Easy Finch Canary Cockatiel Bird Chop Recipe
Bird chop time!
This week I got my monthly box from Collaborating for Avian Wellness (C4AW.org). I made a quick video of how I use that + some other ingredients to make a dry cage mix for night time and a ‘wet’ bird chop mix that my birds get first thing in the morning.
I use it for
Let me know if your birds love it!
A lot of people tell me that making bird chop is really hard. I don’t find it hard, because I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and I have good tools. But I get it! If you aren’t as familiar, or you just feel like you’re “doing it wrong,” bird chop might be a difficult thing to master.
So I’ve made you some videos and posts, which I’ll list here. And I even wrote a little $5 book of recipes. I’m doing all I can to help you make bird chop easily. I guess the only other thing I could do is invite you over to my kitchen and make it together, wouldn’t that be fun?
Here are a couple ideas that might help.
Make it in Bulk
We’re all busy. So you can make up your chop in bulk and freeze it. Make up to a month’s worth or more at once. Just take an afternoon and get it all done. Here’s what I do.
- I order the bulk package I mentioned above, you could even get 2 of them for more birds
- I go to Aldi’s and buy all my produce, some of it frozen
- I come home and wash it all……
Once it’s all laid out and washed I can’t help but get started. To wash my produce, I put it all in one side of the sink, a colander in the other side, and a pile of paper towels beside that. Then I wash, using a veggie wash or grape seed extract. I rinse and move it to the colander, and when that’s full I move them to the paper towels. While I’m doing that, I’m also boiling eggs, steaming potatoes, and cooking or soaking a grain like quinoa or a bag of ancient grains.
I chop most of the food in the food processor or just with a knife, but I also use the nutri bullet for things like egg shells, nuts, and other harder foods. I find my birds even like it if I chop the steel cut oats in the nutribullet and soak them in hot water afterward.
Now, at this point I’m not even worried about assembling the chop, so I have a bunch of bowls of food all over the kitchen. (Some of the bigger birds love it if they come out during this time – here are some taste testers). There are some foods you don’t want to freeze; a lot of people complain that peppers frozen into bird chop makes it mushy. I actually just add dry egg food, but since it is a thing – you can leave them in the fridge and add as you go each day. Fruit is another one you might want to hold back. Same goes for my sprouts, I add them on top daily, along with any vitamins or supplements I need to add. I find that hard boiled eggs freeze just fine in chop.
So when you’re done, you can throw in all the yummy stuff together. You can use bowls or a big storage container. Mine is 28 Liters I believe, and I love it because it’s shallow enough to stir my chop easily. Then just dole it out into freezer containers and you’re done.
Except for washing all those dishes.
Take Advantage of a Dry Mix
I’ve done dry bird mix a few different ways. Basically you just find foods that are fresh, but will last overnight. Freeze dried food falls into this category, as do most grains. Dry (commercial) egg food is always a hit. Or go the easy route and use the C4AW.org bird chop combo here. I confess that I run most of these through the chopper for the Gouldians and canaries, but it’s easy and quick.
The dry mix is useful at night, especially when you know you’ll be gone early in the morning. I make doctor appointments for 7 a.m., go out to breakfast, and come back at 9 or even 10 to feed their first bird chop breakfast. So I’m happy that I have dry mix in their cages which I gave them the night before.
Spend Some Time Learning to Grow Sprouts or Microgreens
Sprouting is not terribly easy, since the humidity and weather conditions affect it so much. It’s hard to give precise instructions for that very reason. So rather than trying once and saying ‘oh, mine molded, I can’t do that’ please know there is a learning curve. Expect to try several times before you get it right.
I often have moldy sprouts which I have to toss out, and that bothers me because it’s a waste of money. We have really high humidity here in zone 10a. I find it easier to grow microgreens or even this tray of wheatgrass. I found that was a huge hit, and once the grass is 2″ high or so, you can leave it in the cage for several days while the birds munch on it. Yeah it’s not exactly a hint for chop, but it’s a healthy food for them.
OK. As promised, here are a few links about feeding finches and I’ll add more as I write more. Don’t forget, you can always send a message or buy my book Feeding Finches on Amazon. (shameless self promotion)