The Pellet Debate
It is apparent to me that what seeds or pellets to feed your flock is as confusing as what kibble to feed your four-leggers! The Great Dogfood Debate is an endless conversation.
When it comes to feeding birds, the answer is the same: read the labels! Don’t grab the prettiest-looking pellets or the bag with the picture of your species of parrot on it; this is Marketing! The pet-food industry is HUGE and appeals to our senses as human beings. Ingredients that bother many dogs and cats often bother birds… corn, wheat, soy, and eggs are often culprits which cause allergic reactions.
Cost is a factor to be considered… I understand that, completely! (I keep my day job just to feed my flock!) I am a big fan of Harrison’s pellets, Lafeber’s Nutriberries, and TOPS Pellets. The ratio of these three products I feed are 25/25/50, respectively.
I have a Meyer’s hen who plucked herself silly over the course of two days. I had added Quaker hens to my birdroom, which was the only environmental change I could put my finger on. I didn’t think diet was an issue, because the rest of my flock were fine. Upon the advice of a very knowledgeable peer, I gave the Meyers hen TOPS pellets, exclusively. Within two days she stopped plucking and within two weeks she was covered in unfurling pin feathers. Her new set of feathers is radiant!
Because of this experience, I started feeding my entire flock TOPS pellets (I had been serving the other two products). Cost-wise, they balance out nearly the same, with the TOPS being slightly less costly than the Harrison’s. I offer the two brands of pellets to prevent my birds from becoming finicky! If one product becomes discontinued by the manufacturer, my birds have a pellet they are happy to eat while I introduce a new brand.
There are many very good foods in the stores and online for your birds. Just be careful not to buy something because you like the look of it. Remember, also, that fresh fruits, vegetables, quinoa, beans, lentils, etc. need to be part of your pet’s daily diet!