Ask Lafeber


September 21, 2017


My parakeet is ill, and I believe has the common fatty liver disease from an all seed diet. I lost one quickly in March, I think from the same thing, very little symptoms that I noticed, gone within 8 hours. This time I saw a behavior change….Penny was sleeping a lot….and called an exotic vet for advice. I can’t afford to take her in, I spent $135 in March and he died within hours.

Anyway, after researching what the most likely problem is, and after speaking to a vet, I set up a “hospital” room for her, keeping her away from the 2 others, etc….

I have also purchased your pellets and vitamins, and am now determined to switch their diets. I really appreciate and enjoy your website and company.

After all this background, my question is:

How do I know Penny is drinking her water that now has vitamins mixed in with it? I am concerned that she will become dehydrated….

Thank you kindly,



Hi Cathie,

I know you are concerned about the cost, but we do have a veterinary diet that your bird could benefit from. Please ask your Vet about Nutri-An Cakes for Foraging and Weight Maintenance. Your Vet can order these directly from us. These do contain seeds, but they are formulated to provide the right type of nutrition for a bird that has not been eating a balanced diet, as well as providing foraging exercise. Seeds are not the issue, but feeding seeds that are not formulated into a balanced diet will cause a problem, the same as any diet that is not nutritionally balanced or complete. Once back to health, your bird can eat the regular diets like Avi-Cakes, Nutri-Berries and Pellet-Berries. Parakeets do eat seeds in the wild, so a pellet only diet can be very boring for a parakeet and not necessarily the best option to feed as the sole diet.

Regarding the vitamins, please also consult with your Vet about using these along with pellets or any fortified diet. You can give a bird too many vitamins and nutrients. While the added vitamins can be good for a sick bird, it depends on the illness and other factors. I’m sure Penny is drinking, but parakeets do not drink a lot of water. This should help her to not get too many vitamins, but still I would ask the Vet about using them along with the pellets. And again, I do feel the Nutri-An cakes are the best option for getting Penny back to a normal weight and to address any fatty liver issues.

I hope this helps Penny. As far as your other parakeets, I would recommend Avi-Cakes, Nutri-Berries and Pellet-Berries – any of these diets can be fed alone or in combination, and any of them can also be fed along with our pellets. But by feeding the foraging diets, the birds have to work for their food which gives them exercise and discourages overeating. And generally, once a bird is on a balanced diet, they will not overeat. Birds eat too much because they are trying to meet their nutritional needs.

Good luck with Penny and keep us updated.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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