Anyone have experience with Tops Pellets?

Posted By: CrocusBlooms

Anyone have experience with Tops Pellets? - 01/19/15 08:42 AM

Looking for info on Tops pellets, but I'm not having much luck with my searches...So here goes.

Our "diet" history:

Griffin (a 3 yr old male G2 rescue) is now converted from his previous cheap all seed diet ( he only ate the sunflowers out of the mix) and onto a fresh " chop" type mix I make up daily. He LOVES his germinated mung beans, lentils, quinoa and buckwheat ( esp the beans and lentils) and any type of cooked dry bean I add to the mix. I vary the veggies- kale,chard, mustard greens, parsley, spearmint (fresh from the garden), green beans, peas and corn ( defrosted from frozen) carrots, sweet potatoes (cooked), winter squashes(cooked) and the occasional half a cherry tomato or bits of diced bell pepper. He gets about a quarter of a hard boiled egg or some cooked ( unseasoned) chicken or steak ( tonight it was bison!) once a week or so- he looooves eggs! I add a tiny bit of organic kelp powder a couple of times a week, and mix it in well. I use a small amount (maybe 1/16th of a teaspoon of nutvia red palm fruit oil or coconut oil as a treat once a day or so.

But back to the pellet question...

When I first started feeding him fresh foods I would mix in about 5 g of crushed up Harrison's pellets, hydrated into a mush with a little warm water. At this time he was staying with his foster family, and I would go over twice a day to eat with him (they were SO great about letting me intrude like this twice a day for the MONTH that it took for his new cage to arrive).

A side note- Griffin learned to step onto a scale as his first-ever "trick", as I wanted to be able to monitor his weight during the diet-transition phase- we would weigh him before and after every meal, which gave me a good idea of how many grams of food he had actually consumed- as opposed to that which got flung on the floor or wiped off on the cage bars in between bites wink

I would always leave about 10 g of dry Harrison's in his dish during the day in case he got hungry, but they mostly got used for "anting" behavior and ended up on the floor of the cage. After a couple of weeks I started to crush them up a bit, into smaller pieces (but not TOO small ;), and occasionally he would eat them during the day. Anyhow- I'm really not all that keen on the ingredients that seem to make up the bulk of the Harrison's... (Corn and soy).... Two things I'd never feed my dogs, (and I don't eat soy myself due to an allergy and all the research I've done that points to anti-nutrients, processing problems, etc etc. )

I've seen Tops Pellets recommended by several people who seem to know what they're doing in the parrot rescue world, I like the fact here is no corn or soy, or synthetic vitamins, and even called and spoke with Gudrun ( the owner of Tops) about one of the ingredients I had a question about.

Does anyone else here have experience with the Tops Pellets? (I guess they used to be called Totally Organics).

Thoughts? smile
Posted By: Charlie

Re: Anyone have experience with Tops Pellets? - 01/19/15 04:20 PM

There was some discussion about TOPS a couple of years ago. The only thing I remember was that some people had complained about a "smell" and the bag "swelling" when resealed after opening. This might be a problem with any organic pellet with a lack of strong preservatives.

I won't get into ingredients since you seem to be aware of them. You can do a Mytoos search and read quite a few comments from members on any number of brands. I must say that your diet plan, in general, sounds great! cool
Posted By: CrocusBlooms

Re: Anyone have experience with Tops Pellets? - 01/20/15 06:30 PM

Thanks, Charlie smile I am a research-oriented type of gal, and read everything I could get my hands on about avian diets, and cockatoo-specific stuff especially.

I seem to be a "dummy" when it comes to the MyToos search feature- though I've tried various iterations of Tops,TOPS, Totally Organics, all with and without the word "pellets", I can't seem to find anything other than this thread here about TOPS pellets. I've used the Advanced feature, and set the search criteria to anything 5 years or newer, but can't seem to come up with anything other than this, or stuff mentioning zupreem, roudybush, or harrison's.

I guess it doesn't matter- your response gave me some good info- I imagine the "smell" may come from the sea vegetables TOPS includes- they tend to "stink" a bit if you're not used to that smell. As to the package "swelling"- your explanation makes a lot of sense, and if I order them, I plan to re-seal everything into smaller portions in glass mason jars (My vac-sealer has an accessory feature that allows me to do this- essentially removing most of the oxygen and "dry-sealing" the jar. I do this with pantry dry goods and it seems to keep stuff fresher much longer.)

Thanks again for the feedback! Former "seed junkie" Griffin is currently tucking into his "chop" style breakfast with gusto- which makes my heart glad.


Posted By: Specialist Elbru

Re: Anyone have experience with Tops Pellets? - 01/20/15 09:35 PM

I found that mytoos search will work better if you use double quotes around the words tops pellets, in the top of the screen search.
"tops pellets"

I tried Google Advanced Search and came up with THESE results.

As for as swelling goes. I'm not sure what caused the swelling, I'm guessing one of two things. Ether the swelling was due to a release of pressure. Like when packing material is compressed then expands when the package is opened. Or, the pellets expanded by absorbing water from the air. Ether way if that is the only problem I would suggest just moving to a zip-lock bag or a glass/plastic food jar with a tight sealing lid. If you suspect moisture caused the swelling, I would definitely go with the jar because that would slow down spoiling.
Posted By: BE2Cassie

Re: Anyone have experience with Tops Pellets? - 01/20/15 10:15 PM

Try doing a search for "Totally Organic Pellets" that name changed to Tops not that long ago.
Posted By: CrocusBlooms

Re: Anyone have experience with Tops Pellets? - 01/23/15 01:43 AM

Thank you all for your helpful advice, etc. I really appreciate all the time you all put into this forum and answering and re-answering oft-asked questions for those of us new to the world of MyToos.

I think I'm going to order some Tops pellets and give it them a try... will keep everyone updated as to Griffin's reception.

Posted By: Charlie

Re: Anyone have experience with Tops Pellets? - 01/23/15 03:40 AM

Great idea! Try all the good pellets and proceed accordingly. 'Toos are long term projects so take your time. I believe I have tried all the major pellets and have settled on Harrisons Adult Maintenance with Zupreem Avian Entrees as her outside or supplement pellet. Even when you find a great one, variety is the spice of life. grin
Posted By: Beeps

Re: Anyone have experience with Tops Pellets? - 01/23/15 04:02 AM

Originally Posted By: Charlie
Even when you find a great one, variety is the spice of life.

Very true! One thing that worries me (as I have a picky eater) is that if a company were to go out of business, I'd be in trouble with my grey. So, I try to always serve two kinds of pellets.

Right now, that's Harrison's High Potency and TOPS, though in the past I've used Goldenfeast Golden'obles as my secondary pellet.
Posted By: CrocusBlooms

Re: Anyone have experience with Tops Pellets? - 01/23/15 10:48 PM

Good point, Charlie and Beeps! He doesn't like the pellets, for the most part, unless he is "hungry" for a snack on the early afternoon. I usually crush them ( Harrison's adult maintenance) into largeish chunks & put them in a push-and -pull feeder so he has to work a bit for them and they feel more "special".
Posted By: Beeps

Re: Anyone have experience with Tops Pellets? - 01/24/15 03:53 AM

Foraging was a way I got my grey excited about pellets as well. These guys are so smart and like to use their brains. Great job!
Posted By: BE2Cassie

Re: Anyone have experience with Tops Pellets? - 01/24/15 04:23 AM

I should try that with Cassie. She is a one pellet only girl. She used to eat two different types but one of them changed slightly and she refuses them now. I have a number of forage feeders and will have to start adding different pellets to them. You never know maybe I will have luck!
Posted By: CrocusBlooms

Re: Anyone have experience with Tops Pellets? - 01/24/15 05:50 AM

I've found that he would much rather work for food of any sort than just eat it out of a plain old dish... he will happily follow the target stick around and do tricks for his individual sprouts (almost no "waste" that way too!). After finally "figuring out" what foraging bowls were all about, he eats lots more of his veggie chop mix ( all of it tonight!!) if I put the dish inside of one of his "foraging bowls", with lots of shredded paper, bamboo fronds, big plastic beads, and foot toys all around. He will dig and toss the small toys and paper, then eat a bit, and then "forage"more... it's fun to watch, and I figure it's good for burning at least a tiny bit of his energizer-bunny-tiny-'too-energy. I drop pellet bits and a few safflower seeds into the foraging mix too. I don't know how many of the "foraging mix" pellet-chunks he actually eats, though.

No surprise, really- foraging for food is what he's obviously hard-wired to do. I think he never had anything else but unlimited seed in a dish before I came into his life. It just took him a week of watching me "forage" in the bowls and puzzle feeders to work it out.
Posted By: CrocusBlooms

Re: Anyone have experience with Tops Pellets? - 05/03/15 09:07 PM

Went to our local independently owned pet store to get more of the Harrison's pellets yesterday and lo and behold they have started carrying the TOPS pellets as well! This is great because I had wanted to try them for several months, but if I had ordered them online the shipping would have been more costly than the pellets themselves. ( and I like the support my local stores if I can).

I purchased a 1 lb bag of the "TOP's Outstanding Pellets for all size hookbills" in addition to our regular 1 lb Harrison's adult lifetime maintenance pellets, and have been putting them in the push-pull feeder for a change. He seems to like them alright- more than he liked the Harrison's when we first tried them- and I know we may very well go through the entire pound before he really starts to Eat them (as we did with the H's).

I like the size of the TOPs better, as I don't have to crush them up for them to fall though the small holes in the push and pull feeder ( which saves time) and I like that there is no corn, soy, peanuts, or synthetic vitamins in them. I will be feeding these as the pellet this month (along with his twice daily chop mixture and plenty of tasty treats ( mung bean and lentil sprouts, corn and pine nuts are favorites, as well as red palm oil and almonds in the shell) and we will keep mytoos message board "peeps" in the loop as he starts to eat more of them.

I've put the 1lb Harrisons bag in my emergency food storage bin as a "just in case" ( we DO live in earthquake country, 6 hours from any major city). I also keep dry food and sardines for the dogs, as well as drinking water and first aid supplies for all the animals. If the TOPs becomes a "pellet of choice" I will also add those to the emergency stash.
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