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.”