Monthly Archives: October 2009

How to Get your Bird to Eat Vegetables Part 3 (Final in the Series)

OatmealOne of the last ideas I have for hiding veggies in foods is mixing them in Farina or Oatmeal.  My birds seem to love Farina (Cream of Wheat) and Oatmeal so again I grind the veggies (either frozen(cooked) or fresh) up in a blender and mix them into the Farina or Oatmeal.  My flock seems to dig right in without realizing that there is healthy veggies inside.  Again, in order to do this you must first be sure your bird likes Farina and Oatmeal plain without any veggies.  This way they will dig in and not care about the veggies inside.  Remember to go sparingly at first with the veggies so that they don’t immediately notice them.

Most importantly, of all the ideas I have given regarding helping your bird to eat vegetables is that he or she needs to see you eat these foods.  For our domesticated birds we are there flock leader and when they see us engage in an activity or eat something they know it must be the right thing to do.  They do not want to be left out of the flock.  This is why our Cockatoo Marshmellow never ate her veggies because we didn’t eat them.  This was a big mistake on our part and is the main reason I have learned all these tricks for getting my birds to eat their veggies.

Make sure that when you eat healthy fruits and veggies in front of your bird you make a lot of yummy sounds.  This is important because if you are enjoying your fruits and veggies your feathered friend is going to want to eat them too.

I really hope my series of tips have helped.  It is so important to have our birds eating a healthy well balanced diet.

If anyone has any other tips please feel free to comment.  I would welcome any other suggestions.

Eco Forage Boxes Foraging Bird Toy

Eco Forage Box Foraging Bird Toy

Foraging for food is very important for our domesticated birds.  In the wild, parrots will spend hours a day hunting for food.  Unfortunately, being domesticated they no longer have to work to eat since we provide them with all their meals.  This can lead to boredom.  It is so important for our feathered friends to have the experience of foraging on a daily basis.

This is why I really love these eco friendly foraging boxes.   They are so great to hide your bird(s) favorite treat inside.  I found that when I was teaching my birds to Forage these boxes were an excellent way for my birds to learn.  Now that they are more advanced at foraging they just love to tear into these wonderful boxes filled with surprise treats.

I usually put some “Lafeber Avi Cakes or Lafeber Nutri Berries” inside and I watch our feathered flock tear up the boxes.  This is a great foraging bird toy that doubles as a way to give your bird back a taste for his/her natural wild instinct to forage.  They keep our flock busy for hours.

Watch the video below to see the ‘Eco Forage Boxes” in action.

I would love to hear about your experiences with these great foraging boxes.  Please leave me a comment.

Remembering Alex

Alex the African Grey Parrot

Alex the African Grey Parrot

It’s hard to believe that Alex the African Grey Parrot has been gone from our lives for over 2 years now.  I remember when I first heard of Alex’s passing.  I could not believe it was true.  This African Grey Parrot helped change so many views on Parrots.  Irene Pepperberg’s work with Alex helped non-bird people learn what we as bird lovers already knew, “that birds are very intelligent and have the brain capacity of a three year old child.”  He turned non believers into believers.

Alex will always have a special place in my heart.  My African Grey Jerry is also very smart but no one can hold a candle to Alex except of course his brother Griffin.  Griffin is now carrying the teaching torch for Alex.  In honor of Alex, I thought I would include a video clip of  just how smart he really was.   This is a PBS special on Alex narrated by Alan Alda.

You must click the video play button to start video where you will be given a choice of video preferences then click submit.

Let me know your thoughts on Alex.

How to Get Your Bird to Eat Vegetables Part 2

Turkey Veggie Meatballs

Turkey Veggie Meatballs

This is the second part in my series of how to get your birds to eat their vegetables.  Birds are a lot like children, most of them do not like to eat vegetables unless persuaded.  My Double Yellow Headed Amazon Kiwi never has to be persuaded, he just loves his veggies.  He is such a Momma’s Boy!  (LOL)

My second idea  is to mix the veggies in a turkey meatball.  We make turkey meatballs (ground turkey instead of ground beef) for ourselves so we started giving them to our birds.   Our birds just love turkey meatballs.

Again, we started with plain turkey meatballs to make sure they liked them.  Then we started adding the vegetables.  You can use fresh vegetables or  you can use frozen mixed vegetables, which ever is easiest for you.  Cook the frozen mixed vegetables (if using fresh veggies there is no need to cook them) and then place the cooked or fresh vegetables into a blender.  Blend the veggies.  We try to grind the veggies up though not as much as with the eggs.(See Part 1 of How to Get My Bird to Eat Vegetables)   Just enough so that your bird can’t easily eat around the veggies.  Birds are so smart they can easily tell when something looks like a veggie.(LOL)  Cook in pan or in oven until fully cooked, well done.  We like to cook ours in the oven since we can avoid using cooking oils.   All off my birds love the Veggie Turkey Meatballs.  (Please note this technique is meant to be used for a short time period……Just to help your bird get used to the taste of the vegetables.  As your bird becomes accustomed to the vegetables discontinue the use of the Turkey meat in his or her diet.)

So the next time you make ground turkey for your family put aside some meat for your feathered friends.  Mix in some veggies, cook and watch them go to town.

Add some Lafeber “Avi Cakes” to top it off.  Has anyone ever made a veggie turkey ball for their birds?  I would love to hear your comments.