I thought I’d share with you a recipe I have been working on for my birds. It seem to be a big hit with them. The best thing about this recipe is that it is very interchangeable with whatever ingredients you happen to have in your fridge, freezer or cupboards and it contains foods from the major food groups that are most important to a parrot.
I make this in large-ish quantities so that I have plenty left over to freeze after I have separated out enough for a few days. You will want to freeze it in individual bags containing a few days servings. The amounts you use will vary according to your flock size.
1 cup cooked brown rice – when I am cooking the rice for the birds, I like to throw in some chopped kale, and chopped garlic.
1 cup of a cooked variety of grains – rye, spelt, wheat, barley, quinoa, millet etc. Unfortunately most of the grains require different cooking times and need to be cooked separately. The good news is that they freeze well and you can make them ahead for future recipes.
1 cooked bag of frozen mixed veggies (remember no sauces or onions)
1 cup of dried fruit including cranberries – add these to the water and cook with frozen veggies.
1 cup of cooked 16 bean soup mix (just the dried beans) Don’t forget to soak them overnight first! Sprouts can also be used in this recipe.
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Cool all ingredients and mix together. Serve warm.
You can get very creative with this recipe. I sometimes throw banana chips or nuts in to cook with the rice, or season it with ground cayenne pepper or paprika. You can easily add cooked pasta to this recipe. Try pumpkin seeds. The list goes on and on. The point is to make it as appealing to your bird as possible because you want him to dig into all of the good stuff in his search to find his favorites.
Important note: Only serve cooked or sprouted legumes to your parrots. Uncooked dried beans contain enzyme inhibitors which produces nutritional deficiencies. They are indigestible and can cause gout. When sprouting legumes, be sure that the tail has grown to 1/2″ long.
Author Patty Jourgensen specializes in avian health, behavior and nutrition and has been working with and caring for rescue birds since 1987.