Hi! I am Susan with FeatherHeads. We have been talking about the fact that a pellet diet is probably better for your bird long term, but what about if you have got a seed eater right now? What do you do to convert him from seed to a pellet diet? Well, it is easier said than done; and while every vet will tell you to do it, it is not a simple task. There are some birds that will readily convert; others are going to be very difficult. Typically the smaller the bird, the more difficult the transition, Cockatiels, Lovebirds, Parrotlets, you are probably not going to have a great deal of success if they have been raised on a seed diet. As you get a little bit older or a little bit bigger bird then your success ratio does go up; but it is worth trying with every bird, it really does affect their longevity.
Some tricks to do it; first of all, one thing you can do is, the bird is hungriest in the morning; serve the pellets in the morning with nothing else - that is one option. Never leave your bird for the whole day with a diet that he is not used to; birds will sit there and starve to death rather than eat something they dont want. But first, in the morning when they are hungriest is a good time to try a new food. The other option is, try a few different types of pellets; either mix them, or buy a few different brands and try different ones. Sometimes birds will be happier with a fruity blend, others will like some of the other flavors.
Greys tend to like something with some pepper in it, some cayenne pepper. Try a few different things. Now another thing you can try with your bird is, mix some of the pellets in with the food they are used to. Start out with about 25% pellet to 75% of the food they are currently used to. After about two weeks, switch to a 50-50 ratio. Three weeks, you go 75-25, 75 pellet to 25 of their old food, and then arguably after that, after another two weeks you can switch to a 100% pellet food. Another option is to mix your pellets with something the birds is fond of; if your bird likes apples, try mixing a little bit of apple sauce with some pellets.
Anything that the bird is particularly fond of makes a good basis to try and introduce the pellets. And if all else fails, many is the bird who has succumbed to the, Hmm this is good. For some reason, they are very out to please us, and if they think we like it they are liable to give it a try. We have been talking about how to convert your bird from a seed to a pellet diet; now we are going to talk about wing clipping.