I just made a fresh batch of “Chop”. I made about 40 meals, which is just short of 3 weeks worth of twice daily meals for my Greys. Along with the “Chop”, I serve sprouts, a nut mix, and a bean mix and of course they have pellets in their bowls in their cages. I also give them fresh-juiced vegetables and fruit occasionally. But the bulk of their daily meal is “Chop”. Here’s a shot of the pre-bagged meals sitting in the bowl I made the chop in. The bowl is 16 inches in diameter:
As you can see, it’s got a lot of different things in it. These are just some of the ingredients:
Yes, that’s sea vegetables! It’s a dried kelp called “Nori” and it’s loaded with nutrition. I also added rice, oats for oatmeal, quinoa, flax seed, coconut, hemp seed, rape seed, niger seed, and a bunch of different vegetables. What you don’t see in the photo that I put into the chop is a lot of fresh beet greens, fresh carrot, dried bird greens, some celery tops, kale, and fresh peppers. As you can see, it has some seed in it, but they are the “good for birds” kind. I thawed the vegetables, ground them up in the food processor and dumped in the dry ingredients. I cooked up the rice and the quinoa, dumped that into the bowl with the rest of it and mixed it up with a big wooden spoon. The result is a great smelling, fresh tasting mixture that is simply wonderful for your birds. Do they eat it? Absolutely! I actually haven’t had a bird reject it yet.
The beauty of “Chop” is its flexibility. You can use fresh vegetables, frozen vegetables or both. You can add anything that your bird likes and will eat, along with pasta, noodles, quinoa, spelt, oats, rice, or a store-bought “soak & serve” mix. You can add seed to get them eating it and keep them interested. If they like it and it’s good for them, toss it in there, chop up the uncooked vegetables and dump them in, sprinkle with some good seed, a vitamin supplement if you like, and you’re good to go for 3 weeks! If you have the freezer space, make more.
You could even throw a “Pot Luck Chop Party”, (or a “Chop Luck” Party?) and get together with some bird friends. Everyone brings something for the batch of chop, make it and divide it up. Once it’s made, you can sit down at a table and assembly line package the food along with some “snackies” and a cocktail or two. Make enough and everyone is good to go for a month.
It is incredibly easy to do, and gets some greens down those little bird beaks. And it results in some pretty happy and healthy Parrots.
Parker gets a Flying Lesson
Please give making a batch of “Chop” a try. Once you do, you will realize how easy and more convenient it is, and how much healthier it is for your birds. The secret isn’t the recipe, it’s the packaging and the flexibility of the recipe. You don’t have to sweat and swear every time you make a meal for your birds. It’s as easy as opening the freezer door.
(You can read more about the chop recipe in other posts. Just select “Chop Recipe” in “Key Words to Posts” on the right side of the Blog. It will take you to the other posts about “Chop”.)
April 20, 2009 at 7:39 pm
hmmmmmmm, i’m thinking i would enjoy “chop”
April 20, 2009 at 7:41 pm
It’s actually not bad!
April 30, 2009 at 8:49 am
Sounds like a great meal for us humans too!! Quite interesting, I didn’t know birds liked something like “chop”.
April 30, 2009 at 9:01 am
Oh yeah! They love it and it’s really good for them. Birds should not be on an all-seed diet. It doesn’t contain enough nutrition. Malnutrition or disease resulting from it is a huge cause of death of pet birds because of an all-seed diet
April 30, 2009 at 10:56 pm
Hi, interesting post. I have been thinking about this topic,so thanks for sharing. I’ll definitely be subscribing to your site.
May 1, 2009 at 6:56 pm
Well thanks Diane! I’m glad you found it of interest.
May 6, 2009 at 1:40 am
I’m always looking for nutritious recipes for my birds. Thanks for sharing!
May 6, 2009 at 7:31 am
Hey Pat, Couple of questions. Is there a base or a “core” to chop that is always there and then a part that you very from one batch to the next? And how big are the portions per serving? Any herbs or spices?
Thanks! Love your blog! Chop looks GREAT!
May 6, 2009 at 7:56 am
Good question. I always have the bagged vegetables without sauce. The more variety the better as far as I’m concerned. I always try and get a variety of types that are heavy on the dark orange and dark green vegetables: carrots, broccoli, peas, green beans, green and red peppers, snow peas, and squash,are always great, and I always add frozen Kale. If you make enough of it, you can use fresh kale because it comes in such a huge bag, it’s hard for me to utilize so much. The last batch I made, I used fresh dandelion greens and some fresh beet greens because I found some at Whole Foods. You can look at the other posts about “Chop” and it’ll give you some ideas about stuff to add. Seriously Kevin, you are only limited to your budget and imagination. I added some dry oats that you get to make oatmeal. I just shake a bunch in there. I usually always add cooked quinoa, and this time I added some cooked brown rice and 4 fresh, chopped Jalapeno peppers. I got some frozen red and green peppers on sale so those went in too. I also shook in some Higgins dried “leafy greens and herbs” for birds which has alfalfa petals, basil leaves, parsley and a bunch of other stuff. Take a look at the post “Parrot Nation Reader logs in her Chop recipe.” She does some really wacky stuff with hers! My parrots get about 2 tablespoons each per meal along with whatever else I give them: nuts, sprouts etc. So each bagged frozen meal for three birds has about 6 tablespoons in it. I take two bags out of the freezer before I go to bed and they are thawed and ready to serve for their breakfast and dinner the next day. Kevin, it makes life SOOO easy!
Okay, that’s it. I’ll do another post on “Chop”.
May 6, 2009 at 2:18 pm
Fantastic Blog! My next day off will be spent in the kitchen making “CHOP”!!! I’m sure Kacey will be helping out…she tends to get stuff out of the grocery bags and hands them to me…GREAT! I’ll have some help with my 75 bags of “CHOP”!!! Can I feed this stuff to Jason’s Mom??? Would make her coming over for dinner alot easier! LOL!
February 2, 2012 at 10:09 am
Congratz!(Standard-Spruch, keine Ahnung, wie oft ich den bsiher verwendet habe…)Ist das jetzt eigentlich ne Art Trend? Gruselig… wieso auch immer.
May 6, 2009 at 2:32 pm
Thanks Christina! Feed it to anyone you like! Mattie the dog even likes the stuff.
Don’t forget to look at other parts of the blog. I’ve got some really neat photos from my working for three weeks at the Cincinnati Zoo. My Zoo posts are a lot of fun. You haven’t lived until you’ve been crapped on by a snake, a fruit bat and a penguin in the same day!
November 16, 2009 at 10:24 am
Just wanted to let you know that my african grey parrot went crazy over this “chop” recipe. Thanks.
October 26, 2010 at 12:00 pm
It always nice to see that variations of Chop. I add frozen cherries to some blends I make, adding them near the end of cooking. (Mixing it up is intersting to see what they like and what they don’t).
Tip: I shop at Penzey’s spice store in the town next to me. They sell nothing but herbs and spices. They have many salt free blends. They have a mail order catalog and the catalog tells what is in the spices and blends, and gives examples of what kind of food they are used in…(hope this makes sense). Anyway you can get on their mailing list by going to http://www.penzeys.com A few times a year they send a coupon for a free spice. I keep a catalog around the kitchen for tips.
BTW- I buy from the Whole Star Anise-broken pieces as a foraging. (They sell broken and perfect pieces). The PERFECT pieces are used a lot in crafting. The broken pieces are just less than perfect, but perfect for parrot foraging. I sent a pack to a Cockatoo friend and her owner called them ‘birdie crack’. My Sun Conure doesn’t touch them, my Eclectus loves them.
Pamela and Tango…
November 4, 2010 at 6:21 am
Just saw that you added me to your blog roll! Thank you!
November 5, 2010 at 8:30 am
Glad to do it. You have terrific content.
January 13, 2011 at 10:42 am
Hi, I love the chop recipe, it sounds good for the birds. I use the food processer too. I take a frozen vegetable mixture of carrots, broccoli, calliflour yellow squash, heat it up and put the crumbs of the Pretty Bird Specific for greys that they leave in their bowls. I save on waste that way. They get nuts too.
October 10, 2013 at 8:59 am
So basically, I buy fresh or frozen vedggies, Mix in some ” good for birds ” seeds.. Food process it to a fine mulch mix in Rice and or Quinoa…
Will give it a try…. TY 🙂
May 27, 2015 at 12:32 pm
I just found your site and have a quick question – are these recipes appropriate for a sun conure and a parakeet? I’m (slowly!) inching our 7-year old parakeet over to fresh foods from pellets, and will be bringing home our conure this summer. I’d love to make one set of food that will keep them both nourished and happy!
May 28, 2015 at 6:42 am
Yes. Perfectly appropriate for both.
June 3, 2015 at 1:50 pm
I just wanted to leave a quick note to let you know that I’m planning to make a batch of “chop” to freeze for our new baby this weekend, and whipped up a really fast plate of sprouts, cilantro, carrots, and red pepper flakes for our parakeet this morning as I was putting groceries away – it took her a few hours to warm up to the idea that the new plate in her cage wasn’t going to kill her, but right now there’s nothing left except the carrot bits! I’ve never seen her take to something new in less than a day. I think we have a hit on our hands. Thanks!
March 29, 2016 at 7:38 pm
What exact quantities do you use I am thinking of getting a eckie but the whole diet is slightly putting me off. I use to have a Quaker I just fed him parrot mix with fruit daily aswell. But with these beautiful parrots it seems you have to cook loads for them. Other thing I have found is there is loads info what they eat but no where does it show how much per meal time ie 1 cup of mixed fruit and veg is it ok to be frozen. Can you use pre-cooked rice etc etc thanks in advance.
April 6, 2017 at 8:58 am
Hello, I will be getting a baby Bare Eyed Cockatoo in the next week or so. Is this something I can feed to him? Do you feed this as the only source of your bird’s diet? Do they get pellets at all? I really like all of the “recipes” you have posted. Thank you for all of the good information.
September 22, 2017 at 5:56 am
We cut up all her vegetables made a nice bowl of chop bagged it froze it gave it to the three Aftican grays and no one ate it. I’m not seeing any post say their birds will not eat it. But we’re going to continue offering it to them. Any suggestions?
February 19, 2018 at 12:03 pm
Hi there! I know my reply is a little late, but if you went through what I did, then you probably still have some frozen bags in your freezer, unused!
My African Grey did not take to it immediately. It took about six months of trying before I tried a different approach. She is 18 years old, and before I tried feeding her chop, her diet had only consisted of seed and pellets. Let’s just say she was used to only one type of meal. I decided to offer nothing but chop, to see if her hunger would spark her curiousity. Sure enough it did! Two years later, and she anticipates it daily with excitement. She is truly a picky eater, so it always takes some encouragement to get her to try something.
February 19, 2018 at 12:16 pm
I know you asked this question a while ago, so hopefully by now your birds have taken to the chop!
My African Grey was fed seed and pellets for the first 18 years of her life by her previous owner. Needless to say, she’s a very picky eater when I introduce new things. It took me six months of trying to feed her chop, and she still wouldn’t touch it! I almost gave up. Then, I spoke with a bird whisperer that told me to try taking out the seed and pellets and ONLY feed her chop. Sure enough within a few days she was mowing it down! A little hunger sparked her curiousity.
Now, I leave the seed/pellets in her cage all the time, but also feed her chop daily and she is always waiting eagerly for it! Don’t give up. Once they are brave enough to try it, they will love it.