Ideal diet for a Senegal? - Talk Parrots Forums

Parrot Nutrition, Diet and Feeding Discuss parrot nutrition, diets, foods and feeding.

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-22-2010, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Ideal diet for a Senegal?

I'm going to pick up my just-weaned Senegal next week, and I want to start her off on the right foot. I will be asking the breeder what she has been feeding as well, but I would like as many opinions as I can get!

I bought a bag of Zupreem Naturals pellets. The store had three types of pellets (well, they had more but only three without colors and such) and this one says Senegals on the label so I got it because I didn't know which was best. Is that a good food?

I also have a bag of "Kaytee Enriched Parrot Food" which appears to be mostly seeds. Is this okay as a small part of the diet?

What about nuts and dried fruits? Fresh fruits? Fresh veggies?

Is citrus okay?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-23-2010, 05:52 AM

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Zupreem Naturals are a well-established diet and many birds do very well on that. I personally use TOPS for my senegal, but have been feeding my little birds the Zupreem Naturals because I couldn't find an organic food that seemed a good size for them.

It will be important to put her on whatever the breeder has weaned her onto at first and then switch if it happens to be different from Zupreem Naturals. You have already stated you plan to do that, so great thinking.

I like to soak seeds and nuts before feeding, but that, too, is a personal choice. If you are going to do much sprouting/soaking, try to find an inexpensive little sprouter called the Easy Sprout. You can get them often at health food stores and also online. They are a real time saver. I don't sprout/soak everything. I probably should, but in the wild parrots would be eating both germinated and ungerminated seeds.

Roni eats a wide variety. She likes dried fruits and veggies, but dried fruits can be high in sulfer? I think it is sulfer. At any rate, try to find natural dried fruits and vegetables if possible. I like the "Just Veggies" brand, but that is my personal favorite.

Fresh fruits and veggies are also relished, and I think required. I can't really tell you what Roni's favorites are because she goes through spells. She might toss something out for a couple of days before trying it, but eventually she has tried everything and she hasn't found a food she just would not eat, although mustard greens are currently breaking a record with her for longest time before beginning to eat.

Roni also likes frozen, thawed vegetables, but those deteriorate very quickly so be careful to remove the uneaten portions of those within two hours.

I'm not positive I will remember everything that should be served cooked, but I know it is better to cook pumpkin, squash, and sweet potato. I think carrots are good either way. I would also guess white potato should be cooked.

Never give unsoaked dried beans, such as navy beans. Soaked and cooked beans are ok, but they are toxic in the dry, unsoaked state. This is true for people, too, so you probably wouldn't try it.

There are many foods to avoid all together, and there are many threads on here about that. Look through the nutrition threads.

Also, there is a great recipe on here for a layered salad. When prepared as stated the salad will dry out in the food dish over time instead of turning to slime. I like it because it holds up really well. My birds love it and tend to eat a wider variety when I prepare their foods like this, but I don't always do it, and they actually eat a wide variety either way.

Roni especially loves her fresh foods. Do plan on feeding your senegal lots of fresh foods.

Roni likes oranges, limes, lemons, tangerines, clementines. I think those are the only citrus I have tried with her.

I like to put dried fruits and veggies and nuts in her foraging toys, fresh fruits and veggies and soaks/sprouts in one of her bowls, and pellets in her other bowl. I personally never mix her pellets with fresh foods because she won't eat moistened pellets. I do sometimes put pellets into her foraging toys because they don't get wet there.

I can't say that Roni has a favorite food because she seems to like everything.

Manufacturers will state that pellets should be the main part of the diet. I have read both pros and cons to that. Some very well respected poicephalus breeders do feed only pellets. I like feeding a wide variety because it just seems more natural and satisfying to Roni to do so.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-23-2010, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you.

The cage has three bowls. Should I use one for pellets, one for water, and one for treats?

Or pellets, treats and gravel, and add a water bottle such as is used for rabbits and other caged mammals?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-23-2010, 12:24 PM

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Parrots do not need gravel, so don't use gravel at all.

I use one bowl for fresh foods and all other food items, just whatever I am giving at the time, one bowl always has pellets only, because I always have pellets available to her, and one bowl for water. However, a water bottle might be something you would really like depending on her behaviors.

I have a couple of heavy crocks I put in there on the bottom of the cage sometimes if I want to offer even more variety. I sometimes give her a large crock of water to bathe in, but she usually goes down and makes one dunk in that bowl and then goes up to her water bowl and completely empties it playing in it instead. Basically, she does whatever it is that pleases her.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-23-2010, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Parrots don't need gravel? I did not know that, I thought that all birds needed gravel, to grind the food in their crop!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-23-2010, 01:43 PM
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Nope, only pigeons and finches, and other ground dwelling birds need gravel, as they do not hull their seeds. Parrots hull seeds, so they do not need gravel to aid in digestion.

My Senegal's primary diet is Zupreem Naturals cockatiel size, or the Avian Entrees Garden Goodness small bird size (which is identical to the naturals, except it has dried veggies in it).

Then I offer my homemade mash, which is modeled after this recipe: I like it because it is fully balanced.

I also make homemade birdie bread with no yeast or baking powder or baking soda. My recipe can be found here:

I also sprout seeds and grains and mix them in the mash, or offer them fresh... whichever I feel like that day.

Sometimes I offer whole pieces of fruit and veggies instead of mash.

My guys also really like Lafeber's Nutriberries and millet spray as a treat.

Mommy to:
Jack the Ripper ----> Pacific Parrotlet
Kiwi ------> Green Cheek Conure
Scooter -----> Senegal
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