Saturday, November 23, 2013

Good Day for Cheb

It was a very good day for Cheb, though he doesn't know it.  It was a good day because I emptied out the box of mixed seed he's probably been eating all his life.  Of course, we don't know how old he is or what his life was like before his other mom found him, but I'm going to assume he's always eaten mixed seed.

The number one cause of death of pet parrots is STILL malnutrition from seed-only diets.  Still!  Why?  I think because people don't really know enough about parrots when they bring them into their homes.   Parrots need good quality pellets and vegetables, fruits, a nut or two once in awhile.  Sure, parrots like seeds -- humans like chocolate, too -- but it shouldn't be the only item on the menu.

Cheb made it very clear from the start that he was not interested in pellets. Most likely, he didn't even recognize them as food, though I did eat a few in front of him to demonstrate.  So I began crumbling Nutriberries over his seed mix, and was thrilled to see that he actually ate a bite or two of that.  I reduced the amount of seed and keep supplying the crumbled Nutriberries.

After quarantine, I warmed up a small bit of Harrison's birdie bread and put it in a food dish for both Flash and Cheb.  Flash went right to work, eating his fill of the bread.  Cheb watched for a few seconds then dug in himself!  I was so happy to stand there and watch Cheb pick up a bit of the bread, chew it, and swallow.  He ate a lot of it, too.

I tried for a day or two to just offer pellets during the day, and then give the cockatiels Nutriberries in the evening, but then I decided I might be rushing things.  Now I offer pellets with Nutriberries mixed in.  Both birds eat up the Nutriberries, of course, but I'm hoping that Flash does eat a pellet or two (he's always liked them) and that Cheb finally realizes that pellets are good, too.

Cheb's been here a bit over a month -- he's eating Nutriberries and Harrison's birdie bread, which are both much more nutritious for him than a seed mix.  There's no rush now.

I didn't throw out the seed mix.  Instead, I tossed it out on the ground under the bird feeder because there are plenty of wild birds out there that need it.  I'm so happy to report that Cheb no longer does.

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