Although your bird loves them, fruit and nuts
should only be given occasionally.
|If your bird could choose his own
nutritional plan, he'd choose seed
for every meal. This decision would
prove to be a bad one, though.
He'd quickly find himself suffering
the effects of malnutrition from
dietary imbalance and insufficient
nutrients. For most birds, to prevent
illness, disease, and ultimately,
early death, balance the daily diet to
include 65-80% formulated (pelleted)
diet, 15-30% vegetables, and
occasional fruits, nuts, and seeds.
Before you attempt a switch to
a formulated diet, consult your
avian veterinarian to confirm your
bird's unique dietary needs, overall
health, weight, and whether he can
physically handle a dietary change.
Once your bird receives a clean bill of
health, start the switching process. You
may have to experiment with various colors
and pellet sizes until you find one he likes.
When you know his pellet preference,
mix a few of them in with his old food.
Don't worry if your bird doesn't initially
seem interested in eating pellets.
He just needs a little motivation. Try
serving pellets outside of the cage
so he associates them with fun.
You can also try substituting pellets
for treats during the conversion.
Additionally, make pellets part of your
bird's foraging adventures – tuck a few in toys
or accessories, or mix pellets with shredded newspaper
or very small toys so he has to seek them out.
When your bird readily eats the pellets, continue
offering them, preferably in the morning when he
is hungriest. Offer seed later in the day. Steadily
decrease the amount of seed, replacing it with an
increasing amount of pellets. Remember to consistently
offer fresh foods while making the conversion.
Your bird will set the pace. He may convert to pellets
easily, within a week. Or, he may take up to a month
to make the switch. The length of time conversion
requires is not as important as the change itself –
moving your bird from a seed-based diet is one of the
most important things you can do for his health.