Apparently some birds love to play with or waste their food – and those crunchy Harrison’s nuggets are perfect objects to fling across the room, “feed” to the family dog, powder into oblivion or simply “take a bite – let the rest fall on the ground – and move on to the next nugget”..
For the larger species (say, conures thru macaws) there are a number of ways to address this.
– Moisten the nuggets. The food is less likely to powder or “pop”, which some birds seem to enjoy doing (at the cost of wasted food on the floor). Make sure all moistened food is eaten or replaced at regular intervals through the day. Clean up any uneaten food thoroughly.
– Train the bird not to waste food. This will involve a more involved, personal and time-intensive approach to feeding the bird.
Remove all foods from bird’s access. Offer the food one nugget at a time. If the bird wastes this nugget do not offer another one for say 10 minutes. If they waste the next one, wait another ten minutes. Alternately if the bird eats the nugget without wasting, offer the next nugget immediately. Repeat as necessary until the bird stops wasting food.
This is a reward practice. [This method is not recommended for small birds like cockatiels, budgies etc.]
– Try a smaller kibble. The “Fine” versions of both High Potency and Adult Lifetime are comparable enough for larger birds and in many cases is readily accepted without food-wasting.
– Some birds with eating disabilities or certain injuries simply cannot hold and eat the nuggets the way other birds can. In some of these instances it may be easier for the owner to use the Juvenile Hand-Feeding Formula (mixed with water, fed as directed) – tube fed or spoon fed. Juvenile Formula despite its name is great nutrition for adult birds as well. Veterinarians have used this formula in the clinic environment for decades as a maintenance and/or conversion food.
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