Here's what my Eclectus parrot eats:
Make in a large pan. No Teflon
because the fumes from heated Teflon can kill birds.
The below makes 1 week worth of soft food for her.Ingredients: Stuff made for birds
* About 8 ounces of Volkman's Featherglow / Fancy Soak n Simmer. This is a special cooking mixture for parrots. It has 12 different beans in it, plus "paddy rice", buckwheat, dried peas, corn, and lentils. A little goes a long way.Stuff made for people
* About 1 oz. white rice - Texas basmati is the usual fare
* ~12 strands of spahgetti, broken by hand in to 3/4" or so bits. Barilla this week.
* About 14 sliced carrot slices, frozen fresh (brand "pictsweet" this week and last)
* 3/4 tbsp of mollasses (brand - Brer Rabbit, unsulfured, natural)
* 1 teeny pinch of table salt, just to get the water boiling faster. I rinse it off after cooking, during the drain-off phase.How to Cook:
* I use 4x the amount of water as dry ingredients. That allows for boil-off, allows for the stuff to absorb the water, and allows for some minimal drain-off too. All good things.
First I add the dried Volkman's to the pot. I don't soak it first because I have found that she dislikes beans which have an oversoaked texture. Then I put the hottest tap water in the pot, possible. Here it's about 145F. I turn around, and directly behind me is the gas stovetop. I put the pot directly on the burner, and crank the gas to "high" until I see the tiniest hint of simmer. I stir frequently, I'd say once every minute and a half. Once it's simmering I set the heat to "low" until the complex sugars in the bean hulls have broken down. This prevents a boilover/mess.
I add the mollasses after the boilover threat is gone.
As things go, I turn the heat progressively higher, until after about 45 minutes, it's time to add the rice, pasta, and carrots.
Once I see that the rice is fluffed and the pasta is tender all over, the mix is done!
Then I pour the whole stew in to a colander, and run the hottest tap water over it, possible. I rinse and rinse and rinse some more. I probably rinse for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. This removes 95% of the mollasses and all of the salt (this is good). Then I let it rest and drain for a couple minutes.
I measure 4 tbsp in to a baggie. One baggie per day.
Once it's in the baggies and cooled, I seal them, then I press the mix flattish, for faster freezing (more freshness!) and less space takeup in the freezer. It goes directly in the freezer once it's been made flattish.To serve:
I put the baggie in the microwave and nuke it on high for 2 minutes. Then I stir thoroughly by kneading the bag, then I bring it up to her. I serve when it is cool, almost lukewarm, all over - that way she won't get burned.
I serve 2 tbsp
to her and 2 tbsp to my Grey, who also goes bonkers for this mix! She gets all the carrots (about 2 slices/day); he doesn't like them.Family Approval?:
She absolutely loves
this stuff. She gets all excited when she sees the new fresh bowl of food each day. It is the first thing she eats and the first thing she finishes, before she starts to eat the loathsome pellets or seeds.
It takes an hour or so to cook. Is an hour a week too much to give your feathered masters, o happy human bird-slaves?
During the bird cooking hour, I usually cook myself something too. Today it was rice. I don't use any seasonings, salt, or oil in my food. So today's plain white rice was delicious, and a great way to keep working for the birds! Food notes:
This mixture is low to moderate in protein which is good for a bird who has suspect or overt liver disease. The quality of the protein the mix has, is high. It also has a little bit of extra vitamin A (in the carrots) which is good for Eclectus. It is miderate in all other things, and is relatively low in fat. Birds only have about 500 taste buds (people have over a million), on the roof of their mouth, so, texture and overall appearance is much more important then taste.
I'm like 50% Italian, so, I'm sorry that none of this is measured exactly. I grew up in a house where almost nothing got measured; everything is eyeballed to taste or to suit. I am a very bad cook for people, but a very good one for critters. With these directions it's pretty repeatable. Good luck and happy cooking!