Last Updated on by Catherine Tobsing
Complete, or formulated diets are “balanced” as the bird must eat the nutrients in the ratio intended. MIXED diets (seeds, fruits, and table foods) are much harder to balance and require the time-consuming use of a supplement. SEED diets are invariably low in calcium and vitamin A and high in fat and phosphorous.
A simple and SAFE way to convert most pets to a better diet is to start by cleaning the cage each evening, and leaving ONLY Tropican in the feeders (I may sprinkle some on the floor or place a small dish on the floor as well).
The following day (usually mid-morning to start with), add some of the bird’s regular food on top of the Tropican. Birds that like fruits and vegetables should have the dry Tropican sprinkled right in with favorite items such as oranges and fresh-cut corn.
Some birds will start on this moistened form more easily. Sprinkling seed kernel such as shelled sunflower on Tropican will also help some parrots get the idea (ie you don’t have to take a shell off all foods!).
Every evening all of the remaining food is removed and fresh Tropican is placed. Seed may be added later on the following day. (As long as the seed is provided sooner or later each day safety is maintained).
Most birds are powerfully motivated to search for food each morning and sample Tropican within a few days. You can tell when your pet is eating the new food as the dropping will become a paler color, and Tropican will usually be found in the water dish.
Once your pet is eating the Tropican well, keep seed OUT of the cage. Seed can still be given of course, but as a treat fed by hand. Feeding high water content items such as oranges, fresh corn, green peppers, spinach, broccoli, and berries will not unbalance the Tropican diet significantly as the majority of calories will still be taken in from Tropican.
Your bird is sure to enjoy an improvement in feather quality and overall health on such a modern diet. Just ask your pet retailer or avian veterinarian!
Louise Bauck BSc, DVM, MVSc.