To convert or not to convert?

Strong-willed, finicky & the apple of your eye. Does this describe your bird? We know that changing your bird's food seems like no easy task. But, converting your bird to a pelleted food is worth the effort for his health and wellbeing. Many avian veterinarians recommend proper nutrition as an important factor to help keep your bird active, encourage a strong immune system, and promote overall good health. Did you know feeding a strictly seed diet to your bird is harmful for your bird's overall health? Only a small percentage of your bird's daily diet should consist of seeds.


This diagram shows veterinarian recommended nutrition. This is the mix of food your bird should get on a daily basis. The first step is understanding your bird's nutritional needs.

Convert avian quarter1


What is really in your bird's food cup? CLICK HERE to analyze your bird's current diet. Have questions about your results? Live Chat with Lorie, ZuPreem Avian Conversion Specialists, CHAT NOW!

Convert avian quarter2


Why do veterinarians recommend a pelleted food as 80% of your bird's diet? CLICK HERE to watch an informative video by Dr. Laurie Hess, a board certified Avian veterinarian in New York.

Convert avian quarter3


Choose your ZuPreem Avian Pelleted Diet. All ZuPreem products are nutritionally compatible and you can start feeding right away. Not sure which diet is right for your bird? CLICK HERE to see all of the options.

Convert avian quarter4

5 Begin converting your bird.

Below are a few methods that have proven to work for other bird owners.

Convert avian birdrow

Interval Feeding

For 20-30 minutes, three times a day, combine 50% of the seed-based food with 50% of the new pelleted bird food in a bowl. This may also apply to those birds that are currently being fed a pelleted diet other than ZuPreem. It is important to only fill 1/4 of the bowl. After feeding, remove all uneaten food from the cage and see how much of the old and new food your bird has eaten. If the bird has eaten more of the pelleted food, then increase the amount of the new food at each feeding. Continue until the bird is eating 100% of the new pelleted diet. This method assures your bird will not starve, but should still be hungry enough to begin experimenting with the pellets. This process may take several days or several weeks, depending on your bird.

Convert avian piechart

Ten-Day Gradual Method

For 10 days, fill your bird's food dish about 1/4 full several times a day using the following proportions of the old and the new diet.

Pick a Day

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10

New Diet

Old Diet

Remove Seeds Until Later in the Day

At bedtime, remove all seeds. In the morning, put fresh portions of the new diet in the cup. Leave the new diet in the cage until mid-to-late afternoon. Then feed your bird's seed diet for the rest of the day. Repeat this process for several days or until the bird is consuming the new diet. Then offer only the new diet at all feedings.

Convert avian cob bird

Back and Forth Method

At night, remove all food from cage. In the morning, introduce the new food in your bird's food dish. Let the bird experiment with the new food, sampling the pellets, etc. After an hour, remove the pellets and feed the old diet. Repeat this process throughout the day- new food for an hour, then the old food. Over the next couple of weeks, begin to increase the amount of time the new diet is left in the cage before offering the old diet until the old diet is no longer offered during the day.

Helpful Hints

Never starve your bird if your bird is a heavy seed eater. Start with ZuPreem Natural premium daily bird food as it looks more like seed.

  1. Pretend to eat the food yourself in order to show your bird it is food.
  2. Crush the pellets and roll in fruit or vegetables. This way your bird can become accustomed to the texture.
  3. Feed down a nugget size to minimize waste and allow your bird to become accustomed to the new size.

4 Contact us!

The ZuPreem team is standing by to help. Don't forget, you are not alone in the conversion process. Thousands of phone calls, emails, Live Chats and letters are sent to ZuPreem each year asking for conversion advice and tips. Our ZuPreem Conversion Specialists are standing by to help you and answer any questions you may have. Contact us by phone (1-800-345-4767) or by email ( You can do it!

ZuPreem offers a 100% money back guarantee. If you are not completely satisfied with your product, please return an unused portion of the bag with receipt to PO Box 2094 Shawnee, KS 66201. Give them a try!

Check Out Our Other Great Avian Resources