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    How To Convert Your Parrot To a Pellet Diet

    ArticleParrot AdviceThursday 10 March 2011
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    If your parrot for sale is overweight, and needs to be converted to a healthier diet or if you simply want to convert over to pellets because you know it's a more healthy way to go this conversion is very easy, and successful.

    Mix a week's worth of the old diet with about 1-2 cups of the new pellet diet. The point of this is to introduce the new food source in a familiar setting. Therefore you want to have enough of the new pellet diet in the old food to ensure that the parrot will try some, but you do not want to overwhelm the old diet with the pellet to the point that the parrot can't find any of his old diet in the dish.

    Start offering pieces the pellet during free play or when you are holding the bird. You may want to eat some of the pellet while feeding the parrot the pellet, but be sure that you are not actually sharing the same piece of pellet with your feathered friend as our saliva is very dangerous to birds, and can kill them. In other words at no point should your saliva enter the birds system, so you need to be extremely careful that you your parrot does not snatch your portion while you're eating it. Eating the pellets your self is the easiest way to introduce them because parrots are curious creatures and want what you have.

    Take away the old diet, and introduce the pellet diet completely. You do this by giving the parrot the new diet throughout the day, and giving the old diet in increments of 10 minutes 1-3 times a day. You need to start at 3 times a day and slowly decrease down to only 1 time a day. The goal is to completely take the old diet away entirely, so at some point you want to get to no increments at all. This will take about an additional week for your parrot to fully cooperate with the new diet. The parrot will sit at the dish waiting for seed, this is only natural. Giving the original diet in small increments will ensure that your parrot stays safe, and does not starve its self in the event you have a very difficult bird to convert.

    Check your parrot's droppings for colour. By this time the dropping should change colour if you have given the bird fruit flavoured of dyed pellets. This is perfectly normal because the pellets contain small amounts of bird safe dyes to make them more appealing. Do not be alarmed if the dropping appears to be orange or red. More than likely it's simply the new pellet diet, but if your parrot appears to be sick you should take the bird to see an Avian certified vet.

    At this point your parrot should be quite acquainted with the new diet. If you haven't already taken the last 10 minute increments of seed I'd do that now. You can give the seed away from the cage as treat or to correct negative behaviour, but for especially picky eaters it is not advisable to introduce the old diet back into the cage ever again. For example, if you have a biter you can use the old diet as an incentive to not bite during play time. You would do this by introducing the old diet after the parrot has not bitten you for a set amount of time, and then presenting the parrot with the seed treat with a positive praise; such as good bird no bite or something to that effect.

     

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