Picky eater

Posted By: Ragnars mom

Picky eater - 01/02/17 08:27 PM

My husband and I rescued our 1st cockatoo. It seems to be healthy and plan to get it to the vet asap just to be sure. We have read many posts here about diet. Ragnar seems to be a very picky eater. His preference is almonds he cracks open from the shell. We purchased some zupreem parrot pellets and Vita Prima parrot sunseed mix. He picks through them to get the nuts, and throws the pellets in his water dish.
We have tried offering him raw fruits ie: apple slices, orange slices, cubed peach, Banana - all of which he threw back at us. We offered him raw baby carrot, broccoli, zuccini, cucumber, red pepper... he wont touch them.
He did take small bits of meat from us, and plain pita chips, and toast.

I feel like maybe we are not on the correct path... would appreciate wisdom from folks with more experience that we have.

Thank you
Posted By: RB2sMom

Re: Picky eater - 01/02/17 11:34 PM

Just had to ask...did you name your parrot after Ragnar Lothbrock on the Vikings series on the History channel?

Our RB2s like Zupreem fruit flavored pellets and will not touch the others. For other foods....we sit down to eat (their cages next to our table) giving them healthy bits of what we are eating...they see us eating and they join in as a flock.
Posted By: Pops

Re: Picky eater - 01/03/17 02:32 AM

Thanks for the reply Susanne, and yes I did, this is Ragnars moms Husband, I keep fish and typically to break them whats good for them we starve them out, I do not think this is something I can do with a parrot. limit and keep re-introducing may be the answer here. Rag man is doing well, not over yelling and not being quiet. just being a cockatoo by all accounts, I can do his cage maintenance now and he just watches, no more running to the back and hanging off the top.

so far been a great addition to the family. : )
Posted By: Ragnars mom

Re: Picky eater - 01/03/17 03:23 AM

Ragnars cage is not close to out table and he is not comfortable enough to leave his safety zone yet. I have offered him things I am eating and he will occasionally take something I offer from my food. He doesn't seem to like the fruit flavored foods. One question I do have is, do I offer him cooked oatmeal or raw oats? Can they have milk products? Like yogurt with cooked oats?
Posted By: BE2Cassie

Re: Picky eater - 01/03/17 01:40 PM

Oats can be given raw or cooked but don't add mild or cream. Unsweetened applesauce and cinnamon mixed in is a treat for some birds. Birds are unable to digest lactose. A little bit of plain organic yogurt is ok as a treat and can be beneficial. Be sure to avoid the yogurts that use artificial sweeteners in them.
If you find that he likes cooked oats you can try other grains as well. Wheatberries, farro, quinoa, barley, brown rice just to name a few. I keep a large plastic container in the freezer and mix in grains as I find them on sale. I found with some picky eaters that they really enjoy the cooked grains and I'm able to mix in some fresh veggies by grinding them or using organic baby food.
Baby food is great to use as a spread on toast or make a sandwich out of.
Another way to introduce new foods is to present them as toys. I have had success with my picky eater in getting her to eat some new foods. I use skewers and put small chunks of foods that I'm introducing alternating with chunks of foods that I know she will eat. I think as they begin to shred or play with the foods they eventually begin to eat them. Fresh greens, broccoli, brussel sprouts on the stick, carrots can all be hung as a toy by drilling a small hole or simply attaching them to the sides of the cage.
Posted By: Ragnars mom

Re: Picky eater - 01/09/17 12:16 AM

Thank you for the info and tricks. Would organic almond butter on grain toast be ok?
Posted By: crisw

Re: Picky eater - 01/09/17 09:22 AM

I also have a rescue cockatoo whose diet I am trying to expand. Keep trying the fruits and veggies in different ways. Corey, for example, wants his carrots in big pieces (so he can shred them) but likes almost everything else in a tiny chop. And he likes his veggies better cooked. He especially loves cooked sweet potato. He also likes things he can take seeds out of, like green beans.

What has been working best for me is to blend the fruits and veggies with stuff he likes, so he has to ingest some of it to get what he likes smile Two things work really well. He loves birdie muffins, which I made from 6 different kinds of fruit and veggies baby foods, 7-grain breakfast cereal, and garbanzo bean flour. The second is if I chop up a bunch of fruits and veggies in the food processor, then mix them in equal amounts with the 7-grain cereal and a bean mix (Primo Bean from My Bird Store)and some water, then cook. I mix in some whole oats and a few hulled sunflower seeds. What he really loves is if I stuff this in dried pasta shells!

We are still working on plan veggies, and it's admittedly frustrating when they all wind up on the cage floor, but he's getting some veggies inside him smile
Posted By: BE2Cassie

Re: Picky eater - 01/09/17 02:44 PM

At this point I would avoid using toast with almond butter during a meal time. Almond butter is healthier than peanut butter but is still a high fat food that he needs very little of in captivity. It would be ok as a special treat or reinforcer. It's more important that he begin to eat healthy foods before introducing him to more treat and snack type foods. There are some really good bird bread recipes on the web that would be a great alternative for him. These recipes include the foods including veggies and fruits that he needs in his diet. With this I would use pureed vegetables in place of any butter type foods.
Posted By: Pops

Re: Picky eater - 01/14/17 08:07 AM

so a little update vid on Ragnar,
Posted By: Ragnars mom

Re: Picky eater - 01/14/17 08:27 AM

In the morning before work I have been making him super grain bread toast and spreading pureed green veggies on it like jam. Then sandwich a strip of it so he gets that plus fresh parrot mix, fresh water and then we have started hanging fruit and veggies from his cage like a toy. Dinner is whatever we are eating. Still getting a lot of waste of food he doesn't want to eat but he definitely is not starving either.

Im going to try the pureed food in the dry pasta shell! He loves to break shells apart.

Also found he likes to shred q-tips so have been using them like skewers and putting different types of raw and cooked veggies and fruit on them.

I sure appreciate all the info and ideas shared. It has been super helpful. Thank you!
Posted By: BE2Cassie

Re: Picky eater - 01/14/17 03:14 PM

There will always be waste of food. All birds take a bite or two and then drop the remainder of what they are eating. This is unless it's a very favorite item, then it's amazing how dainty they become eating.
The only time I become concerned with a bird not eating is when nothing has been disturbed in the bowl.
Also one of the most important things you can do is begin to weigh him. Initially daily or every other day is ideal. Once his weight remains stable drop down to weekly for a couple of months then switch to monthly if no changes. If Cassie is not acting quite right or if her droppings have changes I pull out the scale and start daily weights to monitor. It saved her life a couple of years ago when she began to have these tiny droppings. I started weighing her daily and got her in to the vet after just a couple of days her weight had gained 80 grams in three days. The only symptoms of illness at the time where her droppings and the weight gain. She had a bacterial infection in her gi tract that took months to clear up with numerous medications and trips to the vets office. Also cost over two thousand dollars.
Posted By: Charlie

Re: Picky eater - 01/16/17 08:57 PM

I'm with Nancy! The subject of food waste is #1 on our checklist! grin

Checklist for New Parrot Owners!
Posted By: Ragnars mom

Re: Picky eater - 01/29/17 04:46 AM

well it took 2 months but we finally found his diet! He LOVES anything dehydrated that is dry and crispy. He will eat ANYTHING dry and crispy. A trip to trader Joes and we are set!That was an excruciating experience. Now we can work on other more interactive fun things smile Kale, broccoli, carrots, strawberries, blackberries, sweet potato, pineapple, papaya, peaches, orange... he is a happy bird.. I am a happy Ragnar mommy.
Posted By: Ragnars mom

Re: Picky eater - 01/29/17 04:48 AM

good thing our dogs arent picky.. they graze the cockatoo
Posted By: Mango16

Re: Picky eater - 02/01/17 03:59 AM

i have a rescue cockatoo also, he is suppose to be a male, he is suppose to be 10-15 yrs old, and he is a picky eater, can't get him to eat. i have tryed EVERYTHING! he will eat speg noodles, some meat, and loves pizza. but i know this stuff isn't healthy for him but thats all he will eat, and he will eat a few of the pellets after soaking them in water, I've tryed the fruits and vegs on the stick, i've tried hiding them in his cage, He did eat some sunflower seeds today, ONLY if i gave them to him, he wouldn't take them out of the bowl. Any suggestion?
Posted By: Ragnars mom

Re: Picky eater - 02/03/17 09:24 AM

Just keep trying. Ragnar likes to crack open almond shells and get the almond out. Then we take the almond shell and put a little pureed baby veggies in there and a thin layer of almond butter. He will sometimes eat the food out of the shell.
I also tried making veggies a hanging toy in his cage. Hands down though.. he will ALWAYS eat any fruit or veggies that is freeze dried. Light and crispy. For him it must be a texture thing? He would definitely like to eat only pizza and burgers and fries too. Just keep trying. Different sizes, shapes, hard, soft .. you'll stumble on it eventually. As long as he is eating pellets and seeds he wont starve. If it persists you might want to consult your vet. I am certainly not an expert, but I did get some awesome advice here.
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