I get a lot of requests for a “Recipe” for Chop. I don’t give one. I don’t have one. I don’t recommend one. And here’s why.

I believe parrots eat seasonally in the wild. They have to, don’t you think? I mean, it’s not like they’re squirrels hoarding food in a “parrot pantry” somewhere. They eat what’s available. Once I got Chop figured out and well on its way to being formed into a concept, I began adding what was in season.

Which of course reminds me of a quote from the Film, Annie Hall. Annie and Alvy are at a party in L.A. and the camera pans to some television executives talking:

“Right now, it’s only a notion. But I think I can get money to make it into a concept. And later turn it into an idea.”

And that’s pretty much how I came up with Chop. I mean really; you can buy frozen vegetables, frozen pasta. I thought, “If Birdseye can do it so can I!”

I found Annie, HERE

I wanted to get a wider variety of produce and different items in my Greys’ diet and the only way to do this was to look at it from an entire year’s stand point, season by season.

I also found that buying items in season turned out to be less expensive. And God knows I’m all for saving money. (See my post HERE on ways of saving money.)

Years ago, I was talking to Robin Shewokis and I mentioned to her that my goal was to get at least a hundred items into Parker over a year’s time. There are so many good things to offer your parrot that I think it’s counter-productive to follow a precise recipe.

Once you get a handle on the thing, you can riff on it however you see fit. And usually, the way to riff is to use the seasonal, cheapest and freshest items available. It looks more difficult and more complicated than it actually is. It’s really very easy. It’s just like making a salad or a casserole…in a very big pot. I have done presentations on how to make Chop at various clubs, expos and groups.

And once people either helped me make it or saw how it was made, they realized that it’s actually very easy to do. I simply find the idea of a recipe extremely limiting. I also understand that people are making it all over the place. Blorian Yang from Hsinchu, Taiwan makes it. And to be honest, I don’t know that a lot of the vegetables we buy and take for granted are available there. So how could I possibly write a recipe with items unavailable in other parts of the world?

I’m also afraid that writing a recipe would discourage people from trying it. What if one item weren’t available? Would someone make it without that item? Would they try and find something else to substitute? Or would they just give up because they can’t find watercress?

These are things I’ve thought about along the way. And while they may sounds trivial, I don’t think they are. I’m hoping that more and more people realize that “The Chop Concept” is a wonderful way of enriching your parrot’s diet. Supplemented with a formulated pelleted diet, sprouts, nuts and nutritious table food, you’ve got a pretty good method of feeding going on.

I simply don’t want to discourage anyone. I started small. Simple. And you can start that way too. The trick is- you just have to start. And once you realize how easy it is, you’ll do it again and again. As the batch get bigger and your life gets easier, your parrots are going to benefit from this. Give it a try. It’s not hard at all.