I’ve been writing about the Chop Concept for almost five years and it seems that this method of feeding your birds has not only picked up speed, it is becoming the way of feeding flocks in households all over the place. This is quite gratifying and it has indeed revolutionized the way families feed their birds.
I knew when I first brought Parker home that I had to figure out a way to feed him a good diet without it being a complete pain in the keester twice a day. Being pretty handy in the kitchen, I came up with Chop. I did this independently because there was nothing anywhere about this method of feeding. I began feeding Parker this way in 2003, not long after he became part of my family. 6 years later, I wrote about it here on February 1st, 2009, (Parrot Food For Thought) because I didn’t have anything else to write about that day.
Selling Chop to Benefit Florida Parrot Rescue
I had no idea there were breeders that were doing this because either they never told anyone they did it, or they never wrote about it.
I could find nothing on the internet about a homemade frozen vegetable diet for parrots. Nothing! So with a little dithering around starting with frozen vegetables and then switching over to fresh, I found a convenient way to feed my African Greys a nutritious and varied diet. I would get depressed when my Chop ran out and I had to make it again, so over the years, the batches grew in size. Chop began raising funds for parrot adoption organizations.
Now I have to make pretty big batches of it because people are now asking me to make some for them, which I am glad to do. Both the Chop Concept and I have come under fire a few times for varied reasons. Debbie Downer got her knickers in a twist because she misunderstood the concept from the giddy up. This person actually called up a publication I wrote for and told them I should not be allowed to mention Chop in anything I wrote because Chop could kill parrots. I think the editor laughed.
How feeding fresh organic vegetables in one form is okay, but by chopping and mixing those very same ingredients a different way somehow turns them deadly is beyond me.
Another person got hot under the collar because they had been doing this for years. This of course invoked my response of, “Well, it must be a good idea then, if you are doing it. Why didn’t you share the idea? Why didn’t you start a blog, take photos, shoot video and start teaching it?”
Silence. Well, of course there was silence. What could they say?
Then came Grain Bake. This recent development has also taken off like a rocket. I really have no way of explaining how I came up with it. I think I simply thought that casseroles were pretty quick and easy to make and why don’t I try and come up with one for my Greys. So I did. And I managed to do it without the obligatory can of cream of mushroom soup that seems to hit every casserole recipe in the world.
I am now seeing “Grain Bake” all over the place. Score. Another win for the flocks.
I just got a call yesterday from a wonderful woman in Florida who runs a parrot organization. Apparently Wendy has 50 parrots under foot at Ziggy’s Haven Bird Sanctuary.
Wendy, who with her husband runs Ziggy’s, is making a Grain Bake for them today. She’s never made it before and wanted some coaching. I was delighted to help. I’ll be on her speed dial today in case she runs into any snags. But I know she won’t. Making Grain Bake is so easy.
Not unlike taking the big plunge, cutting off your waist-length hair and going really short, I told her yesterday that once she starts this method of preparing food for her flock, she’ll never go back. Next, I’ll be easing her into making Chop. Feeding 50 parrots twice a day isn’t easy. But using these 2 methods might lighten her load a bit. It’ll also cut down on waste, save her money in the long run and make their lives a little easier. This makes me happy.
I don’t know what I’m going to come up with next, but I’m hoping it’s a winner.
November 7, 2013 at 9:38 am
Not about chop or grain bake (I couldn’t find an email address for you, so I’m posting a comment instead), but I thought you’d want to know (if you don’t already) that “Nature” on PBS is presenting an episode next Wednesday, Nov 13, at 8PM (on the East coast, anyway), entitled “Parrot Confidential”. Here is a link to a preview:
November 8, 2013 at 3:52 am
Hi Patricia, I am embarrassed to say I only made chop for my flock one single time and as I am trying to find an excuse as to why that is, I guess I’ll do what inherently is the easiest and I will tell the truth 😉 You see my husband has to do the grocery shopping because due to a scalpel happy orthopedic surgery that decided I needed a complete lumbar fusion [and then according to a couple of other doctors he really messed it up] I am now quite limited on how far I can walk, how long I can stand in place , how to go about bending etc and I am now on a first name basis with my pain management specialist.
If you could maybe send me a list of the main veggies you generally use and suggestions to put some variety in it, it would be greatly appreciated and maybe I could just write hubby a list of what to get. We are fortunate and had a Wegman’s open up quite close to us. Maybe you could also let me know if the same thing can be fed to all my birds. We have 1 b&g macaw, 2 Greys [a Cag and a Timneh] 1 male ecclectus, 1 cockatiel, sadly this past Monday the lifelong companion of our 2 Parakeets flew across the rainbow bridge overnight [without any previous symptoms:(.And that grain bake sounds quite interesting as well. I was born and raised in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, I am a great cook [or so my family says anyway] but I know very little about casserole type dishes.
I’d like to kindly ask you to maybe even direct me to some place where I could find some recipes……..or maybe send me a friend request on FB. I am befriended with Elle Michelle, Deborah from Florida Parrot Rescue, Sybil Erden from the Oasis and quite a few other bird lovers. Whenever possible we also volunteer at The Wilson Parrot Foundation for the last 5 years or so. Unfortunately things there are quite sad. In spite of excellent veterinary care and a very healthy diet as well as a spic and span environment the Bourna virus has claimed about seven birds in the last couple of months and test results show at least six more to be positive. And Brian himself who already is partially disabled due to a severe car accident now has also very badly injured his back. ……but he makes sure that those birds get all they need and then some. You might want to google Brian Wilson and find some very mind boggling information on him. Brian also is 1 of only 2 people world wide that is in “Ripley’s Believe it or not” that even scientists claim has been healed and recuperated from that accident by the two birds he had at that time. He actually had 3 , but Rocco , his Greenwing or Scarlet? lost his life in that accident:(
I apologize for my rambling, but I would be great to get instructions straight from the source [no rush—–I worked as ground support for the airlines and am aware how crazy it can get,
Iraine [aka Reenie]
November 8, 2013 at 3:54 am
correction *SURGEON* not surgery
November 30, 2014 at 6:21 pm
I now know what chop is! Awesome sauce! Learning as much as I can before I get a African grey. I’m waiting till I graduate college, I got one year to go, thanks for sharing.