Switch to pellets - The fast method

Skift til pellets - Den hurtige metode


We will now show you how, with this quick method, you go from the old feed to the new pellet-based feed, by creating a routine that your bird recognizes.



Start by placing a few extra food bowls in the bird cage. Place one next to your bird's highest perch, typically where it sleeps. Place the second food bowl lower in the cage where you would normally feed your bird.

This method converts your bird to a new pellet based diet using fixed feeding routines, routines it can anticipate and recognize.

The method is suitable for birds of all sizes, breeds and ages, but works best for more relaxed birds who enjoy eating treats and are not stressed by change.

Be sure to place the new pellets in food bowls that your bird is familiar with and in places in the cage where your bird normally sits and eats. Always make sure your bird has access to fresh, clean water; some birds will drink more during the conversion process.

Add pellets to the extra food bowls

The new food bowls must contain the new pellets. The idea is to give your bird repeated exposure to the new food in several places in the cage, so that it has more chances to try food as your bird maneuvers up and down the cage.

Birds do not always recognize pellets as food, and they may even be afraid of pellets; so the more frequently a bird encounters the new food, the more trusting it becomes with the new pellets.


If after several days your bird shows no interest in the bowls of pellets, you can try moving them around the cage a bit to see if you can stimulate his interest.

Pellets must always remain in the cage; they need to be refreshed with new ones daily, especially if they get wet or dirty.

Keep a small portion of old feed

Place a third bowl containing a small portion of the old food in the cage. The idea is to continue to offer your bird a very small portion of its old food while you try to transition it to the new food to ensure it eats something while switching to pellets.

Be sure to only offer a small portion of old food so that your bird does not fill up completely and is not hungry enough to try the new food.

Place the small portion of old food in a familiar bowl, but in a place the bird does not typically spend much time eating or perching.

When offering the small portion of old food, do not take out the bowls with the new food (Pellets); the bird must be continuously exposed to the new feed, even when there is a small portion of the old feed.

Give the old feed twice a day

Establish a routine of feeding your bird a portion of the old feed, twice a day - once in the morning and once in the evening.

Birds are creatures that thrive on predictability; the goal is to offer your bird a routine where it can expect to receive a small amount of old food twice a day, but give the bird access to a larger amount of the new pellets that it can eat throughout the day in several of its preferred locations in the cage.

Try to offer the old feed at the same time - morning and evening - so your bird can predict when it will arrive.

Parrots are extremely smart and recognize routines and patterns easily; they will quickly get the hang of only a small amount of old food coming at limited times, so if they are hungry between feeding times they will have to eat pellets.

Provide a midday snack

In the middle of the day, give your bird a treat that it really enjoys, perhaps a few pieces of fresh fruit, fresh vegetables or a small portion of cooked food. This treat / snack should be something you know your bird loves to eat.

Although this method can be "harder" than some other methods of converting to pellets, your bird still gets an extra treat from you with these Dinner Snacks, so it knows you still love it and is looking for food.

Do not give too many treats/Snacks, so that your bird gets too full and sees no reason to eat the new pellets.

Make sure you don't offer treats/snacks at other times so that it sees it as something extra special.

Choose a treat that you know your bird loves and would never refuse; If you're not sure what it is, try one with fruits, vegetables or cooked pasta, lean meat or eggs.

Never leave moist treats, such as fruits and vegetables, in the cage for more than a few hours as they ferment and introduce bacteria that can make your bird sick if they eat them.

To further entice your bird to try the new pellets, you can use a hammer to turn them into powder. Then roll the treats in this powder, if necessary moisten the treats with a little water so that it sticks better and then give your bird these treats and you will make your bird taste the new pellets.

Stop feeding the old one in the morning

Once you have established those routines and used them for a few days, stop feeding your bird the old food in the morning so that the only food available to him in the morning is the new pellets.

Remember that your bird still expects that midday snack.

The idea is to gradually remove the old feed from the diet, as the bird eats several of the new pellets every day. Without getting the old feed in the morning, your bird will probably be a little hungry through the morning and be more likely to eat the new pellets.

You should not remove the old feed in the morning until you are sure that your bird eats a significant number of pellets; this can take some birds a few days and up to several weeks - so be patient with it.

If you notice that your bird is eating pellets more from one bowl than another, keep that bowl in the preferred location filled with fresh pellets all day long to get it to eat as many as possible.

Continue this routine

Continue this routine for a few days. Don't go too fast; you must give your bird time to get used to the new routines before making a new change. Birds adapt better when done slowly rather than quickly.

This step can take from a few days to several weeks to accomplish; remember all birds are different.

Stop feeding the old food in the evening

Now your bird eats its pellets regularly and you must now remove the old feed in the evening as well. At this point, most birds readily eat the new food.

It can take weeks to reach this final stage, be sure your bird is eating plenty of the new food and the old food is not as important anymore so you are sure it is eating enough of the new pellets and treats. Remember, don't rush, but follow your bird's pace.

Before you take its dinner of old food from it, make sure your bird is eating a sufficient number of pellets each day.

To ensure your bird is eating a sufficient number of pellets each day, ideally get a scale that weighs in grams and weigh your bird each morning before it eats; and you can follow your bird's weight during the conversion to pellets.

Birds switching to pellets, especially if they have been eating seed mixes with fruit and nuts, which contain a lot of fat, may initially lose a few grams - sometimes up to 10% of their body weight. This is because pellets generally have less fat than seeds and nuts.

If your bird loses more than 10% of its body weight when switching to pellets, or appears weak or lethargic, contact your vet immediately.

Another way to make sure your bird is eating enough when switching to pellets is to count the number of stools each day, you can do this by placing a sheet of paper towel on the bottom of the cage. The paper makes it easier to see every bird patch.

Your bird will need to make several drops per day (at least one every two hours, depending on what it eats) when switching to pellets; If it doesn't do this, and especially if your bird is thin to begin with, check with your vet to see if he or she wants you to add a small amount of the bird's old food.

The consistency of the pellets can change when your bird mainly eats pellets; they can be softer and moister. There is no need to worry if you see these changes as long as the bird is eating, drinking and active. If you notice changes in the consistency of the droppings and your bird appears weak or lethargic, contact your vet.

Don't be surprised if you offer a multi-colored pellet mix that your bird chooses only certain colors that it prefers, while leaving colors that it is not interested in; this is normal behavior and is not a cause for concern.

Birds that choose a particular color of pellets may have droppings of that color; this is not a cause for concern as long as it is eating.

3 methods to convert your bird from seed to ZuPreem pellets

The fast...

With the help of treats and regular feeding routines it knows, you can switch between old food and pellets.

Choose this plan
if your bird is:

Most species
Any age
Likes treats
Accepts food easily (not picky)

Slow & safe

Over the course of a week, your bird will gradually switch from its old food to a new pellet-based feed.

Choose this plan
if your bird is:

A Conure or larger
Over 3 years old
One who eats with his feet
Has a shy personality

Let your bird choose

Choose three/four types of pellets and let your bird choose its new pellet-based feed - quickly and without weeks of transition.

Choose this plan
if your bird is:

A nymph cockatoo or smaller
Under 3 years old
Eats on the bottom

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published