Pellet conversion advice
Habits. Like people, birds are also real creatures of habit. They don’t always like to try something new. Parrots for example. They are very clever birds and immediately notice when something has changed. Even when you change their old, familiar food for Wisbroek pellets. So how are you going to get them to eat the new food?
Some birds make no problem of it and immediately eat the pellets they are presented with. Other birds have more trouble letting go of their old habits and ignore the pellets. So how best to handle the switch? Our nutritionist, Mr. B, will be happy to explain the best approach when switching to Wisbroek feed. He does this using the Wisbroek transition scheme and some useful tips.
What do you need?
I will be happy to explain the best approach when switching to Wisbroek feed. I do this using the Wisbroek transition scheme and some useful tips.
The old food
2 feeding bowls
The switching schedule
A dose of patience
The schedule below will help you and your bird gradually switch to the new Wisbroek feed. A few days before you start the schedule, already put a bowl with the new pellets in the bird’s enclosure. This will allow him to see that there is something new and get used to it.
For 7 consecutive days, give 75% of the old food and, in addition, 25% of the required daily amount of Wisbroek pellets.
The old food
For 7 consecutive days, give 50% of the old food and additionally 50% of the required daily amount of Wisbroek pellets.
The old food
For 7 consecutive days, give 25% of the old food and additionally 75% of the required daily amount of Wisbroek pellets.
The old food
Give 100% of Wisbroek pellets and no more old food. This week, keep an eye on your bird to see if it actually continues to eat enough. Should this not be the case, you can still offer some old food now and then. For example by putting a bowl in the cage for about 30 minutes and then removing it again.
The old food
Difference per bird
With some patience and perseverance, by the end of this schedule your bird can be completely switched to the Wisbroek feed. In doing so, it does not matter whether he switches from seeds or pellets to Wisbroek pellets.
Some birds eat well from the pellets after just a few days. You can then speed up the schedule so that your bird will have switched over completely sooner. It is then not necessary to keep 21 days before you are on 100% Wisbroek pellets.
Mr. B’s Do & Don’ts
Above all, what should you do and what should you not do while switching?
Tips from Mr. B
Should your bird still have trouble switching according to the schedule, you can apply the tips below. It is often a matter of finding out what works best for your bird.
By finely grinding the pellets and sprinkling them over the current food as a powder, you can get your bird used to the other flavours. If your bird also gets fruit, you can also sprinkle it on top. Keep offering the pellets here too, until your bird is converted.
If you notice that your bird finds the pellets too hard, add a little water to the food left over from the previous day. Be careful when the weather is warm and leave the food for half a day at most. Do put a bowl of fresh pellets in his enclosure so he can keep taking it.
Reward your bird
Parrots are sensitive to positive attention. So if you see that he eats the new pellets, reward him by giving him extra attention. For example, by talking to him enthusiastically or scratching his head. He will link this attention to eating the Wisbroek pellets and start to enjoy it more. Especially if your bird is tame and often free in the house, it is an idea to also offer the new pellets outside the enclosure or play a game with them, for example.
Remove old food temporarily
It can also help to remove the tray of old food in the evening and leave only the new pellets overnight. Then change the Wisbroek pellets first thing in the morning and put the old food back a while later. In this way, your bird may have already gained some appetite and started to look at those new pellets anyway.
Give extra support
It may be that your bird has less appetite because it is one of those times of year when he is not feeling so well. In that case, you can give him extra support in the form of vitamins. A multivitamin such as Wisbroek Multipro, for example, will give it the extra power it may need. In the moulting period, Wisbroek AviChol can also provide the necessary support. As soon as your bird feels better again, he will also be more interested in eating. Take a look in our webshop for all supplements for birds.
Don't give up
Of course, you know your bird best and are also the person to decide what to do and what not to do. But the most important tip from us is to persevere. Parrots in particular are smart birds that will sometimes do anything to avoid having to switch to other foods. We are convinced that most birds will give in eventually. The Wisbroek feed contains no extra added sugars, so the taste is more natural. As a result, acceptance may take a little longer. Compare it somewhat to children having to get used to the taste of healthy vegetables like Brussels sprouts. It is not a problem if a bird is hungry from time to time, after all it has its food in front of it. We know from experience that this ultimately works best. Switching to Wisbroek pellets is definitely worth it in the end for your bird’s health and well-being.