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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've noticed several discussions about pigeons that have a hard time transitioning from seed to pellets, so I thought I'd share my success story.
I rescued a king pigeon, Southy, off the street last spring. I took Southy to an avian vet, who recommended gradually transitioning him from a seed mix to Harrison's Organic Super Fine birdfeed. Southy wouldn't eat the Super Fine, so I used the Harrison's Bird Bread Mix, mixing seed into the Bread Mix batter and baking little bird muffins about once a week. This he ate, and after several months of the Bread Mix muffins, he began to eat Harrison's Fine Mix (not Super Fine). Pigeons are very perceptive and will mimic behavior, and so I ate some of the Fine pellets in front of Southy, and then he began to eat them himself.
Every bird no doubt has its own eating habits, but I'm guessing that a lot of pigeons don't immediately recognize pellets as food. Also, pigeons have only 37 taste buds (humans have about 10,000), which may have something to do with how and what they eat. I think that Southy enjoyed eating the muffins in part because they were substantial (versus simply a powdery blur of pellet dust) and studded with seeds that he recognized as food from his previous diet.
So I'd recommend transitioning with the Bird Bread Mix, maybe mixing in a small quantity of seed to begin with, and then going to just the Bird Bread Mix, and then going to the Fine Mix. As many others have mentioned before, changes in diet are very stressful for pigeons and must be gradual.
Also, here's a link to a webpage at Harrison's that contains several valuable documents on bird diets, including a document with recommendations about strategies for transitioning to pellets:

http://www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com/ourfoods/index.html

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Spirit Wings.
I forgot to mention that instead of buying the Harrisons' Bird Bread Mix, you can make your own pigeon muffins by blending Harrison's fine pellets with water and a bit of oil, then baking them in muffin tins for half an hour at 350 degrees. The fine pellets will turn to a kind of batter when water and oil are added.
My avian vet recommended using super fine to transition from seeds to fine pellets, but it has the consistency of sawdust and didn't appeal to Southy. Southy prefers the fine, which is a small pellet, and that's what he eats now, having graduated from muffins.
 

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Thanks, Spirit Wings.
I forgot to mention that instead of buying the Harrisons' Bird Bread Mix, you can make your own pigeon muffins by blending Harrison's fine pellets with water and a bit of oil, then baking them in muffin tins for half an hour at 350 degrees. The fine pellets will turn to a kind of batter when water and oil are added.
My avian vet recommended using super fine to transition from seeds to fine pellets, but it has the consistency of sawdust and didn't appeal to Southy. Southy prefers the fine, which is a small pellet, and that's what he eats now, having graduated from muffins.
my house ring neck doves eat the high potency fine with relish, and get some safflower for a treat and some greens for variety...they and me love harrison's. I recommend it every chance I get to house pet birds. I have put it in a seperate small crock for my breeding pigeons out in the loft and they love it too and feed it to their babies.
 

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Feathers111,

I feed the Harrison's Fine Pellets as well. I hope that your bird had transitioned by now. I have used different meathods of switching them over to the pelleted diet. Some birds I had to try several till I found the right one for them! Good Luck

Sarah
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, Southy has made the transition to the fine pellets. Thanks for asking, Sarah.

Feathers111,

I feed the Harrison's Fine Pellets as well. I hope that your bird had transitioned by now. I have used different meathods of switching them over to the pelleted diet. Some birds I had to try several till I found the right one for them! Good Luck

Sarah
 
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