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Discussion Starter #1
So Nova has been on seed her entire life (she's about 8-9 months old now) and she will NOT eat pellets. I've tried different brands, different sizes, different flavours... She just won't do it. I always mix pellets into her seed and she will sit there for hours and pick them all out and drop them on the floor. I've currently got a bag of Zupreem finch pellets that I'm trying to get her onto... I figured the cockatiel ones were too big (they were the first ones I tried) and the ingredients were the same so I got the finch size instead. But she still won't eat them! I've tried leaving ONLY pellets in her cage for 24 hours and she seems to think she would rather starve than eat them and I'm at a loss for what to do because I would rather her not eat only seeds the rest of her life. She won't even eat any fruits or vegetables.
 

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I started Joey with the Zupreem Fruity blend, which he wouldn't touch. Same story, he'd pick the seeds and fling the pellets out. I started giving them to him as hand fed treats, and talk in my excited voice I use to let him know new things are fun. At first he would only eat them if they were hand fed, but then started eating them from the dish. I have since moved on to the smaller size, and also the RoudyBush mini and crumble.

Dicing veggies really small, seed size, seems to work best for a lot of tiels. Shaving the very tops of broccoli into the food dish is a good way to start. A lot of birds will go on to eat them bigger, but Joey still will only eat them mixed with his seed and pellets. Bigger pieces of broccoli are befriended and he will talk to them for hours. Other veggies are ignored completely or regarded with suspicion as if they are going to attack.

It all takes time and patience to discover what they will and won't eat. Some veggies and pellets are accepted and enjoyed after a few, or even several tries. Some never all. It is all a bit like introducing toddlers to new foods. Don't give up hope.
 

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my bird bird wouldnt eat them at first entell i hand feed them and then i put it in a dish and he ate them whitch brands have you tryed? harrisons is my fav
 

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Cockatiels will actually starve themselves rather than eat something they don't recognize as food. You can try Nutriberries. A lot of tiels take to those easier than regular pellets. I also make birdie bread and put pellets in it. And as for veggies- just keep trying. It took me months before my tiel would eat them. Try chopping them in different sizes, let her see you eat them etc. Also, you're not eliminating seed altogether are you? Opinions differ on best diet for tiels but I think an all pellet diet is too hard on their kidneys just as an all seed diet can be hard on their livers. I aim for about 50% seeds, 15% pellets and the rest veggies, grains, etc.
 

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I've been working on getting Maxi to eat some harrisons pellets for a while now. She's still at the hand-feeding stage -- she happily takes them from my hand but ignores them when they're in her bowl with her seeds.

So patience is the answer. Have you had a go at hand feeding them as a start? And I agree, don't eliminate seeds entirely (though you might not be!). I don't believe seeds to be as entirely evil as some sources say. Have you tried some brown/wholemeal bread as something different? Unfortunately perseverance is key, and patience!

Oh yes and I agree about trying nutriberries. Start off crumbling them if your birdy doesn't know what to do with them. Good luck!
 

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Oh no, I wouldn't eliminate seed completely! Haha she loves them too much for me to just take them away entirely. I was going for about 70% pellets and 30% seeds eventually, and once she starts eating fruits and veg I'd go own to about 50% pellets, 20% seeds and 30% fruit/veg. (Not that I'd be very accurately measuring...) It was suggested to me at one point to give her just enough seeds to survive on until she starts eating the pellets, and yes I have tried hand feeding them, she just drops them on the ground and looks at me like she's been morally offended or something. I always offer her some of my food whenever I'm eating things she can have, like veggies, fruit, toast, etc. She doesn't seem very interested in any of it... The weird part is that when she was in the pet store she ate her salads with all he other birds every day. She even used to fight for the last piece of carrot so I thought she'd be really into veggies when I took her home... (For clarification, I work at that store so I had a lot of time to get to know her and observe her before I finally decided to buy her) She just suddenly stopped as soon as I had her at home, and now all she eats is seed and millet. I'm wondering if having other tiels around helped convince her to eat the salads... But I can't afford another tiel right now, plus I think my poor roommate is stressed enough having just the one. (I bring her to socialize with other birds regularly though, she has a cockatoo for a best friend and the two of them are so cute together!)

Anyway I'm starting to ramble. I'm definitel ygoing to give the smaller bits a try on the veggies for sure but I still can't figure out the pellets... I have Zupreem fruit blend for finches right now and I'm going to pick up a Zupreem Naturals blend tomorrow to see if maybe it's just the fruit flavour she doesn't like.
 

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Grind them up to a powder dust the seeds with them so they get used to the taste. After a week make them slightly more course and just slightly increase how course they are until it is eating the pellets.

Also it will take a while
 

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It's been 3 months and about half my birds are eating pellets. The other half are wondering what the strange rocks in their seeds are, LOL. There is hope. Just keep trying until they hit on something :)

I leave a small bowl of pellets out for them 24/7 and then mixed with their regular seed, I have about 1/2 pellets. After 2 months the conure has decided the pellets in the bowl are edible. The cockatiels are slowly coming to terms that the pellets in the seed are edible, too :) Part of my secret is that I will eat some of the pellets, too. I think that's what may have convinced the conure that pellets weren't evil.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hmm, I think I'll try grinding them up and see how she takes to that. Thanks for all the advice! I'll keep you guys posted on her progress.
 
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