Some of the most frequently asked questions that we get at our store from our customers are about diet and nutrition. This post will address a more specific aspect of that. "What fresh foods can I give my bird?" and "How do I feed my bird fresh foods?"
It's not uncommon for birds to be wary of new items in their food dish. The best advice I can give you is to be persistent. Don't give up after a couple of tries. But be smart about it. If your bird doesn't like a certain food one way, try a different way. This is why I love chop so much. I can add foods that my birds would toss to the cage floor before, and suddenly they're gobbling it up. Why? What is chop?
Chop is basically a kitchen sink of sorts. You can add as many ingredients as you want. The premise is, you start with a few different grains and pasta and you cook them. Want some beans or lentils? Cook those too. Next, grab some veggies, greens, and fruit. Wash them, peel them (if necessary), core them (again, as necessary). Chop them up. A food processor is your friend. Mix the cooked stuff with the chopped stuff. If it's a little wet, you can add some dry oats and or chopped nuts. Chop should never be kinda soupy, it doesn't keep well. Put your mixture in baggies, preferably in 5-day quantities. Keep 1 bag in the fridge, the rest in the freezer. Serve slightly warm.
The reason this is such a great way to get your bird to eat fresh foods is because everything is chopped into little pieces. It's much harder for him to pick and choose. None of the birds I've fed it to have even bothered to try. They just eat it. I prefer to offer it in a separate food dish, but at least initially I would layer the chop over their normal food. That way, they at least get some in their mouth as they're pushing it to the side. The goal is that they'll like what they taste.
Now, what is safe and good to feed? This is an excellent list found online.
Parrot safe fruit, vegetables, grains, pulses and herbs
By Irina Pismenskaya on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at 4:48pm
All veg can be given raw or steamed/boiled (white potatoes must always be cooked if serving at all).
List of suitable vegetables:
Bok choy (Pak Choy)
Broccoli (incl. Sprouing Broccoli with leaves and stems)
Chickweed (Stellaria media)
French Beans and Runner Beans (better served steamed or lightly boiled)
Greater Plantain (Plantago major)
Lettuce (dark green varieties)
Pepper (Bell, Jalapeno, Chilli etc.)
Radish Tops (greens)
Squash (Butternut, Winter and other varieties)
List of berries:
Service berries (june berry, saskatoon, from Amelanchier species of trees)
List of suitable fruit:
Date (in very small quantities)
Mango (Peel thoroughly before serving and only give when fully ripe)
Papaya (Peel thoroughly before serving and only give when fully ripe)
Persimmon (only sweet, non-tangy varieties)
List of suitable herbs (use for flavouring in small amounts):
List of suitable spices:
Suggested grains list for cooking
Corn (dry, pop corn type)
List of legumes/beans suitable for cooking
(soak overnight and boil for at least 40 mins all beans, apart from those found in the suitable for sprouting column, those don't beed to be cooked and can be fed soaked and sprouted). Lentils don't need to be soaked)
Lentils (any variety)
Soya bean (non GM, organic)
Grains, Legumes, Seeds, Nuts suitable for sprouting:
Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)
Lentils (not split)
Peas (dry, whole)
Best served as microgreens:
You don't need to wait for the tails to appear, even just an 8 hour soaking process increases digestibility of these nuts/seeds
Seeds suitable for growing greens/grass
Tea varieties suitable for parrots (but water should always be available)
Decaffeinated organic black tea
green or white tea in small quantities (check the information on the box to make sure it is decaffeinated using CO2 or/and water method, rather than using ethyl acetate. Organic teas are decaffeinated using the CO2/water method so best stick with those)
Hibiscus tea (make it weak or give in small quantities, can lower blood pressure).
Raspberry leaf tea
Check out our Instagram to see a pic of chop and a video of Mumbles the Amazon sampling it. aviaryatcauley