The top 10 ways to get your parrot to eat more pellets

This is a list of the top 10 ways to get your parrot to eat more pellets or to try and transition them to more pellets in their diet. All parrots (avian) species have different dietary requirements, this is simply general recommendations to try and get them to eat more pellets and less seeds in their diet. We have a variety of recommendations depending on the bird’s species, exercise regimen, breeding, sex, age, and health status.
1. Go organic- Some birds are more likely to eat organic pellets over other varieties of pellets.

2. Spray fruit juice on top of the pellets- Apple, Orange, Grapefruit, Papaya Juices can all be misted on top of pellets to help flavor the pellets a flavor that they may enjoy. You may also mix pellets with apple sauce.

3. Make it hot- many birds like tabasco sauce on pellets.

4. Mix pellets- with pasta sauce, oatmeal, banana baby food, cream of wheat.

5. Feed them pellets on a mirror, the reflection of “another bird” in the mirror may stimulate them to try the pellets. It’s all about the competition.

6. Mix the pellets with their current seed. (This is the least effective method as they usually just eat around them, but this does allow them to get used to the pellets and start viewing it as food)

7. Place a few drops of peanut oil in a bag with the pellets and shake them, the peanut oil is very good at hiding the flavor of the pellets and will lightly coat the outside of the pellets. This method is very effective for birds that like peanut butter and peanuts. (only use a few drops).

8. Place pellets on a plate while you are eating dinner and pretend to eat them (Yes we want the human to pretend to eat the pellets). This method is very effective for birds that are comfortable eating at the dinner table with a human family.

9. Place another bird next to them that is already eating pellets (monkey see…monkey do).

10. Cook the pellets in some type of bread- corn muffin, wheat muffin, etc., and then feed them the bread.

– Be persistent as I have had one client that had to spend 2.5 years before her budgie would finally start eating pellets.

-The average bird takes a few months for them to get used to the pellets and start eating them on a regular basis.

-Do not just force them to eat pellets or go hungry, as they may refuse the pellets until they develop other complicating medical problems. Make sure that they are eating some type of food on a regular basis during the transition.

-Our general rule of thumb for psittacine species (parrots) is 40% pellets, 30% vegetables, 20% fruit, and 10 % seeds and nuts. These ratios do change dramatically based on the species of parrot and their medical concerns.

Dr. Bill Langhofer, The Scottsdale Veterinary Clinic,