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Thread: Requesting tips for making bird food at home

  1. #1
    Proud Birdie Momma Brand New Egg bbraven's Avatar
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    Question Requesting tips for making bird food at home

    I have been buying Harrison's food for my cockatiel for quite some time after reading about it here, and supplementing with vegetables, but the Harrison's food is now up to $40 per 5lb including shipping, and that's just far too expensive. I'm looking for alternate ways to keep Stoli healthy without such expense.

    Here are my questions:

    1. Can a bird live and be healthy on vegetables alone? (We eat loads of veggies, so we have plenty we could give to him. Rarely any fruit though.)
    2. Are there any tricks for drying vegetables without a dehydrator? Right now I just cut them small and let them sit in a turned off oven until they dry up, then store and feed as needed. He hates wet foods.
    3. Is it possible to make a pellet replacement at home? Maybe like a low-cost birdy granola?
    4. If making bird food at home is extremely hard/expensive, is there a less expensive alternative to Harrison's? The pet stores in my area do not carry any pellet at all and have no interest in carrying it.

    I have changed to a much more healthy diet and I really would like to do the same for my pets. I'm even looking into natural and home-made foods for my cat. If I could ake something at home for the bird, I'd love that. Any help or tips are appreciated. I tried searching the forums, but didn't spot anything.
    Briana Blair
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    Parent clawnz's Avatar
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    Re: Requesting tips for making bird food at home

    I am against pellets that will be clear to you if you read some what I have posted.
    They are mostly useless filler to bulk up the product and then they throw all these man made supplements (that may not be anywhere near as good as the natural ones), and tell you this is all you need to feed your bird.
    Which is absolute B-----.
    While I do get off side for my comments about pellets, nobody anywhere will say my birds are not in great shape. and not a pellet in sight. In fact most will tell you I have one of the best looking flocks around. Certainly my Avian Vet thinks so.
    If you feel the need to feed artificial foods (pellets) 25% or less of daily diet.

    No your bird needs more than just veges. A Cockatiel could live a decent life on just seed alone. But please do not do this. As seed diet is vitamin A deficient, lucky Bidgies and Cockatiels are not so prone. As they are seed eaters in the wild.
    A basic diet needs to be adjusted to the birds life style and time of year, as the seasons change.
    A good fresh seed mix is a good choice to start with. Throw in some fruit (Cockatiels do not eat much fruit, but apple is certainly sometimes taken) and veg. Mineral blocks, cuttle bone.
    Millet, Sunflower seeds, Pumpkin seeds, hulled oats, are all good. You just have to keep all things in moderation.
    If feeding a mixed seed watch to make sure they are not picking out just one type of seed and leaving the rest.
    Learn how to sprout. Just Mung Beans alone will give your birds most of what they get from pellets, And most importantly Natural supplements, vitamins, and trace elements. Soak seed can also be a good option.
    There are many other natural plants trees and weeds that will all help keep your bird in top condition.
    Always remember variety is the spice of life so mix it up.
    I was asked over on indianringneck.com to list what I thought was a good diet for them.
    Read this it may help you.
    http://www.landofvos.com/articles/sprouts.html
    Last edited by clawnz; 07-25-2013 at 09:15 PM.
    R.I.P my little ones.

  3. #3
    Livin the Good Life Brand New Egg sunnyvmx's Avatar
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    Re: Requesting tips for making bird food at home

    I have six cockatiels and that's good because when I make "birdie mash", it's always a lot. I recently bought a large food processor to make the job easier and faster. Ingredients include: Whole wheat bread, garbanzos, broccoli, carrot, nuts, oats, hard boiled egg with shell. Add whole corn and box of sprouts. I keep it dry and crumbly so no green pepper, cucumber, tomatoes or fruit. Sometimes cilantro or parsley. Not necessarily all these ingredients everytime. Now I divide it into 4 or 5 vacuum seal bowls and vacuum seal each. This will keep perfectly for two weeks in the fridge. I feed birdie mash from 9 to 12, pellets from 12 to 3 and then seed. If given a choice, I'm sure my birds would only eat the seed, but each day I watch them eat everything. They play all day on a table gym in a screened in patio and only return to their cages at night to sleep. There has been some mating, but no one seems inclined to lay eggs and take on the work and responsibility of raising kids. I can't say as I blame them.

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    Brand New Egg BobY's Avatar
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    Re: Requesting tips for making bird food at home

    We pretty much fed Aussie the regular bag of cockatiel food from Target or Walmart, which was basically seeds. We just didn't know any better. That's what the guy we bought him from said to do. We did feed him lettuce, spinach (his favorite) and broccoli on occasion.

    When we had Aussie at the pet clinic, the vet told us we should mix in Nutri-berries as well, along with a small amount of pellets. This is what he gave us as a sample:
    http://www.lafebercares.com/pinnacle...parent=24&pg=1

    Aussie never would eat fruit of any kind. Loved Fruity Pebbles though. Of course, Aussie is gone now (See the Rainbow Bridge thread), but we are mixing food for our new tiel Skittles. He really, really likes the Nutri-berries, and gets excited when he sees me open the bucket. I pretty much mix it 50% seeds, 35% Nutriberries and 15% pellets. The pellets we use are supposed to help with calcium.

    I like the idea of the "birdie mash" sunnyvmx talks about...what kind of nuts do you use?

  5. #5
    Tailfeather boomer girl's Avatar
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    Re: Requesting tips for making bird food at home

    If you contact Lafeber's they will mail you out samples of lots of their bird food. I would advice just giving most of the nutriberries and avicakes as a treat because it has lots of sugars in it which just isn't too great for birds. I love Volkman seeds and if you look at the pet stores usually Volkman seeds are the ones that they use for the bulk bins of bird seed. I was lucky and found them at our feed store here so I could buy the bags for my bird fresh from them. You can also order it online and birdseed.com The Roudybush company will also send you out some good sized samples of their pellets for you try and they are good pellets to give them as a supplement as well.

    I think all birds need a good seed mix and then supplement that with lots of good for them human foods. I use to buy the "Just Tomatoes' brand of dehydrated veggies for my bird and they were so good I had to eat them as well. I also would buy dehydrated fruits from the organic health food store here because I could never do it myself just right like you can buy it.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Parent clawnz's Avatar
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    Re: Requesting tips for making bird food at home

    Here you go.
    This is on Fresh and Natural Mash Diet

    By Alicia McWatters, M.S.

    http://www.exoticpetvet.com/breeds/birdsmashdiet.htm
    R.I.P my little ones.

  7. #7
    Livin the Good Life Brand New Egg sunnyvmx's Avatar
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    Re: Requesting tips for making bird food at home

    I buy walnuts, pecans and almonds for the mash. My birds start out eating their favorite foods. Some rush for the niblet corn, Pepe loves the egg and Miko is first to the table and seems to have no preference. It's all food and for her it's all good. Cockatiels are ground feeders so I spread the mash on a paper towel under the gym. Later I pick up the paper towel and toss it away. Then I have a clean area for the pellets and then the seeds. I use disposable adult diaper sheets under the gym. They are absorbent, soft, offer good traction as they scurry around and both sides can be used before tossing. My tiels have never shown any interest in tearing them up, but they love destroying their wooden ladders.

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    Tailfeather
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    Re: Requesting tips for making bird food at home

    Great post, Sunny. I love your idea about the adult diaper sheets. Sure would have never thought about that one. I agree that tiels are ground feeders. I use paper towel for the bottom of my bird's cages. I'm sure going to try your "mash" very soon! You have had great luck with your "flock". You sure are an "expert" in homing tiels, that is most certain! Have a great day!

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