Making your own parrot food can provide your companion with a delicious nutritious diet and save you money!
It’s also a great way to show affection and build your relationship with your parrot. I love making different snacks for Chika, finding out what she enjoys, and bonding with her over food. It can have more practical impacts as well, making parrot food with a blend of pellets and fruits/vegetables is a great way to move your bird to a pellet-based diet.
This recipe is specifically designed for parrots and is aimed at birds that regularly eat dry pellets.
- 2 cups pellets
- Mixed fruit and vegetables your bird likes (can use frozen fruit/veg)
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/2 cup cooked brown rice/quinoa/barley/ (optional)
- Some peanut/walnut chunks or other seeds/nuts that are high-fat
Instructions (In a Nutshell)
- Blend pellets into a powder, this will be your ‘flour’
- Grate large fruits and vegetables with a cheese-grater
- Mix your fruits/vegetables with the ‘flour’, oats, and rice (optional)
- Add a small handful of selected seeds/nuts
- Bake the mixture into small flattened biscuits in an oven until just starting to brown or firm to the touch.
Tips and Pictures!
Start off by gathering your ingredients and equipment. You don’t need many extra things if you already own pellets. I always get my pellets from my local pet shop. You can use a range of fruits and vegetables in this, but Chika’s favourites are carrot, corn, and apple, but often I’ll just use whatever is hanging round in my fridge. I also find that creamed corn can help the consistency of the mixture.
The main piece of equipment you need is a blender or food processor. I use a handheld blending stick with a small food processor attachment that I find does this really successfully. I wouldn’t recommend trying to hand crush the pellets as they are very hard to break and will take a lot of time and effort.
First up blend the pellets to make a flour-like substance; this is the base of almost all my parrot recipes. The finer the better, but if it’s a bit coarse it still works out. This can take a while so be patient with your blender.
Next, grate or dice your fruits and vegetables. I find carrot and other hard vegetables work a bit better in this recipe if they’re lightly cooked first. I microwaved the carrot for a few minutes to soften it up. A great way to get vegetables for this is using leftovers you’ve cooked for yourself so long as you haven’t added any seasonings. Remember to be careful when using apple to avoid the seeds, they’re very poisonous for birds. I cut slices of apple first so I wouldn’t accidentally grate too far!
Mix all your veges and fruit with the pellet ‘flour’, oats, seeds/nuts, and cooked rice/quinoa. I’m not using any rice today because I was a bit lazy and didn’t want to cook it up! But it can be very useful for the consistency, this is one of the reasons I use creamed corn. If you aren’t using creamed corn or a cooked grain and you find the mixture too dry, you can add a bit of water to make the consistency more dough like. I generally find that the fruit and veg along with a cooked grain adds this moisture naturally.
The consistency is a bit stickier than a normal baking cookie dough. From here there’s lots of options for what to do with it: cookies, treat balls, freeze it, use it as is. This recipe makes a lot of mixture so you can use it for a few things. I always freeze a large amount because I prefer to make it in bulk and have treats stored away for a few months.
Take some mixture and flatten it onto baking paper. Then use some cookie cutters or just cut it into smaller pieces. I really enjoy making cute shaped food for Chika :3 but it’s a bit more time consuming. A fun way to make the cookies more exciting is to use some small coloured pellets like sprinkles!
Bake the cookies until they harden a little and hold their shape when picked up. You shouldn’t cook them till they brown, just so they harden. This can be quite variable depending on their size. The little cookies only took 10 minutes at 180°C but the larger ones took 15min.
Leave them to cool and then they’re ready to go!