December 11, 2018

Christmas Cookies for your Parrots [ Healthy Treats]

Christmas Cookies for your Parrots

[Healthy bird Treats]

Birdie Christmas cookie

Not only are these cookies healthy, a great source of vitamin A, but they smell, Oh so Divine! During the holiday seasons, it's a great idea to bake for your parrots and birds. I know they want to dig into the shortbread cookies and the gingerbread house, so why not bake a special cookie just for them. 

This cookie ensures they are getting something healthy, has nutrients, and will be flavorful for our parrots. Not only this but this will allow our feathery friends to join in with all the festivities. 

You can change the flavor by simply using pumpkin or another squash, add crushed berries or apples. If you are using mashed pumpkin, you will need two cans for this recipe. 

The first time I made these cookies, I guess I had too much sweet potato so my batter was moist and I couldn't shape them into fun Christmas shapes. 

However, I adjusted the recipe, for it to be handled better. This cookie dough should be great to create cut-out shapes. If you do find it to be too moist, just add more flour. 

It's such an easy, easy recipe, you can not try it. 


3 sweet potato cooked 
1 cup flour (any kind) 
1/4 tsp cinnamon (Ceylon)
1/4 tsp vanilla


Preheat  oven to 350 

Cook your sweet potato, microwave, steam, or oven. 

Mash your sweet potato in a bowl, add flour, cinnamon, and vanilla. 

Use a scoop to measure out cookies on a cookie tray which is lightly sprayed with cooking oil. 

bake for 30 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. 

Birdie Christmas cookie recipe

More Recipes:

November 19, 2018

Calcium Deficiency in parrots [pet health]

Calcium Deficiency in parrots [bird health]

Calcium deficiency, or hypocalcemia, is very common in parrots. Calcium is a mineral and even though it is the most abundant mineral in animal bodies,  including parrots, its insufficient absorption rate causes the deficiency.

Parrots eating kale

Calcium is needed for skeleton strengthening, muscle contraction, blood clotting, and eggshell formation. Calcium is a co-factor for many enzymes to function and also hormones secretion and can affect the muscles, heart, and nerves.

So if calcium is so abundant, why do parrots become calcium deficient? 

Sunlight. One of the main issues is no sunlight. Parrots need sunlight for the absorption of vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is a very important vitamin that helps the absorption of calcium by the body. Without sunlight, or vitamin D3, the calcium can't be absorbed and therefore calcium deficiency occurs.

The second is oxalates. Greens, nuts and other food which are high in calcium have oxalates compound. These compounds bind to calcium making them insoluble, in other words, unable for parrots to absorb by digestion.

Depending on the severity of this deficiency, it can become life-threatening and/or serious illness can emerge.

calcium issues in parrots

Prevention of Calcium Deficiency

No, not supplements. An adequate diet with plenty of sunlight or a full spectrum bulb.  Supplements can do more harm than good. The best way to ensure your parrot's well-being is by providing fresh food daily. There is many fresh food with high amounts of Calcium

Food with high calcium

Feeding your parrots with fresh food will natural help them keep their vitamin levels normal and no need for supplements. (Unless there's a medical issue)


Never go crazy on Vitamin supplements, because too much calcium (or any vitamin) can also cause server damage. Hypercalcemia, or elevated calcium levels, can cause serious toxicity and be fatal. Symptoms include vomiting, pain, unable to lay eggs, kidney stones.

elevated calcium level symptoms

It is always important to follow direction and not overdose if your doctor does recommend supplements.


August 02, 2018

Quick Understanding of Bird Chop [diy]

If you just got yourself into the parrot world, the chop is one word you will be hearing, a lot. If you are already in the parrot world, welcome to the new parrot chop recipe. 

Eclectus Parrot eating chop

What is a chop diet?

Why birdie chop? 

I'm here to answer all these questions and more. 

Parrot chop is basically, chopped-up veggies, greens, mixed with cooked grains. The object is to chop up ingredients small enough so your parrot won't be able to select its favorite food item; however, your parrot might not like it finely chopped, in that case, do as your parrot wish. Different chop recipes will do things differently but simply put, the chop is fresh food for parrots.
Parrot owners are making homemade chop to provide their parrots with complete nutrition - fresh food meals. I and most other parrot owners try to add a rainbow of ingredients into their bird chop recipe.

The great thing about birdie chop is you can just use anything you have in hand. If you only have one grain, a few veggies, and red chill flakes, that can easily be turned into the chop. 

Before you start making parrot chop, there are a few things you should consider. 

1) Your parrots favorite veggies
2) How big is your flock
3) Does your parrot like defrosted chop or fresh 
4) Does your parrot like finely chopped or not
5) How often can you cook Chop
6) Do you have enough room to freeze chop

Parrots eating chop

Just like everything else in life, one parrot chop recipe doesn't fit all. You will have to experiment, see what works for you. 

My advice will be to start with 1 or 2 grains, 3 veggies/greens, red chill flakes, and one herb. 

Make a small batch bird chop. There is no need to collect 20 different ingredients and then realize your parrots don't like broccoli and there goes your batch of chop. Start small, see when they like to eat it (because they might not like chop in the mornings, only dinner time), what they like or don't like. Do they like it finely chopped or does it have to be finely chopped in the food processor? 

Some recipes call for freezing chop, but if your parrot doesn't like mushy veggies, then freezing it isn't an option for you. 

Also remember if your parrots like your chop recipe today, tomorrow they won't.  

Now that you have more questions about your parrots than answers and are feeling overwhelmed. Let us go deeper into parrot chop. 

Parrot chop recipe

Flock size and numbers:
This is easy to understand. Larger parrots will eat more than smaller ones. If you have a larger flock, you will need to cook more chop. 

Second, larger parrots might favor knife chopped veggies more than food processed (finely chopped) others may not. Experiment to see what works best. 

You do not want chunks of veggies because then they can eat around it. The idea is the have it small enough, so your parrot can't pick and choose what to eat. Unless your parrot is actually a pig and will eat anything.

Bad eating habits:
If your parrot is used to a certain food, like sunflower seeds, changing diets can be tricky. One way you can help change diet change is by adding a few sunflower, or pellets to the chop. 

Your parrot will see or smell their favorite food and in the process might try out some of the veggies. 

If your parrot loves apples, add apples or apple sauce to your chop.

Remember Chop is a beautiful open concept to help you provide a complete nutrition meal to your parrots. Feel free to change any recipe, to fit your needs. 

Freezing Chop: 
You may or may not wish to freeze chop. I prefer not to freeze. One batch of chop lasts a maximum of three days in the fridge. 

If you wish to freeze chop, there are a few things to consider. 

1) Do you have room in your freezer?

2) It is best to air-tight when freezing veggies. So you might want to consider a vacuum seal or other airtight containers. Uncovered in the freeze, your chop will get freezer burn FAST.

3) Chop will last maximum of 3 months in the freezer. 

4) Will you parrots like defrosted chop?

When making chop to freeze, remember you want to chop to be as dry. Remember to dry all your veggies, greens. Your cooked grains should be as dry as possible. 

Fruit adds moisture. So you might want to consider not adding fruit to your freezer chop. 

Consider adding Flax seeds and Chia seeds. Even Flax meal. These will absorb any extra moisture. Adding leftover pellet powder is also another way to make your chop dryer. 

I know some recipes call for dry fruit or veggies, they do absorb the moisture, but it's extra sugar you are adding to chop and other chemicals like sulfate. I don't add any dry fruit or veggies.

Eclectus eating Chop

Now for the most famous list of all,  foods to avoid. If you haven't seen this list already, then the parrot community isn't doing its job. So let me show it to you.

Foods to avoid

AlcoholApple seedsAvocado
Junk Food
Stone fruit pits
Raw dairy (milk, fresh cheese, ice cream)
Raw onions
Raw mushrooms


Bird eating chop

For parrot chop, you can use almost any ingredient, but there are a few suggestions: 

Grains: rice, quinoa, pasta, spelt, amaranth, farro, barley, buckwheat, millet, cooked beans, and lentils.

Veggies: carrots, sweet potatoes, any orange squash, green peppers, jalape├▒os, zucchini, broccoli, coconut, parsnips, snap peas, corn, green beans

Think orange: cook carrots, cooked sweet potato, and or cooked squash

Now for orange veggies, we need to cook them. We can add them to our boiling water at the beginning of our cook time. The reason is that cooking them increases the beta carotene which is what we are looking for as nutrition value. Beta carotene is converted into Vitamin A in animal bodies. For more information about cooking orange veggies, follow the link.

Sweet potatoes are not to be consumed raw because they are hard on digestion. Cooking them eliminates this effect. 

Greens: carrot tops, beet tops, celery leaves, cabbage, kale, spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard, cilantro, dandelion greens

Seeds/herbs/spices: flax Seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, rapeseeds, celery seeds, fennel seeds, rosemary, oregano, basil, coriander, cumin, turmeric, red chill flakes

Yes, you guessed it:

Special ingredient list: bee pollen, dried rosebuds, echinacea herb, milk thistle seed, elderberry & flower, lavender flower, barberry root.

Chop recipe


Now all is left is to try it out. Here is my favorite recipe, with additional notes so you can change it as you wish:


1/4 cup of grains   (can be a mix of grains, or just one)
5 cups of water 
2 cups of veggies chopped   (mix of veggies)
1 sweet potato, peeled, cubed
2 bunches of greens/fresh herbs   (can be a mix of few or just one)
1 Tbsp Flax seeds
1 Tbsp chai seeds
1 Tbsp red chill flakes 
A punch of bee pollen

  1. Boil your water 
  2. Add your grains and sweet potato to the water, let it boil for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the grain cook in the hot water. After 20 minutes, strain the grains/sweet potatoes.
  3. Mix your veggies, greens, and seeds/herb mix with your grains and sweet potatoes.
  4. Sprinkle with bee pollen

Prepare your greens/Fresh herbs: 
  1. Roughly chop your greens and then finely chop them in the food processor.  (if using nuts, you can add them with your greens and finely chop them) **

Prepare your Seed/Herbs/species.
  1. Mix all your seeds, and dried herbs together.

*If you have whole flax seeds, you can grind them in a spice or coffee grinder, to make a fresh flaxseed meal. 

** my parrots like their veggies knife chopped. You can also finely chop your veggies into the food processor with your greens

Flavors my Parrots love for their Birdie Chop: 

Indian: Coriander and cumin seeds powder (*you can grind yourself) with red chill flakes and fresh ginger. 

Mexican: Cumin and paprika with fresh or dry oregano.

Italian: Fennel seeds or fresh fennel, lavender flowers, with fresh or dry basil and oregano.

Here are a few bird chop recipes: 

How to make your own Birdie Chop made Easy and Simple.
Just follow the the simple steps and you will have your chop ready in no time. 

Chop Guide

July 15, 2018

Vitamin A deficiency information [parrot health]

Vitamin A deficiency Information [Parrot Health]

Vitamin A deficiency, hypovitaminosis A,  is the most common issue in birds which goes unrecognized and on top of that, is preventable and easily treatable. 

Vitamin A

Before we go into more details, first we need a better understanding of Vitamin A and why it's so important and causes so much damage if absent. 

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps grow and repair tissue. This antioxidant also helps to function eyes, skin, hearing, bone, and membranes.  

Vitamin A deficiency can cause tissue damage in the respiratory, digestive, and reproductive tracts. This deficiency causes cells to undergo changes that prevent the secretion of mucous, and therefore destroying barriers that prevent bacterial infections. 

Lack of Vitamin A causes bacteria, fungal, and virus infection because vitamin A is needed to produce mucous which is a layer of protection against the pathogen. So if your parrot has a vitamin A deficiency, it will not produce mucous, which will cause reoccurring infections. 

Vitamin A deficiency in birds is a direct cause of inadequate diet. Only seeds diet, no fresh food, causes vitamin A deficiency in parrots because seeds don't contain vitamin A.  Even when seeds are enriched with vitamins, the parrots eat the seed inside the shell, not the whole shell. Most vitamins add in seeds, only sit on top of the shell, and aren't consumed. 

Why is Vitamin A deficiency an issue with parrots?

Because parrots require as much Vitamin A as humans, daily. Humans daily allowance for vitamin A is 2400 to 5000 IE a day; for parrots 2000-4000 IE per kg body weight. Therefore, per kg of a parrot, a parrot requires as much vitamin A as a human.

Signs and symptoms of vitamin A deficiency:

Symptoms of vitamin a deficiency

Treatment of Vitamin A Deficiency

Treatment of Vitamin A deficiency relies on the severity of the infection caused by the vitamin A deficiency. 

Your vet will perform CBC and cultures to get a better understanding of the case. From the cultures, a specific antibiotic medicine can be given. The first step is to deal with the secondary infection because the infection causes death, and damage to internal organs. After an injection of vitamins can help boost vitamin A. 

In some cases nostrils must be physically unplugged, then nasal flush with antibodies. Surgical lancing of abscesses might also be needed. 

 Prevention of Vitamin A Deficiency

No, not supplements. An adequate diet. Supplements can do more harm than good. The best way to ensure your parrot's well-being is by providing fresh food daily. There are many fresh foods with high amounts of Vitamin A. 

Here is a list of parrot safe food which are high in Vitamin A.
Vitamin a Chart

Over Supplement of Vitamin A (Hypervitaminosis A)

It's not well documented, however over supplement of vitamin A could be toxic in birds. In animals, over-supplement could lead to bone abnormalities, liver damage, and or kidney damage, etc.  This is the main reason why supplements aren't the best idea. Overdosage can cause issues that vets and researchers are not familiar with until more research is done.


Roudybush, TE. Nutrition. In Altman, RB; Clubb, SL; Dorrestein, GM; Quesenberry, K (eds.). Avian Medicine and Surgery. W.B. Saunders. Philadelphia, PA; 1997.

Rose Essex, RAHT. 25 years of experience in exotic and avian medicine.

Vitamin A

June 12, 2018

Birdie Chop with Lentils [healthy recipes]

Birdie Chop With Lentils 
[healthy recipes]

I change my chop recipe all the time depending on ingredients I have on hand or food I want to try out for my parrots.

Parrots diet should consist of greens, veggies, and fruits. Fresh food is always the best.

I try my best to provide a variety of fresh food for my parrots to ensure they are receiving all the vitamins and minerals.

For chop, packages visit Christine's chop shop

You can do the same, you don't need to follow my ingredients list exactly. You can add or eliminate things. 

A safe food list, in case you're experimenting with new food. 

I always try to add a rainbow of veggies or fruits into my chop. Different veggies of different colors have different nutrients and by varying them, I hope to give a completely nutrition-balanced meal. 

Chop recipe

Today chop recipe: 

(you can vary your measurements depend on is you have one parrot or many) 

1) Rice, lentils, dry peas with 1/2 tsp of turmeric, paprika, and cinnamon go into boiling water for 5 minutes

2) Add Farro, quinoa, barley, millet, and shredded sweet potatoes into your water with the rice mixture. I added a can of chickpeas too, washed (low sodium). Let the water come to a boil again. Turn off the heat. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes.

3) Chopped veggies: cucumbers, zucchini, bell peppers, carrots

4) Food processor: cilantro, kale, and dandelion 

5) Seeds: sesame, flax, chia, and bee pollen

6) Other: red raspberry leaf and rosehip powder

Mix everything together... serve.

I also sell an Organic chop mix. The grains and seasoning mix are already done. You just have to cook and do the veggies

For chop mix contact by email: 
USA only.

Chop Guide

May 24, 2018

Bhodi's Story

Bhodi is an Indian ringneck who we rescued along with his two brothers. 

Bhodi camouflage
Bhodi camouflage 

All three of them have splayed legs. A condition where legs are deformed due to improper care during the first few weeks of being born. Prince, whose both legs were splayed, didn't make it and passed away two days after rescuing him. Bhodi and Lotus are still living with us in our sanctuary. 

Mr. Bhodi's leg was pretty badly bent. But he manages very well and uses both his legs. Of course, his good leg is used more. Lotus has a curved spine and one splayed leg. 

Mr. Bhodi broke his leg and we took him to the vet. Everything went fine and he healed. A few years later Bhodi had a scrape on his leg. Since he has splayed legs I assumed he caught his leg somewhere or another bite him. I applied healx. 

Birds heal fast. I mean fast. But after three days he was still attacking his leg. This is not normal because the pain should have subsided by now and he should be healing but instead bleeding. 

sweetest bhodi
Sweetest Bhodi

I took him to see Dr. Nemetz. He took many X-rays.

My previous vet left the pin in his leg three years ago when Bhodi fractured his leg. Dr. Nemetz told me around 5 different mistakes, Dr. Brat made with Bhodi's fracture. Bhodi body is rejecting the rod and causing self-mutilating because of the pain. 

The 5 mistakes:

The pin was not required, a tape splint could have worked.
The pin was the wrong size
The pin was inserted the wrong way. 
The pin was completed inside, without leaving room to take it out. 
The pin was inserted from the wrong side of the leg. 

Dr. Nemetz tried several techniques to take out the pin but was unsuccessful. 

The next step was amputation. Dr. Nemetz did try to save the leg and he collaborated with his colleagues, but the best plan was to amputate.

Bhodi's surgery went well and he's adjusting. However, he is continuing to self-mutilating and maybe fantom pain since all his medical tests are clean.


May 16, 2018

Spicy Apple, sweet potato parrot cookies

Our parrots love to put their food in their water bowl. For that, they need something hard, healthy, and nutritious, which isn't easy to come by.

Most pet stores don't cater to parrots. There are no parrot cookies or biscuits unless you make them yourself or order them from Canada. 

Since I bake, I thought It shouldn't be hard to make healthy parrot cookies. Just omit all the bad and add healthy stuff.

Flour, I use organic whole wheat. I love adding carrots or sweet potatoes to their dishes so I know they are getting their vitamin A.

My recipe below is simple as possible. My parrots love dumping their cookies in the water and then eating the soup. I hope your parrots and or other pets love my recipe. 

Note: Parrots can handle spice. If your pet cannot, please leave them out. 

Angel like to dip his spicy apple, sweet potato cookie in his water.

3 cup whole wheat flour or 1 cup rice flour, 1 cup chickpea flour, 1cup wheat flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 apple, cored, peeled and food processed into apple sauce
1 cup sweet potato, cooked and mashed
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4-1/2 cup water (note: the apples add moisture, so only add extra water if necessary)

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a cookie sheet.
Core and grate apples; peel (I used a food processor).
Stream or cook sweet potato then used a food processor to make mash
In one bowl, mix the flour, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and mix in the oil, and grated apples and sweet potato. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients bowl and mix completely. Use water if needed to form a dough.
Carefully roll ‘dough’ out and cut out the desired shape with a small cookie cutter.
Bake for 40 – 45 minutes, or until apple juices are soaked and biscuits are firm.
After biscuits cool, feel free to share with parrots and or other animals.

Marty's Story

We received a call on October 31, 2013, about a scarlet macaw a breeder was wanting to sell. I canceled all plans and went to go pick him up.

Upon coming home and doing a little probing, we found masses of fat on the tummy and both legs. He was in a little cage with no perch and has only 2 toes (claws because they’ve never been filed). He got sores on the bottom of his feet, so time for a new soft rope perch.
Mom always says people who do this to animals should never wonder why bad things happen in their lives. We are the masters of our own lives, we create our karma. Keeping parrots in garages, sheds, feeding them sunflower seeds, in cages too small for their bodies that they can’t sit up. How is this legal?

He will now go on 4 weeks of aloe detox, 4 weeks of milk thistle, ACV water, wing-flapping exercises, fresh food, toys, and yes lots of hugs.

November 15, 2013.  Somebody lost weight…his tummy is turning normal!
Wrestling to get medicine in his mouth is working.
Scarlet lost over one pound, started getting some feathers back by 2014.

After that, we decided to give him a new home. With lots of searching, and making sure we are getting the right home, Scarlet found a wonderful person who loved him from the beginning. She sends us updated information on him and gives him lots of love.

There is a recent picture of our scarlet who was once locked in a small cage, is now free as can be.

Bodhi, Lotus, Prince

Bodhi, Lotus, and Prince were rescued, in 2013, from a 
a breeder who didn’t want parrots with splayed legs. 

We at Prego Dalliance Sanctuary, hand-fed the munchkins, tried to fix the legs, and provided care and attention. Everyone pitched in, even Kismet.

Prince didn’t make it and passed away the second day.

Bodhi and Lotus are doing very well, a bit on the chatty side. They both pick up new words, can talk a storm up. Right now they are learning the song “you are my sunshine.”

They love eating their fruits and veggies.

They especially love pomegranates

Sometimes there is sibling rivalry

However, even today, they sleep together, fly together and sit where they are not supposed to, together.

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