On 12/22/05, Sandy S wrote:
> Hello All,
> Sunny my Lovie that was recently sick will not eat
> anything but sunflower seeds...I normally mixed them with
> his pellet food...It just started happening while I was
> out of town. When I came home I stopped mixing them
> together so I could watch and see if he would eat his
> pellets but he went over to his food dish push his food
> around and left it alone...I watched him do this for about
> 2 hours and gave him the sunflower seeds back because I
> didnt want him to lose any weight.....He loves fresh food
> but he is refusing to eat that too. Could he just be
> protesting because I left him home......I still had a
> sitter come over and let him out to play while I was gone
> but she told me he came out and went right back into his
> cage....He didnt sing or anything I checked his stools and
> they are normal. Since I came home he has started singing
> again and comes out.....But he is still only eating the
> sunflower seeds......Any advice is greatly apperciated.
> Sandy S
I know when it comes to birds, we as keepers, usually we
react with our hearts and not necessarily our good sense.
Through the years I have acquired birds who were fed very
poor diets. I've had their former keepers tell me that they
WILL ONLY eat such and such. I smile and thank them and then
know that in time this bird will be eating like a champ and
it will be as all of my other birds do, but it does take time.
If you truly want to improve your bird's diet you will have
to stand firm with patience and determination.
Since your bird likes seed start by changing the seed. If
you get a parakeet mix, which is primarily millet, groats and
canary seed, and add safflower seed to it, you will have
already started to make the change to a better seed diet.
The safflower seed will be a substitute for the sunflower
seed. Both are oily seed, but safflower is slightly better
in nutrition. And millet is a very good seed for most birds.
As far as fresh foods go, be prepared to waste food.
Everyday, preferably in the morning, remove the seed and give
whatever fresh foods you want to provide. I'm sure you know
the drill as to what is good and beneficial. Make sure the
size is appropriate for lovebirds. Most lovebirds will
ignore fresh food that is served in chunks or big pieces.
Smaller and chopped is better. Experiment with different
combinations. Add hard cooked egg to it. Brown rice, barley
and quinoia are great protein sources and sized to please a
lovebird. You can make several days worth of this food mix to
have ready to serve. It doesn't have to be made daily.
Allow this food to remain in the cage for several hours up to
a half day. Then put the seed and/or pellet mix back into
Usually this is a great way to get lovebirds to try new foods
or foods that they are not accustomed to. Don't panic if
they ignore it. They will not die if they don't eat for
several hours. Eventually, they will become interested and
one day you'll see them chowing down on what they used to
ignore. Trust me, it really does happen. But it depends
upon the bird as to how long it takes them to do this.
If you can do this, your birds will have a longer and
healthier life with you due to the better nutrition you will