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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

I have some questions regarding part of my cockatiel's diet. I'm feeding Puck a 50/50 mixture made up of a seedmix for lovebirds (it was the only good quality mix I could get, that also didn't contain sunflower seeds) and Versele-Laga's NutriBird B14 pellets.

I started this gradually, and it was a good start at switching Puck from an all-seed diet to something a bit more controlled. I have no intention of switching him to an all-pellet diet, because I feel he should be able to exercise his natural behaviour, and part of that is eating seeds.
Puck is now eating the mixture very well. He still prefers some of the seeds but seems to mix what he eats most of from day to day, and he gets a new bowl whenever he has soiled it (he still sits in his bowl to eat sometimes as he's a young bird) or when he's eaten such a large portion of it, that the 'leftovers' aren't enough to last him a whole day. Generally speaking I would switch out his bowl for a fresh portion of the seed-and-pellet mix once every other day.

All in all, I am glad that I got Puck to switch from all-seed to his 50/50 mix. I am very happy about the seed mix I feed him, despite it being intended for lovebirds in stead of cockatiels (can this be a problem healthwise?) and am fine with keeping him on this mixture, but am considering switching one or both of the 'components'.

Long story short, I have some questions for your guys.
  1. Do any of you feed their birds Nutribird B14 (or another kind from the same brand) pellets, or have you tried this in the past?
  2. Why do (or don't) you feed your cockatiel(s) this pellet?
  3. I do believe I heard that NutriBird pellets are pretty high in (artificial?)colouring. Could this be harmful to Puck? (in the long run)
  4. On top of that, they smell really sweet to me. Is that just me? I haven't been able to try other pellets yet, as they are available through online ordering only.
 

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I'm generally very suspicious of anything with artificial colors. As a rule, those aren't good for anyone (birds or humans). However, I don't feed my birds pellets so I can't provide too much insight here.

As far as the seed mix goes, do you know what's contained in the lovebird mix vs. what's contained in a cockatiel mix? This is the seed mix I use for my tiels and I've found it to be fantastic. There's a list of ingredients on the page so that might be a starting place for comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply, featherstone!
I looked it up and the lovebird mix contains some dried fruit (didn't specify which on the website, and I threw out the bag) and has nuts (including peanuts) added to the mix. There are some larger seeds which Puck doesn't seem to be able to eat, but there is few of them in the mix so it doesn't worry me. Other than that it seems to be pretty similar.

Could be he just needs to learn how to eat them, it took him a couple of tries to 'figure out' sunflower seeds (as a treat) too :lol:

I'll wait and see if others have any advise for me on the pellets. Part of the colouring and sweet smell is due to fruit added to the mix. It does list additional colouring in the ingredients, but does not specify if they are natural or artificial. (it is, however, the last thing specified in the ingredients list, meaning that it is the smallest portion of the entire makeup of the pellets)
 

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For the seeds, I'd try parakeet seed instead of lovebird if you're not going to feed cockatiel seed. I never had an issue with my birds overeating sunflower seed so I always gave it to them. There's just a lot of stuff in the lovebird mix that he doesn't need.

As for the pellets, I always fed kaytee and they were colored as well, with a sweet fruit smell. My birds never had an issue with this and actually really enjoyed them. You can try other pellets, but the key really is that if they are eating it, that's the goal. You don't want to switch him to something that he refuses to eat.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good to know that kaytee also smells sweet and has brighter colours! I didn't know that, but it makes me worry less :)
I give Puck sunflower seeds as a treat. I feel more comfortable about that, because it means that his intake is much more controlled. He does love them, so it makes for a nice treat and training aid. :)

Good point about the seedmix containing things Puck doesn't need. The mix I give is pretty close to the one Featherstone shared though, with minimal differences. I would rather switch him to a seed mix specifically for cockatiels, but I seem to not be able to find any stores that sell smaller quantities (so that I can try out if he actually likes the new seed mix)
 

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I use to feed my past birds only pellets, I didn't use that brand though. I use zupreem brand pellets. Zupreem and kaytee were all the store had, and I've heard that kaytee put harmful coloring in their pellets. I don't know if it's true or not, but I've always used zupreem. Now I don't feed pellets at all because of reasons.


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Zupreem also has colored pellets that smell sweet and my birds ate those too (whichever was available honestly.)

Parakeet mix is pretty darn close to cockatiel, the only thing missing is the sunflower seed and if you are only using those as treats it's probably the best mix for you to use.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the replies everyone! :) It really is much appreciated!

I think I'll just stick with the NutriBird pellets for now. They're the easiest to get for me, my local pet store said they could order it for me whenever I need it when I first ordered the pellets from them.

Thanks for the reply Roxy.
So the only real difference between cockatiel and budgie seed mixes is that budgie mix doesn't contain sunflower, right? Then it's probably a good idea for me to switch Puck to a budgie seedmix. :) I have a container with just sunflower seeds, so I can always add some to his dish, or mix a small amount into the batch of pellets and seeds. He does get them pretty regularly as a treat when he is out of the cage, but usually not more than two a day, as he also gets pieces of several kinds of nuts as a treat.
 

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Zupreem also has colored pellets that smell sweet and my birds ate those too (whichever was available honestly.)

Parakeet mix is pretty darn close to cockatiel, the only thing missing is the sunflower seed and if you are only using those as treats it's probably the best mix for you to use.
I like the parakeet mixes for their (general) lack of sunflower seeds. I use millet sprays as their 'candy' which is still pretty good for them and much less fatty than sunflower. I use Lafeber's cockatiel nutriberries though and parakeet mixes as an add-on.
 

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I like the parakeet mixes for their (general) lack of sunflower seeds. I use millet sprays as their 'candy' which is still pretty good for them and much less fatty than sunflower. I use Lafeber's cockatiel nutriberries though and parakeet mixes as an add-on.
Yup parakeet mix is usually recommended for those who don't want to feed sunflower seeds. My birds never had an issue with sunflower seeds but a good recommendation I saw years back was if you felt there were too many, to get a parakeet mix and mix the two to dilute the number of sunflower seeds. Honestly, there are good benefits to sunflower seeds as well so it's not something I wanted to cut from my bird's diet. I always gave millet as a treat too, my birds loved it.
 
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