May 23, 2023

DIY healthy seed mix [bird food]

DIY Healthy Seed Mix [Bird Food]

Healthy herb bird seed mix
Organic herb seed mix for parrots

One very easy thing to do is make your own parrot seed mix with healthy seeds.  You can mix it with different ingredients like herbs or keep it just plain. 

At the sanctuary, we started making our own mix because in-store seeds had added vitamins or colored pellets. Since we mostly take care of  Eclectus parrots we needed something without vitamins, colored pellets, corn, sugar, preserves, and oils. Instead of all these bad ingredients found in Parrot mixes, I can substitute them with healthy parrot-safe and more nutrtious seeds. 

As always, seed mixes should only be part of a fresh food diet. Everything should be in balance and take everything in moderation. A 100 % birdseed diet causes fatty liver disease and other complications. 

All our birds, no matter if they are Eclectus are not, are given our special, homemade parrot seed mix. There are many other ingredients that can be added, but I don't want to overwhelm you with a huge list. I added the most important, most accessible ingredients to DIY Healthy bird Seed Mix. 

Healthy parrot seed mix
Healthy parrot seed mix

The great thing about this DIY Healthy Parrot Seed Mix is that you can add anything you want, however much you want, and leave out anything you don't want to use or can't find. I tried to give more ingredients than you will need in a single batch, so there's room for variety. 

Flax: (Omega 3 fatty acids and fiber) 
Hemp: (Omega 9 fatty acids, Fibers, Vitamins, and Minerals)
Chia: (antioxidant, omega 3 fatty acids, fibers, vitamins, and minerals)
Fennel: (for healthy digestion)
Sesame: (Lowers cholesterol, fiber) 
Sunflower: (Vitamin B complex which is essential for the nervous system, protein, minerals)
Caraway: (improves digestion, natural probiotic, stimulates healthy appetite) 
Pine Nut: (reduces heart issues, minerals)
Safflower: (prevents heart issues)
Pumpkin seeds: (antioxidant, improves heart, prostate, and bladder issues, reduces cancer)
Milk Thistle: (cures liver disease)
Millet: (improves digestion, kidney and liver function)
Cantaloupe seeds: (high in fiber, antioxidants, protein and vitamins)
Canary: (lowers blood pressure, antioxidants, reduces inflammation, lowers obesity and glucose)

Star Anise: (helps with digestion)
Cumin: (antioxidant, digestion, anticancer properties, helps blood glucose levels, inflammatory and high cholesterol)
Cardamon Pods: (antioxidant, lower blood pressure, cancer-fighting, anti-inflammatory, digestion)
Black Peppercorn:(anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antioxidant)
Coriander: (antioxidant, digestive, heart, brain, and skin health)
Chills: (vitamin A, Digestive, and heart-healthy, relieves joint pain)
Ceylon Cinnamon: (antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant)

Chamomile: (Calming)
Lavender: (calming)
Rose Hip powder
Red Raspberry Leaf: (aids in hormone imbalance)
Red Clover Leaf


Coconut Flakes
Juniper Berries
Bee Pollen
Goji Berries
Oat Goats


Author Monika Sangar 

PDS is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (tax id #46-2470926)

May 20, 2023

Birdie Chop Guide [easily chop recipe]

Birdie Chop Guide

Chop guide to help new parrot owners to safely and easily make Chop. Parrot love to eat fresh food and seed mixes don't provide all the nutrients needed. Remember to vary it, try new things, and soon you will have your own chop recipe which your parrots will love. 


Author Monika Sangar 

PDS is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (tax id #46-2470926)

May 18, 2023

Birdie Cereal with sweet potatoes [ Healthy bird recipe]

Birdie cereal is one of the favorites around our sanctuary. All birds eat it. It's healthy and nutritious, a great addition to a fresh food diet. However, to make it diverse, I add different ingredients and today, I will share one of my recipes. 

Birdie Cereal with Sweet Potatoes


Birdie Cereal by PDS parrot shop or your choice 

one sweet potato 

Tsp of flax seeds, chai seeds

Tbs of chopped nuts 


1) First, make the Birdie cereal as directed. 

2) Cook sweet potato and mash. 

3) Mix all the ingredients.

September 17, 2022

Confetti Biscuit Recipe [ Parrot healthy snack or meal ]


Confetti biscuit recipe for parrots

I'm writing this part that everyone will skip but I need to write it for google. Parrot handmade food is a great way to add nutrition to your parrots' diet in fun and creative ways. In this recipe, you will use colorful veggies to add to your flour mix giving the appearance of confetti, now how fun is that. Handmade parrot food is the only way to ensure your parrots get the best food. A lot of baked items contain sugars or salts, which will create problems. I try to keep my parrot recipes easy, with few items, or even easily adaptable. And of course one bowl recipes. No need to bring the whole kitchen into this. 


1 cooked sweet potato, mashed

1 1/2 cup flour: ( use anyone kind, I always do a mix: 1/2 quinoa, 1/2 coconut, 1/2 rye) or any other flour I have on hand. A mix always makes the dough come together better than just one type of flour.)

2 to 3 cups of Veggies: Carrots, Red Cabbage, Beet tops, Swiss Chard, and Butternut Squash add to a food processor and chop into small pieces. 

1/4 cup of apple sauce

1/2 tsp: Cinnamon 

1/2 tsp: Red Chill Flakes


Oven Temperature: 350 
Cookie sheet greased with coconut oil or olive oil  (just need a little to prevent sticking)

Mix all the ingredients together. It should form a tough dough. Then use a scoop to get an even amount of dough and make it into a flat disk.  Place on the cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Serve with additional veggies or fruits to make it into a full meal. 


Author Monika Sangar 

PDS is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (tax id #46-2470926)

August 05, 2022

The Importance of Quarantine

Pds nonprofit, african grey locked in a cage for quarantine

What is Quarantine?

Quarantine is the practice of keeping any new flock members in a separate cage, in a separate room preferably with different airspace from any existing flock members for a minimum of 30 days, but preferably 45 to 60. 

How to Quarantine:

It is difficult to do a 
true quarantine in most homes, but usually keep any new birds at the opposite end of the house or floor, from the rest of the flock. It is advised to always wash hands between handling any of the quarantine birds to protect the health and safety of your flock. 

Why Quarantine?

If your new flock member comes to you ill, you could lose the entire rest of your flock because many diseases are airborne and highly contagious. THEREFORE, keeping them in the same room in a separate cage is not enough. 

Many people think that if the bird looks healthy, it must be healthy-- this is completely untrue. If birds were so easy to diagnose as healthy or not, vet trips would be far less expensive and we wouldn't need border control or national regulations on avian quarantines. Birds are excellent at hiding their diseases, and often a disease will become very serious before the bird shows any outward symptoms. 

It is also so difficult to tell with a new bird what is normal or not since you have not established a pattern of behavior. In addition, many avian diseases have extremely long incubation periods or latency periods and may not surface for a few weeks, why we recommend a long quarantine. 

The stress of moving to a new home, new cage, new environment, is often enough to make previously dormant diseases that are activated by stress flare up. Even if you get your bird from a very responsible breeder with a 100% clean record, quarantine is still considered essential. But especially if you get your bird from a pet shop, where he or she will have been exposed to an entire gang of diseases and other birds. 


Author Monika Sangar 

PDS is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (tax id #46-2470926)

May 22, 2022

Birdie Almond Cookies [ Healthy bird recipe]

Birdie Almond cookie recipe for parrots

Birdie Almond Cookie recipe for feathery friends, everywhere 
Recipe by monika sangar


1 cup oatmeal

1 cup flour of your choice ( I used 3/4 cup quinoa and 1/3 cup millet) 

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 egg ( or use 1 tbsp flax meal mixed with 3 tbsp water )

2-ounce apple sauce 

1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped almonds 

water as needed 

Coconut oil for greasing


Set oven at 350ºF
Grease cookie sheet with coconut oil 

Add everything into one bowl and mix. Add enough water to hydrate the flour but you don't want a wet dough. Add enough water so the dough sticks together. 

Make small balls then mash them gently between your palms to create a disk. Place cookie on greased sheet and bake for 15 minutes. 

Let completely cool and store in the fridge. 

The mix of flours and oatmeal for birdie almond cookies
The mix of flours and oatmeal for birdie almond cookies

Birdie almond cookie dough
Add enough water so the dough sticks together

Birdy almond cookies ready for the oven
Birdy almond cookies ready for the oven 

eclectus parrot ate his birdie almond cookie
All done, more, please 


Author Monika Sangar 

PDS is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (tax id #46-2470926)

April 21, 2022

DIY seed balls [ healthy homemade treats]

DIY Nuritiberry
DIY Seed Ball

We all know what nutriberries are: round balls of seeds, pellets, or veggies that birds go crazy for. In the simplest form, my version of Seed Ball is made by first creating a sticky base and then adding your seeds, veggies, and nuts to form any shape you wish. 

For the sticky base, you can use any dry fruit and add additional ingredients to your parrot's liking. I added half of the mashed sweet potato, for added nutrients, like vitamin A. Nut butter or a mashed banana are a few ideas to add to your sticky base. 

Next to the base, you add flax seeds. Flax meal will work better because it will create a binding effect when water is added. If you don't wish to use Flax or Flax meal, one egg white can be added. 

The most important step: using a blender make the smoothest paste with your dry fruit mixture by adding small amounts of water. Transfer the bowl and add your seeds, nuts, greens, veggies, and fruits to the dry fruit mixture. The mixture should hold its shape so as not to be too sticky.

If it is too sticky, add more of your seed/nut mix. If the mixture became too dry and won't stick together, you need more base. The beauty of the recipe is that it is easily adaptable and you can easily change it to fit your purpose. If all fails, spread the mixture on a cookie sheet and bake. 

Basil eating her Homebaked Nutriberry
Basil eating her Homebaked Seed Ball


5 dates or any other dry fruit
1/2 sweet Potato 
1 Tablespoon of Flax Meal (or flax seeds) 
Water as needed. 

1 cup total of any seeds/nuts/greens/veggies etc

My favorite mix: 
2Tbls millet 
4Tbls minced dandelion greens
2Tbls Chia and Flax 
2Tbls Hemp seeds
1Tbls Milk Thistle
2Tbls Safflower
2 Tbls Oats 
2 Tbls Hemp Hearts


Add the first three ingredients into your blender and make a smooth stick mixture. Add water when necessary. 

Transfer your mixture into a bigger bowl if needed, then add all your seed/nut/greens and mix well. 

Make balls or any other shape. 

Bake 325 for 15 minutes 

Cool completely before freezing or giving it to birds.   

Kismet testing the home-baked nutriberry
Kismet testing the home-baked seed ball


Author Monika Sangar 

PDS is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (tax id #46-2470926)



December 05, 2021

Milk thistle and Aloe Vera


charlie red lored amazon
Charlie was diagnosed with Liver disease when he was rescued

“Milk Thistle, sylibum marianum, is a wonderful herb for the liver. It has been shown to protect the liver and heal liver cells. Its active ingredients are found in the fruiting bodies, the seeds, and the entire plant. The content of silymarin is highest in the fruiting body! Although there are fewer liver-healing properties in the seeds, birds will readily eat these tasty millet-size seeds, making milk thistle seeds an excellent addition to the diet for any bird with liver problems.

There is a nutraceutical extract of milk thistle called silymarin, which is a flavonoid having an affinity for the liver. It is used quite commonly in Japan and Europe for acute liver toxicosis. It’s primarily used to regenerate hepatocytes, where it improves the flow of bile and fat to and from the liver. If used in too high a dose, however, it can cause loose stools due to the increase in bile it produces. Milk thistle, or silymarin, is one of the best herbs for liver cirrhosis, hepatitis, acute toxicosis of the liver, and fatty liver disease. It is also beneficial for bile duct inflammation and is a potent anti-oxidant. Glutathione is one of the most important hepatic detoxification pathways of the body, and milk thistle increases glutathione content in the liver by up to 35 percent.” David McCluggage, DVM

We use at the rescue, Milk Thistle seeds for maintaining liver support but when we have a bird with a liver health issue, we use ‘Silamarie’ by Bio-Health. This is Milk Thistle fruits (Silymarin) with no other added ingredients. These are 450mg (powder) per capsule.

Usage: Approximately ¼ of the MT powder, then divide in half (1/8th ) to give each dose per 1 soft hand-feed x twice daily. If feces become too loose, reduce the dose. Warning: it is possible the stools will turn very dark green to black. Don’t be alarmed, as the MT is doing its job, thus cleansing the liver and bile ducts of accumulated rubbish and toxins from the liver. 

Further information on Milk Thistle:


Another additional treatment, alongside Milk Thistle nutraceutical extract for liver (and kidney) disease, is 'Aloe Vera Herbal Detox Formula' by Lily of the Desert

Usage: Aloe detox does not eradicate bacteria like antibiotics so you are not going to need a probiotic to follow the treatment. Dosing: start the bird out on 1 half capful to 1 pint of water. Once the bird is used to the taste, increase it to 1 capful to 1 pint of water. !f the bird is sick or you think he/she may have ingested something toxic, give the formula at 50/50, or stronger, as long as they drink it. Store the opened Aloe Detox bottle in the fridge, as it then has a long shelf-life.

We have successfully used Aloe Vera Herbal Detox Formula alongside the Milk Thistle nutraceutical extract with two parrots here at the rescue. One of the parrots had a severe kidney infection that later compromised the health of his liver. Both birds made a full recovery

Additional supporting links: 

Compiled by Julie Hamilton, New Life Parrot Rescue & Helpline Service (UK) Charity Reg No: 1056409


Author Monika Sangar 

PDS is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (tax id #46-2470926)

July 03, 2021

Are parrot pellets healthy? [ parrot health]

Tops Pellets

Before we ask the question if pellets are healthy, we need to understand the history of pellets. 

In the 1980s, the pellets food was first developed for parrots and birds. Pellets were created because some people were only feeding their captive bird seeds which though have nutrients, lack all essential nutrients. Feeding just seeds causes the parrots to overfeed on seeds leading to health issues, like obesity and 

Pellets were encouraged by vets, only to fight against obesity and other health issues caused by an "only seed diet." 

So what are pellets?

Pellets are processed seeds with added vitamins, to simplify. 

So are pellets a source of balanced nutrition food? 

No. And here's why. First of all, every parrot and bird species are different and have different requirements. None of the pellets out there today are produced with your specific parrot species in mind.  It takes years of study and research to determine what individual species require. If your parrot has an unusual dietary need, it could become very dangerous to put your parrot on a general food.

Pellets are made with heat treatments. Heat does destroy some enzymes, vitamins, and nutritional value of the raw ingredients. (seongeung lee, et all). 

Another reason you are not getting all the rich nutrients is because grinding up raw ingredients deteriorates the food faster. Eg. nutmeg. It is always recommended to buy the whole nutmeg and grind it yourself at home when needed. 

How should pellets be used?

I consider pellets to be just a supplement and shouldn't be the parrot's entire diet. We only use TOPs pellets at the sanctuary and I simply add them to their seed mix. Remember pellets are processed food, not real food, and shouldn't replace fresh food. 

Last thoughts

 Just think from a parrot's perspective: how boring to just eat pellets. 


Author Monika Sangar 

PDS is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (tax id #46-2470926)


Seongeung Lee, Youngmin Choi, Heon Sang Jeong, Junsoo Lee, and Jeehye Sung. Effect of different cooking methods on the content of vitamins and true retention in selected vegetables. Food Sci Biotechnol. 2018 Apr; 27(2): 333–342.

June 14, 2021

Apple seed: The truth to the core

Apple seeds harmful?

If you are active on social media you will come across people saying no to apple seeds because of cyanide poisoning. Though it is true that apple seeds have cyanide, is it enough to kill or cause harm? 

My first question to all my friends was: have you ever heard of a bird getting sick from apple seeds cyanide poisoning? No, one, not a single friend said they know of a bird killed from apple seeds.

I have an apple tree in my garden and birds are always eating the apples and the seeds. Besides the huge mess they leave behind, what can we learn from nature?

Whenever in doubt, Science comes to the rescue. A 100 gram bird will need to properly eat and chew over 50 seeds ( in one sitting) to make enough cyanide for it to become a problem. Also since cyanide doesn’t accumulate and gets broken down by the kidney and liver, the toxicity will be low. As many of you know, the kidneys and liver function as a detoxing organ.

Why I am saying this is because like you, I also freaked out when I thought one of my birds chewed an apple seed. With a little research found out tons of reliable information.
Apple seeds don't have enough cyanide to cause harm. So if you bird eats some, rest assure, he will not be harmed.

Please stay safe and birdie happy!
By Monika Sangar


May 21, 2021

How to find cheap parrot toys

wood bird toys
wood bird toys

Cheaper bird toys

Parrots are highly intelligent and therefore need mental and physical stimulation and agility. Bird toys encourage exercise, decrease boredom, and keep them happy and healthy. 

I should start this post by stating: Skilled, handcrafted isn't cheap and you get what you paid for. Cheap bird toys are just that, cheaply made, dangerous, and causing more issues than one needs. Cheap toys are smaller, very few wood blocks, dangerous hanging clips, and the wrong material is used. 

Many times, I will receive donations of toys and I didn't give them to the birds because they will cause more harm than good. I took them part and remade them. However, there are still a few things you can do to get cheaper toy options.  

We should be aiming for good quality bird toys, fairly priced. A good bird toy maker will use proper materials to make sure the toy lasts as long as possible. They will use materials that are non-toxic, and safe yet still deliver creative bird toys for your parrot.

As wood prices increase, wood parrot toys have and will also increase in price.  There are other options and creative ways to help our feathery friends stay happy and enriched. 

Shreddable parrot toys
shreddable bird toys

Cheaper ideas for bird toys:

 1) Cardboard might be every bird owner's best friend right now. As wood prices increase, making toys out of cardboard is easy and cheap. There are cardboard boxes, cardboard blocks, and cardboard sheets. Check out all the fun, cardboard toys here: Pds parrot toys

2) Infant/ baby toys: Infant toys are not just for a human baby; your 20-year-old parrot might love them too. There are so many varieties of toys from wood to sound-making. Go to your nearest thrift store or look at marketplaces online for used old baby toys.  (baby wood toys are safe since they use safe material for baby stuff) 

3) The Dollar Store: My favorite place where I find all types of goodies.  Wooden spoons to paper cups and rubber ducks. The dollar store or bargain stores are the best places to find all types of treasures for DIY bird toys. Remember to check out their baby section. 

4) Lumber Yard: Even with high prices, you can find a clearance section at the lumber yard where they are selling off untreated pine wood for 70 percent off.  You might not be able to use the full length and throw away part of the damaged wood, but it's much cheaper than the full-priced stuff. 

5) DIY bird toys: If quarantine had taught us anything, it's how to youtube and google new skills. There are many DIY parrot toy videos.  Many places are selling wood blocks with drilled holes. All one needs to do is string them with sisal or chain. Done.  

parrot wood blocks
parrot wood blocks

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Author Monika Sangar 

PDS is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (tax id #46-2470926)

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