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All Seed Diet Problem for a Senegal Parrot
Posted by Mitch Rezman on 1/25/2014 to Feeding Exotic Birds
Senegal Parrot

A woman just called and asked if we had any Beta Carotene. We asked why she was looking for that particular product. She replied her 6 year old Senegal was not looking well.

Next question - what's his regular diet? Answer - "a bag of seed"

This is where we now had to have to have the "talk" A bird can not live a long a healthy life (I recent posted about a 26 year old budgie on Facebook) strictly on a bird food seed diet. 

The woman explained she had tried to introduce human food but to no avail. Lettuce. Not a nutritional food - but its a start. We ask that you introduce some sort human food every day. By not doing so you're setting a routine for your bird that is hard to break. Your bird becomes scared of change.

We fed Sunshine our Indian Ringneck parrot something fresh (or thawed from frozen) every day for 20 years. Sure it can be a pain when you're trying to get out the door when your running late - but it's your responsibility.

The woman is coming in to discuss nutrition and vitamin use. One of the things we talked about was, if you're going to us a bird food supplement like Hagen Prime don't sprinkle it over the seeds - it will fall to the bottom of the dish. Put it in the water and it gets tossed daily. Your best bet when putting bird vitamins on bird food is to use a salt shaker and lightly sprinkle over an apple slice or piece of banana
What bird owners have to say
Mary Bozoyan Date 1/26/2014
I have a 5 year old Double Yellow Amazon who I have raised since he was 4 months old. He eats everything (except the things he can't have like avocado and chocolate). My vet says he is beautiful, but has a couple of black spots on his wings, which he said can be solved if Buddy would eat some nutritious pellets along with his very varied diet. He recommended a couple of brands, but my parrot will not eat them. I have tried pretty bird, zupreem - both veggie and nut flavored - but to no avail. He tastes them - one or 2 pellets - and that's it. I try putting them with his other food or without....no luck. He gets fresh fruit, veggies, pasta, cheese, potato, chicken, fish, turkey, rice - he eats better than most people! Lol. He even looks for dessert after dinner (cookie, apple pie is his favorite), but no bird food. Any suggestions? Thank you, Mary
Margie Date 1/26/2014
A parrot will keep it's owner on a healthy diet if fed properly. I am also at fault, too, but when I'm in a rush, I keep Harrison's baked bread to which I add sunshine factor on hand and give this to my 15 year old Senegal. The baked bread can be kept in the freezer for one year. Cut up into tiny pieces before freezing, take a few out to quickly thaw and serve at room temp for dinner when you haven't had time to cook or need to go out.
Terry Date 1/27/2014
How come you didn't advise adding a pelleted diet to the person with the Senegal?
Mitch Rezman Date 1/27/2014
Hi Terry Great question - We try not to take a knee-jerk reaction to jumping on the pellet bandwagon with every bird. Not every bird will embrace pellets and transitions can be long and painful on both the companion in the bird. . We also like to remind people that there is no pellet tree in the rain forest and that we are concerned that your birds are getting optimal nutrition the easiest way possible. I'm also waiting for to stop into our shop to have a more in-depth discussion
Debbie Date 1/27/2014
I have a Ringneck, cockatiel and Alexandrine parrot. I also keep the Harrison's bird bread in the freezer for times that I'm rushed. The Harrison's has pellets in but I add more along with a little peanut butter and frozen veggies. I also add nuts or some banana. They eat it all and look forward to it. It's the only way I can get pellets into their diet. They will not eat them! I tasted one and they are tasteless to me.
SRB Date 1/27/2014
This has probably been suggested lots of times and it's not a complete solution BUT if your grocery store has a salad bar, get a bit of everything. In my case, it never costs for than 80 cents. Of course, it doesn't keep for a long time but it makes a change for them and an opportunity for you to see what they may like.
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