Reddit mentions: The best bird food

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u/parrotpartylindsey · 3 pointsr/parrots

Thank you for the ping /u/stringoflights! <3

/u/mel_bell: Thank you so much for rescuing a bird who needs your help! Pepper needs you right now and I'm so happy that you stepped up.

It definitely helps that you have a prior relationship with Pepper and that you're able to handfeed her treats.

My boyfriend and I adopted Rocky in spring 2016 under similar circumstances. The comment that /u/stringoflights linked has a lot of detail about what we did to help him.

For Pepper, I recommend that you:

  • Target train her immediately. This lets you redirect Pepper when she gets into trouble, and get her in/out of the cage as needed. It also builds trust and confidence. Pepper will know that she has this awesome task she can perform (follow and touch the target stick), and that she can trust you to give her a tasty treat whenever she does it! Check out [this video](
    ) for the basics. It took Rocky only a few days to get the hang of it.

  • Get her diet in order. I'm not sure what she's eating now, but a balanced diet ensures that she's energized and feels healthy. A parrot who feels good is more likely to behave well, which is really important when you're training and bonding with a rescue. I recommend Harrison's High Potency Coarse for the first six months; you can switch to Harrison's Lifetime Coarse after that. She should also get "chop" every day (chopped dark green leafy vegetables for calcium source + orange vegetables for vitamin A). Save treats she really LOVES for training rewards. (seed-based treats like Nutriberries or Avicakes, nuts in the shell like almonds and pistachios)

  • Get her sleep in order. All parrots need about 12 hours of sleep per night to feel their best. Is she DNA-sexed female? We're in the middle of breeding season, so she needs 14 hours of dark and silence every night to prevent egg-laying, which is stressful to her body, and hormonal behavior, which can appear aggressive if you don't know the difference. Use a blanket to cover her cage at night.

  • Interact with her often, but keep the ball in her court. Don't force touching or handling when she doesn't feel like it. Talk to her, sing to her, whistle to her. Give her pieces of fruit and nuts so she knows you're the cool person who brings her food. Greys often bow their heads when they want scratched, it looks like this.

  • Give her freedom. She's been trapped in a cage her whole life. Whenever you're home, open up the cage door and give her the ability to come out if she wants. Some greys will just stand on top of the cage, and others will prowl around on the floor.

  • Teach her to play. This will help her entertain herself when you're not there to talk to her. Rocky finally plays with SOME bird toys, but his favorites are just things like cardboard boxes, popsicle sticks, and paper bags. Give Pepper a lot of choices and swap out toys often. She'll be afraid of toys at first, and that's normal: just don't give up, keep exposing her to new toys and she'll figure it out eventually. Some people have success modeling play behavior by pretending to play with the toys in front of their parrot, and then offering it to the parrot.

    I think that's all the most important stuff. Sorry for writing an essay! If you have any questions about anything, let me know. I have seven parrots, and two of them were neglected adult rescues, so I've done a lot of research on training and rehabilitating.

    Best of luck to you and Pepper. I can't wait to hear about how your relationship with her progresses!
u/FlyingPhotog · 1 pointr/Parakeets

You seem young, so I won't be so harsh as to tell you to Google everything, though it would have been a good start.

> 1) What should I do my first week of having him home

Sit near his cage often and talk to him whenever you can. Don't put your hands in the cage often unless you need to (in order to replace food/water/etc)

> 2) How should I go about getting him to trust me?

Talking to him often is good. Coaxing him with millet is great since they find it more or less irresistible.

> 3) When should I let it be able to fly freely around my living space?

Perhaps not for a while. Make sure you don't have any bare windows it could accidentally collide with. Maybe a few weeks? I recommend the bird be tame enough to perch on your finger before you let him fly freely in the house.

> 4) (This is kind of a follow up question) I have no door in my room and my mom doesn't want bird droppings everywhere so she told me to let it fly in the garage but I'm worried it will be hurt by everything in there so what should i do in this citation?

Parakeets only poop every 5-10 minutes and it's among the easiest thing to clean. It comes right out with water from pretty much any surface... wood, carpet, upholstery, skin, etc. It should definitely be allowed to fly around a room that isn't too big -- perhaps a bathroom or a walk-in closet?

> 5) I go to school during the day from 7:00-2:45 and work during some days. What happens if I'm not around to watch him? Will he be lonely during the day or will he be able to keep himself entertained?

Generally they're pretty much OK alone. Make sure he has toys (but not too many) and he might bond with one. Our parakeet, Kiwi, is bonded with a little yellow disk toy. When we travel with him we make sure to bring that one toy since he's very attached to it. He spends the day talking to it and cuddling with it. Don't leave a mirror in the cage or it may become obsessed with it. I sometimes leave talk radio or classical music playing at a low volume if we'll be gone and he seems lonely.

> 6) Can I train him to use the bathroom in his cage and if so how?

Nope. Larger and smarter parrots you can train to go over a certain colored/textured area, but this is pretty much impossible for parakeets.

> 7) The cage is setup so the swing is kind of far away from any perch. Should I put it closer or can he jump to it?

If the cage is reasonably large enough, he will be able to fly in the cage. So, I wouldn't worry about it.

> 8) What should my schedule be with food, cleaning the cage, and bathing the bird?

Daily fresh food and water. I recommend Harrison's Superfine pellets since they're around the same size as seeds but much healthier since they contain vegetable matter:

If you're feeding him seeds, he will shell them and it may look like he hasn't eaten. You still need to give him fresh water/food every day.

If you can give him green leafy vegetables on a daily basis, it's highly recommended. Not as essential with the pellets, but they still love fresh fruits and veggies. Google for lists online about what is/isn't safe. Just remember no fruit seeds or pits -- or avocado. Kiwi enjoys lettuce, spinach, celery tops, kale, apple (no skin), banana, boiled egg whites, small unseasoned cooked pieces of chicken, etc.

Bathing as needed, maybe every week or two. Never hot water. They will bathe themselves if they're interested.

You want to clean the cage every few days. More often for a smaller cage. Less often for a larger cage.

> 9) Are there any tips one can give me about parakeets if so please tell.

Every bird has a different personality and food preferences. You'll learn quickly what the bird likes and doesn't like, however, keep in mind that when feeding them new foods, it may take multiple exposures to the food before they will try it.

Enjoy your new bird. They're fantastic pets!

u/tehfinch · 4 pointsr/cockatiel

First off, kudos to you for taking in this poor lost birdie! There is a lot to be said, but I'll try to be brief.

  • Trying to find her original owners. Put up a listing at Parrot Alert and 911-ParrotAlert, maybe look through the ones in your area to see if anyone has lost their baby. Also check out Mickaboo's site.

  • Diet. Avocado is toxic, so is chocolate. She really needs to be on a pelleted diet like Harrison's or Roudybush (though Harrison's is preferred). My brats converted from Zupreem to Harrison's after they had one batch of bird bread. Go [here] ( for safe foods and more nutrition info. In terms of trying to get her to try fruits or veggies, eat some of whatever you're offering in front of her and visibly/audibly savor the hell out of it. She'll want to try some - don't let her the first time or two, then go ahead and offer it from your hand. Also, don't forget to provide plenty of clean, fresh water! My birds like to dip their pellets which means I end up changing their water a couple of times per day.

  • Cage. How big is it? Basically, your cage should be as large as you can afford. Horizontal width is more important than vertical height. Your bird should have enough room to comfortably spread his wings and flap around. Appropriate bar spacing is proportional to bird size. You wouldn't want a wayward wing or head to get stuck between the bars - more on that here. Also, here is a bit more information regarding cage aesthetics and setup..

  • Bird safety. Never ever, ever, leave the bird unsupervised with the cats. Wash your hands after handling the cat before touching the bird. Also beware of fumes from cooking, perfumes, febreze, basically anything aerosolized. If you have Teflon cookware, try to replace it with cast iron or ceramic. The PTFE vapors released by heating is deadly to birds. Try to keep your feathered friend behind closed doors when cooking.

  • Behavior. Sounds like she was someone's pet. The nipping is either for attention or a signal that she wants to go home/back to the cage. She might also be asking for head scritches - just take your finger and gently rub her head feathers. They tend to love that. Reward the things she does that you like with treats (Nutriberries are wonderful) and/or praise and completely ignore the things you don't like. Yelling when she bites hard will actually encourage her, since noise = attention in birdie's brain. You should interact with her for at least 2 hrs or so daily broken up throughout the day. Birds do well with routines, say maybe an 8 am wake up time and bed time/cage covering at 8 pm. They need about 12 hours of sleep per night in an undisturbed area. She should have as much out-of-cage time as possible. If you end up keeping her, look into getting her a playstand for when she's out. Amazon has them at great prices.

  • Health. You should take her to a board-certified avian vet for a checkup. [Click here] to find one in your area. If you can't find a boarded vet near you, try using [this site] ( to find a member of The Association of Avian Veterinarians instead. I find that it works best if you search by state instead of zipcode or city.

    Good grief, that's a lot to read. Hope that helps!

u/rickearthc137 · 4 pointsr/parrots

Do you have a cage and perch/stand for her to live in/on? And do you have her secure away from any other pets (especially dogs and possibly cats)?

Big birds are weird when they enter a new environment. They can be extremely quiet for the first few days--taking in their surroundings, scared and trying to bend in. After you establish norms, there will likely be a "honeymoon period" of 1-6 months where your bird will be the loviest and clingiest critter in the world. Kind of the "best behavior" stage that all new relationships go through. After that period, once your bird is adjusted and adapted he/she will start being themselves--for good or bad.

Once you have cage and living space sorted, priority 2 is diet. Parrots require bird-specific foods. As others have mentioned, the best diet is a high-quality parrot pellet, a companion parrot specific seed (I highly recommend Volkman Super Macaw and fresh fruit/vegetables. Here's a good detailed Macaw diet guide:

Parrots should have food available throughout the day. They like to much seed and pellets in little nibbles every few hours. It's also extremely important to keep your birds's water fresh and available. Water should be changed at least twice a day. Most big birds like to dunk pellets into their water and they can sour and encourage bacteria. Keeping their water fresh prevents this.

Additionally, you'll need to keep their cage super clean--poop shouldn't be allowed to accumulate on the climbing surfaces like bars or perches and especially not in food bowls. The bottom of your parrot's cage should be cleaned regularly. Poop and dropped food should not be allowed to sit long enough to attract mold. Mold can be extremely hazardous to your bird's respiratory health--potentially deadly.

There are some big No-No foods for birds: chocolate, dog food (contains iron), avocado (poisonous to birds), caffeinated beverages or coffee/coffee grounds, onions and garlic, peanuts in the shell (they can have toxic bacteria), fruit pits like cherry stones or peach pits (these can crack a beak or get lodged/choke your bird).

Some great go-to comfort food snacks are: warm cornbread, scrambled eggs, cheese (given sparingly), warm noodles, warm corn on the cob, raw chunks of sweet potato (scrubbed or peeled).

You'll want to get a shower perch for your bird something like this or the ones that suction onto the wall--macaws get pretty active in the shower so a floor or door option may be better than the suction-cup ones... Opinions, macaw people?

Showering is a very important part of a healthy bird's day. It also helps them get out their energy by creating thermal body heat to evaporate the water. Be careful if you live in a cold area or have vents near your bird that your wet macaw doesn't get a chill.

For a macaw you're going to need LOTS of WOOD. They love destroying wood to grind their beak down. One of the cheapest toy option is to go to a Lowes or a Home Depot where they sell and cut lumber and ask for their scraps of pure pine or oak cuts. Make sure it's pure pine or oak and it's not pressure treated or treated in some other way that can be toxic. You can also buy a 6 foot long 2x4 and have them saw it into 2-inch wide blocks. Your macaw will chew those all day long.

You're also going to have to do a lot to ensure that your house is bird-safe. One of the major things is getting rid of any teflon/pfte and pfoa free. When teflon heats up it emits a gas that's toxic to birds. Most bird folk have switched to something like Greenware ceramic non-stick cookware. Some complain that it stains, but it's super easy to quick scrub using table salt--there are youtube videos showing that.

There's a bunch of other bird safety concerns you'll need to address, but these things should be enough to get you started with your bird. When you get settled in, be sure to post up some pics, and please don't hesitate to get in touch with any questions you might have.

Welcome to the fantastic world of companion parrots. So great of you rescuing your macaw from a bad situation. It can be very frustrating rehabbing a bird, I've done it, the rewards are beyond words!

u/Ironsix · 8 pointsr/parrots

So a few thoughts about birds - they are highly hormonal. They can change their attitudes seasonally, yearly, as they mature in to adult-hood, and can even change their moods drastically when exposed to the sun rising/setting. A bird that was once standoffish can become inseparable from you suddenly for no obvious reason - and loving birds can suddenly become standoffish and solitary. Hormones! Think of a 2 year old with the hormones of a 16 year old and you're not far off.

They are also HIGHLY INTELLIGENT for an animal (just like a 2 year old!) - they remember things but do not forgive as readily as other pet types. They need stimulation and challenging activities to stimulate that brain of theirs or they can become depressed. Think puzzles - but for birds. A puzzle to a bird would be a bit of say apple inside a toilet paper tube with the ends just pushed shut. Its easily opened but he still has to work it out. Hide foods he enjoys in between parts of the toys he already plays with if you can. Try not to repeat puzzles two times in a row. You're trying to avoid repetition here.

As for encouraging affection food is ok, but attention is king. I have an IRN who was raised in a private at-home aviary - then his owner died of a heart attack. He didn't have a few birds, he had BIRDS. They all immediately went to animal rescue where they clipped their wings but did it poorly unfortunately, which is where we got our IRN. He's still after two years terrified of hands. He is VERY loud. He maintains enough distance to flee if needed. Only recently has he approached US for attention instead of the other way around.

The way we've socialized him initially was to use food, but this only got us so far. So what we did is talk to him. A lot. At least an hour a day. Also sing to him. Give him sun exposure through a window if you can. Watch TV with him. Talk to him about what is going on. Do not worry about him engaging you - you are teaching HIM how to engage. When you are doing this you should be focused on your bird. Engage him with passing eye contact. Do not stare in to his eyes too long - that can be mistaken for predatory behaviour and won't help you win him over. Make him the center of your universe when you interact with him.

And once you are done with attention time ignore him. Move on to something else. Let him make sense of the distinction between you showering him with affection and you going about your day. Give him time to do his bird things. He will eventually want more attention from you and that is great - but unless you give him a chance to miss you how can he miss you?

Be sure to announce yourself before entering 'his' area or approaching where he is resting/sleeping. "Hi birdie! I'm coming in, need to get something." - THEN you appear in the room. Birds when surprised out of a sound sleep FLEE from a suddenly approaching form. Its incredibly stressful on the bird. Easily solved though.

Try feeding him a little less directly. Invest in foraging toys. Toys that you put food IN and then he works out how to get at it. Every week change his toys. Remove toys he no longer plays with. Toys he does play with should be moved to a different location weekly. Make sure every week he gets variety.

It took us almost two years to try and get him to eat pellets and you know what? His diet sucked. Now we hand feed him Nutriberries in the morning, or if we don't have time we will put a handfull in a dish for him, and then for dinner he gets FOOD. Real food. Carrots (use a cheese grater), apples, peas, squash, corn. Watch him eat. What does he throw to the floor? Is there one food he especially likes? If he doesn't like a food try altering how you present it to him. Shred it. Cut it in to pieces. Give it to him in a large enough piece for him to hold. Use a food blender to mush it up a little. Try different foods and preparation methods to find what he eats. I assure you it won't be pellets.

For a real treat try getting some millet spray, but do not just give it to him. Peel just ONE bud off the stem and hand feed it to the little guy while speaking to him. Good boy! What a sweet bird! Love you *insert name here*! Millet spray is a real treat but will quickly ruin their diet if you feed them too much of it.

u/The_Masturbatrix · 1 pointr/parrots

Ah yes, okay. As far as feeding him is concerned, I feed my Luna Harrison's Bird Food. You can find it here for a decent price. They recommend feeding the kind that I linked you to for the first year of eating it. It's their High Potency mixture, and I think it just has extra nutrients and whatnot. Then they recommend you switch to this kind here. It's just the basic everyday diet. On top of the pellets, fruits and veggies and nuts are a good thing to give him. Apples, carrots, grapes, sweet potato, broccoli, any kind of hot or sweet pepper, greens like kale or collard greens, oranges, tomato, etc. Stuff like that. Lots of parrot owners will get an assortment of fruits and veggies, chop them up real small, and mix them together. They call it "chop", and both of my parrots love it. Seeds are something you probably want to give your parrot in small amounts, mostly as a treat.

As far as talking is concerned, you want to make sure you are spending plenty of time with him talking to him and interacting. The time that you spend with your parrot is very important, and should happen every day. Even if you're just holding him while watching TV and chatting with him during the commercials. They are social animals, and they crave to be interacted with.

To train him you might want to consider looking at target training. Here is a video that goes over the basics. There are lots of resources, both free and paid, that can be found on the internet. Google is a great tool to find all of this. There is also lots of information in different posts right here on /r/Parrots.

Hope that helps!

u/LopsidedMidget · 1 pointr/parrots

Ah, it's heartbreaking to see a bird plucking.. Even if it's just a habit, it's not a healthy one. :/ I'm guessing that this is your first parrot?

If you can, find out any history of the bird and when it started plucking, what it's diet was like, what the home that it stayed in was like, did it have toys, has it ever been moved, etc.. Basically, take note of everything (again, if you are able). Also, did you take her to an avian vet, or a general vet?

We've got a CAG that started plucking in November 2013 after our roommate (his owner at the time) returned from a two month long trip. It didn't stop for over a year and it has taken a substantial amount of time and effort on our part to make him feel happy and secure. Yet, that didn't help. He would be happily preening on one leg, fluffed up, and pull out neck feathers while he was on our shoulders, knees, etc. (I call it his "survivor's guilt" for enjoying new owners). He was very comfortable, and very content. It made no sense. Here's some solutions that worked for us, or have been recommended (in case you have more luck with them than we did). Also, bear in mind that habitual plucking doesn't always mean that the bird is unhappy (even if she is at the moment). It's a bit like a person biting their nails. It starts out for some reason or another, but then it turns into a habit and they do it because they do.

What we've tried and has been working (He's been on the supplements for 4 months and it didn't look like they were doing much for the first two): A healthy diet of minimal seed, pellets, and fresh veggies twice a day - one scoop of featheriffic! in the mornings, and one scoop of Avicalm with each meal (breakfast/dinner). These supplements have worked for us, but our vet had warned us that they'll mask any underlying problems if they should work. Just something to keep in mind.

Another thing suggested, which might not be a good solution for you as you just got the bird and it might not like being sprayed: Featherglo. The bird store where our CAG originated from rehomes a lot of birds and recommended it as something that has worked on a few of their pluckers. I hate the smell of it and this only got attempted once.. :/

Some general things to do:

  • Keep some toys in the cage to ensure that she has other things to keep her occupied and plucking isn't all that she has. Toys like this preening ring provide a bird with a good way to over preen something without destroying their own feathers..
  • Clean the cage at least once a week and change the lining at least twice - it's gross and time consuming, but you never know.. Maybe a dirty cage could be one of the causes of the plucking..?
  • Give her lots of love and attention - try not to focus on the plucking. Really, if it's seen as a way to get your attention and the bird wants your attention you could just be making the problem worse. It sucks, but it is what it is.. If it gives you any hope (and I hope it does!) our CAG didn't even want to be held by us when we got him. He would bite, etc. and was plucking.. It was about as frustrating as can be. However, he has warmed up to both my GF and I (more my GF) and we've got an awesome relationship now. Don't lose hope! Just be patient - 10 years is a long time to live with someone and then be given up.
  • Make sure that her diet is as healthy as you're able to provide (lots of resources online for this, but you can always ask around here, too)
  • Accept that she might pluck forever and love her anyways.

    Sorry that this is long.. :/
u/missminge · 2 pointsr/PetMice

Most of the items were from local pet shops, but they are available online. The Rosewood Naturals and Trixie lines are great and provide a lot of choice. Here's a full inventory of what I used with links:

  1. Vivarium

  2. Wheel

  3. House
    Wooden Nissan House Hut for Hamsters or Gerbils

  4. Ladder

    5 Play tube

  5. Platform shelf for house - I DIY'd this using part of the tube tunnel above for the legs, and some solid wood cut to the size I needed. I sanded it all very smooth and drilled 2 holes on one edge to hook the ladder into. Everything was assembled with non toxic glue (glue gun) and sealed with a pet safe water based varnish.

  6. Glass forage jar - From local homeware store.

  7. Glass ramekins for food and water - From my kitchen but any homeware store will have something similar, they seem to be cheaper than the pet bowls.

  8. Hanging wicker toy
    I bought this from a local pet shop. You can easily make one with the kind of wicker toys in the link below, tied together with some jute/hessian string.
    AUOKER 5 Pack Syrian/Dwarf Hamster Chew Toys for Teeth, Natural Wooden Molar Teeth Care Toy Set for Hamster, Ferret, Parrot, Chinchilla, Guinea Pig, Rabbit Chew & Play - Hamster Cage Accessories Toy

  9. Natural Grasses
    I've tried both these and the Harvest Festival version which are more aimed at rodents but they prefer this as they can climb it :-) I also included millet which you can get from any pet shop.
    Rosewood Naturals Bird Pick-n-Fly

    Bedding is dust free wood shavings and soft hay.
u/kangir · 4 pointsr/PartyParrot

No worries, that's what I'm here for! They'll usually get sleepy around sunset and sleep shortly thereafter if their cage has been covered, and wake up at the crack of dawn if light starts shining in. I've read that they should get 12 hours of sleep a day, but I've never known my birds to get that much, though they do catch quick naps throughout the day.

Pricing could be a little bit tricky, depending on where you live. You'll want to check your local breeder for a more accurate pricing. From my local breeder, cockatiels are about $120+, if you find a good deal for a cage, it could run you about the same. I got my flight cage for about $35 on sale at PetSmart. Food is moderately priced, though going through bags so often may be costly. Also, a good tip is to feed your bird a variety of foods, since seed on its own is like their version of junk food. Pellets are a good choice (I use the Zupreem brand pellets, which cost about $15 for a 2.5 lb bag), along with some variety of leafy greens, fruits, nuts, plain boiled egg cooked with no salt, etc. Sometimes it's difficult to find what your bird likes right away, but persistence is key! There are also recipes around on the internet for "bird bread" which is great for them and easy for you to make! Also a reminder to read up on what they can and cannot eat, avocado's one of the big ones, as far as I can remember.

After that initial drop of money, you'll also want to get a reputable avian vet, in case of emergency and general checkups (and a DNA sex if you like). Those may be costly, but worth it if you want to keep your bird friend happy and healthy. I pay about $70 for my birds' general checkup, and luckily nothing's happened to them where they need medication, but I've read that antibiotics can run up to $400 or so.

Hopefully this will answer your questions, but if you'd like me to go moreso into a topic, let me know. :)

u/jtromblay · 3 pointsr/birdpics

Yes I am using dried mealworms. Some of the experienced folks around here say they prefer live mealworms but they don’t mind the dried. You can also put them in a bowl with a little water to moisten them.

They also eat “no mess” nut mixes out of a standard feeder if the mealworms are gone. But the mealworms in a platform feeder were key to attracting them in the first place. I didn’t see any until then.

A blue bird house also helps during nesting season. We put one up this past winter and they took right to it!

Couple of notes: the worms also attracted starlings and they are ravenous. They’ll come in packs and eat all the worms up. Not everyone has this experience though. A friend does the same here but doesn’t see any starlings. That’s why the nut mix is a good backup food source.

Worms also attract other bully birds like cow birds and mockingbirds, blue jays occasionally eat them, but I find them much friendlier than the starlings. They let the other birds eat too.

Here are links to what I feed them. Bulk is the way to go because local stores charge 5X as much for smaller quantities. This 5 pound bag lasted me 2-3 months, until the hungry babies arrived. They keep raising the price, was $30, then $33 now $37.

5lb mealworms

This nut mix has smaller pieces than the local stores so there’s better feeder flow, no clogs from the larger pieces. Plus it attracts so many other birds too! Just make sure you have a squirrel proof feeder :)

lyric no mess nut mix

Let me know if you have any more questions. It’s been interesting to see the variety of birds that comes during the seasons!

u/vllewella · 3 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. I'm so sorry you had to say goodbye. I've been there and it is really hard.

I love the puppy picture and the trip to the groomers. So pretty!!

This is my Porker. He is a 5 yr old Eclectus. He makes my days better by talking to me and singing sweet songs. He'd love to have this pinata, or this bag of food He's such a porker. He loves his treats!!

u/chrissyabeetz · 1 pointr/parrots

Make sure you don't feed them just seeds! Eating too many seeds can cause them liver failure. The reason why too many seeds is no good for parakeets is because of their high fat content. Unfortunately I didn't know this until one of my parakeets passed away last year. My avian vet told me to stop feeding them seeds and have them start eating primarily bird mash. There's a brand called Harrisons Bird Food (I buy mine on Amazon) which my vet and I highly recommend! It is a little pricey, but it will last you a good month and a half. And for the money, it is really worth it, health wise. I give each of my parakeets two teaspoons in their little bowl. Once I started feeding my other parakeets this, they loved it.. and they're healthier and happier. Their poop is always normal looking (should be green with a little white). I occasionally give them pellets which are also good for them, but I seriously recommend the bird mash by Harrisons. If you're not sure about anything.. always do your research, never assume!! Hope this helps and good luck!! Let me know if you have any other questions! I attached the link for the bird mash below! 😀🐥Harrison's Bird Mash

u/lauralately · 1 pointr/Conures

I have a 21 year old cherry-headed conure. I feed him a mixture of Roudybush Maintenance pellets in Mini and ZuPreem colorful pellets (either [Pure Fun] ( or another colorful type pellet), and I add one or more types of Goldenfeast nut/dried fruit mix - Central American Preservation Blend II is a favorite. I mix all this together, and that's his regular dry pellet food.

I only recently found out that he will eat the ZuPreem pellets MUCH more readily than he eats the Roudybush ones! The rescue where I got him fed him coloring-free Roudybush pellets mixed with Goldenfeast II, so I always figured it was the best - all natural, dye free, expert recommended. Apparently my bird child is like every toddler, and likes brightly colored nonsense that looks like fucking Trix or Runts or some shit, so I've been mixing the ZuPreem in.

Fresh fruits/vegetables is his second serving of the day, and we try to mix it up. Again, he's super picky, but he likes mango, frozen bagged corn and peas (doesn't like corn on the cob), sugar snap peas (frozen and fresh), egg white, grapes, strawberries, and apples. He doesn't touch kale, spinach, or healthy leafy greens, which sucks. It can't be a color thing, because he loves frozen peas!

He takes medication for his kidneys, and we put his liquid medication into a little piece of bread crust. If we want to get him to do stuff with treats, he is a whore for processed carbs - bread, pasta, pizza crust. For non-special treats, we give him Lafeber's Senior Bird Treats. He likes the Lafeber's Fiesta better, but he's a senior bird and our bird shop folks said other bird owners reported these were beneficial, so he can fucking deal.

u/freckled_porcelain · 1 pointr/cockatiel

Harrison's, mixed with
Roudybush, topped with mixed human grade freeze dried veggies (broccoli, spinach, peas, corn, tomato, bell pepper, and carrots). He gets a couple nutriberries in his hanging treat ball. Plus he eats his share of whatever we're eating.

It sounds like a lot, but I mix the pellets in one container, and the veggies in another. In the morning I put half a shot glass scoop of each in his bowl, plus a couple nutriberries in his treat thing.

He is a healthy weight, and recovering from a blood infection. If I could get him to eat fresh veggies instead of dried, it would be great, but he refuses. Loves the dried. It would cost a lot to get everything at once, but buying over time wasnt that bad.

Edit: fixing the formatting.

u/GerardMH · 1 pointr/Conures

Conures should NOT be eating seed mix for their primary food, although they love it. You need to switch him over to a balanced pellet diet. I recommend Harrison's, but there are other decent brands as well.

Getting the little guy to switch over might not be easy. You should start by mixing the pellets in with the food he WILL eat. Overtime, simply reduce the ratio of "bad" food and increase the amount of pellets. Make sure that you are not allowing him to gorge on treats (like millet), so that he gets hungry enough to (begrudgingly) eat the pellets. If you give him a choice, he will always go for the tastier food, ie. the sunflower seeds. I've had some birds immediately take to the pellets (generally if they are younger), and some that took some time and patience, but eventually they all come around. It's worth it though, as you will have a much healthier and happier friend!

If you have any other questions, let me know!

u/Nantosuelta · 2 pointsr/cockatiel

Pellets are fairly easy to find online. Here are some examples:

Harrison's pellets

Roudybush Crumbles and the smaller Roudybush Nibbles

Zupreem Natural pellets and Zupreem Fruit Blend

There are many more, but these are the one's I've looked at for my own cockatiel. My bird is not a big fan of pellets, but he will occasionally eat Zupreem Fruit Blend for budgies and the Roudybush Nibbles. He ignored the larger, "cockatiel" versions of the pellets.

My cockatiel is also not a huge fan of veggies. Like your bird, he'll eat the broccoli bits that look like seeds. I found out that he'll eat anything that looks like that, which includes cauliflower (especially purple cauliflower) and broccolini. He likes crunchy stuff, so he'll nibble on the stems of kale, spinach, and other greens (not the leafy part). Try as many crunchy vegetables as you can: green cabbage, red cabbage, snow peas, green beans, pea pods, etc. If I make a big show of eating sweet peppers and carrots ("mmm, yum yum, these peppers are sooooo good!"), my bird will get interested and try a bit. If you can, make yourself a little salad with lots of different vegetables and pretend to keep it away from your bird. When she comes up to steal a bite, let her get away with it. My bird will eat more vegetables if he thinks he's sneaking "people food!"

u/CynicKitten · 1 pointr/AskVet

Great! Definitely keep him at fewer hours of daylight for a while, then you can increase some.

For food: Here is a recommended brand for cockatiel food, in case you wanted my opinion. ;) Just make sure it's not his whole diet (include some veggies) like I mentioned, because we don't want him to get Hypervitaminosis A or renal disease.

u/SabrinaT8861 · 2 pointsr/parrots

Try Amazon for pellets? Or theres this place which does toys, perches ect. Akd you can buy in bulk.

My vet reccomends this for both my tiel and gc conure.

Also. PM me. Not sure where your located but I could help you find a good vet.

As for interaction. Take it slow. Open the cage. Let it come out as it wants. Talk to it. Then slowly get closer. Respect boundaries. It may take a while but be patient

u/luckeducke · 2 pointsr/parrots

Some birds will eat meat, but it is not a natural part of their diet. giving your bird fresh fruits and vegetables and switch him to a pellet based diet would be best. Pellets should have all the nutrients your bird needs. You can order pellets from amazon if there are no pet stores nearby.

Try [these] ( or [these] ( You can also buy [avicalm] ( on amazon.

u/uncannybuzzard · 2 pointsr/bird

his wing feathers will grow back. clipping isn't such a big deal and is sometimes necessary for the safety of the bird.

for diet, feed him a sunflower seed free cockatiel mix, something like this mixed with a pellet like roundybush maintenance crumble size or roundybush california mini size

u/goopa · 1 pointr/parrots

Thanks for the help! Do you think this type of pellet will be good?

u/Tenziru · 2 pointsr/parrots

stuff like this

and some time the smallest amount of seed enough where he enjoys it every few days of the week. I give him seed on sunday and wednesday along with fruit blend and stuff.

and other accsanal stuff I haven't done in a while. also give him protean stuff to help with molting and what not. Cooked Eggs sometimes.

u/deityofchaos · 1 pointr/parrots

Ideally you'd be purchasing food that doesn't contain sunflower seeds at all. I've been buying this and mixing it with this and this. Gradually I've been including less seed in general and reserve it for treats. I've also taken to growing millet in my garden, so soon I'll have fresh millet to give my conure as well.

u/itsmine91 · 1 pointr/parrots

Can you have anything shipped to you? Harrison's pellets are pretty popular, since the company is USDA.

u/painesgrey · 4 pointsr/parrots

Don't buy food from your local supermarket. Most of them are lower quality and lacking in a lot of nutrients to keep your bird healthy.

here are some of the more frequently recommended bird foods:


Harrisons - tons of different choices as far as type and size.

Zupreem - again, tons of different types, but most people suggest avoiding the coloured pellets and going for the natural diets.

Most of these can be found in local pet stores. I know larger chains, such as Petsmart, carry Roudybush and Zupreem. Harrison's can sometimes be harder to find.

As for the size, anything suitable for a small parrots such as cockatiels should be fine.

Try to avoid seed diets, as they're really not the most nutritionally balanced.

Hope this helps!

u/argentmaelstrom · 1 pointr/cockatiel

Did you ever get an answer to this? I've been wondering about it too.

edit: I did some prodding at the product over on amazon and learned that apparently it works for them too!

u/Foxprowl · 6 pointsr/cockatiel

A seed-only diet is bad for the bird as it's very high in fat. You should try to get him to eat pellets:

Use seed, millet, etc as treats.

u/healthyfitcreature · 1 pointr/Conures

what type of Conure?

Are you planning on keeping Him flightened or clipping his wings?

You have to train and discipline him like a small child.
He will require love and attention daily. Respect his space, but handle, and pet him as much as he will allow you to.

Make sure he has plenty of things to chew on. And get lots of bird safe bells that he can wack around. Conures get wound up, and can be aggressive at times. They need toys to be aggressive towards.

Get a sanding perch to keep nails trimmed

Keep your toilet seat closed and bird proof your house. Do not use chemical cleaners, poison, candles, perfume, teflon pans in your home. These things will kill the bird.

Buy the bird the largest cage you possibly can.

Always put your hand in the cage to take the bird out to established shared territory. If bird shows aggression to an object put it in his territory (onto of cage/playstand)

Feed him harrison bird food pellets fine

Give him lots of safe fruits and veges daily, and occasional cooked meat. Make sure he get 10-12 hours of sleep a night. Keep him on the same routine. Establish how much attention you can give him from the start and the bird will expect that from you daily. I spend most of my time with my bird in the morning and evening, and he is okay being alone during the day because he was raised on this routine.

When putting him to bed at night ignore him if he makes noise, or screams. Ignore him if he screams during the day and he will eventually learn not to.

Leave music on for the bird when you leave him alone.

If you have bitting issues:

If bites you tell him no, and do a bunch of step ups with him
if he bites again tell him no and put him in the cage.
if he attacks you tell him no, grab him with a dish towel,and put him in the

Only feed the bird where you want him to eat: my bird only gets food in his cage or play stand.

You can PM me with questions. The quality of the bird you raise depends on the owner. I have a 3 year old green cheek conure. I got my conure when he was 3 weeks old, and hand raised him. I have no issues with my bird. He doesn’t bite, or scream, he doesn’t try eating my food when I’m eating, and is potty trained.