For switching budgie parakeets to pellets, it is normally suggested that you put the preferred food in the highest spot in the cage. Ground feeders like budgies and other Australian grasskeets will do better if the preferred food is in a dish located at the bottom of the cage.
You need to make sure the dish is located so that there are NOT any perches above the dish so that bird droppings do not land in the food dish. We suggest the No Mess Feeder because it is covered so you won’t have to worry about droppings getting mixed in with the pellets. How we convert our parakeets to a pellet diet
Switching a New Bird to Pellets
When switching budgie parakeets to pellets, we ALWAYS start out feeding our birds what the breeder or previous owner fed the birds before we brought them home. It is stressful on birds to move to a new home, and the birds need to eat what they are used to eating for a while.
Once it is time to convert the bird to pellets, we put Harrison’s High Potency Fine bird pellets in a No Mess feeder located at the bottom of the cage. (We have been putting the bird’s regular feed in this dish for a week, so that they go to this dish to look for food.)
Empty Dish Out at Night
We take out any food left in the cage the night before, so first thing in the morning the birds are hungry and waiting for food. Only put the high quality pellets in the cage first thing in the morning, if you are still going to be home with the bird at mid-day.
If you will be leaving home for the day, then put the pellets in the bottom feeder dish and put only a small amount of the other food in a dish high in the cage and a sprinkling of the other food in with the pellets to encourage the bird to go to that dish.
(You want the bird go get some food, but not get filled up so that it may try the pellets at the bottom of the cage. The bird will not starve, don’t worry.)
The Last Meal for the Day
Later, when you would normally eat your last meal for the day, check to see if the bird has eaten the pellets. If the bird has eaten pellets (you will see crumbs or the pellets will be gone) then you can stop feeding the other food you are converting from.
If all the pellets are still there, then you can add the rest of the other food to the dish located at the top of the cage. ALWAYS reserve the bottom dish for the pellets.
Once you KNOW that the bird has eaten pellets, then you can discontinue the unhealthy food and feed 70% pellets and 30% healthy treats including seeds.
Switching budgie parakeets to pellets may take as little as a week or two or up to a year. Just keep trying, eventually they will switch.
It took our budgie, that was weaned to pellets, over a year to try a seed. So if it can take a year to get a budgie to eat seeds, you know it could take a year for them to eat pellets too.