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Are Pellets truly needed?


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Our new to us Grey came to us eating seeds, fruits and veggies, and the occasional cracker or chicken. She is still taking the that diet, but our other smaller birds are on a pellet and seed diet with the fruits and veggies.

At 28, do I need to work her toward some pellets too? I would kind of like to, but don't know if it's something I should put at the top or bottom of the list in getting her acclimated to our home.

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As long as she receives and eats a wide variety of fresh veggies, some fruit, a few nuts, and sprouts as her dietary base there's no need to incorporate pellets into her diet. A small amount of a high quality seed blend is okay, too.

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18 minutes ago, Greytness said:

As long as she receives and eats a wide variety of fresh veggies, some fruit, a few nuts, and sprouts as her dietary base there's no need to incorporate pellets into her diet. A small amount of a high quality seed blend is okay, too.

Thank you. She is eating some of the veggies and fruit. She was getting peanuts at her previous home and loves them. I have been reading about how a fungus can be present on them though, and stopped providing them until she sees the vet tomorrow. We weren't told about any other nuts that she accepts. Didn't even think about sprouts, but I will try it. She seems to enjoy bananas, carrots, celery, sweet peppers, corn, apples, mango, and papaya. I tried a cherry with her (cut and pitted) nd she didn't touch it. We were told she was too interested in citrus, but thought I'd try it.  We have broccoli, cauliflower and pea pods we want to try with her. We are only into our 3rd full day with her though and don't want ti stress her out.

 

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Yes, peanuts can be a source of fungus, especially if they're still in the shell. It's best to eliminate those from the diet as you already have.

In looking at the diet you're starting her out on it seems a bit heavy on carbs. The goal over time is to have her on mostly fresh veggies: kale, chard, broccoli, snap peas, carrots, sweet bells, etc. etc. That is where your greatest sources of nutrition will be. If she wasn't on all the fruit before you got her, then I'd adjust the ratios soon before she becomes accustomed to sweets.

Parrots can definitely be picky eaters, so take it slow as you transition her onto a healthier diet. Please keep us posted!

Edited by Greytness
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1 hour ago, Greytness said:

Yes, peanuts can be a source of fungus, especially if they're still in the shell. It's best to eliminate those from the diet as you already have.

In looking at the diet you're starting her out on it seems a bit heavy on carbs. The goal over time is to have her on mostly fresh veggies: kale, chard, broccoli, snap peas, carrots, sweet bells, etc. etc. That is where your greatest sources of nutrition will be. If she wasn't on all the fruit before you got her, then I'd adjust the ratios soon before she becomes accustomed to sweets.

Parrots can definitely be picky eaters, so take it slow as you transition her onto a healthier diet. Please keep us posted!

The only item on the list I gave that was new is the sweet peppers. The rest we were told she eats. Some on a regular basis (bananas, papaya, carrots, and celery) the rest was a once in a while thing. I took a look at your website and saw the chops and other goodies! What a fantastic idea!

Another question is how much should I be offering her every day? She has been fine until tonight. She started asking for more of some of her favorites toward the end of the day and was repetitive about it. I wasn't eating, and there wasn't any food in the room other than hers. It seemed kind of weird. 

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Thank you for your kind words! 

If the diet you mentioned  has been her diet for awhile, then slowly bump up the variety of veggies while reducing the amount of fruit. Foraging toys can be a great way to introduce something new that she has to work at to get. Leaving pieces of the new food in places away from her regular dish may also create curiosity. Also vary the size of the pieces. I've found that starting with finely chopped veggies added to 'sticky' fruit helps them to 'accidentally' eat the veggies if you catch my drift. If they can't remove the new scary food from the sticky pieces of fruit, they're more likely to consume it! Making up vegetable skewers is another great serving option.

Bottom line is to be creative and to switch slowly.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So we have been working on the veggies.  Vannah is always asking for apple now, and I give her a piece of that or grape in the afternoon.  She is eating carrots, broccoli, and romaine (the dark leafy kind, not the caesar salad hearts). She is eating the snap peas when I won't give in to more fruit. I have yet to find kale or swiss chard in my little town, but I'm sure I'll find it somewhere. I have tucked some pellets into her seeds for good measure until she's accepting more veggies. She is pretty insistent about getting crackers too. I found some unsalted that have flax seeds and a few other seeds on them. We have that as a treat too. I cooked up some beans, peas and lintels and I'm giving her a little of that. She's trying it, but not eating much of it. I'm giving all of this to our littles as well. Piper has never taken to any of this, and is still ignoring it. Dusty is loving it! 

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It's a good start, and she certainly seems to be doing pretty well with trying new things! I would also throw in some cooked yams. Very rich in vitamin A, which greys, in particular, need. If you can eventually find kale, chard or dandelion greens (even those growing in your lawn can be fed to her as long as you are certain nothing's been sprayed on them), and if she doesn't touch them, then finely cut some up and incorporate it into the yams. 

 

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15 hours ago, Greytness said:

It's a good start, and she certainly seems to be doing pretty well with trying new things! I would also throw in some cooked yams. Very rich in vitamin A, which greys, in particular, need. If you can eventually find kale, chard or dandelion greens (even those growing in your lawn can be fed to her as long as you are certain nothing's been sprayed on them), and if she doesn't touch them, then finely cut some up and incorporate it into the yams. 

 

Good ideas! We definitely have yams. My husband is meticulous on yard maintenance unfortunately, and if we hang a dandelion it would get sprayed before I ever noticed it😔. We do get what I call dandelion mix in the produce section of the grocery store. Is that ok? Hopefully she will like the yams. It would be great tho have something to hide other food in. She is sorting her seeds to the floor as I type... finicky girl. 😍

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What's in the dandelion mix? If it's pure veggies or greens then it will be fine. FYI: spinach should be fed sparingly, as it's been known to bind to Calcium. Small amounts on occasion are perfectly fine.

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1 hour ago, Greytness said:

What's in the dandelion mix? If it's pure veggies or greens then it will be fine. FYI: spinach should be fed sparingly, as it's been known to bind to Calcium. Small amounts on occasion are perfectly fine.

Thats what I call it, but it's a salad mix with lots of different kinds of weed looking greens. I had heard about spinach before, bit I'm glad its ok occasionally. We like to share with our birds❤

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  • 1 month later...

Update: we've been adding in Kale and Cauliflower to the snap peas, carrots and broccoli. She still wasn't eating much of it. My husband started feeding her veggies a couple hours after breakfast and that seems to do the trick. He also hangs the kale like a toy to get her to eat that.

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Nice! I still find that finely chopping some greens into yams does the trick for my flock. Hanging up the kale is an excellent way to encouraging some nibbling of its leaves.

 

Have you tried making some birdie bread for her into which you (secretly) add the things she doesn't normally eat? You can create the bread any way you'd like. I finely grind up some pellets into 'flour' and add almond meal, hemp hearts, flaxseed, quinoa, oats, etc. into which I add whatever I have available in the 'fridg. I do add some mashed banana to sweeten it up as well.

There are a lot of birdie bread recipes out there. But truly you don't need a recipe.

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Found Swiss Chard and hung it up from a treat ball. She's eating it!! So far she likes the stalk, but I'll take it!

20200913_133525.jpg

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What a great idea! Glad she's still willing to try new foods...even if you do have to be a little creative in how you present them!

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  • 3 weeks later...

The sqewers and treat hangers are really the trick with her. There have been so many things that I put in her bowl and she wont touch, but I attach it to a toy or hang in and its gone!

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I wish Alfie would do the same with his veggies. I can serve it up any which way I want, he'll still ignore it or fling it across the cage! 

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  • 3 months later...
On 10/4/2020 at 2:15 AM, neoow said:

I wish Alfie would do the same with his veggies. I can serve it up any which way I want, he'll still ignore it or fling it across the cage! 

Did you try eating it with him? I had to do that with a couple of things. Like eat some in front of her, then ask her if she wants some. He might do better now that he's out of his few months of tantrum too.😀

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11 hours ago, JennS said:

Did you try eating it with him? I had to do that with a couple of things. Like eat some in front of her, then ask her if she wants some. He might do better now that he's out of his few months of tantrum too.😀

 Haa....I use a similar tactic except I won't give them any and try to keep it away.  Works every time.

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Yeah- I try eating it in front of him and making a big fuss about how delicious it is... he's just not interested. I rearranged the room a bit after my housemate moved out last April- my PC and desk went upstairs and I now having a dining table. Alfie sometimes comes and sits with me whilst I eat but he has no interest in what I'm eating. He would prefer to fling the coasters off the table and cause chaos. 😂 

I have tried cooked, uncooked, chop, whole/big chunks, dried/dehydrated, hanging it in his cage, skewers, birdie bread... everything I can think of. Unless it's banana or the occasional grape, he's not interested.

The only veg he will eat is mashed potatoes... especially when my mum makes them. So whenever I go round my parents for dinner he gets a bowl of mashed potatoes. We try and hide other veggies in there and he picks them out and flings them!

He did eat some sweet potato mash for the first time the other day as well... which I believe is better for him than regular potatoes? So I think I'm going to try and make him some mashed potatoes and finely chop some other veg and mix it in, so it's harder for him to pick out. I'm sure it'll end up on the floors and walls like all the other veg... but I'm willing to risk it! 😄 I might also try it at my mum's house- as he does seem to prefer her mash (no idea why.. probably showing off for his granny). Then at least she's the one that will get in trouble if he notices!
I went round a couple of weeks ago and we didn't have mashed potatoes so he got a bowl of peas and sweetcorn... you should have seen his face... he was all excited, waiting for his mash... if he could have picked the bowl up and flung it in my face he would have done! He did dig around a bit but the peas ended up at the bottom of his travel cage or in his water bowl!

I did offer him a piece of raw carrot earlier and he actually took a bite... but held it in his beak for ages then just chewed it up without actually swallowing any!

I'm sure I have the world's fussiest parrot. He's always been like it!

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Yes, sweet potatoes are better for them than white, I give them (cooked and mashed up) to Timber every day. He's picky too, and that's one of the few vegetables he'll actually eat regularly. I understand the picky bird pain, Timber isn't a good eater at the best of times and I've tried everything. He's actually gotten better in the last few years. He ate (yes, actually ate) a piece of raw carrot the other day. That's after years of refusing to even try them. He would still starve rather than eat a pellet. He's also fond of eggs, either boiled or scrambled.

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