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TOPs Pellet dust and long time no see!

Talk about bird illnesses and other bird health related issues. Seeds, pellets, fruits, vegetables and more. Discuss what to feed your birds and in what quantity. Share your recipe ideas.

TOPs Pellet dust and long time no see!

Postby thesilversakura » Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:43 pm

Long time no see, everyone! Becoming a legal adult crept up to me and I've been having some trouble adjusting, so hanging out on forums has been on the back burner for a long time. But I'm doing pretty well at the moment, due to restart College this September, so I'm back! Hopefully I'll be able to hang around a lot more this time.

Since my last post I've moved out into my own place and the birds have come with me, of course. Peach and The Boys (Charlie and Rocky) live side by side and get along pretty well! No punch ups, no arguments, they keep to themselves most of the time. All is quiet in the house until 8pm when the singing starts!

The issue I am having concerns food. After much research I decided TOPs Pellets were the best food I could give my birds considering my circumstances. They definitely eat it, but I am left with a *ton* of dust after that they refuse to touch. Mixing it into gloop doesn't help either, they eat the bare minimum if I mix it in and are yelling at me come morning because they're hungry. I am on a low income and the pellets are very expensive, so I'm concerned with how much I'm wasting by buying it, especially given how quickly they go through the stuff.

When they don't get pellets they get a mix of soaking beans and pulses from Northern Parrots, some porridge oats to add gloopiness, and veggies such as green beans, sweetcorn, spinach, cucumber for crunch, and basically whatever veg we have in the house. I'm vegan so we have plenty of variety! They are picky when it comes to gloop so I have to put a small amount of seed in to coax them and have some seed for dinner before bed. I also have a powdered vitamin mix that goes in the gloop, also from Northern Parrots.

What would you suggest re. the pellets and has anyone else had this issue? I just don't know how to make sure they eat the dust, which must be a large portion of the overall weight of the product. I don't want to give up on it because it's the best I can give them reliably at the moment, but I need to be economical.

Thank you all! I'll be posting a few pictures of the birdies soon, they finished their moult a month ago and are looking lovely! :greycockatiel:
thesilversakura
Cockatiel
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Re: TOPs Pellet dust and long time no see!

Postby Bird woman » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:33 pm

Hi, I just got through complaining about this very same thing on another thread as I ordered 50 lbs of it and I'll bet there was 15 pounds mulch. I've been using it for my bird bread because like you if I put it in the chop it's too gooey and they don't much like it that way. Tops is cold pressed and no additives to make it stick together. I've since gone with roudy bush but I'm sure it's not as good. Mine eat 2 fresh meals a day so the pellets are just for afternoon snack or in case they don't like what I fix for dinner. Can't please them all , all of the time as there are many and very picky. :lol: OH AND HELLO I AM BIRD WOMAN , I DONT KNOW IF WEVE MET?
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Bird woman
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Re: TOPs Pellet dust and long time no see!

Postby Pajarita » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:26 am

Well, Silver, I don't really think the problem is with Tops - I don't feed my birds pellets because I don't believe they are the best dietary option for them but, going by everything else they eat, the waste is inevitable. It's part of their ecological niche so it's pretty much hardwired into their brains and they do the same thing with everything they eat. You find 'dust' because pellets are ground grains that are made super dry and then squeezed into a shape - as soon as you 'work' at them with anything sharp, they just disintegrate. But, give them an apple and you will find shredded apple at the bottom of the cage, and give them birdy bread or birdy cookies and you will find crumbs.

Now, the reason why your birds don't like the gloop might be because you are not using grains but beans and pulses. My little ones eat the beans in the gloop but they prefer the grains 1,000 times over them -grains are their natural food! No parrot eats beans in the wild -not a single species! I would also recommend you don't feed so many pulses -beans ARE pulses- because they are VERY high in oxalic acid and it's not good for birds - especially since you also feed spinach (my birds never, ever get any spinach, parsley or collard greens - even if I have no other green!). It also seems to me that you are giving them too many nutritional supplements because you mention pellets AND adding a vitamin/mineral supplement to their bean mix so, correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that they are getting supplements every day. That's way too much! You have to be careful with supplements that have the final form of vit A and vit D3 because they are both fat soluble and, as the body has no way of getting rid of the excess (these two vitamins are created by the body from precursors as needed so there is never any excess) it goes instead into the liver in the form of fatty nodules which is exactly what fatty liver disease is about. More is not better with birds. Nature did not create them so they get a good, balanced meal every day (that's just a marketing gimmick that pellet manufacturers use to fool the consumer into believing they are better than natural food - which they are not, of course!), they are all seasonal feeders and that means going without many times and never getting a daily balanced diet (it's supposed to balance out as the seasons progress).

Why don't you try making a gloop with grains instead? You can now get them fairly cheap in the regular supermarkets - look for the Bob's Red Mill brand. And, instead of adding different raw veggies to it every day, make a 'standard' recipe with frozen veggies, instead (much more nutritious than fresh veggies). This way, you can 'tailor' it to their tastes and they will eat it every day -mine LOVE sweet corn, baby peas, diced carrots, chopped broccoli and diced butternut squash, they eat the sweet potato, too, but not every single day.
Pajarita
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Re: TOPs Pellet dust and long time no see!

Postby thesilversakura » Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:19 pm

You've given me plenty to think about Pajarita - thank you for the advice. I will have to start looking for a good grain mix, or at least buying them in bulk separately. I used to do a regular frozen mix of their gloop, but since I became ill I've just been giving them fresh gloop whenever I can make it. I eat a lot of frozen veg so why shouldn't they? (I'm starting to think they should just eat my food, as grains and veg make up a lot of my diet :lol: )

I'm determined to make the gloop work - the pellets are really a go to when I'm really not feeling well, which has been for a while now unfortunately. I have the powdered vitamins left over from when I was just learning about gloop - the directions on the package say it should be given every day or every other day. They haven't been getting it anywhere near that much so I am not too worried, but I was under the impression that since the TOPs Pellets do not contain any vitamins that giving them the powdered formula wouldn't be an issue. What would be your recommendation for the frequency of the vitamin mix? It is called Avimix if you are familiar/would like to check it out.

I've just been using it because I am worried that due to my illness I have not been giving them everything they need - they have never gone hungry and in no way do I think the vitamins are a replacement for a good diet, it's just my anxiety kicking in haha. The vitamins, if not given too much, can't hurt right?

Also, I don't believe we have met Bird Woman, it's very nice to meet you! Funnily enough that nickname is also given to me by my family :lol:
thesilversakura
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Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Re: TOPs Pellet dust and long time no see!

Postby Pajarita » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:11 am

Well, the thing about birds vitamin/mineral supplements is that they tell you to use them everyday because the manufacturers are counting on people feeding seed and nothing else. But birds that eat produce and whole grains derive practically all their nutritional needs from their diet - it's only the vit D3 that is needed because even vit A needs can be perfectly met through a diet that provides the precursor, betacarotene, adequately. My gloop has sweet potatoes, carrots AND butternut squash (three sources that contain high betacarotene levels) as well as broccoli, which also has a bit of it. Plus, they get tomatoes, cantaloupe, dark leafy greens, etc regularly so they are good in terms of vit A without the danger of feeding in excess. Tops does have vitamins and mineral, only they are food-derived instead of lab made as the other pellets have. The only thing they do not have is vit D3 because there is only one single source of it in nature and that is in animal protein -which parrots should not consume at all. What I do is give them the supplement twice a week, during the warm weather months, they get 1.5 of the daily dosage each day and, during the cold weather months, 1 daily dosage twice a week. BUT, whenever a hen lays an egg, I give her two dosages of Calcivet or Calciboost (same dog, different collar) in their water. This is a supplement of calcium and vit D3 especially formulated for birds which I have been using for many years with excellent success (I've never had a single eggbound female, one laying a soft-shelled egg or a bird with any type of calcium deficiency).

If you want to go for a mix of grains, you can try Kashi's 7 Whole Grains Pilaf. I don't use it because it contains rye -which my birds don't like- and brown rice -which I don't feed to my birds as it's high in arsenic - I use red and/or black rice instead and only the brand Lundberg which is grown in California where the arsenic levels in the soil are lowest.
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