Feeding your companion bird what is fresh and in season is surely a way to please the feathered set. This is when the flavor and freshness of food is at its best.
Autumn is the time where thoughts turn to Thanksgiving, crisp mornings and warm comforting dishes. Many of the traditional cold weather dishes such as soups and stews are made from all of the foods that have come into season for this time of year. Think root vegetables as well as the late ripening pomegranates, grapes and fresh, crisp apples.
The squashes and pumpkins are beginning to get harvest and these are favorites for companion parrots. The deep, rich color of these fruits and vegetables indicate not only their freshness, but the nutrition they contain as color is an indication of nutrition. These work absolutely beautifully if you want to make a beautiful Autumn Chop to store in the freezer.
Corn is a food that most birds love. It has been a standard staple food in South, Central and North America for literally thousands of years. While it isn’t necessarily the most nutritious thing out there, it does have some pretty impressive nutritional statistics. It is rich in magnesium and when corn is eaten in an unprocessed fashion, meaning you simply cook corn on the cob as opposed to eating a bagged snack containing processed corn, it can be very healthy.
Fresh corn contains certain B vitamins and potassium. It is a wonderful “bait” for your bird which gets him interested in what is in the rest of his food bowl. While it is grown in the summer, it really doesn’t reach its peak of freshness and availability until the fall in most areas of the country. So look for sales and deals on the freshest corn you will see.
Cranberries will soon be everywhere. These are harvested in the fall and will be available through autumn. It is best to buy these in bulk and utilize your freezer to keep them in stock throughout the next winter, spring and summer. They are a terrific addition to Grain Bake as well as bird bread and they can even be stewed into a sugar-free fruit compote you can add over the top of Chop or their bowl of vegetables to get your bird interested in new and nutritious foods.
And the nutrition? Cranberries contain a wealth of antioxidants and phytonutrients. They have been known to treat urinary tract infections as they inhibit bacteria from being able to make its way into the bladder and urethra, attaching itself and infecting these organs. So it can be employed as a preventative food. They are loaded with fiber and can be served to your flock fresh, dried, and of course they can be frozen long term.
Pears can be a wonderful addition to your bird’s diet. Because they are typically seasonal, grab these wonderful fresh fruits when they become available. The soft texture might appeal to some of the smaller species of birds as well as the taste that is unlike some of the other tree fruits. They are fiber rich and contain many antioxidants and flavonoids that can benefit both your family and your flock. The fiber is especially important to your birds as a diet rich in fiber keeps their digestive tract ticking along. A medium pear contains about five grams of fiber so you can see why these delicious tree fruits are so good for both you and your pet bird. Simply chop or slice them up and add them fresh as a topping to Chop.
Locally grown sweet potatoes in season are simply wonderful for your parrots and these come into their peak in October and are available well past Christmas. There are about 400 different varieties and they have an enormous range in color. Originating in South America, this is another staple of the native indian people of the region.
The typical orange color is a visual indicator of beta carotene, which is released and can be utilized more easily to your bird’s system by baking or steaming them.
The purple varieties of sweet potatoes are thought to be especially beneficial to good health. While you might not see these in a typical grocery store, you might want to check out smaller produce stands and farmer’s markets for this variety of sweet potato.
Pumpkins in their fresh form become available at this time of year as well. Naturally, they are used at Halloween both as a food and a decor item which reflects the time of year. But it isn’t really until Thanksgiving rolls around that they are typically used as a table food. Pumpkin pie and other dishes make their appearance, but this food is actually wonderful for your bird.
That orange color gives you the hint that the pumpkin contains a lot of beta carotene and this is a food that is very high on the list of vegetables that contain an ample amount of Vitamin A. Vitamin A is especially critical for African Grey parrots, so feeding pumpkin in Grain Bake as well as bird breads and Chop.
Searching for healthy seasonal foods in October is an easy task as there are so many healthy and nutritious foods you can use to feed your feathered family.