April 2013 - Chop Night

By: Margot B., Tuesday April 16, 2013

This month YRPC hosted their annual chop night organized by Lucy Kupnicki and Andrea Manning with special guest appearance by Greg!

First Greg, our club sprouting expert, shared with us the various techniques and equipment that can be used for sprouting beans and seeds. Sprouting increases the availability of the nutrients in the food, making it a highly nutritious option for your bird. The food is actually alive and at the most nutritious point in its life cycle. Purpose built systems are available, such as the China Prairie Sprouttower which can hold up to 3 sprouting jars at a time and drains conveniently into your sink ( However, equipment can be as simple as securing a peice of nylon over a mason jar and draining on a 45 degree angle in your dishpan. To sprout seeds, first soak the seeds overnight (8-10 hours), then drain the water completely. Rinse thoroughly every 12 hours. After 3 days, sprouts are ready to feed to your bird.

Birds can be picky eaters and getting them to try different foods can be difficult. But birds are able to eat a wide range of foods and offering them a blend of foods can encourage them to try something new, albeit inadvertently! Hence the idea behind chop: a blend of chopped up healthy vegetables, whole grains and fruits. With many hands making light work, club members gathered around a large group of tables set up with chopping stations for various healthy foods. Ingredients included sweet potato, carrots, beets, broccoli, cilantro, parsley, cabbage, corn, cooked legumes (beans) plus various whole grains including spelt, barley and oats. Andrea also made her special Bon Bons, a blend ofpumpkin puree, quinoa, cilantro, red chili pepper flakes and shredded leafy greens formed into small balls rolled in a blend of millet, chia seed powder and ground flax. The bon bons are then baked for up to 20 min at 350 F to help them retain their shape. Chop was packaged up and everyone got to take a good supply home for their birds.

Lucy also created an excellent take home resource on Parrot Enrichment and Recipes. With info and photos gleaned from the internet, the resource is entertaining and full of ideas to help make your bird's life more fulfilling and challenging. Thanks Lucy for putting together an excellent take-home guide for everyone! The evening was rounded out with our usual activities: a raffle table and always appreciated snacks provided by Marianne! Thank you!

A great success for all and a big thank you to Lucy, Andrea and Greg for their hard work organizing, bringing food and equipment and teaching us all how to offer our birds healthier choices! See you next month at Toy-Making Night!

Check out the rest of the photos on the gallery.