My caique pulverizes her pellets into a dust. Is she actually consuming enough when she does this and getting the nutrition that she needs? Is this common?
This is normal and since pellets are ground and made into a pellet, each bite is the same, so all she is doing is wasting food. Most bird owners give their birds too much food. When the food is nutritionally balanced like a pellet, then the bird eats until her needs are met, and then wastes the rest. This is actually natural – in the wild, when food is abundant, parrots eat a few choice bites from a food and discard the rest. This helps to re-seed the environment and also feed ground dwelling creatures. So what we have to do in captivity is figure out how much our bird needs and only offer that amount. Parrots are smart and just as they know they have too much food, they can figure out that you aren’t going to keep giving her more if she wastes what she has. Dr. Lamb discussed average amounts in her Picky Parrot webinar. The important thing to remember is they do always need some food available to them. But you can offer fewer pellets, and then make up the rest with fresh foods. You might also offer something like our foraging diets, since pellets alone can get boring. Our Nutri-Berries, Avi-Cakes and Pellet-Berries are formulated the same as pellets, but they are not ground up. They can be fed alone or combined with pellets, and your bird will get the variety of tastes and textures that are more normal for a parrot diet, as well as natural foraging exercise.
Thank you for asking Lafeber,