I Have a Picky Indian Ringneck Bird What Would You Recommend?

I Have a Picky Indian Ringneck Bird What Would You Recommend?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Mary wrote

Hi, I have a picky Indian Ringneck, she doesn’t like seeds or pellets please help.

Dear Mary

She is alive now, so she is eating something, what is her current diet?

How old is your bird? How long have you had her?

Do you have other birds, if so what kind?

Meanwhile, this is what our African ringneck eats along with daily fresh vegetables and fruit.

Mary responded:

I have had her for 8 years now when I got her she was just a baby.

There is another bird in the house, a severe macaw, but he’s in a different room. He belongs to a friend.

I have been feeding her green peppers, I also have tried Bird Street Bistro cookable food which she likes but I know you are supposed to feed other things than that I was getting her food that had dehydrated fruits and vegetables she liked but the website went up to 16 dollars for shipping alone.

I know she’s eating a little but my concern is it’s not enough. I’ve found the foods she hates are things with seeds. I’ve even tried to get her to eat different types of pellets such as Zupreem Fruitblend and TOPs pellets.

I’ve tried mixing them with her other food but she refuses to eat them. She likes fresh fruits as well, such as apples grapes blueberries. It seems she wastes more food than she’s actually eating. I have had another bird in the past but sadly, he passed away which is when I bought my current bird.

Dear Mary

Thank you for responding.

What is she eating NOW? I assume she is not existing on green peppers alone.

You have tried Bird Street Bistro, a cookable food. Does she eat it? Why did you stop feeding it to her?

What was the food you ordered that she liked but you found too pricey to have shipped?

There will always be waste with birds.

ALL birds waste food. That is ingrained in them as they were put on the Earth to replenish the lands with their discarded food, seeds, etc. They are supposed to be messy, they just don’t know they are in your carpeted living room.

It helps to give your bird a large dish with only a small amount of food, (Seed mix, pellets, etc) so they can move it around as they pick out the things they WILL eat. Then there will be less mess on the floor and less waste.

You can give them pellets alone which will restrict their choices and thus eat only that, but we don’t recommend forcing a pellet-only diet.

You try drizzling apple juice over pellets to make them more palatable.

We recommend 2-3 dishes served daily. One with a seed, nut, dried fruit/veggie mix, perhaps with some pellets mixed in.

Or the pellets can be in a second dish. Only serve a day or two worth at a time as they do get stale.

Then in the early afternoon, you can pull the seed dish and leave just the pellet dish to encourage pellet eating overnight. In the morning, offer the seed mix dish again.

In the mornings offer a dish with chopped apple and some thawed from frozen mixed veggies. In the afternoons take it out.

Fresh water changed 2-3 times a day.

Indian Ringnecks are small birds but they do enjoy the larger seeds in the larger Parrot mixes, (they can’t open the large nuts in the shell, so you would need to open them).

If you offer mixes for smaller birds (cockatiels/conures) you get a lot of tiny seeds that may be wasted. So that is why we like the Safflower Gold PARROT size over the Safflower Gold CONURE size.

Mary responds:

I’ve tried everything I can think of but it’s very difficult for me to find bird food without seeds in it

I found one online but it said it was for macaws and parrots but she’s smaller I just feel bad because she’s not liking the foods I’m buying. I wouldn’t mind making her foods but I’m not sure what ingredients to use I’m just trying to reach out for some help.

Dear Mary

Making your own bird food sounds like a good idea but it can be difficult to acquire all the different ingredients needed for a balanced diet. Re-creating the wheel is not always the best option for your time and your bird.

If you would like to try a mix that is different than most all other pet bird mixes. This one is made with shelled seeds, nuts, dried fruits and veggies, and small 4mm pellets. The mix is 100% edible (if the bird so chooses of course) as it has no shells.

Mitch here,

You must start weighing her weekly so you can see any weight changes which will give you data you did not have before.

I’ve been training animals for more than 50 years.

The bird has been alive for 8 years so we know she’s eating something.

Unsalted sunflower seeds can be very helpful, it’s our ringneck’s favorite treat.

That said animals are motivated by hunger.

The constant introduction of new food allows her to be choosy.

I will advocate you pull ALL the food for 1 – 2 hours during the day when you can watch her.

After the brief fasting period offer ONE food in a dish filled about 1/2 inch from the bottom and leave that for the night.

Try this daily but every 2 – 3 days try a different food.

This may give you a better indication of her likes and dislikes.

You extend the fasting period a couple of more hours if you are not getting the desired result initially.

Best of luck


Written by Catherine Tobsing
Approved by Mitch Rezman

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