2nd Morning with Chop.

So today is my second morning serving chop and I have had 4/5 with at least moderate compliance!  Yesterday, all of the little guys sat around hungry in their cages, waiting for their pellets to return.   I used my age old trick of laying down a towel, throwing some food around it and placing them all on the towel and pretending to peck at the floor while exclaiming ‘yum yum!!’ like an idiot.  It usually works and they all will at least try some food.  Moving from the floor to the bowels in the cages is a learning curve though.  

Yesterday it was Miles who started eating like a little fiend, which is good because it inspires everyone else to try some.  However, when I put the bowels in the cages this morning, everyone ran away like I was trying to poison them.  So, I tried my second favorite trick.  I sat down next to the cages and ate my breakfast.  Mmmm that inspires everyone to go eat, as birds are communal eaters and my guys LOVE eating with me.  I also mixed in some pellets and some seed into their dishes today in an attempt to bring them to the bowl.  

 I look over and little Erin has her face buried in her dish.  Erin, who took an entire YEAR to convert successfully onto pellets, was eating the new food as her breakfast.  She has definitely gotten more adventurous and more bold when it comes to food.  Miles saw Erin eating and had to go over and start his breakfast too.  Bella eats anything, so she had already eaten some yummy banana and some of the seeds in her dish.  Even Jules, who was disgusted that I wanted him to try a new food yesterday, went over and grabbed a little food from his dish.  The only one I haven’t seen eating it yet was Taylor.  

So it wasn’t 100% acceptance.  But it was definitely something.  And for the bird who took a year to convert from seed to pellets, its definitely a big step.

My First Attempt at Chop!

In the past year, I have become obsessed with nutrition.  I think it has something to do with becoming a vegetarian, or maybe more recently it has been spurred on by preparing diets at the aviary and how good they look, but regardless of where it stems from my new found joy has led me to researching more natural animal diets.  

A long while ago, I had began researching more natural bird diets for my guys and I stumbled on  The Chop Blog.  It made me really want to try this method of food with my guys.  Unfortunately, living down at school and my mom taking care of the birds made it difficult to try it.

Now, I’m home for the summer and commuting next year, so I decided it was time to give it a go.  Lance and I were out shopping and I suggested looking at appliances.  Lance is a huge sucker for appliances, so he gladly obliged and we left with a little 8 cup food processor.  We hit the produce and bought some fruits and veggies and went home to give it a try.

I was a little hesitant to make a big batch of it because I don’t know if my guys are even going to eat it and our freezer is in need of a cleaning out, so we decided to start with a mini batch and see how it went.  Before I got home from work, Lance had soaked the bag of beans all day and started cooking them, started cooking the wild rice and barely, and had thoroughly cleaned the food processor and all the little Rubbermaid containers that we purchased.  I had read online that uncooked beans are poisonous to birds, so I was really freaked out about using them.  We soaked them for about nine hours and cooked them for another two and a half until they were pretty soft to the touch.  We might have over done it a little but better safe than sorry.  

We drained the wild rice and chopped up some of the beans and mixed them in.  mmm yummy.  We added some flax seed and dried oatmeal.  

Lance was having a good time using the food processor.  He also informed me that if we decide to have an actual wedding and a bridal shower, he was coming with me to make the registry.  I called him a Susie Homemaker and he actually agreed with me lol.

  Then we chopped up some of the vegetables we got.  We added kale, some frozen peas and corn, some boiled sweet potato, frozen green beans, and fresh carrot.  I added some blueberries chopped in fourths and a few whole ones for texture.  

We mixed everything together, drained it one last time, and bagged it all up.  We filled up our little containers first, but didn’t have enough to avoid bags.  Ideally, we’re trying to stay away from bags because they’re more difficult to reuse and we’re trying to be more environmentally friendly.  Plus, the little containers hold enough for all the birds.

I threw one of the containers in the fridge last night to thaw.  This morning, I added a little extra banana, mango, and apple to the dishes, especially to Bella’s.  In the wild, conures eat mostly fruit while parakeets and cockatiels eat a lot of grains and seeds.

Bella seemed to enjoy it.  Unfortunately, my little guys are not to impressed with my culinary skills.  They’ve avoided it, which is a common small bird tactic.  I’m hoping that the more I serve it, the more they’ll get used to it and start eating it.  

 Ultimately, I think that our first attempt went well.  Next time I won’t be so afraid to make a larger batch, but I’m definitely going to have to clean out the freezer first!