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About a month ago I adopted a peach fronted conure. Her previous owners didn't feed her anything besides pellets and the occasional bit of meat (which I personally don't want to feed her since meat these days is full of hormones).

I have been able to feed her bits of fruit & sunflower seeds from my hands, but I'd like for her to get into the habit to eat fresh food on her own, ie food that I place in a bowl in her cage, as well as eat more than just fruit such as leafy greens & other veggies.

How can I encourage her to eat out of her comfort zone?

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On the bright side she's eating pellets! That's the hardest part to transition so we're off to a good start.

A good way to get them to eat greens is to cook it in a chop, mash or bread. Always add the foods she likes into the mixture (her pellets for instance), digging through it she will get a taste for the other things.

Chop

This is essentially dicing an array of vegetables, fruits and berries into small bits and mixing it with some grains like Quinoa, flax or millet.

Amaranth, quinoa, chia seeds, golden flax seeds, rolled oats, pumpkin seeds, carrots, broccoli, italian squash, orange and red bell pepper, dandelion greens, rainbow chard, green kale, sweet potatoe, 1/3 bag of Birdeez Buffet, small veggie pasta, zucchini and small bag of pumpkin cous cous.

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Mash

This is my favorite to make as you can boil it all in a pot and mush it together. Looks gross but birds go bananas for this.

Red beets, sweet potato, celery, kale, white cabbage, yellow chili peppers, green bell pepper and boiled red lentils and quinoa

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If you're lazy like me you can have also purchase some pre-made mash that just need to be cooked from Golden Feast or things for wings. I have personally purchased products from both companies and they were equally excellent.

Bread

If you have a grinder you can make your own flour out of the pellets she currently eats if not you can use Almond flour or Harrison's bird bread mix (note: Harrison's bird bread mix is literally ground up Harrison's pellets). Stay away from products with lactose.

my recipes include almond flour, water, eggs (no shell), blue berries, ground flax, sesame seeds, quinoa, apples, finely chopped kale and coconut oil to grease the pans ONLY (Coconut oil has too much saturated fat to be added into their diet) or use liners. Personally I find the mix sticks to the liners and I lose most of my muffin to it.

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Eat the bird food

Yep! That's right! That's how I got my African Grey to eat the majority of stuff he eats now. I literally had to make a big deal out of eating carrots for him to eat it - the thought process is "If she likes it then I should too!". It helps with getting yourself eating healthier too, grab a bowl of veggies and chow down with your friend.

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  • I've tried eating food in front of her, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Besides that, these all seem great, but how do I incorporate them with her pellets so she'll be more likely to eat them? Do I prepare the mash/etc and just mix them in? – jackwise Aug 9 '17 at 18:48
  • I would offer the mash+pellet combo by itself at first to see the interest - if you need to go for a whole day offer two separate bowls. One bowl of pellets + a bowl of mash/pellet combo. I'm not a fan of doing cold turkey to birds, don't be discouraged if she doesn't eat it the first go - keep offering it daily. – Rebecca RVT Aug 10 '17 at 1:50
  • OK. I'll first try it on a weekend so I can stick around to observe her. Hopefully it'll work out. – jackwise Aug 10 '17 at 12:41
  • @jackwise I got my picky eater to start eating unfamiliar food by eating them myself, and always bring him to eat with me. The social modeling seems to work well with flocking species. You eat, they eat.... – fmorales Aug 13 '17 at 8:27
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    @jackwise you can also try mixing a variety of foods in a blender and then mix it in cooked oatmeal. Birds typically like warm mushy foods so you can give it a go. It may not make him eat the fruits and veggies individually but he will get nutrients all the same. – Rebecca RVT Sep 15 '17 at 10:12

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