

If you do the "remove all other foods from the cage" thing be sure to sprinkle a small amount of seed on the veggie and don't go over 2 hours. Budgies can starve themselves to death!!!

Re: To help newbies (and some "old"bies too) [Re: ] #365648 05/11/09 07:15 PM
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KentuckyChicken Offline
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Ok got the organic baby food and pushed some seeds into it, interested to see who goes and looks at it. took out their other foods for a few hours.


The Kentucky Flock
Re: To help newbies (and some "old"bies too) [Re: KentuckyChicken] #365650 05/11/09 07:23 PM
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Caribbean mom :)
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Let us know how it goes and remember, it may take several days of trying but don't give up,

Re: To help newbies (and some "old"bies too) [Re: ] #365651 05/11/09 07:51 PM
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KentuckyChicken Offline
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Well so far Tucky went over, poked her head in and left it lol.


The Kentucky Flock
Re: To help newbies (and some "old"bies too) [Re: KentuckyChicken] #365653 05/11/09 08:27 PM
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KentuckyChicken Offline
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Well I had to take it out, Tucky got xxxxxx about about dumped it on the bottom of the cage! haha. I'll try again tomorrow. smile

Last edited by PDM; 05/11/09 10:03 PM.

The Kentucky Flock
Re: To help newbies (and some "old"bies too) [Re: KentuckyChicken] #365655 05/11/09 09:27 PM
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Dixie&Miss' Mama Offline
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LOL! I agree with Caribbean Mom. Keep, keep on trying. smile I hope all goes well.

Last edited by Dixie&Miss' Mama; 05/11/09 09:28 PM.

Birds - Missy & Dixie
Fish - Chai-Chai

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