Opinion: Bird Bread and Its Place

For those that don’t know, bird bread is something popular in the avian community. It is a way to get pellets, fresh foods, etc into our birds when they decline to eat it themselves. Some feed it as a treat, others as an integral part of their feathered companion(s) diet. Birds universally seem to love bird bread so it is an effective tool for this purpose.

Bird Bread
Bird Bread

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Grain Bake in the Crockpot

If you don’t know what a grain bake is yet, you should take a look at Patricia Sund’s blog Parrot Nation. The idea of a grain bake is to throw a bunch of dry goods like grains, beans, pasta, fruits,etc, cover with water, and bake until the water is absorbed. What could be easier than that?

Maybe the crockpot?

I don’t know if it’s technically easier, but it fits into my lifestyle. I throw my goods in the crockpot, cover with about an inch of water, cover and turn on the heat! That is really all there is to it.

Here is a before picture:

Grain bake

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My Seed Mix

When I brought my Quaker home over two years ago, I was annoyed that he was on an all seed diet, especially since the species is prone to fatty liver disease. While I didn’t want to completely exclude seeds from his diet, I wanted to be sure that the ones I did offer him were nutritious. It was a little shocking to me to see how little variety between commercial seed mixes were, and how sunflower and safflower laden they all were!

After comparing seed mixes, pellet mixes, and more, and using my local co-op and Nuts.com, I managed to create my own seed mix that I was quite pleased with. Now, I didn’t add a bunch of other things like flowers, herbs, dried fruit, etc, because I wanted this to be solely a seed mix that I could soak and sprout. However, back then I was unaware of the fact that flax and chia seeds are mucilaginous, meaning they gel up when they are wet. They require a different method for sprouting and will suffocate the other seeds if you attempt to do them together. My “sage advice” is that if you want to be able to sprout this mix, leave those seeds out.

seeds

 

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Nutricrackers

I have made Nutriberries and Avicake copy cat recipes before, but decided to a new one using my dehydrator instead of the oven. Which would have worked perfect, I think… except that I forgot about them. And I may have made them too thin… they ended up a little crunchier than I was planning. These ended up being a huge hit with my picky Hahns. 

Nutricake

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Crazy Worldly Bistro Mash

My birds are a huge fan of ready-made mashes like Bird Street Bistro, Higgins Worldly Cuisines, and Crazy Corn. But I don’t always like paying for them, especially because I think some have ingredients that I could do without.

So I set out to make my own! The intention was to make something that, once done, was not only nutritious, but also could be stored for longer periods of time, and be ready to go when I needed it to be.

Crazy Worldly Bistro Mash
A picture of the end result (dry)

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