Originally Posted by Animalian
Originally Posted by BorderKelpie
I changed his diet to one with much more variety and he has been healthy as the proverbial horse ever since.
I have tried SO MANY times to get him to eat different things... He will eat only ONE brand of seed, which I have to go out of my way for nowadays. He'll also eat pasta, toast, and apple if I feed it to him by hand in tiny pieces!
I've tried offering a variety of fruit and veg in different ways, diced up, minced, whole, hidden in 'fake toast' that I made for him. I've offered these every day for months, pretended to eat it to make him jealous and want to try. It's hopeless.
I even tried a few times to convert him to pellets. Pretended to eat them and made them sound tasty, I thought if he at least ate those he's be better since they're complete. But nooo pellets are evil and get spat out! At least he got interested enough to put it in his mouth which is more than usual! I tried "gradually' changing his food, he just ate around the pellets, I tried JUST giving him pellets with the idea that if he gets hungry enough he'll try them. He didn't eat for three days and was screaming his 'feed me" scream! I was weighing the pellets every day to see if he was eating them but there was no change.
So he will forever eat seed and get vitamins in his water once a week. And probably end up dying from fatty lumps like my seed loving budgie did.... stubborn birds
All my other birds will eat anything I put in front of them. Except my RIR... shes fussy too... but I can trick her into eating things!
I blame Pebbles's breeder for not exposing him to new foods when he was really young.
I will outline a plan for you to convert to a new food base that has worked for me with my amazon parrot, and with several adult budgies who were accepted as "hopeless seed junkies" in my bird lab at school until I started working there and converted them.
First, choose a new base diet. When you want to begin the conversion, remove all food from the bird's cage just before you put him to bed at night. In the morning, offer the new food (and water) only -- do not give any of the old seed mix. Don't cave in, you need to be brutal. Your bird will complain up and down, but now is the time for some tough-love. He'll be hungry, but a healthy bird won't die of starvation during the course of one day. You can offer other foods that he won't try, such as leafy greens or "frozen mixed veggies" (here in the US, it's a mix of corn, lima beans, carrots, peas, and green beans, give or take an item), but NONE of his old diet. Pay attention to his pellet dish to see if you see any crumbles from him at least tasting them. At night, just before bed, give him a dish of his old seed mix and let him eat as much as he wants. As soon as he's stopped eating, remove all the food (including the pellets), and put him to bed. Repeat the next day. Continue paying attention to his pellet dish, and as soon as you see some "dust" from tasting them, start reducing the amount of seed you give him at night.
If a week goes by and you still don't see any "dust" in the pellet dish (meaning he won't even try the pellets because he doesn't recognize them as food), then make a modification. Instead of putting his just-before-bed seed in a separate dish, mix it in with the pellets, but only just before bed. Let him eat as much as he wants, then remove the dish at bedtime. In the morning, offer a new dish of just pellets -- no seed mixed in. Again, just before bedtime, add some seed to his pellet dish, let him eat until he stops, then remove the dish and put him to bed. Toss the leftover food. Continue checking the pellets for "dust" to let you know he's starting to taste them.
If another week goes by and he's STILL not tasting the pellets, here's the next step. Get some sunflower oil from the supermarket. Again, keep only pellets in the dish the entire day. At night, when you add some seed to his pellet dish, put a small amount of sunflower oil in as well (just enough to slightly moisten the food), and mix it all up. He'll try to pick out the seeds, but in the process, he'll be tasting the sunflower oil and associate it with the seeds. Chances are, he'll like it anyway. The sunflower oil will also coat the pellets, so if he "accidentally" gets a pellet in his beak, it won't immediately taste foreign. Again, when he stops eating, remove the dish and put him to bed. Toss the leftover food and wash the dish. In the morning, again give just the pellets. If he won't taste them after a few days, try mixing some sunflower oil (very little) with the pellets (but not adding seed until just before bedtime).
Once you start seeing "dust" in the pellet dish, try a night of not giving any seed, and leaving the pellet dish in overnight. Check if more pellets are eaten by the next morning. Then offer seeds only every other night just before bed, again removing any leftovers. Once you are confident he is eating the pellets, you can offer seeds only as a treat, and only in very small amounts (not even enough for a meal).
Good luck...and please keep us updated on your progress.