Sunday, December 5, 2010

New Parrotlet Not Eating

Hi Sandee,

Things going well over here, but we cannot manage to make him eat anything other than millet and thawed peas+corn since he got here.
Does not even touch the seeds. Should we try a bird bread to get him to eat seeds and pellets?


Dear Trinidad:

Sorry for the delay in responding - I just got back from a speaking engagement in PA.

I'm very surprised to hear he isn't 'touching' his seeds. If he isn't, its probably because of environmental conditions. One of the mistakes many new owners make is to constantly watch their birds, almost never taking their eyes off of them. This is not good for birds - especially new birds that are adjusting. People forget these birds are wild animals and that humans are predators and birds are prey. Watching them constantly, never allowing them privacy makes birds nervous and keeps them from engaging in natural behaviors including eating. I would suggest you feed him in the AM and then leave him alone and that means not making eye contact for several hours. He needs his privacy and to find his comfort level. As time goes on, he will adjust more and more until this is no longer an issue. You are welcome to feed "bird bread' as it can be healthy and nutritious no matter whether he is eating a complete diet yet or not. I can tell you, unlike seed which is what he was weaned too and certainly knows is food, he has never been fed bird bread in my house and may not accept it at first.

He hasn't been there really been with you for very long - not even a month so I'm sure he's still adjusting and learning. Millet, a complex carbohydrate that also contains significant amount of protein and the corn/peas will keep him alive and while he can't live on it forever, he won't. It’s a matter of time, patience and allowing him to do what he does naturally - be comfortable and self-sufficient in his cage.

Be sure and keep me posted!

Sincerely yours,

Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S.

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