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Discussion Starter #1
Hey All, just sharing a worry... After I murdered my first 'tiel by sharing my midnight snack of avocado with him (too clever to read the feeding rules the pet shop gave me)... I hand reared my second baby with 'tiel baby porridge and later proper parrot pellets (with the odd treat of millet sprays and sunflower seeds). Now I have a friend who has a darling oldish 'tiel and all his life he's had NOTHING BUT SUNFLOWER SEEDS! My pal is a nurse so she should know about diets but... I babysat him once and worried that he was underweight and had a VERY prominent breastbone. I'm sure his liver is getting fatty and I want to offer to help (I know the bird's not into fruit & veg) but maybe I can share my parrot pellets with her to mix with the sunflower seeds? Isn't the poor bird just eating pure oil???
 

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nothing but Sunflower seeds is going to end up killing the bird

its diet needs to be changed Pronto BUT not quickly (doing it to fast is not healthy either)

For now I'd get a good cockatiel seed mix(its not pure sunflowers there is a array of seeds in it) and some pellets and mix it together and introduce veggies, No doubt won't eat the veggies at first BUT the key is TO KEEP TRYING, every day, and different ways some like veggies cut up into small chunks, some like them cut in strips, Some like them heated, Some like them mashed up like baby food(for humans)

all my birds prefer to eat their leafy greens hanging up (they also bath on them) now if they knock them down its fine they'll go eat it but if we lay it on the cage floor from the start - they snub it and will not touch it

a healthy diet is a Mix of different healthy and safe foods

all seed diet is not healthy as in an All pelleted diet

Birds need variety

mine get pellets(80% of their diet) Leafy greens veggies home cooked foods like birdy bread, Whole wheat noodles, beans, Etc. (all safe non toxic ) and seed but only my breeding birds get seed daily my non breeders do not
 

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That poor bird... I agree with atvchick. That bird NEEDS to have it's diet adjusted. That bird is pretty much eating only hamburgers with no salad in the burger ;)

I good quality cockatiel seed mix should be introduced slowly and the introduction of veggies, and (personal preference) pellets. There's quite a few people out there that are for and against pellets. I'm personally all for them, but never feed them to my birds exclusively.
Get the bird eating a mixed seed diet then worry about the pellets I reckon :)

Mix a small amount of seed mix into the birds daily portion of sunflower seeds and over a few weeks, decrease the quantity of sunflower seeds and increase the mix of cockatiel seed. Once the tiel is happily eating the seed do the same with the pellet and he'll eat the pellets.
 

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I'm surprised it's still alive. If only people had something called brains.

Give your friend some of whatever you have and tell them that their 'tiel's lifespan is going to shorten very quickly if they don't get their 'tiel on a proper good and healthy diet.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Gee wiz thanks you all... what a super forum. I'm going to nudge my friend to accept some pellets from me so she can toss a few slowly into Joey's bowl! Breaks my heart because when she hangs his cage in the mild sunlight (no wind) he's so happy but if he sees me walk by he starts up chirping for me and saying "Joey, Joey, pretty boooooy".

My own 'tiel gets the pellets but also treats of millet, sunflower seeds (sometimes) and loves plain cooked pasta and rice from my mouth or bits of fish! A big occasional treat is a parrot/tiel de luxe seed bell. Likes Brazil nuts too!

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks

Thanks for that... I never knew our saliva was toxic to them! Boy, there must be thousands of us who let our birds take crumbs etc from our mouths. We sort of think it's a 'cute' way to give the bird 'baby food' like bird mothers do!

Do you think you could share this point wider?

Irene
 

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I saw a bird at work the other day that had been fed nothing but sunflower seeds for the 2 years since it was weaned at it was suffering from severe calcium deficiency and having seizures. It went home with pellets and instructions to change it's diet drastically.

If this tiel has been on sunflower seeds it's whole life it'll be tricky to get it to try new things. Simply starting with a proper cockatiel seed mix will be a good start, there won't be enough sunflower seeds to sustain it and it will have to try the other seeds. Adding some powdered pellets (use a rolling pin to crush them) to the seed is a good idea too, it sort of sticks to the seeds and the bird accidentally consumes some while eating seed. Veggies and cooked foods might be harder to get him to accept, but persistance will pay off in the end. :) Let us know how it goes with your friends tiel.
 
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