Nanday Conure Forum

Message #2105. This is a followup to #2103.

Date:Friday September 24, 2004 6:42:42 pm MDT
Subject:Re: changing diet
Message:Please take a look at my post - from Margaret - (about 11 posts above this one) and read my reply to the person asking how to convert their seed eater to a more healthy diet.  It is called "How To Encourage A Seed Eater" or "Encouraging A Seed Eater" (something like that).

When should you begin this?  I would say first thing tomorrow morning and since you probably don't already have pellets on hand, try cooked whole wheat pasta, brown rice, raw shredded carrots, raw broccoli, cooked cauliflower, whole wheat bread or dry toast, cooked beans with no salt, butter or flavor packets, any fresh greens that you may have on hand.  Iceburg lettuce has very little nutrients and I wouldn't waste my efforts on that, but if you have any dark leafy greens on hand, definitely do try those.  Conures also like cubed apples (leave the skins on these fruits, just wash them very well and dry them off as an extra precautionary measure - pesticides can be toxic to our birds).

With regards to pellets, some birds develop liver and kidney disease when fed a pellet only diet.  Likewise, they can develop fatty liver and other diseases when fed a seed only diet.  I try to keep my birds eating a 50% pellet, 30% fresh foods, and 20% seed diet on a daily basis.  I feed my birds a variety of about 7 different types of pellets and I plan on dropping two of them when I run out (I get 20 lb. bags and store them in air tight pails - I have 23 parrots of various sizes here).  Some studies indicate that the colored pellets can cause liver and kidney problems.  Other studies indicate that certain preservatives such as ethoxyquin and BHA and BHT can drastically shorten the life of your beloved pet and cause early deaths due to cancer...some as early as 5 years of age.  So, I like to feed a wide variety of foods - be it pellets (7 different types), to fresh foods daily (at least 12 different and varying types offered daily), and a fresh high quality seed mix.  For my conures I like the Sun Seed with fruit.  I can get a 20 lb. bag for $35 (or thereabouts).  That lasts a long time.  Dried papaya seems to be a favorite here.  You'll have to experiment to see what your bird prefers.  Oh, and don't be too shocked if you see poops of all colors depending on what your bird is eating (as opposed to his green tubular "seed eater" poops).

Speaking of droppings, not only will fruit eater's dropping be "colorful" depending on the fruits eaten, many pellets make the droppings brown/tan and tubular while the colorful (dyed) pellets make the poops appear "tinted" with reds/oranges.  Learn what is normal for your bird depending on what it is eating because often a change in droppings can offer clues to your bird's health or how it is feeling.

But getting your bird to accept a wide variety of healthy food items, and if you are aware of potential pesticides and thoroughly wash all produce accordingly, all this will be crucial to keeping your bird happy for a long  healthy life.  Nutrition combined with 10-12 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night will help your bird become the best companion.

I hope all this helps.

(No name) wrote:
> We have recently got a 11 week old Nanday. He is lovely.  We have had
> him a week, so far he only eats more or less just sunflower seeds.
> Any advice on how and when to start to change his diet to pellets and
> fresh food?
> Any advice appreciated.

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