Monday, November 10, 2008

Mmmm..... Parrot food!

Doesn't that look delicious?

I ran out of parrot food this weekend, unfortunately. Really very sad, since I was not in the mood to get out the large size mixing bowls, large size pots, the large cutting boards, large knives, and the all important large amount of ingredients that goes into each different mash. There are several different types of mash, since I try to customize each one for the species. So one for the ekkies, one for the budgies and tiels (they share a flight cage, and as their diets are pretty close in the wild, they live together after all, I don't worry too much about it) and one for Yaz. The quakers eat a diet of about 50% pellets, as they seem to do better on that, surprisingly, so I just feed them the rest in whatever fresh food I have, and sprouts.

Being lazy, I decided instead to just see what I had to make up a weeks worth of food, and give them that until this weekend, when I will have to force myself to get busy. Looking around, I remembered that I did have quite a bit of raw pumpkin, still with some of the seeds, in quart containers in the freezer. That, and a half box of whole wheat organic couscous, gave me my inspiration.

Note -
I do usually try to not give my birds too much gluten, since in the wild they do not get the high amounts of gluten and it can cause problems for them. However, I do not think a little now and then is so much a problem.

Instead of simply cooking the couscous in water, I decided to add some extra interest by cooking it in half water, half lemon tea (organic, just lemons and water). After the couscous was cooked, I added some organic raisins, plus a quart of pumpkin. Once that was defrosted and mixed together, I was done. Serve that over a salad of mixed greens, and it becomes a delicious, and very healthy, breakfast!

Along with that (or their mash, when I have it) my birds also get sprouts every morning. This week, it is mung bean sprouts, the ekkie's favorite, and some quinoa sprouts. I love mung bean and quinoa sprouts for a very simple reason: they are incredibly fast sprouters.

At night, before I go to bed, I put 1/3 cup quinoa in with2/3 cup water, and let it sit all night. In the morning, they have started their little tails, and are at the perfect stage to feed for optimum benefits. I rinse them, and put them on a large kitchen towel to dry. I give some to the birds, and put the rest in a container in the fridge. Along with the fact that Quinoa is an incredibly fast sprouter, it is also one of the healthiest foods available, so I use quite a bit of it.

Mung beans take a little bit longer, but not much. With them, I start them soaking when I get up in the morning. I rinse them once, well, before I go to bed, and let them soak all night again. In the morning, I rinse them well. I let them sit out, dry this time, for another day, rinsing once during the the day, and once before bed. By the next morning, they are at the perfect stage to feed, so I rinse, put on a towel to dry, and put whatever is left after feeding in the fridge. Not hard at all!

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