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Question
Posted by: KAZ | 2006/08/04

Q.

Parrot refuses soft food

Hi out there

I am third owner of a Timeni (I know that is a spelling error) African Grey Parrot that refuses to eat soft food fruit he would eat very little of any apples or pears that we give him and throw out the fruit but the minute we open the peanut tub he grabs it with glee or when we give him parrot food he only eats the sunflower seeds and peanuts the rest even the biscuits are left behind. If I do put soft food down for him he plays with it and makes mess of it I'm sure some of it he eats. He once had a like a cycst growing from under his bottom beak and it just got bigger and he was getting more aggressive, we took him to the vet and the vet lanced the cyst like sore. This happened twice, the vet then told us that we need to give it soft food which we tried in vain to do and the vet said that the food we are giving him is like us eating junk food which is not good. He was 6 years old then he is now 10 years old. The first owner had him locked in a budgie cage and it pluck all its feathers out. the second owner owns an avery but the time they spent with him was minimum, although they looked after him and nursed back his confidence and taught it to talk and swear loved the odd tipple. When I was quering about getting some birds from them, they offered the parrot, then 4 years old. we told them we don't have that kind of money so they gave the bird to us at half price. I have no regrets although he now getting to teenage stage he like rebelling and I am sure he is looking for a mate although the second owners said that he does not like other birds around him as wants to kill them. I am keen one day when I have enough money to afford another parrot. I think spending so much on animals like R2000 is rediculous.

Expert's Reply

A.

Expert ImageCyberVet

Unfortunately parrots who learn bad eating habits can develop problems due to deficiencies. Feeding fruit and vegetables is always messy as the birds often throw it around or drop it on the floor. A balanced diet is best. You may enquire from your vet about vegetables that you can feed as well.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

4
user comments
Posted by: Chill | 2006/08/06

Well... you have cats, so you know about patience. But let me tell you, you're in a different league now... it took my bird three YEARS to decide I wasn't out to murder him. Yep, three years, before he'd take anything from my hand (other than a chunk, that is).

So... you ain't seen nuthin' yet!

Reply to Chill
Posted by: Carol | 2006/08/06

Chill thats so funny im trying to get my conures off the sunflower seed diet that they were on onto a pellet diet , I also got a lovely mixture of grains to cook for them , they werent interested .. so I thought ok you buggers Ill eat it .....lol it didnt take long for them to investigate what im eating :) they like the grains but still not keen on the pellets .... patience patience

Reply to Carol
Posted by: Chill | 2006/08/04

Greys are VERY stubborn critters, and they're also amazingly intelligent...

To get a bird to voluntarily change its diet is very difficult. The cybervet gave a good tip on this forum not too long ago: make sure the new food is available all the time, and then put in a bakkie of old food for only 15 minutes, twice a day.

Apparently parrots will starve themselves if they feel strongly enough about it - so this tip sounded like a very good idea to me.

Parrots love peanuts, but they shouldn't have too many because they're pretty oily. Mine - also a timneh (which is how you spell it), gets one peanut and one whole almond per day. He loves fruit and vegs, though.

Another thing you have to know about parrots is that unlike dogs, if you find something they particularly like, they will not be content to eat that every day. Mine just loves the first strawberries of the season - but after a few days, he pretty much ignores them. So as far as soft foods go, provide a bit of a variety, so he doesn't get bored. Also make sure he has different textures to play with. I give mine gooseberries still in the little 'case', so he has to dig them out. HIs best thing of all is half a grenadilla...

He loves fruit juice, too - I put a teaspoon or so into a bottle top (like a coke bottle top with the little rubber lining thingie removed) and he holds it like a little cup - you can HEAR him slurping, it's so cute.

Another way you can psych out your bird is for YOU to eat some of whatever you're giving him, next to him, so he can see - and then offer him a tiny bit when he's gotten interested. Mine gets all possessive about stuff if I threaten to give it to the dogs (who love parrot pellets, by the way - they're crazy).

Finally, they can also be quite selfconscious, and sometimes it's best to leave him in peace to figure out all this new stuff. Sometimes they perform to an audience - sometimes they need privacy. Weird but very interesting and endlessly entertaining pets!

Reply to Chill
Posted by: carol | 2006/08/04

Kaz do a google search ... I have just gotten two sun conures , never having had parrots before I find these two quite challenging and i read any parrot article I can find

Reply to carol

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