Pamperedpeeps Parrot Mash
Click here to see a very young Jessie taking her mash to her breeder pairs.
I have had enough requests for our parrot mash recipe that I am sending this out just as "food for thought." Our birds are all in beautiful feather and health. In other words, it has worked for us, so it would take some hard convincing to change it.
To some of you that are waiting for a baby from us, I am sending this out so you can see that it is WORK to care for these gorgeous creatures and to prewarn you of what you are committing to. Yes, they bring a great source of joy into the home, but they do bring work also :)
I do add a squirt of apple cider vinegar to everyone's water 5 times per week. Even the baby parrots get it in their hand feeding formula. I attached one article on it, but there are a ton more articles out there. http://www.naturalbird.com/mcwatters/acv_for_birds.htm
Before I list our mash, I want to emphasize that feeding LIVE foods is highly desirable. This includes sprouts and fresh branches. Click here to read more about how to prepare sprouts. When growing them, you need to be really careful that your sprouts don't grow mold or fungus on them. One breeder I know puts one tiny bit of a special iodine on hers to keep this from happening. I put GSE or one drop of bleach in my soak water to keep this from happening. Others put ACV in the presoak. I begin them in the evening. I soak in water and 1 tiny droplet of anti -fungal (GSE or bleach) overnight. Then the next morning, they go in a strainer, and they get rinsed about 3 times per day. I rinse them generously. You want to feed to your birds as soon as the tiny tails emerge. They have more nutrients at that point than when they get actual long, green sprouts on them.
Now for our mash.....
How do I plump corn?. I take corn kernels (use popcorn if it is for a few pets or use "deer corn" found at hunting supply stores if you need big quantities) and soak them overnight. The next day, I simmer them on the stove until they are about 4-5 times their size. This can take a few hours. Or I crockpot the corn overnight. This is an easy way to plump it, but make sure you add a ton of water. The corn absorbs so much water during this plumping process. I feed this to every Hookbill from the cute little Green Cheeks up to our big Eclectus. The pigeon mix and corn together make up about 1/5 of my mash mixture. When trying out new foods on your birds, don't give up. It can take up to 6 months before they get brave enough to try something....and you thought it was tough getting a 5 year old child to eat mushrooms???
Next I cheat and add mixed frozen veggies, plus an extra bag of straight corn. Click here to read an article about the healthiness of Frozen Veggies by The American Frozen Food Institute and the Natl ImmuneSupport.com.
Then comes the fresh veggies...this all depends on what is in season. I try to always add broccoli, red chiles (high vitamin A content) but then I use zucchini, and they love yellow, orange, red and green peppers. I have added whatever is in season though and chop it all up fairly small. Remember that orange, red and dark green veggies carry the vitamin A and calcium. Remember that avocado is poisonous and can kill parrots.
If you buy fresh veggies in quantity with the intent of freezing them, wash very well, blanch them (place in boiling water for 10 seconds), drain them and then freeze.
"Help! My bird is not eating the mash!" What do I tell new owners?? We put a dish daily into every cage faithfully whether the birds eat it or not. I often get emails and calls back from new bird owners saying, "my bird is not eating the fresh foods." When a bird first comes home, they may not eat the fresh goodies due to it being in a new location or in a new dish. The young parrots usually get over this and start eating right away. The other main thing to remember is that all parrots tend to eat seasonally and I cannot predict their seasons. In other words, they will chow down on the romaine one week and leave the mangos....but over the next few weeks, they ignore the romaine, pick at the mango, but really concentrate on the yams. I have no idea if I am right or wrong, but I am guessing that in their wild environments, they are forced to eat seasonally due to what is available...or they know instinctively what their bodies need and eat accordingly. I do believe it is important for we bird owners to keep offering a huge variety of foods daily.
NEVER GIVE UP on offering fresh foods. Never give up on offering fresh veggies, fruits, sprouts and grains. If you reduce your birdís diet to just pellets and seeds, his immune system and health will be compromised. There are many creative ways to offer fresh foods. Try a shish kabob, try birdie breads, try eating it with him and making exaggerated "yummy" noises the whole time.
And if you feel guilty about not making Birdie Bread....Don't!! In birdie bread. It has been heated high enough and long enough to destroy some of the vitamins and enzymes of the great stuff you put in it. Bird bread is dead food. It is baked or cooked just like pellets can be. If it is made with something like spelt flour, added grains, added veggies without adding salt, baking powder, corn meal, and egg shell-it can be used on occasion or as a treat. It is not a recommended replacement of a meal. Why not make it easier on yourself and just chop up the great, fresh whole foods and feed?
Please don't feed raw honey because of
some of the contaminants, such as bacteria, that can cause problems in small
animals. Raw honey is not recommended for human babies for this reason, and
is not recommended in hummingbird feeders for this reason.
Some Like it HOT!
Lisaís Grey loves Guacamaya! (NOT guacamole....but Guacamaya). In fact, Liberty loves all spicy Mexican food, as do our Eclectus and Green cheeks. Guacamaya is a hot sauce (kind of like a tasty Tabasco) favored here in the Southwestern deserts. Spicy red chile peppers are an excellent nutritious food for your birds due to its vitamin A content, but you wonder how they can eat those hot foods.
Humans are said to have 9000 taste buds. Birds have considerably fewer than other animals. I read that a chicken only has 24 taste buds. A Bullfinch has 46 taste buds. Picky eaters they are not. However, it is known too that some species prefer certain tastes over others. A classic example is the Hummingbird who loves sugar water.
There are 300-400 taste buds in a parrotís mouth.
I always emphasize that just because your bird rejects a food the first time it is offered, donít give up and stop offering it, if you know it is nutritious. Many times your parrot is rejecting the food due to its color, or where it is offered in the cage, or what dish it is put into. Be consistent on offering nutritious foods and donít give up!