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
Caffeine
Chocolate
Junk Food
Salt
Stone fruit pits
Raw dairy (milk, fresh cheese, ice cream)
Raw onions
Raw mushrooms

Rhubarb


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, jalapeƱos, 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





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:


Ingredients

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

Directions: 
  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











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