As good parronts we strive to find the perfect diets for our companions, we shop, we formulate, we observe, and then we repeat the process in hopes of one day getting it right. We go through countless seed blends, countless pellet brands, and we beat ourselves up when our beloveds don’t eat the fresh or baked foods we offer them, we become the temperamental waiter at the five-star restaurant. Our quest seems to be the impossible until one day we strike that vein of gold and we are rewarded for our efforts—we then put our anger and admiration towards those that say “my birds eat everything I offer!” aside and we become one of those happy people—ideally that “right food” will be the perfect blend of fats, proteins, and vitamins, and we will see the reward in perfect feathering and twinkling eyes, the feather-pluckers become pretty again, and the sun shines.
I have always thought the above was possible and I was actually believing I struck that vein, but then I questioned who was content; me or the birds? At that point, I started my quest again and perhaps I may be jaded or fooling myself, but I actually think I have found some dietary components that will work for me and my flock and will take me forward for years. We all need to find what works for us, but more importantly—we need to find what works for our birds.
Along our quest, we meet many people, we meet salespeople, hobbyists, newbies, the elders, the wannabes, the dedicated, the ones who make promises they know they can’t fulfill, etc., but we also meet some really wonderful people, the people we hold dear—the people we respect and want to know for the rest of our lives. I have been truly blessed, I have met many of these people—in person and on various internet boards and sites.
As I think I have said before, I don’t promote products or people unless I really believe them and feel that people would benefit from them—that’s the case with My Safe Bird Store who is owned by Kathie Hahn, and Patricia Sund (see Parrot Nation) who turned me onto Chop. The key to our birds happiness is variety—in behavior, foods, and experiences, it is our obligation to meet these needs and these two fine people help make it easier.
My Safe Bird Store is an online business that offers products that are safe and excellent quality. Bountiful Harvest Blend is a great product that MSBS offers, its complete, nutritious, varied, and surpasses anything else I have found in years—I am completely sold on it!! I have used Fiesta, Harrison’s, Zupreem, Pretty Bird, and a multitude of other foods and I feel that this blend can replace all of them for all the right reasons—it is balanced, healthy, natural and birds seem to go crazy over it. I have been feeding Bountiful Harvest now for about 3 months and I have seen significant improvement in my birds, all of which I will attribute to the above dietary changes. If anything is to be gained by others on this blog, I hope this is one of those things… You owe it to yourself and to your flock to try it and put some time into converting your birds over to it.
My next new favorite food is Chop, Patricia Sund turned me onto this, and it is without a doubt ingenious because it almost guarantees our birds will get a smattering of everything, it really is a great way to get diversity of fresh foods consumed. I been making Chop now for a few months, and again, I have seen significant improvement in my birds health—significant!! The premise is simple, make it small enough that a bird can’t pick through it and they will inevitably get a bit of everything, makes total sense; doesn’t it?! Below is a recipe I made recently, but if you go to Patricia’s website, you will see, you can make variations that will meet the needs of your flock. For those of you who are not familiar with Patricia, make it a point to know her—she is truly a class act and a good soul, her blog is insightful and fun to read.
2-3 bunches of greens (kale, collards, spinach, mustard, etc.), I shred these.
3 bags of 13 bean soup mix (remove the seasoning packet, and the lima beans) soak over night, then simmer 'til tender—but not mushy, chop in food processor
4–6 bags of cooked brown rice (do not cook the time specified on the box, undercook a bit.)
5 cups cooked quinoa (do not cook the time specified on the box, undercook a bit.)
2 boxes of whole grain pasta , chop in food processor (do not cook the time specified on the box, undercook a bit.)
4 red peppers, 4 green peppers (sliced in food processor)
8 carrots (grated)
6 zuchinni (grated)
cooked pumpkin cubes with cinnamon (chopped)
2 5 lb bags of mixed frozen veggies
|Greens and beans! The base|
|Quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat pasta|
|Carrots! Starting to look mighty festive eh?!|
|A bit more green... brocolli!|
|One of my favorites...zuchinni!|
|To capture the Fall season, a bit of pumpkin with cinnamon|
|Some green peppers and frozen veggies...|
|This is only part of the clean up!!! Believe me, there was more!!!|
Put into freezer bags and take out the night before what you need or take out what you need and defrost it in the microwave and let sit for a couple of minutes, mix to avoid any hot spots.
I always have sprouts around so when I prepare it for the birds, I add sprouts, melon, kiwi, strawberries, peaches, pomegranite, apple, blue berries or some grapes and some oatmeal to make it even more vitamin packed.
Chop is a recipe that is only bound by the imagination, the more healthy foods you add, the better it will be, the more flavorful it is—the more your birds will enjoy it! Make this food a fun food, make it a time to spend with your bird(s) while you’re mixing it, they will see what you’re doing and it will make them inquisitive about it and get their first bites of it—remember praise is a great way of making even the most apprehensive bird curious—at least it is with my gang! Bon appétit!