My sun conure was converted to pellets cold turkey

An all seed diet is not good for parrotsWhen I purchased my sun conure Goldie in 2003 she was eating a mixed seed diet. While eating a mixed seed diet is not as bad as an all seed diet, Goldie would pick out only the sunflower seeds and leave the rest. Often she would even toss the rest of the food, mostly pellets, right out of her dish and onto the floor.

Pellets offer well rounded nutrition and don’t have the high fat that eating too many sunflowers seeds offers. Goldie eats primarily Roudybush now and then her diet is supplemented with other fruits and vegetables as well as treats. Parrots are like humans in that they will eat what is not good for them, so it is up to us to make sure they get the proper nutrition. Sunflower seeds should really only be a treat item.

Goldie ate a mixed seed diet until 2006 when I had to get my house covered for termites. Goldie was boarded at the avian vet for several days during the termite treatment. Before she was boarded she had to have a medical evaluation. The vet said that her diet needed major work and convinced me that pellets were the way to go. The vet recommended that 80% of her diet should be pellets.

When a parrot eats too much seed they may not be getting essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that they need to live a full and long live. Too much seed can lead to obesity, fatty liver, and possibly even behavioral problems. There is usually lots of waste and mess with seed eating as well. It’s helpful to realize that parrots in the wild do not eat an all seed diet. They eat plants, fruit, and even incests, so an all seed diet is not a natural diet.

When Goldie was at the vet she only received pellets. Goldie was forced to go off of her sun flower seeds cold turkey. It probably wasn’t easy for her I am sure, but I felt better knowing that she was at the vet. Going cold turkey is not an option for all parrot owners however and isn’t always recommended.

How to covert your parrot to pellets

You can start by offering one meal pellets and one meal not. Most parrots are hungrier in morning so morning is good time to offer pellets. Then for a second meal offer just a small amount of their usual diet, but leave the pellets in the main dish and put the seed somewhere else in the cage like for instance the bottom. Be sure to offer fresh water as Goldie loves to dunk her pellets in water.

Gradually monitor what the parrot is eating and adjust as needed. Start to replace the seed with more pellets as well as fruit and vegetables, eventually using only minimal seed.

Goldie still eats some seed but only as a treat. She seems to understand it’s a treat too. Plus she also loves almonds, grapes, cereal, and spaghetti as treats too.

Important: Don’t starve your parrot into a pellet diet. Offer a variety while converting and carefully observe the parrot. It can take up to a month to convert this way. Read the food recommendations carefully and get a yearly checkup at the avian vet. When in doubt do discuss your parrot’s diet with your vet as some breeds to have different dietary requirements.




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