Making homemade bird treats is a perfect way to provide your pet companions with a delicious nutritious diet, show them affection and save you money!
I love making different snacks for Chika, finding out what she enjoys, and bonding with her over food. Making parrot food with a blend of pellets and fruits or vegetables is also 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
I usually get these pellets - Vetafarm MD Maintenance Diet Pellets, they are formulated by avian vets and have all the good stuff - balanced vitamins, minerals, calcium, and essential amino acids. Chika loves them!
Colorful pellets for decoration
Adding multicolored pellets to your parrot's cookies is a great way to make food more exciting for your flock. I used mini pellets Nutriblend from Vetafarm.
Mixed fruit and vegetables your bird likes
I used 1 apple and 1 carrot. You can also use frozen fruit and vegetables.
1/2 cup oats
Shredded unsalted coconut
1 can of creamed corn or 1/2 cup of cooked grains
If you decide to use cooked grains, brown rice, quinoa or barley is a perfect choice.
Sprout mix or high-fat seeds and nuts
For this recipe, I used a Super Sprout mix by Topflite but you can always use nuts and seeds, e.g. peanut and walnut chunks.
Instructions In a Nutshell
- Blend pellets into a powder, this will be the flour for our recipe
- Grate large fruits and vegetables with a cheese-grater
- Mix your fruits and vegetables with flour, oats, coconut, and creamed corn or your choice of grains
- Add a small handful of a sprout mix (or seeds and nuts)
- Bake the mixture into small flattened biscuits in an oven until just starting to brown or firm to the touch
Start off by gathering your ingredients and equipment. You don’t need any extra things if you already have pellets. Prepare your fruits and vegetables - Chika’s favorites are carrots, corn, and apples, but often I’ll just use whatever is hanging around 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 carrots 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 apples to avoid the seeds, they’re very poisonous for birds. I cut slices of the apple first so I wouldn’t accidentally grate too far!
Mix all your veggies and fruit with pellet flour, oats, sprout mix, coconut, and creamed corn. 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 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 vegetables mixed along with cooked grains add this moisture naturally.
The consistency is a bit stickier than a normal baking cookie dough. From here there are lots of options for what to do with it: you can make cookies, treat balls, you can freeze it, or use it as is. This recipe makes a lot of dough so you can use it for a few other recipes, e.g. yummy and healthy treat balls. 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 dough 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 but it’s a bit more time-consuming. A fun way to make the cookies more exciting is to use some small colored 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 get brown, just so they harden. This can be quite variable depending on their size. The little cookies only took 10 minutes at 180°C (356°F) but the larger ones took 15 minutes.
Leave them to cool and then they’re ready to go! Hope you and your flock enjoy this delicious recipe.
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