Nymph cockatoo, budgies and smaller birds
Under 3 years old
Eats on the bottom
Watch this video where Dr. Laurie Hess explains the "Let your bird choose" method - the video is in English.
STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO "Let Your Bird Choose"
Choose 3-4 types of pellets
The first thing you have to do is choose up to four different types of pellets for your bird . The goal is to give your bird the opportunity to choose between different pellet types, and in this way find the one your bird likes best, and in this way make the transition easy and problem-free. Always make sure your bird has access to fresh, clean water; some birds will drink more during the conversion process.
Try pellets in different colors and shapes to allow your bird to choose what it likes best.
Remember that it is only during the conversion process that you need different pellets, after the process you will only have to buy the one that your bird likes the most.
Feel free to use pellets in different sizes, as some birds prefer a size larger or smaller than what is generally recommended for their breed.
Place your bird on a stable table top
Place your bird on a stable tabletop/surface that allows your bird to move around. When placing your bird on a table top, choose a place your bird is familiar with so that it is comfortable and does not have to spend time on it as well.
Place your bird in the middle of the table instead of at the edge so it doesn't fall off. Give it a few minutes to explore and acclimatize before introducing pellets. Be sure to always supervise your bird on the table so that it does not fall.
This method works best for smaller species such as budgies and cockatoos that typically eat off the ground in the wild/bottom of the cage.
This method works best if your bird is tame or not afraid of fingers and is therefore comfortable being on or near hands.
Create small piles of each pellet
Create a few small piles of pellets of each type of food on the table. Place the piles a few centimeters apart so they are separated. Limit the number of pellets in each pile so that your bird can see the different pellet types in each of the piles
Do not put the piles too close to the edge so that your bird is in danger of falling if it goes to a pile to examine it.
If your bird starts walking towards a pile, encourage it by saying something enthusiastic like "Good bird!" and use its name. If it actually manages to touch, pick up, or taste a pellet, increase your verbal praise.
Birds often have specific preferences for certain pellet types, which is why you must include different pellet types in each pile from each of the pellet bags you choose, so you do not mix pellets from the different bags, but ensure it looks as many different from each bag .
Be patient - it may take your bird a few minutes to feel comfortable navigating the tabletop and moving to a specific pile.
Follow your bird's cues; let it choose the pile it wants to explore first.
Press in front of the piles
Use your fingernail to tap the tabletop so that it makes a clicking sound like a beak tapping on the table; this clicking sound mimics what a bird's beak would sound like.
If your bird is investigating a particular pile of pellets, wait and see what your bird does before you start tapping with your finger. If your bird approaches a pile but stops short of touching a pellet, start tapping. A few "knocks" on the table may be all it takes for your bird to explore further on its own by retrieving a pellet with its foot or beak.
If your bird does not approach the piles, tap in front of the piles to get your bird's attention. Spread the piles out a little if necessary. If your bird is no longer investigating a particular pile of pellets after the first few finger taps, try again in a minute or two; If your bird still doesn't respond, try tapping on a different pile.
Praise your bird when it eats the food
Praise your bird and with the kiss on the head when it starts to eat the food. Eventually, your bird will associate touching and eating the pellets with receiving praise from you.
If your bird moves from just touching the pellets to actually tasting them, you're doing a little more of the verbal and physical praise so that it really feels rewarded for tasting the pellets. If your bird does not like to be touched, stick to verbal praise and skip the nudge series.
Remember, birds generally work for your approval; to praise your bird verbally by using its name and physically by petting it on the head (if your bird is into it) so that when your bird approaches, touches, feels, tastes a certain variety of pellet and you praise your bird at the same time , its interaction with that type of pellet is positively enhanced.
Be sure to say the same phrase, such as "Good bird!" and use its name over and over when your bird interacts with the pellets so it learns to associate touching the pellets with receiving praise.
Place your bird on a bird mirror
You can also place a bird mirror flat on the table to stimulate your bird's interest, as it does not see itself, but sees another bird eating the food. Place the mirror with a few pellets on it on the table top next to your bird, wait and see how it reacts. If your bird does not show interest, you can move it on top of the mirror and try tapping with your finger. If your bird seems disinterested or afraid of the mirror, don't push it; but take the mirror away and return to tapping on the tabletop and praising your bird on contact with the pellets.
Birds do not recognize their own reflection; when they look in the mirror, they therefore another bird.
Some birds are fascinated by the "bird in the mirror" while others may be afraid; watch how your bird reacts and use the mirror if it seems interested.
Place selected food in the cage
As soon as your bird expresses an interest in a certain type of pellet, fill a cup with those pellets and let your bird eat from it throughout the day. Continue to praise your bird verbally and physically with the kiss on the head if he likes it when you see your bird interacting with the pellets in the cup.
While some birds show interest in pellets during their first exposure to pellets, others may take a while to try them - patience is key here.
Be patient; try this once a day over a few days.
Birds may be interested some days and not others; pay attention to your bird's cues and go with the flow.
Most small birds show interest in eating pellets within 1-2 weeks of daily trials.
Once you see which pellets your bird prefers, make them available all the time and limit access to other types of food (like seeds) until you see it regularly eating pellets.
Dry pellets can remain in the cage day and night; Refresh the pellet bowl every day or when the pellets get wet or dirty.
Many birds love to dip their pellets in water when eating them.
If you offer a multi-colored pellet mix, don't be surprised that your bird chooses certain colors it prefers while leaving other colors it isn't interested in; this is normal behavior and 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 they are eating.
Monitor your bird's new eating habits
Monitor your bird's intake to ensure it is eating a sufficient number of pellets each day. Ideally, before your bird eats each morning, weigh it on a scale that weighs in grams to keep an eye on its weight during the conversion.
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
With the help of treats and regular feeding routines it knows, you can switch between old food and pellets.
Choose this plan
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
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