Why am I such a freak about a good diet for birds? Well, let me explain something. You can take your bird to the Vet 90 times a year, but until you make sure their diet is healthy, no Vet is going to be able to do a thing. And it always comes down to the same thing, doesn’t it?
“What are you feeding your bird?”
Well? What are you feeding your bird? If you’re feeding it nothing but a seed mix, you’re down the road to Vet hell. Seriously, diet has a huge influence on a bird’s overall health. If you feed her crap, she’s not going to feel good, and I think we all know what a pain in the keester a cranky parrot is.
There’s tons of information out there. If you’re reading this blog, you are sitting in front of the best teaching tool ever invented. It’s your computer. Use it. Surf with it. Learn about why certain foods are good and others are not. Figure out which food is high in calcium, and vitamin A and begin feeding those items. Learn about why milk thistle seed is good for your birds. Learn why sunflower seeds are crappy. Learn! Learn! Learn!
It’s important. You need to know this stuff. In some of my posts, I’ve written about different food items I put in “Chop” and what makes them so good for your bird. I was thinking of doing individual posts talking about different food items and posting why they are so good for not only your birds but for you as well.
I’m not the “preachy” type when it comes to what a human chooses to eat, so you can take that with a grain of salt, but I do sometimes wince when I see what some people have in their shopping carts. Sometimes I don’t see any real food in those carts.
I was once shopping in the grocery store for a batch of “Chop” I was going to make the next day, and the guy behind me in the checkout line looked at what I had in my cart and said, “That is the healthiest cart of food I have ever seen anyone purchase! Wow!” The cart had stuff in it like quinoa, barley, flax seed, wild rice, rolled oats, brown rice and some greens. He was buying yogurt, muesli, bananas, and organic fruit of some kind, so I assume he was the “crunchy” type. I explained that I was using all of that stuff to feed my birds. I think I lost him there, but I appreciated the compliment all the same.
I swear to God, if I ate my own “Chop” I’d be a hell of a lot healthier than I already am. The stuff is that good. It’s not difficult to make and it’s so much easier to maintain this practice than pulling out a chopping board twice a day.
January 12, 2011 at 10:58 am
I have been advised to go on the Koko diet and I would be in better shape – which is true. I find it fascinating how similar we are to parrots in regards to dietary needs.
Virginia & Koko
January 12, 2011 at 12:13 pm
Another GREAT article!!! Parrot parents like me need an article on how to deal with the picky parrots like mine. They’ve never been exposed to good food so they don’t want to try it.
My U2 Chief, I man-handle & stick it in his mouth. He trusts me & doesn’t bite so it’s good. Most of the time, he likes it & will then eat it on his own. He’s also learned that if it’s on a spoon, it’s prolly really good & he’s all for the too. I’m feeding him baby food right now preparing him for the leap to better food.
My CAG Smokey, on the other hand, is afraid of EVERYTHING. He won’t even try food. He’ll take nuts & GREEN grapes(none of that red business for him) from your hand. He runs from everything else. I’ve tried putting bowls in his house. Nope, he won’t’ even go near them. We finally realized the other night while we were eating dinner, why he climbs down his door. He wants it off of our plates. So there is hope!!
January 12, 2011 at 1:03 pm
Although I have always given my birds a healthy diet you did inspire me to embrace the whole idea of chop and reckon they would give me a lot of grief if they did’nt get their daily dose now, and I preach about it to anyone who might listen !! I picked up a stray/lost AG yesterday whose beak was in a dreadful state…I say was as he has been to my ( brilliant ) vet today to get sorted and looks, and I am sure must feel, a lot better. I did take some photo’s if you know of anyone who might be interested in having a look. It did pee me off how anyone could let a birds beak get so bad but I guess there are still those who either do not know better….or care. Thanks for the time you put into your blog Patricia, always an enjoyable and interesting read.
January 12, 2011 at 1:42 pm
My husband, Tony, was in the check-out line in the grocery store with a whole basket full of greens, lentils, beans, brown rice, etc., and the the clerk made some comment about our “health food.” Tony said “Actually, this is for our birds.” The clerk looked puzzled and said “Can you feed this stuff to birds?” It turned out that he actually had a couple of cockatiels who had never had anything but boxed seed bought from the grocery store. Tony held up the check-out line for awhile while he lectured the clerk on bird nutrition.
January 12, 2011 at 11:00 pm
You are so right Patricia. I made your “chop” for my macaw and it is VERY healthy, alot fater than preparing healthy foood daily and they LOVE IT! thanks for al the great blogs. I get a large range of info in a short period of time1 Keep up the good work!
January 12, 2011 at 11:00 pm
You are so right Patricia. I made your “Chop” for my macaw and it is VERY healthy, a lot faster than preparing healthy foood daily and they LOVE IT! Thanks for all the great blogs. I get a large range of info in a short period of time! Keep up the good work!
January 12, 2011 at 11:14 pm
Thanks to you Patricia my whole flock eats better. We are hoping to inspire mum to eat better with our incredible good health.
As conures, we were wondering if you might come up with a fruit version of chop? Mum will happily invent her own if you can’t.
Thanks again for making our lives just that much better!
January 18, 2011 at 5:19 am
Thank You Patricia!
Until I watched your chop video, I was making a small batch of chop every day. I took your advice, spent a day going from Farmer’s Markets and Whole Foods stores getting the freshest produce I could find, all sorts of greens and lots of colorful veggies, 5 different types of peppers, some brown rice, a Mexican pasta in little star shapes, several types of squash (one I had never seen before) and so it began… I thought my food processor was going to overheat by the end of the second hour. I did make one adjustment, I used a plastic storage container instead of the bath tub for mixing. When I was done with preparation and ready to mix, the container weighed about 35 lbs., and I made over 200 serving baggies. My freezer is half full of chop, and my mornings are so much easier, I even have time for a cup of coffee and a few minutes to relax before starting my day. Thank you again for a great idea, you are a life saver.
February 11, 2011 at 5:44 pm
I was wondering what that tea4beaks stuff is and where you get it. I cannot seem to find it anywhere.
February 11, 2011 at 6:33 pm
Here you go, HB! Let Jason know you got the info here! He’s a good friend and will be happy to hear!
October 28, 2013 at 3:06 pm
Ok I have to confess there have been times I am too lazy to cook my own dinner after spending so much time preparing my Amazons, that I DO wind up just scooping out their food for my own plate and eating it. It is so much more healthy than anything I’d cook for myself, and I have to say, I feel good when I eat it because there’s not all the gunk in it I’d put in if preparing for the rest of my family. If I didn’t have a husband and daughter that would complain, I’d probably just be eating parrot prepared dinners every night and I’d be a lot healthier and for sure a lot thinner!