Bird Experts - Frustrating African Grey Becoming Way Too Food Picky
I have owned this parrot for 30 yrs. She was on a sunflower seed only diet when I got her. It took weeks of experimenting but finally got her to eat an extruded, vitamin supplemented pellet & I also give her fresh veggies, fruit and pasta/rice. Monthly, I also give her a small cup of mixed seeds, which she sorts through, tossing what she doesn't like. She gets an in shell peanut as a treat daily. That menu has worked for 30 yrs. She has always been picky & prone to fixate on sunflower seeds & peanuts, so those are very limited.
Over the past couple of months, she has decided she doesn't like her pelleted food anymore & spends more time sorting & tossing them to the bottom of the cage. At almost $20 for 3 lbs, it is really starting to piss me off. I used to be able to fill her dish up with minimal waste. Now I can only give her a small offering & even then, she sorts & tosses. I have tried two other brands......no go.....they become cage litter.
Always being a picky eater, she would refuse any meat, cheese or egg combo. Suddenly, she started eating them......well, for two whole days before she decided she really likes fresh corn niblets & peas. Now that's all she wants to eat.
I'm at my wit's end trying to find a diet she will eat with consistancy & not feel like I have to basically starve her into compliance in order to get her to eat. I like to leave her with food in her dish when I'm gone at all day at work, but mostly when I come home, its in the bottom of the cage. And then she has this ANNOYING habit of loudly plunking her metal dish with her beak to let me know she's out of food.
I sooo miss my Keeta. She was the same way for the 20 years I owned her.
Unlike yours, however, I could never get her to eat an extruded diet. She did however love spaghetti, and chicken. I'd give her a wing and she'd hold it like a drumstick and finish it off. She also liked okra (whole) and grapes, broccoli, but only the stems and she hated carrots...
No thoughts nor suggestions. Just letting you know it's not unusual.
"I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you..."
In the wild parrots forage for food twice a day. Saying that, she will be fine with no food while you are at work.
With my parrots (am a breeder, had over 200 at one time) they get what I call 'birdy boot camp'. You have to be a hard @$$ about their food. If your epelleted food comes in different colors, switch to a one color only flavor. (you did not specify what brand you are using)
Greys are smart, if she thinks you will give in she will continue.
Remember, feed no more than 20% of her diet in 'other' foods or you will mess up the nutrition value of the 'pelleted' food.