Friday, 19 October 2012

Grain Mixes

Today in a supermarket I found quite good grain mixes useful for when I don't have time to make anything complicated but want to treat my Digby.
One grain mix is actually a porridge, made with 5 different grains and 5 seeds: Porridge Oats, Jumbo Oats, Oatmeal, Barley Flakes, Rye Flakes, Golden Linseeds, Sesame Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Buckwheat Flakes, Poppy Seeds, Quinoa Flakes.

All the ingredients in it are organic too.

I've also picked up a bag of these pre-cooked 4 grains in Waitrose: wheat, rye, spelt and barley

So using both I made Digby a quick dinner: both grain mixes, persimmon, organic plum, broccoli and some chunks of bird bread made with organic pellets and a mix of vegetables, like sweet potato, carrot, kale and squash.


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Fattening Them Up For Winter

Only joking, not really trying to fatten anyone up but Digby had quite an indulgent dinner yesterday:
Bird Bread with a drizzle of Healx/Avix Relief product, blackberry, pomegranate, rowan berries, steamed carrot, peas, steamed tenderstem broccoli (Digby only likes the stem), steamed quinoa and buckwheat and a slice of apple.

Apart from getting her food all laid out on a plate I also get Digby to forage for her treats. Here she is eating an almond, wrapped up in a piece of kitchen towel and it was squashes between the end of that purple link at the bottom of the boing.  The other foraging food Digby loves and I also wrap up in kitchen roll and scatter it around her playground is Power Treats. 

Dudley doesn't mind doing a bit of foraging too


He also go crazy for Power Treats so on a very rare occasion he gets one as a treat:



The other day I saw on my Facebook wall a plea from the Island Parrot Sanctuary for any unwanted fleeces people may have lying around. The Sanctuary is located on an isle in Scotland, they have over 60 birds in their care, all rescue birds who have found forever homes there, and they need some help from us this winter. The sanctuary uses fleece to insulate the outdoors aviaries, to wrap the perches up to keep birds' feet warm and to make sleeping boxes.

photo belongs to the Island Parrot Sanctuary

In view of that I've decided to start a small fundraiser asking my friends who are also parrot owners to donate £1 ($1.50). It is not a lot and almost everyone can afford it. I know the times are tough, and that is why I thought if all of us chipped in we would have enough to get a good roll of fleece fabric for the sanctuary. So if you feel like you can give £1, please click on the widget on the right side of the blog, or follow this link to donate.

Thank you!

To read more about the Sanctuary click here

You can also help the Sanctuary directly, to find out how press here 

UPDATE: I have now ordered 21 meters of yellow fleece, thanks to all my friends who donated and I added the rest. We chose yellow because the owner of the sanctuary likes bright colours and it is a colour of sun and hopefully it will cheer the birds and their carers up. I am not closing the appeal though as they need as much help in winter (and summer too!) as they can get and if the appeal will reach $100 I would love to buy some comfy perches and warm huts for the birds, depending on when we reach the goal, so if you can spare $1/£1 please donate using the link on the right at the top of the page. Thank you!

You can read live updates on the fundraiser in this Facebook group 

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Freezing Summer Goodness

I have a small allotment where I grow some veggies and berries. My parents-in-law also have a garden where they grow a variety of produce. This year has been awful for most crops, but I've managed to freeze some of the summer goodness.

Rowan berries, spread out on a tray and ready to go into the freezer. Already frozen, in the same way, rosehips and blackberries on the right and fresh hazelnuts (cobnuts) on the left.

I have more stuff frozen already in the freezer: some redcurrants, wild blackberries and some blackcurrants. And I've also now added some organic raspberries to the selection.

These make for a great treat and Digby really enjoys his berries. On the plate: cobnut, bird bread, rowan berries, hawthorn berries, plum.

I think pretty much all berries freeze really well. Sometimes I buy reduced or on offer organic blueberries as I don't grow any myself, and freeze them too. I like adding berries to mash which I prepare in individual portions from time to time. I don't feed it regularly because my Digby is very hormonal and warm soft foods stimulate her hormones even further, but I don't want to deprive her of that pleasure completely. They can also be added to bird breads or given as they are, simply defrosted.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Healthy Juice

I am not sure why I don't do it more often, but today I've made Digby some fruit and vegetable juice: 1 pear, 1 beetroot, 1 carrot, diluted by a bit less than a half with hot water as Digby loves his warm drinks. 

Beetroot is a wonder food. According to Wikipediaseveral preliminary studies on both rats and humans have shown betaine, the compound which gives beetroot its red colour, may protect against liver disease, particularly the buildup of fatty deposits in the liver caused by alcohol abuse, protein deficiency, or diabetes, among other causes.
Moreover, Beetroot juice has been shown to lower blood pressure and thus help prevent cardiovascular problems. Research published in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension showed drinking 500 ml of beetroot juice led to a reduction in blood pressure within one hour. The reduction was more pronounced after three to four hours, and was measurable up to 24 hours after drinking the juice.
Other studies have found the positive effects beetroot juice can have on human exercise and performances. In studies conducted by Exeter University, scientists found cyclists who drank a half-litre of beetroot juice several hours before setting off were able to ride up to 20% longer than those who drank a placebo blackcurrant juice.

Next time I am going to try and add some green veggies, like broccoli and kale to the juice as she is not too keen on greens on their own.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

A Week Of Dinners

A couple of months ago I took photos of Digby's food every day of the week to post on a forum I am on. I am thinking it is probably a good idea to share it here too:

Bird bread in all photos is made up of ground up Harrisons pellets plus mashed veggies like carrot, sweet potatoe and squash. Sprouts are mainly peas, lentils, fenugreek, a small amount of sunflower seeds, radish seeds, buckwheat, chickpeas and wheat.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Flower Power

Earlier I posted about enriching parrots' diets with flowers. Here is another variation of it: nasturtium flower, calendula flower, mint flower, rose, cosmos, nasturtium leaf, blackberry and rosehip from the garden, a slice of home-grown peach and a few pieces of bird bread:

Digby didn't really fancy eating the flowers as such, but it doesn't matter, they are there not just for nutrition as they are safe to eat and would have been great if she did, but they are also for enrichment, for her visual pleasure.

Speaking of visual pleasure, I think the way we serve food matters a lot. Sometimes I offer chopped fruit and veg, but sometimes, for effect, I offer them whole, like this watermelon. Or I like piling up colourful fruit, veggies and berries together, and serve the same treats for Digby as I do to myself and husband (two large bowls of berries are for us, and a plate is for Digby)

These willow catkins are not exactly flowers, but they are cute, and make for a great toy and also safe to chew on

Bright colours are great and stimulating for the vision and great for the feeling of general well-being and when we go out for walks I like choosing pretty spots to rest in for Digby's mental satisfaction

Incorporating flowers into parrots' diets and environment is a great form to make their lives and ours too just a little bit brighter and more exciting

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Parrot Pancakes

I haven't posted here in a long while as I've been mainly posting my recipes on Facebook and completely forgot about the blog. so here is the recipe for parrot-friendly pancakes with two different kind of toppings.

makes 8

1/4 cup of cooked quinoa
1-2 Tbsp of buckwheat flour
1 Tbsp of chia seeds or ground flax
3 Tbsp of water
1/4 tsp of coconut oil or palm fruit extract
small pinch of cinnamon
small pinch of turmeric
small piece of Kale leaf or any other green leafy
3 cubes (or 1 1/3 inch slice of a small) squash or pumpkin, cooked and mashed.
1/4 of fig, mashed (can replace with any other fruit or berry which is easy to mash)

Grease your non-toxic pan very very lightly with coconut oil,  I used a brush to do so.

Mix chia seeds and water and let them stand for a couple of minutes. Then add all other ingredients and mix. The batter should be quite thick, almost rollable, so if it is too watery add a bit more buckwheat flour, if it is too thick, add a splash of water.

Scoop the batter in small pancakes, or roll them in your hands in little balls, put them on your pan and flatten with the back of the spoon. Fry on each side for about a minute or so. Don't make them too big, as it will take too long to cook and will be harder to flip.

Berry Topping

1 raspberry
1 blackberry
1 rosehip
3-4 blueberries
1 strawberry

Put the berries in the smallest pan you have and on a slow heat cook them until just soft and syrupy. Serve over the pancakes

Almond and Cashew Cream Topping

a handful of almonds
a handful of cashews
2 tsp of water
1/2 tsp of coconut oil

Put everything in a small food processor and blend until smooth. Serve about 1/4 of a teaspoon on top of pancakes.

Digby enjoying both, one yesterday, one today

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