How to fit pellets into the diet

"Dr. Patrick"

Dr. Patrick Ghysels

  • 38 years as an avian vet, specialised in birds
  • 50 years of keeping and breeding birds, but above all bird lover
Once the birds are used to eating pellets, the question arises whether they should eat 100% pellets or whether they can be given something extra.
In principle, they do not need to be given anything extra, as pellets are a 100% complete food. 
But to stimulate their natural behaviour,  they are often given something extra. The natural behaviour to nibble something, eat something extra, stimulate birds to feed their young.  Can do no harm, provided the daily ration always contains 70% to 80% pellets. 
That 20 to 30% can go in any direction: adapted to the species of bird, to the seasons, there are many possibilities. 
Natural products are usually chosen. Fruit is the most obvious, although vegetables are increasingly being given instead of fruit to reduce the sugar content. After all, fruit sold in shops  contains far more sugar than the natural fruit to which birds are accustomed.
Almost all fruit can be used,  but avocado is poisonous. You can use the rest from the fruit bowl. Preferably in smaller pieces so that the birds do not spill too much. 

Apart from that, all sorts of tasty things. Unripe corn in the season. Especially milletsprays, for smaller bird species. Possibly seed sticks. Be careful though, because birds find these very tasty, and we tend to give them too much of it and encourage wrong behaviour. This would mean that they learn to eat too many seeds again. 
There are bird lovers who like to add seeds, because when the birds are sold later, they must still be able to eat everything.
Parrots - especially the large species that need a lot of fat - should be given good quality nuts.
Some insectivorous birds or those on a breeding programme like to have some worms added, either live or from the freezer.
One rule of thumb remains: 70 to 80% of the diet must consist of pellets.

How to convert your birds to pellets?

Making the switch to extruded pellets is an excellent way to keep your birds in top condition. It’s also easy. Just follow our step-by-step guide to help your birds switch to eating pellets. Additionally we give you some tips.

Start converting to pellets

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