Homemade Nutriberry/Avicake recipe

Firstly,  why I said Nutri-berries/Avicake is because I experimented with shapes of the dough to see how it works. If you look at the ingredients list of Nutri-berries and Avicakes, you’ll notice that they are pretty much the same. What I wasn’t happy about were the corn syrup, peanuts, soy,…

I wanted to make an organic, much more healthier version of them. I used to feed them, but quickly stopped once I’ve read what they were made of. Never the less, my IRN LOOOVVVEEDD them. So, I set on a mission to make them as good as they get.

Before I start explaining the recipe, I would like to stress that this was a test batch, just to see would it be possible to make them without any honey or molasses and how would they be formed into various shapes. It turned out, my dough is pretty amazing. Ready to get baking?

Base of my Nutri-berries recipe is made of:

5 dates

1 apple (or a small jar of apple sauce)

1/2 cup of flax seed

a little bit of water

You’ll need a blender to blend, all of the before mention ingredients, together. Add a little bit of water to make it all come together in a sticky mixture. I forgot to measure how much water I’ve put in, but will do it next time. Promise. Making the base is the crucial part! Blend everything together very well! It has to form a consistent mix.

Next step is adding extras to make our Nutri-berries that more appealing and nutritious :

1 carrot, grated

1/2 cup each of millet and rolled oats

1/4 cup each of sunflower seeds and sesame seeds

1/4 cup of coconut flakes (I used a blender to crumble them up)

1/3 cup of raisins

As I mentioned before, this was a test batch, so I used all the stuff I know they like. So, these will be more a treat than a regular thing. I have a few ideas how to make them more healthier and less treat-like, though. You could use sprouts, if you have a dehydrator, instead of seeds I used in this batch. You could make quinoa clusters and use them, too. Adding nuts is also a good idea. More healthy greens, like watercress or kale.

I’ve also added : 1 tbs of each Pura Vida    (A wonderful product by Avian Organics) and chamomile flowers and some nettle leaves, too. I added Avian Organics apple powder, also. Final thing that went in was a 1 tbs of chili flakes.

I suggest you mix thoroughly each time you add a new ingredient, so everything is evenly distributed.

Next step is to grease your hands with a parrot friendly oil and get to making balls or any other shape you want. I used coconut oil.

If you bake them there are 2 options. One is to bake the for a few hours at the lowest temp your oven works at. They are done when they get nice and firm. Other option is to bake them at 130 celsius for 30 min.

Second option is to dehydrate them for 10 hours. This way and baking them at the lowest temp. helps you conserve valuable nutrients as much as possible.

Happy baking everyone!

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A CBT order

I’ve received my first Crystal’s Bird Toys order! I’m super excited about it. All of the toys look amazing, super colorful and I think both birdies will have an awesome time playing with them.

I’ve got a foot toy hoot bag. I’m not sure what size the bag was, though, but it came loaded with foot toys. By the amount of them, I’d say it was the large hoot bag.

Next on the list was the Make it Snappy! This is a really nice, big, tightly strung toy. It has a lot of chewing possibilities and I love it!! It ended up a lot bigger than I imagined to be, what is always a plus.

The Scavenge is a perfect foraging toy. It has an almond hidden on the bottom of the toy and another one hidden inside.  It comes stuffed with crinkled paper so you can hide additional treats, like I did.

Small Squeak Squiggle

I also got two Fred’s Foragers toys that I didn’t take pictures of. All in all, I’m very pleased with my order and I think birdies will be, too.

Hops

Name: Hops (eng.)/ Hopfen (de.)/ Hmelj (cro.)

Latin name: Strobuli Lupuli 

Yes, the same hop that is used in beer brewing and no, it will not turn your parrots into beer lovers! My grandmother used to say that when you have trouble sleeping you should put some hops buds under your pillow to help you sleep. Well, I’m not sure how putting flowers under your pillow will work, but a tea made from hop buds can help you relax.

Hops, as far as I know, originated from Great Britain, but it is vigorously grown throughout entire Germany. No wonder Germany is so famous for its beer. They also grow in forests, as weeds in gardens, bushes, etc all around Europe. Useful parts of these plants are female flowers, id. buds, that appear in late August, early September.

Hops have many benefits- from anti-inflammatory purposes, relaxing agent to antioxidant activity. Studies are still being made on this plant and it’s influence on our and our pets health.

I did use it with my own parrots to help soothe them. As with any calming herb, its all about amounts. I used hops as a part of a herbal, calming tea, along with chamomile, nettle, lavender, etc.

I used a *very* small amount of hop buds in my mix. No, more than 2-3 buds per 200 g of a dry mix, that I later steeped. I used a basic recipe I got from my veterinarian and added herbs I had available through my local health food stores. I’ll share the recipe in one of my next posts.  If you are not sure about the proper dosage of hops, I would advise contacting a herbalist.

I did see changes in their behavior. Lino has become a lot more calmer and he doesn’t attack me for no reason what so ever. It took a few weeks, but we’re getting there.

Lino chronicles

Lino’s puberty is starting to hit HARD.  His behavior is puzzling me, so I’ve decided to keep a journal of what’s going on, how he’s behaving and trying to draw parallels between his reaction and his surroundings.

There are days he’s this perfect bird, that steps up for everyone, is nice to everyone, plays, is curious and nothing like the biting monster some days or uncontrolled  flying projectile.

This morning I’ve let them out, as I do every morning, to clean their cages, refill water bowls, toys, etc. I opened Ringo’s cage and she nicely stepped up and went to their playground. Same routine we have EVERY morning. Than I opened Lino’s cage, he seemed unwilling to go out, so I let him be. I thought he would just find his way out on his own.

I started cleaning Ringo’s cage and after that was done, I went for pine nuts to try to bribe Lino to come out of his cage. The second he saw me with pine nuts, he run out of his cage, flew to me and bit the hell out my hand. I decided not to react and went forward with cage cleaning. Was that a mistake? Was I supposed to put him back to his cage immediately? It seemed counterproductive,  though.

After their cages were cleaned and time to o back to their cages was coming, I went to fill their foraging toys so I could put them back to their cages. The second I went to get his foraging tray, he landed on my head, very aggressively,  so I put him back to his cage.  I’m not really sure what triggered this. Yesterday he was fine. Perfect, actually.

I’ve read that senegal parrots have this flight or fight response while going through puberty. I’m afraid not to reinforce any of these behaviors.

 

Parrot apple logs

I’ve decided to make a special treat for my two parrots as I was super busy lately and thought they deserve a praise for how good they’ve been.

This is a super easy recipe that you can customize to your liking. Whole idea behind these cookies is to use what you have already at your home and to use in season fruits. It’s apple season here, so I used apples. The rest of the ingredients listed below I’ve had at home.

Lino anxiously waiting for the logs to be done already

What you’ll need is:

One apple pureed or a small jar of apple sauce

1 tbs of chia seeds, gelatinised. (you can use 1 egg instead of chia)

1 cup of flour (I used spelt and chickpea flour, but any will do)

1/4 cup of various dried fruits (I used apricots and raisins) and dried coconut.

1/2 cup of seeds and grains (I used quinoa, millet, sesame and flax seed)

I also put Avian Organics Pura Vida and Pear’ngs mixes for extra nutrition and some of their apple powder, for extra apple-tines. You could use some cinnamon, too. It would go nicely with the apple.

For finishing you’ll need a bit of coconut oil and some seeds/grains to roll the logs into. I made half of a batch with sesame-millet-flax coating and the other half with millet flakes-old fashioned rolled oats-sesame coating.

Lino enjoying an apple log he stole from my backing sheet. I didn’t even make it to my oven, before he stole it.

Here’s what you do; in a blender make the apple puree if you don’t have apple sauce. After that’s done, add dried fruits and coconut and coarsely chop them. Put everything a bowl, add chia, than mix everything well together. After that add seeds/grains than flour and mix, mix, mix until everything is formed into a nice batter.

After that’s done grease your hands with coconut oil, take small pieces from your batter and form it into logs, by rolling it between your hands. I have smaller birds, so I made them palm sized and relatively narrow. Adjust the shape and size of your logs accordingly to the size of your parrots.  After you have logs, place them into a dry mix of seeds/grains. They will stick to your logs without a problem. Bake them in the lowest heat you can or use a dehydrator if you have one.

Logs waiting to be put into oven.