As always my veterinarian, Dr. Dustin, gave me the pellet speech. If you have a bird you totally know what I am talking about. "Pellets are much better for the bird because they provide 100% of the nutrients that they require and they will live longer, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." Now I love Dr. Dustin. Honestly, I do. I love everyone at Bay Area Bird Hospital and consider myself blessed to have such a great avian vet in my city. However, I do not want to feed my birds pellets. It's not that they are too expensive. I would pay any price if I meant it would keep my birds healthy. The fact of the matter is, none of my birds like pellets. I don't blame them. I tried them and they taste horrible. I wouldn't want to eat them either. I have tried all of them on the market and whether they are sunny fruit flavored or summer garden delight, they taste like cardboard. Even Wild & Spicy didn't get by flock going. (Yes, that is a real flavor.) I have mixed them into vegetables and fruit; hidden them in seed; and tried to make them fun by hiding them for my birds to discover. No interest. I even bought birdie muffin mix and baked for them. What do you think happened? Well, look at the picture. They taste exactly like they look. They were gross.
They say that pellets provide the exact number of nutrients birds require for a healthy life and I am sure they do. I have tried to tell Max, Ray, Billy and Mojoe that but it went about as far as telling a kid to eat liver because it's good for them. I am fully aware that my birds aren't children, but they still can taste. They are are also very expressive when they like something. Max purrs when he sees a blueberry and Mojoe can hardly wait to get to his morning breakfast of Italian Parsley and quinoa. They may not be children, but they are my kids. I know what they like.
There are countless articles on best practices to convert your birds to pellets all of which, in my opinion, are just ways to force your bird into eating them. Given the choice the bird is not willingly going to eat these things - period. I could decide I want to feed Joey pellets, too, so he could live longer, but I don't think it would make him very happy. I certainly wouldn't be joining him in that little experiment.
So, why am I ranting about all this? Well, because I really started to feel guilty about not being a good provider for my birds. It didn't matter that in addition to seed I gave them fresh fruit and vegetables, cooked them grains and gave them vitamin supplements. I still felt like I was doing something wrong. Then I started thinking about how hard it must be to be a parent of real children. With all the dos and don'ts floating around out there how does one make the right decisions? It must be a total nightmare. I asked my friend, who's a mom, about this and she said, "You do your best with the information you have and follow your heart. You will do what is right." That was the wisest advice I have received in a long time.
There are always going to be things I should or shouldn't do, but I am just going to do my best and follow my heart. I think we all should.