If you think about it, people are attracted to the way food looks. We prefer food that is brightly colored, beautifully prepared and served in an attractive way. Our companion parrots are no different. If it looks good, they are going to want to dive right in and make a mess of it.
I’ve always been a big believer in creating interesting and attractive meals for my small flock of African greys. I’ve kept track what they prefer and it has always come down to food that is colorful, has a strong flavor and is presented in an interesting way.
Here are 8 easy treats to prepare for your pet bird. Not only fun and delicious, they are healthy as well. These treats add fun to snack time as well as provide some added nutrition to your bird’s daily routine. Break up the routine with a little foraging, a little fun and a lot of nutrition!
A smoothie makes a great treat for you and your birds.
Smoothies are at the top of my list for a delicious way to hide healthy food in a tasty way. Try making a banana-collard green smoothie to get those healthy greens into your bird with no fuss.
Here’s the recipe:
Banana-Collard Green Smoothies for Parrots
- 1 cup almond milk
- 5 to 6 large collard green leaves
- 2 Swiss chard leaves, chopped
- 1/2 cup watercress
- 1 large ripe banana
- 3 tablespoons ground flax seed
- 2 tablespoons of chopped mango
- Juice of 1/2 of an orange
- 1 tablespoon of chia or hemp seed
Cut collard greens and banana into uniform pieces. Place all the ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth. If it is too thick, simply add more water or some fruit juice. Apple juice would be a great choice. However, a thicker texture might be what your bird would prefer.
2. Vegetable Sushi
This is a fun way to get your birds to eat vegetables and it serves as a foraging food. Lettuce, kale, collard green or cabbage leaves make a wonderful wrap for a mixture of chopped vegetables and a bean-and-grain mix. You could also cut strips of raw vegetables cut into julienne strips. Arrange the strips lengthwise on the leaves and roll them up. Tie with some hemp twine or a carrot strip and offer it whole to your bird. Not only do they have a healthy treat, they can become curious about what’s inside. You can even add an almond or a walnut piece as a surprise.
Stuff manicotti tubes with a vegetable-and-bean mix for a fun handheld treat for your pet bird.
3. Whole Wheat Manicotti Tubes
If you can find vegetable or whole-wheat manicotti tubes, this pasta can be stuffed with a healthy vegetable-bean-and-grain mix.
Simply undercook the manicotti so it is still sturdy. Stuff it with the vegetable mixture. You could even roll it in chopped nuts for an extra bite your bird will love. Serve whole or cut into slices for the smaller birds. Serve it whole to larger species of birds, or sliced and in a bowl.
4. Vegetable Kabob
Use a stainless-steel bird kabob or a strand of sturdy uncooked whole wheat or vegetable pasta (such as linguine or other thicker pasta) and thread pre-pierced chunks of vegetables onto the pasta. Brightly colored vegetables such as green and red peppers, jalapeño pepper slices, daikon radish, broccoli florets and carrots can be used to make your kabob. If you like, you can tie sprigs of parsley or cilantro onto the kabob to add more texture and flavor.
5. Fruit-and-Vegetable Garland
Make a dried fruit and vegetable garland. Using hemp twine, simply pre-pierce the dried produce and thread the pieces onto the hemp twine. Tie the garland to your bird’s cage or playstand and watch them try to get the pieces off of the garland.
A bird waffle sandwich is another great handheld treat.
6. Bird Waffle Sandwiches
Make bird waffle sandwiches! Use this recipe here. Cut the waffles into smaller squares and spread almond butter onto the waffles. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and make small sandwiches out of the waffle slices. These can also be put on a stainless-steel kabob skewer.
7. Ice Pops
Make frozen ice pops. Simply mix up a healthy smoothie and freeze in ice cube trays. If you like, you can insert a popsicle stick for to make it easy for your bird to hold the ice pop.
Using the recipe for waffle batter, prepare thin pancakes. In order to get a more crepe-like consistency, thin the batter a bit with more almond milk. Cook the pancakes in a bird-safe nonstick pan using a bird-friendly oil, such as coconut oil. Let the pancakes cool and roll up strip of vegetables made from carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, Swiss chard or collard greens in the pancakes. You can serve as is, or spread almond butter onto the rolled up crepes and roll in hemp seed heart or chia seed for added nutrition and interest.