Monday, July 28, 2014
Help! My Parrot Will Only Eat Seeds
Parrots that eat pure seed diets are more likely to experience malnutrition. Vitamin A deficiency is an all-too-common condition in which the respiratory, reproductive and digestive cells undergo adverse changes. Symptoms of vitamin A deficiency can range from the presence of small white spots inside the mouth to abscesses, difficulty breathing, infection, and even death in severe cases. Thankfully, deficiencies such as this are easily avoided by feeding your parrot a well-balanced, nutritious diet that includes a mixture of pellets, seeds, vegetables and fruit.
Much like children, some parrots are finicky regarding their food and will only eat things they are used to. So if you've fed your parrot the same seed mix for the past 2-3 years, abruptly switching to a pellet mix may not work. Your parrot may check it out by pecking at it, but it's unlikely they will change their diet on the fly. The trick to encouraging your parrot to switch from an all-seed diet to a more nutritious and balanced diet is to make the transition more gradual.
Don't just empty your parrot's seed dish and replace it with pellets. Instead, start by creating a mixture of 80% seeds and 20% pellets. This introduces your parrot to the pellets in a slower, less intrusive method. Assuming your parrot eats this mixture (which they should), you can gradually adjust the ratio to focus more pellets. After a week or two, for instance, try using a ratio of 70% seeds and 30% pellets. After another week, drop it down to 60/40, and soon after, 50/50.
What's the ideal ratio of seeds to pellets for a parrot's diet? It really depends on the species of parrot and their condition. Talk with your avian veterinarian for recommendations tailored for your bird. With that said, many parrot experts recommend a diet that's "mostly" parrots with the occasional fruit, vegetables and seeds tossed into the mix.
Have some tips you'd like to share with our readers? Drop us a comment below!