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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I'm still having trouble with Cosmo's diet after about four years. He has always eaten seeds that I found have a good price (for my feeble budget,) have a good mix of what I've read here, and are the right size for him. It's a cockatiel mix but I assume there's flexibility there.
{I don't know if it is bad practice to use name brands in the forums}
He goes for it enthusiastically but only eats a few kinds of the seeds. 99% of the mix he won't touch. That's for the birds outdoors! I'd like to find something more fitting but can't tell what. Millet sprays, no; rolled oats, no; cracked corn, no. He does like corn muffins, though! I'm afraid he's trained me on muffins for breakfast.
I did see bags of specific pigeon and dove food online for a great price. It just seems like the mix is about the same. I'll try it when my SSI comes in next week.
In the meantime, Cosmo must have crackers for dinner. At least I weaned him off Ritz and onto the store brand low-salt oyster crackers. Last week I made the mistake of microwaving popcorn, which I seldom eat. Now he's following me around, landing on my keyboard and typing out M00ree Pocporm on the screen. I fear I've created a monster!
Seriously, I am worried about sugar and salt, plus preservatives and such. I know NYC pigeons will eat anything, so will I, but not good for Cosmo?
He has been very healthy for the 4 or 5 years he's been here aside from just one drastic loss of feathers for a short time.
Any idea what appropriate food might catch his fancy?
Thanks ~ Sam
 

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I get it. We can love these souls to death.
I have a pet pigeon that is currently giving me trouble eating the proper pigeon foods. Not surprising, his favorites (as is with the other three pigeons that I have) are :safflower, hulled millets, peanuts, cashew, and sunflower. Not good as nutrition, but OK for snack. That's all he wants to eat.

The other three pigeons are very healthy and eat a quality pigeon mix, plenty of different grit, and vitamins in their water every other day. Also, once a week apple cider vinegar, and probiotics.

Some of the Breeder/Racers on this forum will offer you better suggestions than I. My birds are rescue birds and with out a good diet their life span has been 3-5 years; very consistent. With a good diet; the jury is still out but I have a blue bar rock dove that's been with me for 11years and her mate (killed by a mongoose Sunday past) was 13.

It really matters. You obviously love your bird, so tough love is in order.
 

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Hi! Cosmo, your little monster, seems a really nice bird 😁.
I love muffins and I have a great recipe book, if he is interested I would be glad to cook them for him 😉.

I am used to buy pigeon/dove mixtures of different brands and mix them each other. I add dried legumes (the ones for humans that you can find at supermarket) like mung beans, small lentils and peas and a mixture for canary containing dehydrated fruits. A varied and balanced diet is really important.

There are many places where you can look for mixtures (other than in pet shops): agricultural supply stores, garden centers and do-it-yourself stores (the ones which sell pet products) and even in some supermarkets (just for example, Carrefour sells a good brand store dove mix).
Try some of those mixtures and see what he likes more then choose the ones which have the best quality/price ratio. Avoid the ones which look dusty.

In any case, remember that each bird has his favorite food, they are like humans 😁. There is the one who loves mung beans, the one who loves whole peas, the one who loves red dari and so on.

Also remember to leave always available (in a separate bowl from food) a source of calcium. My birds love picking blocks (depending on what you buy, they could contain, other than calcium, ingredients like anise, clay, minerals, insoluble grit, etc). Another option is cuttlebone.

As other said regularly give him a complete vitamin supplement (vitamins - trace elements and amino acids) , ACV water and probiotics.
Btw, vitamin supplements rich in amino acids and biotin are good for feathers issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi!
I'm sorry, John B and Columbina. I must not have my account set to email on replies, I just saw these now!
I have found a pigeon/dove mix that has a lot of different seeds and other things which he likes. I hope it's ok to say, but the brand is Hagen and reviews look good. He does do the same thing with it as he had done with the Cockatiel mix the store has. He gets all excited over it and digs right in, but he must eat only one kind of seed! Or two, the amount in his dish doesn't get noticeably less so I save the rest for the birds outdoors in the cold weather. I've just found that sprinkling the seeds in a big flowerpot and letting them grow attracts him. He actually keeps a tidy garden. I buy potted basil and he likes to destroy that, not sure how much he eats... As far as grit goes, he won't touch it. He does spend a lot of time rearranging the house plants so I think he's getting some there.

I like the sound of muffins, Columbina! As a matter of fact, for breakfast he gets some crumbles of store made corn muffins. I'd rather give him something healthier, those have sugar and salt plus probably bad oil. Maybe you could send me your recipe! His favorite is the store made croissants, but that's too picky for me. Those are MY breakfast!
You are right about calcium and I'm not sure how much he gets. When my neighbors gave Cosmo to me the cage had a cuttlebone that was ok but used up so I replaced it. I've never seen him peck at either of them. I'll try your suggestion. Fruits don't excite him, but I recently got a big bag of dried apricots. So far raisins, anything fresh, he walks away!

I don't expect you both to reply, mostly I wrote to apologize for not getting back to you sooner! ~ Sam
 

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Don't worry, Sam, no need to apologize 😊.

Pigeons/doves don't peck at a whole cuttlebone, you need to cut it in small pieces (I do that with scissors, don't break it up with fingers) and leave it always available in a separate bowl from food (I attach a pic). He will eat it according to his needs (if he likes it, lol).

My birds don't eat fruits or vegetables: following my vet advice I tried to give them some fruits and vegetables but they ignored them and I had to throw them away 😅.... They only eat the dehydrated fruits in the canary mixture... I know, it's not the same thing lol. Have you tried to give him berries?

Lol, even one of my brother's pigeon has the green thumb. We have a potted mint which didn't look great, he "did some gardening" and the plant has become luxuriant lol.
I know that some plants could be toxic (depending on the species of bird, amount ingested, etc), just to be safe give a look at a few links (they are about birds in general):



Yes, probably he is getting some insoluble grit from his garden 😉.

I have never seen the Hagen brand here so I have never tried it. I gave a quick look online, is it the one enriched with vitamins and minerals? If so, he is getting some vitamins, calcium and other minerals. It looks ok, they say that it can be used as main diet for extended periods of time. Sometimes I bought too some mixtures enriched with vitamins but I mixed them with mixtures without vitamins. I am used to give vitamins (in drinking water) and a water soluble calcium supplement on a regular basis (following the directions for use), not everyday.
Have you tried to add some dried legumes?

Lol, in my recipe book there are both sweet and savory muffins recipes, if you are interested feel free to ask 😁.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Columbina!
Great information, I'll try that with the cuttlebone. I just followed the directions and hung it in the cage where the old one was. I did buy some 'hulled oats' and 'cracked corn' but no interest. He loves popcorn, but the microwave kind has too many chemicals, salt, and flavorings. I'm going to try the regular kernels only kind (that's what I should be eating anyway!) I have lentils, it does seem he is particular about size and won't break even soft things down.
I have been careful of the plants so I'll check your source and make sure! I'd love to bake some muffins myself although I am supposed to be avoiding carbs!

Thanks again ~ Sam
 

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You're welcome.

Those instructions are for others types of birds like parrot, etc. Let us know if he will eat it!
 
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