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Presently my birds eat Roudybush pellets as part of their diet. I would like to try Harrisons but they are about twice as expensive as Roudybush - are Harrisons worth it and if so, why? Is Roudybush good enough, if I am feeding fresh veggies, some seed with some whole grain, legumes and a bit of fruit.
 

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Roudybush is just fine to feed your birds. Harrison's is good, but I've never been able to stomach the cost. Especially because it sounds like your birds get a good variety, it's not essential that you feed Harrison's.
 

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I feed Harrison's because it's available to me locally. Murray eats it as part of a varied diet and she's a happy healthy bird, but it's hard to say if this is down to one specific thing. I think the key is variety.

If Roudybush is working for you as part of your feeding routine I don't see any reason why you should change.

Out of interest, how much do the two types of pellet cost in the US?
 

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Thanks so much for the input! To Roxy Culver - did you have your cinammons DNA tested for gender - I ask because I have a 2 month old cinammon and I'm wondering if there is a way to tell gender without the DNA test on a cinammon. Both my cockatiels are terrific birds - my other 'tiel is a white face pearl male. Thanks
 

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Harrison's is organic, so I guess that's why it's more expensive than other brands. It's also the #1 brand recommended by vets (in my country anyway), and my vet always recommends I feed Harrison's, so it's probably a bit more hyped up and so is the price. I usually have a bag of Harrison's on hand but my 'tiels actually prefer Vetafarm and Roudybush, so they only get a tiny bit of Harrison's. I think it's more important to feed the pellets that you know your bird is happy to eat rather than try to force them to eat something that's probably not much better. :)
 

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Sammy prefers Harrisons to any other pellet out there. I like the ingredients in it too. Being organic doesn't hurt either. That said, I think feeding Roudybush is perfectly fine. I gave Sammy a choice of Roudybush or Harrisons and he picked Harrisons. He only gets a dish every so often so the cost is minimal for me.
 

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Both are professionally formulated to be nutritionally complete. They're not identical to each other since there isn't a uniform definition of what "nutritionally complete" means for parrots, but they're aiming at the same general target and both are expected to meet your bird's minimum needs.

Most pellet manufacturers don't provide too much information on nutritional content, but I have an article on pellets at http://www.littlefeatheredbuddies.com/info/nutrition-misc-pellets.html that has charts at the bottom showing whatever nutritional information is available on the major brands. Roudybush is quite a bit lower in calories than Harrisons. Harrisons tends to have more of various nutrients, but both brands usually exceed the "expert panel" recommendations (which are 20 years old and not carved in stone).
 

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Thanks so much for the input! To Roxy Culver - did you have your cinammons DNA tested for gender - I ask because I have a 2 month old cinammon and I'm wondering if there is a way to tell gender without the DNA test on a cinammon. Both my cockatiels are terrific birds - my other 'tiel is a white face pearl male. Thanks
She was a wf cinnamon pearl and didn't lose her pearls after her molt, which indicated she was a girl. If your bird is just a cinnamon, after the first molt, you'll either have a bright yellow face, indicating a boy, or a grey face indicating a girl. The pearl will either lose it's pearls, indicating a boy, or keep them, indicating a girl.
 

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Out of interest, how much do the two types of pellet cost in the US?
I pay about $16 for a three pound bag, give or take, depending on which pet store I get RoudyBush pellet from. Harrison's runs about $8 for 1 pound to about $30 for 3 pounds, depending on where it comes from.

I feed Zupreem fruity blend and either RoudyBush mini or RoudyBush crumbles mixed with seed daily, and hand feed Harrison's superfine as a treat. Joey seems happy enough with them as treats, since he only gets the Harrison's hand fed. It makes me happy he likes the super healthy stuff as a treat.
 

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I have recently been told by my vet to switch to Harrisons. Not as part of a diet, but as only diet. He said that if I needed to feed something besides pellets, it should only be veggies and only as treats. I shouldn't add vitamins to his water and he also said I should mix sand in with the pellets to help his digestion. Apparently Elvis doesn't get enough vitamins and that's why he has had troubles with his beak since he got a bad beak trim.

I get the beak and vitamins thing, but a pellet only diet? And why the sand? He already has sand in his cage, why should it be in his food? Can someone please share some thoughts on the doctors orders before I start changing everything. As of today Elvis in on a seed diet. He also has veggies and fruit available, but these are mostly used as basketballs with his water bowl as the hoop.
 

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I have recently been told by my vet to switch to Harrisons. Not as part of a diet, but as only diet. He said that if I needed to feed something besides pellets, it should only be veggies and only as treats. I shouldn't add vitamins to his water and he also said I should mix sand in with the pellets to help his digestion. Apparently Elvis doesn't get enough vitamins and that's why he has had troubles with his beak since he got a bad beak trim.

I get the beak and vitamins thing, but a pellet only diet? And why the sand? He already has sand in his cage, why should it be in his food? Can someone please share some thoughts on the doctors orders before I start changing everything. As of today Elvis in on a seed diet. He also has veggies and fruit available, but these are mostly used as basketballs with his water bowl as the hoop.
I'm no vet, but I do know that these orders are a bit controversial if they're supposed to be long-term. Most people would be cautious to advise an all pellet diet because the high levels of protein are hard on the bird's kidneys. I've also always been told that sand and grit are unnecessary, but maybe in Elvis' case they are...I'm sure there are others on here who are more educated on these things.

If you're uncomfortable with the advice you've been given, is there any way you can look up another avian vet and get a second opinion?
 

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The problem with grit is that cockatiels don't need it, but other parrots do. Other parrots use grit to help them digest food, while cockatiels do not require this. It's a very common misconception.

Another thing to remember is that vets do get paid by these food companies to push their food. They don't get a whole lot of nutrition training to begin with, so they go off of what they learn as they go along. A good variety is always better.
 

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Thanks. My vet specified that he wasn't an avian expert, so that's why I'm beeing careful. He said these were supposed to be permanent changes. I'm not going to put sand in Elvis food, as everything I can find to read says no to doing it. The vet specified Harrisons because it was organic and nutritous, but I guess I can give Elvis that and seeds. He needs a smaller amount of fat in his food so less seeds, but still some on the side. Does that sound okay?
 

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Sounds sensible to me, Crow. I tend to strive for as much healthy variety as possible, with nutriberries and Harrisons as the staples. I'm sure you can find plenty of ideas on the forum about how to get Elvis to try pellets and veggies.
 

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Sand is grit, and a bird on an all-pellet diet doesn't need grit because it doesn't have anything hard to grind. There may be some nutritional benefits from silica however, and sand may contain other finely-ground minerals.

There are a lot of misconceptions about grit. It's questionable whether ANY bird requires it, regardless of whether they hull their seeds are not. There certainly aren't any parrots who are known to require it, and it's not known whether a lot of them even eat it. But Australian parrots in general (including cockatiels) have been observed to be avid grit consumers in the wild. I have a long article on the myths and reality of grit here: http://www.littlefeatheredbuddies.com/info/nutrition-grit.html I need to update it too because I recently got hold of some more information. It doesn't add anything new though, it just provides additional support for what's already there.
 
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