Jump to content

Recipe Assessment

VStar Mama

Recommended Posts

Now I do need to confess something, about 2014-ish I adopted a cockatiel.  He's been alternately a joy and a pain (depending on his mood) and is very adept at human-training. 

Anyhow, my Lord and Commander, has recently started learning that the food humans eat can be pretty yummy.  He is always more interested in the food I am physically eating instead of his own personal portion on his cage top.  Of course I shamelessly exploit this by making meals that are both human and parrot friendly and have been having some unprecedented successes.  Matters came to a head one morning when I came out to eat my dinner and found him perched on the edge of my bowl, beak deep in my soup.  But that's another story.
So....whilst combing through Pintrest I came upon a new recipe that sounded interesting and yummy:  Congee (or jook) which is a Chinese rice porridge. Basically it is a cup of rice cooked in 10 cups of water and with some sort of meaty bone, garlic and a piece of ginger over a long period (90 minutes on stove top but I cooked mine 8 hours on low heat in the slow cooker).  I'm in love with this dish!  So easy, cheap, delicious and endlessly customize-able.  It has become my go-to after third shift dinner (aka daywalker's breakfast).  Where has this been all my life!  
My Lord was initially skeptical about my meal but did try it.  He LOVED it and I again ended up fending off a beak on a mission.  Now, I wasn't able to find any definitive information regarding the suitability of the dish (in its most basic form, the rice, water, and a bone-in chicken breast...no garlic or ginger) for parrots. What is the opinion on continuing to provide this with other parrot healthy vegetable and grain and seed additions for my benevolent tyrant? 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To eat or not to eat....What to feed our fids...

Our personal feelings are to feed a basic diet and then supplement that with other bird-safe foods...By feeding a basic diet, you make it easier for you and your FID...it cuts down on the worry of spoilage, it guarantees a basic foundation of nutritious diet, and you supplement this with other safe foods.

The order of feeding:

  • Base Diet: Safflower seed based mix or pellets (Volkman's Safflower Cockatiel Blend, Harrison's Pellets)
  • Lots of green leafy vegetables
  • Carrots (parboiled to bring out nutrients)
  • Nuts daily- (a couple of almonds, walnuts, pistachios) Note: Only feed human-grade unsalted roasted peanuts (no raw)
  • Beans and legumes
  • Sweet potatoes/yams
  • Food items two-three times a week:
  • Hard-boiled egg with shells
  • White potatoes (no eyes)
  • Chicken breast and leg/wing bones, albacore no-salt tuna/salmon/cod,
  • Lightly on garbanzo/chickpeas
  • Organic salt-free peanut butter
  • White Rice (white rice is processed, removing some of the arsenic)
  • Raw or cooked pastas
  • Fruits: A parrot, especially a Cockatiel, needs very little fruit. A couple pieces a day no bigger than their head is good for any parrot. Pomegranates, grapes with seeds, papaya/mango, etc. Fruit is 99% sugar with very little nutrients and goes right through them.

These are just examples...

Here is a reason why you shouldn't feed too much rice...

'...when it comes to arsenic the less nutritional white rice is better than brown. The carcinogen is most prevalent in the outer layers of the grain and white rice is polished removing some of those layers.

Consumer Reports suggests rice eaters limit themselves to one serving a day, especially for babies. Rinsing and then boiling rice in a 6 to 1 water ratio removes about 30 percent of its arsenic. They also caution that children under the age of 5 should not be given rice drinks as part of their daily diet.'


Example: Don't feed sunflower seeds to a cockatiel. I have proven it to myself and have researched it on the net, that sunflower seeds make cockatiels ornery (Hyper).

By all means, share and feed from the table...give them that occasional no-no...and stay away from known bad foods. If you suspect something, err on the side of caution and don't feed it.

Major piece of advice...The bird's droppings are a major way to see how well they're eating and doing....study Poopology 101...

O.oWill add to this when brain is less fuzzy...:P

Edited by Jayd
Make explanation
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sometimes I wonder about these lists, especially when they say milk is bad.   When we got Huey, his former Daddy told us to mix his medicine (some anti-anxiety med that stops him from butchering his feet) in a tablespoon of milk.  I said 'Milk'?   I told him that we are always told milk is bad.  He told me that his avian vet told him to use milk and he's been using it FOR TEN YEARS.   Huey doesn't show any signs of damage to me.   However, I have switched to using almond milk as I still can't seem to bring myself to keep feeding him milk.  

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Parrots cannot digest lactose which includes milk, cheese, ice cream, etc. Cottage cheese and yogurt do not contain lactose so they can be tolerated.
Remember my subject on moderation and accumulation? The way lactose affects our parrots is that the bird's gastrointestinal tract sets off basically an allergic reaction to lactose. In moderation, it can lead to mild inflammation with no signs. A steadier diet can can result in diarrhea and in diets with large amounts of lactose, total blockage/enterotoxemia can be the result. Often, symptoms are excused as just being normal for our Fid or misdiagnosed altogether.
As lactose accumulates,  the inflammation in the bird's gastrointestinal tract can lead to secondary bacterial/fungal infections, decreased gastrointestinal motility or complete functional/foreign body obstruction, toxemia and death.
In this case, it is best not to give dairy or lactose products. Think of your Fid as being lactose-intolerant...
Remember your two best friends....Moderation and Accumulation


  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Garlic doesn't go into the congee batches I've been making.  I've been adding the non-approved parrot foods after he's eaten his share.  So I'll put in the stuff I know he can eat (like egg, whole grains, shredded chicken, spinach, etc) and go sit and eat.  He gets to eat out of the bowl with me until he is full and not interested anymore, then I'll add all the other stuff I like to eat  (bacon, roasted or pickled  garlic, sauteed onion, cheese, whatever combo I want in the morning) and finish my breakfast/dinner in peace.  

With that info on rice and arsenic however, I'll cut back myself (which makes me a bit sad since I love rice.  Its cheap and I can do so many yummy things with it) I was surprised to read that information about sunflower seeds too!  I don't give them to him as part of his diet but those are his preferred treats.  We're working on recall training and some behavior shaping.  I've tried to offer chopped pecans, walnuts, pistachios, and cashews but he spurns all of them.  I haven't tried pint nuts yet but those will be next on the shopping list.  Any other ideas for suitable treats?  

He is not a fan of fruit.  Spurned my offerings of grapes, apples, banana, mango, and everything else I've offered over the past few years.  He has nibbled fresh leafy greens but prefers to eat them finely chopped and mixed up with other stuff.  I haven't tried sprouting anything for him.  Not sure where to start with that.  Got some ideas?  We are slowly expanding the menu of fresh food that he eats.  He really needs to see me eating it to get interested, and even then may only sample it here and there before he decides that something really tastes good enough for him to eat.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

:) Thank you. You're doing a great job...it takes time to learn what they like and don't like and any food items, especially good for them like green leafy vegetables, mixed together is great! Keep up the good work!




  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

https://sproutpeople.org has really good (though not cheap) sprouting mixes for birds.  They also sell a little sprouter that works well. I used them for Timber for years, but the last year or so he decided he wasn't going to eat the sprouts any more so I stopped.  I need to try it again, since he tends to get tired of things then start eating them again after a period of time elapses.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

:DGood morning!...Here's a warning:ph34r:...later today, when I wake up,:o I'll post a post of useful notes...O.oAbout SPROUTING....hehehe...:P (I'm a poet and didn't know it... and still don't)B|

(Please before investing, read my post !!!)

Edited by Jayd
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...