Note: All birds switching to Harrison's should start out and remain on High Potency Coarse for a period of no less than 8 months. (Many species are recommended to stay on High Potency Coarse).
Any dietary changes should be undertaken gradually. An important concern is the bird's refusal to eat a "new" food, leading to significant weight loss. Weighing the bird (in grams) on a daily basis using a gram scale is the best method for monitoring adequate food consumption. Weight fluctuations greater than 10% are considered problematic. Even if provided with supplemental food, birds can starve while merely appearing to chew their food but not consuming it. Grinding the food into a fine powder is not the same as eating the food.
Monitoring droppings is an excellent indication of the amount of food the bird is eating. Prior to the diet change, the number and character of the droppings (color, amount, liquid, form, shape, lack of odor, staining) should be noted. Any change in the volume or number of droppings (usually a dramatic decrease in amount) indicates insufficient food consumption. Owners should not be confused by the appearance of wet droppings, which they may assume to be normal. Wet droppings usually have little fecal matter produced from food consumption. Wet droppings are often a sign of weight loss as fat and muscle are converted to energy and water. The character of the droppings will change as the bird consumes more formulated diet - they usually become more firm with a definite shape.
Some birds switch to a new diet with little to no work on the owner's part. Other birds are very selective about what they eat. Birds should not be left alone to select their own diets. Like human children, birds will often choose the wrong foods and "parental intervention" is required. The single most important thing you can do for your bird is to feed it right.THE "CONTROLLED MEALS" DIET CONVERSION METHOD (medium to large birds only)
High Potency Coarse
Some birds are hesitant to change diets to a healthy formula.
Jump start the process by replacing your bird's previous seeds with JUMPSTART GREY MILLET for 3 - 5 weeks.
JUMPSTART OMEGA (a nutritious source of omega fats) may be fed during this period at 10% of the over diet until full conversion is accomplished.
Birds are notorious tricksters. Confirm the bird is really eating by weighing the bird (daily) and observing frequency, volume and color of their stools. Stools should never be hard, dark or infrequent. Once fully converted, items like dark green veggies, sweet potato and carrot may be reintroduced.
When your bird is then ready to switch to a Harrison's organic formula - taper gradually until Harrison's formula makes up 75% of total daily diet by weight (with 20% organic vegetables and 5% JUMPSTART OMEGA (a nutritious source of omega fats).
This method is best used in birds who's eating habits can be individually observed. Split birds up into different enclosures or rooms during this period if necessary.