I am floored. I just don’t understand how people don’t understand. I am not going to say, “I have no words.” because I do.
As you might have noticed, Parrot Nation is Land of the Cuisinart-Home of the Chop. It is where, for lack of anything else to write about, I wrote my first post about Chop. And the response was overwhelming. So I kept making it and writing about it, eventually posting several videos and running up a nice tally of informational posts about it.
That was in 2009. I had been making Chop for years before I had the blog. As many of you know, I had come up with the concept because my schedule is insane due to my flying and writing and cleaning up parrot poop. So much for pleasant, languid hours down at the pool. Now, the concept is a hit. Other people in the bird world are more sane since taking up the practice.
Their birds are healthier and they are happier for having found what I did: That making “Chop” is more than just keeping their birds in fine feather. It’s about happier people. And when you have happier people, you are inevitably going to have happier birds.
This concept fulfilled a need in my life to get Parker the vegetables, legumes and grains that he needed without having to go through the machinations of the twice a day drudgery. But I found it served another purpose: Some people have the time to chop fresh vegetables for their flock twice a day. I don’t. And I really don’t think most other people do either.
So as I was happily writing and shooting videos and snapping photos, something began to stir. I was unaware of it until quite recently. And it upset me clear through to the core. In short, it was irritation. It was mind-boggling confusion. And the criticism comes from two fronts. Both are ridiculous.
One is that I am claiming I came up with the idea of making a huge batch of food and freezing it. Nothing could be further from the truth. I simply said it was a great way to feed your birds.
I’m just the one that has publicized it as widely and wildly as I did. I have yet to see a video on the process of making mash or any other type of bulk homemade food for parrots.
If they are out there, great! Let me know! But I never came across any in 2003 when I was a frustrated parrot person trying to come up with an efficient way to feed Parker. It sure as hell would have saved me a LOT of time doing research if there was.
It was said in a Facebook group thread that I’m claiming I came up with it and that they’d been doing this for 15 years. Which of course begged my question, “Well, then why didn’t you share it, make a video about it, publicize it, blog about it and do some demos?” No response.
Apparently, there has also been some nit-picking going on about the Chop Concept as a diet. These are people that have absolutely no idea what’s going on over here and can’t see the forest for the trees.
People have been talking about how Chop is a “kitchen sink” concept and that it will fail the birds nutritionally. It was even told to me that if parrots were fed chop, they would become malnourished. What? Huh?
Not with a formulated pelleted diet, sprouts, nuts and healthy table food. Apparently there is a misunderstanding about what Chop is, what’s in it and there is a thought that I do not include legumes.
Apparently people seem to think it’s nothing but grains. Some do not realize I use a Cuisinart. I’m sorry, but how could you miss it? I actually put my cuisinart to music in this video. I thought it was kind of cool, actually:
Obviously, they haven’t seen my videos or haven’t read my posts or even have an inkling about what I’m doing over here. Here is a quote from a thread on Facebook:
“Birds need protein and it cannot come from a willy nilly mix of just grains. If people can pour grains into a bowl, they can pour legumes. Not a lot needs to be changed, the ratio and the soaking and the omegas and that will feed them nutritiously. They aren’t getting what they need from a random batch of stuff. People are very willing to feed more nutrient rich food if they know how. It’s not difficult. Folks can soak grains in a given proportion, it’s not hard to do… people can add some chia seeds for the omegas, it’s not difficult. Just give them the ratio and then move forward with more information. I don’t understand why you are against doing this. You already have them chopping and that’s the hard part.”
This is from a woman who told me a year ago that she couldn’t get her birds to eat fresh anything. Now she is jumping into my mess kit about how I’m completely wrong about how I feed my birds.
Oh my God! It’s a legume!
Obviously, this woman doesn’t realize that beans go into every batch or are served alongside as a separate dish. Chia seed does go into Chop. The beans are soaked and cooked first. This criticism isn’t warrented and due to the accusations, makes these criticisms outrageously uninformed.
It isn’t just grains. Haven’t they even seen the videos? Let’s see, I did a video called Teenie Weenie Beanies. Was it Teenie Weenie Grains? No, it wasn’t. Can someone tell me what these are? Anyone? Anyone?
I see several hands! That’s right! Those are Beans. Are beans, grains? No.
Does this mess look like grains to you? Why, no. It’s beans!
I did not ever claim Chop was to be a replacement for a formulated pelleted diet, nuts, sprouts and healthy table food. Never.
I do not want people to add fruit into the Chop to freeze because it doesn’t freeze well. And as far as the fact that I have everyone making Chop, well, that’s just not true. Not yet anyway. I did a presentation to a club in Raleigh-Durham and some people had no idea they could feed vegetables to their birds.
Here’s the deal on Chop: If you make it too hard or too demanding, people aren’t going to make it.
If they are missing one simple thing, they aren’t going to make it. If it’s too complicated, they aren’t going to make it.
If they can’t get the suggested vegetables in Taiwan, they aren’t going to make it. (I got a question once from someone in a Asian country who didn’t know what a very common vegetable was sitting on the demo table in a photo taken when I did a presentation at Phoenix Landing.)
It’s simple. I believe that you are caring and intelligent people. I believe you will figure out what is fresh, in season, and good for your birds.
I want you to use your judgement with your flock on what they need. Greys have a different dietary need than Hyacinths. Budgie needs are different from an Eclectus. I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe that “One Size Fits All.”
April 3, 2012 at 2:43 pm
There are haters everywhere, Patricia, people who need to be “right” and will not listen to anything, logical or otherwise, if it disagrees with the way they want to see the world. Ditto, people who just want to belittle the efforts of others, people who want to create drama. Please don’t let them get to you. Keep doing what you’re doing and hold your head high. You have done nothing wrong, and for every idiot out there who wants to put you down, there are 10 people who applaud your efforts. 🙂
April 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm
“Never argue with a fool. People listening to the conversation can’t tell who’s who.”
People that actually read all of what you write, look at your videos and research on their own would never make these type of simple-minded comments. Keep on doing what you do please. I look forward to reading all of it!
April 3, 2012 at 2:52 pm
Excellent clarification; too bad it was needed. 😦 All great ideas have to be disseminated to have meaning, and occasionally people don’t pay enough attention and misinterpret the information. Frustrating, but there it is…
In my opinion, it would be great if parrotnation readers spread this blog entry as far and wide as possible. (We should do that with *all* of the blog entries –lol– but this one in particular, I feel.)
April 3, 2012 at 2:57 pm
I learned a LONG time ago that there are many “professional” bird people with VERY different opinions…. when someone attempts to “argue” or “correct” me on a bird issue, i just let them believe they are correcting me, its not worth getting upset or fighting over, and with 30+ years of bird experience, I believe i know what i am doing as you believe you know what you are doing. NONE OF US KNOW exactly everything about birds because we are not birds ourselves… All we can do is educate ourselves and do what WE believe is right for our birds. Now with all this said, I am ALWAYS open to new ideas and thoughts pertaining to birds, but if one is going to judge me based on MY opinion and 30+ years of experience and education about birds, i will not put a lot of credit into what they are saying. Patricia, I LOVE how much you care and go out of your way to take care of your Parker and I admire your energy and love you show in your care for Parker! Keep up the good work, YOU are someone I listen to with OPEN EARS AND MIND!
April 4, 2012 at 10:45 am
Beautifully stated, Randy. I couldn’t have said it better.
April 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm
Chop has been the only way a few of my parrots will eat veggies. I serve it over rice, over beans, over pasta or over legumes just to change it up. Every batch is different. Every batch is awesome! Watching the video gave me the push to try it.
I tell every bird owner I know about chop and the video.
Now I’m working on sprouting!
Thanks Patricia for taking the time to teach others about the concept of chop and the time you took to make the video.
April 3, 2012 at 3:06 pm
Knee jerkers abound! Too often comments are made without linking to the particular point in question. Obviously someone was reacting to a comment and couldn’t bother to follow up. Same thing happens during election years – just because someone sends an email with some outrageous claim it gets circulated and espoused as the gospel.
That said, my CAGs are healthy and happy campers eating a variety of wholesome foods from pellet, dried fruits, nuts, cooked and fresh foods as well. I could never work all day and come home with enough energy to fix a fresh meal every night for my family, let alone my birds. “Chop” is a staple in my household. It is the basis for my birds’ evening meal and I don’t hesitate to add in some other goodies. It is a method for simplifying a consistently healthy diet for my birds.
Sincerely, “Julia Bird” (where IS my wine?)
April 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm
Sour grapes is what I think. They’re just sorry they didn’t think of it first. I thoroughly enjoy your videos on chop and my birds love it. My macaw asks in the morning (which is when I feed it) “want some, want some”. Then tails up, head buried in the food dish! Keep up the good work Patricia and don’t worry about them.
April 3, 2012 at 4:05 pm
Jean, I didn’t think of it first. It was a first for me because there was absolutely nothing out there in the internet wilderness like I have presented here. If they had come up with a video, I would have pushed the hell out of it. But they didn’t. I did. My ideas are a tad different because i don’t believe one recipe suits all species. I leave that up to the caregivers.
April 3, 2012 at 3:25 pm
Patricia, thank you for all you do. I didn’t know about all the controversy. Though you didn’t “invent it” (admittedly…how many times now), you’ve brought chop out to the masses (like me). We love reading your writing (here and BirdTalk). And my flock loves their chop!
April 3, 2012 at 3:25 pm
I am a huge fan of chop for my birds. My grey in particular loves when I make different kinds of chop. I also feed my birds fresh fruits and veggies and a nice mixture of pellets. My chop always consists of grains, beans, dried fruits, fresh veggies, nuts, and I will add different things to change it up so every batch is different. Keep fighting the good fight about “chop.”
April 3, 2012 at 3:29 pm
Patricia this was bugging me also. You are doing such a fantastic job educating about feeding our birds. Parrots live much shorter lives in captivity because of their poor diet options, like an all seed diet. So many people with “a bird” in their house don’t know to feed them more than seed. Spreading the word, and in a fun interesting manner like you do, is making a positive impact on how people think about what bird food is and should be. We are adding healthy nutritious foods to their diet every day, not trying to replace their diet.
It’s almost like these people are saying don’t ever feed any food at all that is not this exact mix and ratio every time. Do they eat that way too or just make their birds do it? Since when can we not give our birds a piece of a broccoli floret or a carrot? That wouldn’t fit the proper ratio requirements and then cause a problem … We are talking about very healthy nutritious food here, natural super foods, not junk food. I am getting really tired of hearing do it this way or not at all, are you kidding me?
The chop concept is spreading loud and clear and I hear so many ask about it and start it every day. I love seeing so many people interested in feeding their birds all these healthy foods like vegetables, leafy greens, grains, legumes and sprouts. You are doing such a positive thing, we appreciate you and all of your efforts, thank you!!!
April 3, 2012 at 3:51 pm
I can provide a list of people that actually have had the overall health of their birds increase, including me, and three friends that nursed rescued abused and malnourished birds back to health with the help of the chop concept. I suggest those people do their research prior to making accusations and judgements. What works with one person’s birds, may not work with another’s. That is why you have never claimed to have a “recipe”, and said “make adjustments that will work with your birds”… every bird is different.Thanks Pat, for bringing veggies and additional food sources into our birds lives. Even though they all cant, I’m sure they would thank you for it too.
For all you neigh-sayors… I’m sure for one of you, there are a few thousand “Team Chop” and “Team Patricia” to cancel you out. So shhh.
April 3, 2012 at 4:24 pm
Suggestion: there is no need to respond to what you DIDN’T DO. People- especially on the internet- tend to Make Things Up when they get riled up on grievances real or imagined. Give the dust time to settle…. the people who know you know this is all silliness.
April 3, 2012 at 4:27 pm
You are awesome. Don’t let anyone get you down! They are just jealous they didnt think of it first. I feed my birds “chop” and they are in excellent health! You go girl! ❤
April 3, 2012 at 4:37 pm
Here in a couple of pictures is what I think about Patricia’s chop concept for our birds at Best Friends. The first two pictures of this mini-album were taken last week when we served chop. The first one of Skylar’s butt is the most impressive as this bird NEVER ate his veggies. The second one is Ruby’s beak covered in chop. Our birds say 4 toes up!
April 3, 2012 at 4:42 pm
Bottom line – you can’t fix Stupid.
People will try to bash any idea that they didn’t come up with or that takes Martha Stewart to prepare it. We appreciate all your ideas. Vent whenever you feel the need. But please don’t stop caring for those of us that appreciate all your help. Hugs
April 3, 2012 at 5:39 pm
Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level & beat you with experience.
April 3, 2012 at 5:41 pm
Neve argue with an idiot. They will bring you down to their level & beat you with experience.
April 3, 2012 at 5:42 pm
The last time I made a batch of Chop, my husband took one look at it and asked if it was what we were having for dinner. So it even looks good enough for humans to eat!
Hang in there, Patricia! There are more of us who are behind you than you may realize…
April 3, 2012 at 6:33 pm
OMB…..I want to personally thank you, because without your videos I would have never ventured to make the Chop or the Beanie Weenie. They do make life so much eaiser!! I also want to say that I have found a number of “haters” on FaceBook…and I work hard at not being with them in groups or having them for friends as they are horrible and know everything….
Keep sharing your message Patricia…..it is a good one…
I see a new newsflash from Juanitia coming……
April 3, 2012 at 6:40 pm
You have a great following , and I love reading all of your Pepper and Parker stories. Keep up the good work, and know that we are behind you. I love your ideas. Ignorance is everywhere.
April 3, 2012 at 8:05 pm
I had been reading about the “Chop Concept” for sometime before jumping in and making a batch. I had tried and failed dismally at trying to make a mash that my birds would eat. It wasn’t until I watched your video that I decided to dive into making my own batch. Your video was so detailed in describing the process and the concept that my first try was a success. And I totally got it. This was to be fed with beans added and in addition to pellets, sprouts, fruit, etc.
My parrots had been used to getting a great variety of fresh chopped vegetables along with beans and sprouts and I wondered if they would eat a frozen mix of the same. Chop was a resounding success and I am forever grateful to you for your dedication to helping educate us all on the “Concept” of Chop.
I even blogged about it and had readers request a recipe. I wrote down everything I put in my next batch to give them an idea of how to go about it, as I know there are people out there who need measurements. But I tried to explain that this was a guide and as they get used to it, they too will be able to work with what is fresh available and the mix should be different everytime. All you need to do is make it once or twice to get the hang of it. The birds LOVE it!
And it is so great to have Chop in the freezer for days when I’m out in the garden all day, or am dog tired from some other project and I know I always have that back-up of really good food to give my flock. And for Jerry when I go out of town.
Forever grateful for your persistence and your encouragement and your blogs and videos that got me going on the Chop wagon.
Thank you Patricia – I GET IT!!!!!
April 3, 2012 at 8:22 pm
Go Patricia go! Take the negative comments as positive aspects. You are doing good work educating people on how to feed their Parrots.
You are doing things and people are responding to it. Some good and some not. Please continue to help us and give us your tips on how you get all the good things into the parrots. The parrots need it!
April 3, 2012 at 10:41 pm
In the end, I don’t know how much of his Chop Charlie actually swallows, but he’s digging in his dish with gusto and sure has a heck of a good time flinging it around. I thank you for all your efforts! 🙂
April 4, 2012 at 12:21 am
OMG…I bet Juanita will have a field day with your detractors…can’t wait to see what you come up with!
You do good works….and your “fan base” appreciates it!
April 4, 2012 at 1:04 am
I totally agree your chop concept, you explain it very clearly in your articles, photos and videos.
Besides, we will find what’s available even though we can’t get the “parsnip” in Taiwan.
Hope you could keep doing what you’re doing, thank you very much.
April 4, 2012 at 9:16 pm
Blorian, you are wonderful! You sent me so many incredible photographs! A beautiful addition to my video.. I am indebted to you. You have done so much on the other side of the world to promote the CHOP Concept and I thank you. You are very special and I hope to meet you one day. May you be blessed.
April 4, 2012 at 9:15 pm
I ❤ Chop!
April 4, 2012 at 9:18 pm
I love your blog! What you said about chop is true; my birds love it. It helps with my busy life and they are very healthy. I love CHOP!
April 4, 2012 at 9:56 pm
Some people are just jealous and stupid. So do not waste another moment thinking about ignorant comments. Ask any vet and they will confirm how great CHOP is!!!
April 5, 2012 at 1:01 am
I watched the videos Patricia….I have no need to respond to the crazy comments some people made or make….all I can say is THANK YOU…for showing me the way of CHOP…you’ve saved me from daily hours of chopping veggies and throwing away rotten ones…you’ve made the life of my roommate and our 8 fids easier and healthier:)
June 29, 2013 at 10:00 am
Chop is all I feed my Caique. He loves it, no matter what combination of ingredients I use. He doesn’t get seed or pellets at all. His feathers are beautiful and he seems just as happy and healthy as a caged bird can be. I am trying to convince the sanctuary I volunteer at to get on the band wagon but they are resistant for some reason. It saves so much time and money too. I think that it could actually be sold as a frozen item to other bird owners. hmm… light bulb…. lol Thank you for coming up with this way of feeding our feathered friends.