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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I have a parrotlet, about 5 years old, and after her latest vet visit I started the dreaded transition from seeds to pellets. My vet has put her on Hari pellets, I think it's called an egg food mix (my bird is exhibiting some hormonal behavior and might lay an egg at some point in the future, it's the right season for that here), it's the best pellet mix available in my area (not from the US here).

The question is, how do I know my bird is eating enough, and not hungry? She spends several minutes on her dish, munches away a lot, but I stress over whether she's actually eating enough or just picking out a couple things she enjoys from the mix and not eating anything else. She does spend a lot of time at the dish with pellets, should that be enough to consider she is eating? Should I stress less?

She took to the pellet mix immediately when I introduced it, and she became even more interested when I gave her some from my hands. So she is interested, and she eats from the dish, I'm just worried she might not be eating enough and I don't know if that's overworrying or a genuine concern I should have ahaha

If anyone who went through this transition can give me tips, thank you!
 

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Hello there. One way you can make sure she is eating enough is to keep an eye on her weight. If she is not eating enough, you will see it her weight. Did your vet discuss her weight with you at all? Pacific parrotlets average around 32 grams and Green Rumps are a bit smaller at around 28 grams. Every bird is different through. My Pacific Parrotlet averaged around 34 grams and did get up to 36 grams a few times too. My vet was comfortable with her at 34 grams as she felt she was just a bit of a heftier girl.

If your girl is eating, you will likely see ground up powder from the pellets. Just like seeds which they hull so it almost looks like their dish is full, they will grind up the pellets and leave some pellet dust. Don’t worry about that. It’s normal. If she is sitting there for several minutes and picking through her food, she may not be getting enough. Again, her weight will help you determine this. Are you supplementing her diet with veggies and fruit? You can always give her some broccoli or other veggies that she enjoys to ensure she is getting enough.

i don’t think you’re over-stressing at all. It’s important to monitor them especially during a transition to ensure they are getting enough. Are you transitioning slowly and is there other food available in her cage? Too drastic of a transition can result in them not getting enough nutrition so you should be using strategies to encourage her to eat the pellets (which seem to be working in your case) but letting her have other familiar food as well.

It certainly sounds like it is going well but it is difficult to tell without seeing her and her food once she has eaten.
 

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If your female has hormonal tendencies be sure to check the sugar and protein levels in your pellets. You need to cut back on these during hormonal periods. Some pellets are definitely better for our birds than others. So check the ingredients. TOPS pellets are probably the healthiest – they are organic, no corn, sugar, or peanuts. They are cold pressed which means they have not lost any nutrients. There are ways to try to stop hormonal behavior if you catch it early enough. As soon as you observe any hormonal behavior, start providing your bird with 2 extra hours of darkness every night and rearrange their cage. Birds do not like disturbances or change when they want to lay eggs. Avoid foods high in fat, calories and carbs. In the Health section, there are two Stickies on discouraging hormonal behaviors that give more information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, thank you so much for the tips, everyone!!

I do feed her a portion of veggies and fruits every morning, today she got some pepper seeds, her favorite.

My vet told me to, if I could watch her all day, try to quit seeds cold turkey. Put the pellets in, and if she didn't eat anything in five hours max, put seeds back in the cage and try again the next day, until she ate pellets eventually. So I was doing this method, and she only had pellets for a full day and a half and showed a lot of interest in it, as I previously said.

Today I caved, because it was stressing me out too much to think she could be going hungry, and I added a dish of seeds to her cage. So she currently has four dishes -- water, her dish with pellets, a dish for fresh veggies and fruit in the morning, and an extra dish with seeds now.

Of course the seeds were an instant hit as soon as I put them in, but now a few hours later, my parrotlet is back at the pellet dish rummaging and chewing stuff up! I'll take that as a success! I thought the second that seeds got reintroduced, she would never touch the pellets again haha but I'm happy to say she's still interested in picking through the pellets.

So I'll continue this method for now, offering some seeds and some pellets separate, and monitoring her intake. Thank you everyone!! ❤
 

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Excellent plan! Maybe alternate the seeds with some healthy grains like chia seeds or quinoa (Kiwi likes the raw quinoa) so she doesn’t revert to old habits. I would love an update in a while so we know how it is going!
 
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