Ask Lafeber


June 6, 2019

Re:?introduce pellet foods transition and avian packaged foods in general. ?

I rescued a red lored Amazon (which is a little slighted because he isnt referenced in your Amazon list. lol!)

He was in a room with the shades pulled down and being fed outdoor sunflower seeds.: /
Xavier has come a long way these few years and learns alot from his buddy, Eddie, a green cheek conure in the cage next to him.
The issues are- he was new and hesitant (threw it out of the cage) until Eddie tried it and gave the fruit or vegetable etc approval.
I have spent so much money on both birds regarding quality foods and feel that by making them their own non perishable food, it would definitely be cost effective for me (tight budget and watching nutriberries, langers sp, currently the peanut looking pellet- being thrown out- actually for both birds. I cant find a decent priced food mix either like.
Can you help? Any suggestions would be helpful.
Thank you,


Hi Jacquie,

I am sorry Xavier was slighted – if it were up to me we would only feature the Red Lored as they are my favorite Amazon and probably the sweetest Amazon.

I understand your frustration. I know some people who have created their own diets. I would not recommend this route. A lot of work including science, nutrition, and testing, goes into formulating a pet bird diet. We are also learning new things all the time which is why formulas will change sometimes. If you understand more about a parrot’s wild behavior, then it is easier to understand why they do what they do in captivity. When it comes to feeding, parrots eat differently depending on the season and what is readily available. If a food is abundant, the parrot will eat a few select parts of the food and discard the rest. In nature, this has a purpose because it re-seeds the environment and also feeds ground dwelling creatures. When food is more scarce, the birds will eat more carefully, consuming more or all of a food and not just their favorite bits. Most bird owners give their birds too much food at one time. The more food you give your bird, the more wasteful it will be. Try limiting the amounts you give and do not replenish until the food is consumed. If the bird throws some of it, place it back in the bowl unless it is soiled with feces. Our diets are 100% consumable, so ideally there is no waste. It can take time, but they will learn to eat more efficiently as long as you do not give in and provide more as they waste it. As a guideline, an Amazon should eat anywhere from 6 – 10 Nutri-Berries or Pellet-Berries, or 4-6 Avi-Cakes daily. This can vary based on the bird’s activity level, but since Amazons are generally not super active, his daily needs would be on the lower end of those amounts. My Red-Lored always ate 6 berries or 4 cakes, as well as some fresh fruits and veggies. And by limiting the parrot food, this may encourage them to eat more fresh fruits and veggies.

They won’t change their habits overnight, but if you stick with it, they will learn not to waste so much food. Some waste will happen no matter what, simply because it is the way they eat.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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