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Discussion Starter #1
I've been trying to get Meta to eat pellets. I ONLY found Nutribird Tropical p15. And when I say only, I really mean it. NOBODY sells pellets in Romania. I found one site, which brings these in from Germany, and that's it.
Problem is, they are kind of big for cockatiels, so I've been breaking them into 2-3 pieces. Meta eats them occasionally, if they are put next to his regular seeds, but won't touch them if pellets are the only thing he gets. He just sits on his bowl and screams. This has been going for more than a month now (he gets a couple of pellets with every meal). I tried increasing the amount of pellets gradually, but he just eats the seeds, then screams for more.

I have two questions. 1, should I break them up even more, so they are about the size of his seeds? And 2, should I just ignore the screaming and hope that sooner or later he will be hungry enough to eat his pellets?
 

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I'll answer #2 first. NO. Never, ever, ever starve convert your bird. Ever. That's dangerous. Besides that, feeding only pellets is also bad for your bird. Birds need everything in moderation, with a good amount of seed, veggies, and pellets. Pellets pretty much supplement what seeds can't provide. Tiels are seed eaters by nature. Never force them.

#1-Grinding them up and sprinkling them on the seed is a good way to get the nutrients into their bodies. This way, your tiel is eating the pellets with no objections. It's a place to start anyways.
 

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I second what was said above. I got Joey interested in pellets by hand feeding them to him as treats, using my 'excited' voice, talking about how yummy they are, how fun they were, etc.

After the first bag of cockatiel sized pellets, I started buying the budgie sized that are smaller and easier for a tiel to eat.
 

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No, birds are not like people. They are VERY picky eaters and will literally starve to death than eat food they don't know. You can't force an animal to eat something they don't want. I know my cockatiels would never touch pellets. Only advice I have is to mix the pellets into the seed and he will eventually try one.
I have always read birds on pelleted diets should get 20% pellet and 80% seeds. I personally only feed seed mix and veggies because I don't trust buying mechanically processed pellets.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No, birds are not like people. They are VERY picky eaters and will literally starve to death than eat food they don't know. You can't force an animal to eat something they don't want. (...)
I have always read birds on pelleted diets should get 20% pellet and 80% seeds.
That's what I thought too, that's why I did not try it. Sad thing is, the guide that came with NutriBirds actually tells buyers to starve the birds (well, it proposes a system where the cockatiel only gets pellets for two days, then seed day, then two pellets, one seed, three pellets, one seed, etc.)

Also, how come I never came across that ratio before? (Not implying you're not right, I've just never seen it).
 

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Also, how come I never came across that ratio before? (Not implying you're not right, I've just never seen it).
Because not everyone agrees on this. Pellet companies want you to believe that pellets are the best and only thing a tiel needs. Vets don't get enough nutrition training in school so they parrot what the pellet companies tell them. These figures come from other bird people and breeders who have done a lot of research, although here we usually recommend about 60% seed, 20% veggies, and 20% pellets.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That's certainly sad, although I should have expected corporate profit to come into it, I guess. Thanks for the info!
 
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