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FOOD  PAGE

Just wanted to thank you for the great recipe! Fast, simple, colorful, nutritious, and freezable! My two Macaws that I got through the LARRA Inc. rescue, absolutely love it! I had been feeding plenty of fruits but was having trouble including the veggies. Thanks again for a nutritious time saver! Kendra Allen and Merlin and Maizy Many people have asked me what I feed my Cockatoos. There are many variations of basically the same food group, and I experiment every day with new foods. Here however, is MY recipe for my very healthy 'Toos and most ANY large parrot:



VEGGIE MIXTURE

I start by purchasing 3 large bags of frozen veggies. 1 bag of "Mixed", 1 bag of Peas, and 1 bag of Corn. I then use the entire bag of "Mixed", and half each of the Peas and Corn. Also to this I add diced "Sweet or Regular Potato's. I cook this together for about 10 to 12 minutes. Do not cook too long and allow to get mushy.



In a separate pot I cook Dried Beans for about an hour or so. Dried Beans (Pintos, Navy Etc.) are one of THE most important foods to serve! I usually try to get about 35% beans in the veggie mixture. Again, don't overcook.


I usually also cook a small pot of Wild Rice to add to the mixture. Any combination of veggies is usually ok. Add what you think your bird likes. I don't put Broccoli in there because of the strong taste, and the fact that my birds hate broccoli. But I DO however offer them broccoli as a separate food, because some day they MIGHT start to like it and of course it's good for them. Always offer.


OK, we now have a somewhat firm mixture of several foods. Here is something I think is important: Place the cooked veggies in a colander and lightly rinse. Do the same thing with the cooked beans and ESPECIALLY the potatoes! Birds LOVE brightly colored foods! And rinsing washes away the starches and "soup" that makes the mixture "cloudy". You then have a bright mixture.


Note:  Many people like to add 25% to 50% pellets to the mixture as
it's cooling. It's just another great way to serve up this attractive food.


I use Zip-Lock baggies to store the food in the freezer.
I place enough in each one for a days feeding.  Then
everyday I remove 1 bag from the freezer to allow time
to thaw while working out of the first.
 

NOTE!!    NEVER USE CANNED VEGTABLES!  THEY HAVE TOO MUCH PROCESSING
NOT TO MENTION TOO MUCH SALT AND OTHER THINGS YOUR BIRD DOESNT NEED.


PELLETS AND BREADS

My 'too's were weaned on "ZuPreem" Monkey Chow
Biscuits.  My breeder friend after much investigation
felt that this product had more of...and a better quality
of ingredients than many of the bird products at the time.
ZuPreem then came out with an Avian pellet that we now
also use.  It comes in many sizes for large to small birds.
Pellets are VERY important to a birds health, so ask
around about other good pellets also. 
 Harrison's Organic Bird Food is another excellent pellet . 
But be careful  of some of the "cheapo's" out there.
Get advice,  ask around!


NOW ...as far as serving the
pellets:

My birds wouldn't eat a dried pellet if they were dying!
If yours will..GREAT!  (see the note above, under the photo)
We like variety and so do our birds.  Here's what I do:

Soak the pellets in any number of things until they are
just firm.   This could be REAL fruit juice, water etc.
If you get juice, make sure its 100% real fruit juice with
NO added sugar!   This is important!  Most juices are
nothing more than a cheap drink for kids. Not for birds!

Once a month I mix up a heaping tablespoon of peanut
butter in a small bowl with water.  I put that in the microwave
for about a minute to get warm so that it mixes well.  I then take
my Monkey Chow biscuits or Avian pellets and fill an old
peanut butter jar.  Then I pour the peanut butter water in and
fill.  As the mixturesoaks, the water will mostly disappear. Warm
and serve. My birds love this.  But like all of us, they WILL get
tired of the same old thing all the time.    So I also bake Bird Bread...


BIRD    BREAD

There are MANY recipes for baking Bird Bread.  Ask
around for advice.  This is my BASIC recipe for Bird Bread.
Use your own imagination as to what's good!
You should use an all natural grain product (which is
best)  or  a variation of the recipe below.  Good luck!
 

I start with a box of Corn Meal Mix.  I personally don't
use "Jiffy" brand because it has too much sugar in it.
I will however, mix a little "Jiffy" into the main mixture
at times.   I then put in a fair amount of UNREFINED
WHEAT FLOUR.   This is the stuff with all the goodness left in.
You could also use Wheat Germ etc.  I also throw
in 2 or 3 eggs, shell and all, after washing thoroughly  ( I usually
smash up the shells to make it smoother).  At this
point I let my imagination go.  I sometimes mix in cooked
mixed veggies for "veggie bread" or apples or other fruit.
I sometimes add Oatmeal or Cheerios or a natural grain cereal.
Add water till moist.   I lay this out in a large shallow sheet pan,
and bake in the oven at about 325 for an hour.  Times and temps
vary, but this is so heavy that it cant be cooked fast.   We're not
baking a cake here folks. We only want to make sure the
mixture is done inside.  So no big deal if the outside gets a little
crunchy.  Besides,  when I serve it I always moisten the bread
with a little water anyway.
Again, if you can find an all natural grain product, to substitute the
cornmeal that would be great.  Never use bleached flour however.



OK.....  That's the basics! For every meal you want to
serve Cooked Veggies....Raw Veggies...and a Pellet
or bread of some type.  Don't forget fruits, and nuts!
And ...Oh, one more thing:  Many Parrots eat some bugs
in the wild.... so a little piece of cooked chicken or steak
can be a real treat at times.   So do some investigation .


SPROUTS
All birds love sprouts and it's one of the BEST things you can give them.
Grow your own or buy them from the pet store or supermarket.  Your
birds will reward you with healthy feathers and bright eyes!



OTHER GOODIES

There are hundreds of ways to provide good nutrition to your parrots.  Here is a simple food I came
up with when my U2 "Princess" wouldn't try anything new,  including the sweet potatoes I wanted
her to have.  Again,  use your imagination and try variations of the following recipe:

I placed 3 medium peeled sweet potatoes,  each wrapped in a wetted paper towel  in the microwave
for 5 minutes.  Then I placed a half cup of English walnuts in my food processor and ground them up.
I then cut up the cooked potatoes and placed them in the processor and ground it all together.
Now you have a sticky mess that many parrots wont eat,  so I placed a half cup of ZuPreem fruity 
pellets for PARAKEETS ( because they are so tiny) into the bowl along with the potato-nut mixture.

After mixing well... I smoothed the mixture out onto some aluminum foil to about 1/2 inch or so depth.
Then I took a knife and cut the mixture into squares ( this is very easy.. just take the knife and go
side to side as you're cutting,  pushing the mixture apart)  and popped it into a 400 degree oven  (not preheated)   for about 10 to 15 minutes.  Be careful because you don't want to brown this mixture,
although the edges might be a little brown (throw that away).  By doing the above,  you're 
accomplishing two things:  The tiny pellets are soaking up some of the stickyness and adding texture,
and the cooking is adding firmness, which makes it a much better "finger food" for your bird.
P.S... the walnuts (in my case) are simply an enticement to get Princess to eat because she loves 
them.  Now that she loves this recipe.. I cut down on the nut amount.


Sweet Potato Bars


The MAIN thing is to keep your Parrot away from SEEDS
as much as possible.  Seeds are a TREAT, like candy!
NOT to be given everyday as a staple food!

The SECOND thing I cant stress enough is to keep your
bird away from too much salt or sugar!  An occasional
bite of cookie or cracker wont hurt, but don't make it a
habit.  Avoid Chocolate and Avocados at all cost though!
 

And FINALLY... Do NOT allow food to set in the birds
dish more than 3 hours!   NEVER leave this type of  food
in a dish longer than that.   Look... you SURE you want
this responsibility?     It takes a lot of love and work!



"Thank you so much for all your informational website. We have a Moluccan cockatoo 
with a sad past. She has been with us for over three years. She was on the verge of insanity when we got her. It has been a real struggle to get her to eat veggies or fruit. The previous owner just threw in her cage anything that was left around that humans didn't eat, pizza, chips,scraps,... junk food. Her story is like many of the poor darlins your website's stories 
tell of. You gave a recipe for mixed veggies. I went right out and bought all the ingredients 
you mentioned. I had my doubts but by golly she ate it all and loves it. She seems to have more energy and seems far more content.  I think the look of the 'veggie mixture' for some reason appeals to her more than any other way I have presented veggies to her before. Presentation is everything."
Sherry 
 



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