IMPORTANT, PLEASE NOTE
Cooked rice & beans and sprouts should be monitored closely on hot, humid days and should only be left in cage for 2-3 hours.Fruits & Vegetables:
10-12 different items per feeding.
Corn, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, jalapeno peppers, red peppers, beets, turnips, grape tomatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, peapods, apples, pears, plums, grapes, kiwi, melon, pineapple, oranges, papaya, star fruit, bananas, coconut, passion fruit, guava, kumquats. Many other local, in season, fruits and veggies may be used.
Dry Foods, leave in cage overnight (see note at bottom regarding nuts):
1/4 cup California Greystripe Seed
1/8 cup Pumpkin Seeds,
1/8 cup Pine Nuts,
1/4 cup Higgins Boca Nuts Small (this is all shelled nuts and dried fruits)
1 Brazil Nut
1/4 slice of whole wheat bread & 1/2 millet spray.
Note on Feeding Nuts:
BABIES: feed only almonds, soft shelled pecans and peanuts, until 6 months old, then add pre-cracked large nuts until 1-year-old; then stop pre-cracking.
Sprouting is simply the process of causing a dormant seed to germinate. Sprouted seeds are loaded with enzymes and their vitamin content can be several hundred times higher than in their dry state. Because sprouts are so nutrient rich, they form the basis of a parrot's diet.
What to Sprout?
A wide variety of seeds and grains can be sprouted. Beans (legumes) can also be sprouted but are limited to adzuki, mung and lentils. Any other UNCOOKED bean is toxic. Other key points include: Seeds for sprouting should not be hulled, vitaminized, heat cleaned, roasted or salted.
Make sure the seeds are "human grade", meant for human consumption. Seeds and grains NOT meant for consumption are typically sprayed with pesticides and mold/fungus inhibitors which are highly toxic.
Examples of good sprouting material:
Grains: Winter wheat, Spring/Summer Wheat, Oats, Barley, Corn, Rye, Buckwheat, Millet, Amaranth, Milo, Triticale Seeds: Sunflower, Safflower, Peas, Broccoli, Cloves, Alfalfa, Radish, Fenugreek, Mustard, Dill, Dandelion, Fennel
Beans: Adzuki, Mung, Lentils. Wild bird seed and pigeon mixes can also be sprouted.
How Much to Sprout?
One cup of dry seeds/grains/beans will sprout into double the dry quantity.
1 cup dry = 2 cups sprouted.
Seed Mix after 8 Hours of soaking; bright colors, larger in size, with some sprouts already beginning to appear.
Dry seed mix prior to soaking; muted colors, hard, compact in size.
4 Hour Soak: You want to soak your sprouting material for 4 hours BEFORE applying any sanitizing solution. Place your dry seeds/grains in a plastic or glass container large enough to hold the seed plus at least twice that amount of water. Fill with filtered water. Soak for 4 hours.
Inhibit mold/bacteria: Drain and rinse the sprout material. Next, select a sanitizing agent which will inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria. I use/recommend Bleach or G.S.E. (Grapefruit Seed Extract): 1 tablespoon for every quart (4 cups) of water.
4-6 Hour Soak: Add warm water, along with sanitizing agent to the sprouting mix. Soak sprouting material for another 4-6 hours.
Drain sprouting mix: Drain your sprouts into a colander, rinse with HOT water and allow them to drain.
Rinse every few hours (or several times a day) with very warm water. If they dry out, your sprouts will spoil, evidenced by a sour smell.
When sprouting for more than one days feeding, it is important to refrigerate in an open (or partially opened) container. Sprouts are at their peak, nutritionally, when the white root just begins to bud. This usually takes about a day. Have fresh sprouts available daily.
How to introduce your bird to sprouts
A good way to introduce your bird to sprouts is to start with a favorite seed such as sunflower. It is highly recommended that you sprinkle the sprouts with a nutritious and favorite flavor, such as Parrot Deli. Parrot Deli contains: Garlic, an edible protector against bacterial growth on the fresh sprouts. Alfalfa, which provides protein, calcium and many other nutrients. Beet and Carrot, which are both highly nutritious forms of carotene as well as many other nutrients. Barley grass is also an excellent nutrient.
Parrot Deli Powder Mix
Developed by: Dr. M.L. Simmons
A "part" is going to depend on total volume you are making. I make up large amounts so to me a "part" is 1 pound. For just a few birds you could make a "part" be any number of ounces. Since you will have a total of 7 parts, you can work backwards and determine how much you want to store. I freeze extra in plastic freezer bags. - Dr. Lee