How Do I Stop My African Grey from Tossing Her Pellets?

Susan W. writes:

 

We have a 20-year old African Grey who has been with us since weaning.

 

She has been on Harrisons’ pellets for years.

 

The problem with feeding her Harrisons’ is that she throws them out of her bowl and on the floor outside her cage, so I am not sure how many pellets she actually eats.

She enjoys Nutri-berries and they don’t appear to be as airborne.

 

I am concerned about her nutrition. She plucks but otherwise is happy and well-integrated as a loved member of the family.

 

She enjoys apple, carrot, broccoli, corn, melon, etc.

 

Feathered factoid: Citrus fruits like oranges are a plucking trigger as they sit in a bird’s crop for up to six hours creating birdie-heartburn.

 

She has lots of chewable toys and Booda perches.

 

I don’t think it is boredom.

 

Is there another type of bowl I should try to prevent the pellet-toss or switch her entirely to Lafeber products?

 

Suggestions appreciated!

 

Thanks so much for everything you do!

 

Susan and J.B., pellet tosser extraordinaire.

 

Dear Susan

 

“The very best pellet is the one your bird will eat”

As pellets are not natural if your bird will eat any sort of pellet, Harrison’s or Nutri-berries (yes, they are pellet based) then go for it.

 

People assume Nutri-berries are treats.

 

They are not just birdie treats.

 

Nutri-berries are a complete bird food and if your bird likes them, serve them.

 

Nutri-berries have more calories than typical pellets so they are not an all you can eat option, but they can be enjoyed in larger amounts than just for treats.

 

They contain 8% pellets.

 

You can up your game by trying Lafebers Avi-Cakes.

 

Avi-Cakes are 50% pellet with seeds (grown not far from their factory in Illinois) and other ingredients all bound with molasses.

 

 

Pellets, including those in Nutri-berries, get stale fast.

 

It is likely the number one reason that they get tossed.

 

It is possible that this is the problem?

 

Do you notice that when you open a new package they get eaten better?

 

If so, consider breaking down your next bag of pellets or Nutri-berries into smaller zips locks or small containers, jars and open a new one up when the last one is used up.

 

The rest of the diet and environment looks great.

 

A couple of final thoughts, how much are you filling the bowl?

 

We recommend just covering the bottom of the dish, otherwise, some birds get “selective” when they see unlimited supplies of food.

 

Lastly, try to drizzle a little apple juice over the pellets for palatability.

 

Regards,

Catherine

Mitch Rezman

He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they visited monthly birdie brunches in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. My African Grey, Makoua, eats tropical nutriberries as his main diet, that with a couple of peanuts, fruit and veggies is all he gets daily. I do have to partially crush them tho, as he does fling whole nutriberries out of his crock. He’s healthy, no feather picking, talkative…a really happy guy. He’s never been too keen on pelleted food of any kind.

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