For Challenge #9, click HERE.
This is Teresa, finally back in the swing at 2CCC and I have lots of Christmas goodies for you in this mid-month post.
The best way to keep a healthy flock is to provide a nutritious diet, clean air & water, plenty of exercise, an area away from drafts, and a reasonably clean environment. Over the years, I have developed a recipe that I feed to my birds, which is high in protein and has lots of nutrition, including calcium, which all females need, especially if they are breeding. They also get fresh greens daily and I often add other fruits and veggies to their mix for more nutrition and because they like variety. My first Christmas gift to you is my recipe. If you don't have pet birds, perhaps you will consider making a batch of bird bread as a Christmas gift to the outside birds around your home. They will certainly appreciate it, especially if you live in a cold climate like I do.
Aviary Appetite Pleaser
This recipe started as a modified cornbread recipe. Over the years, it has blossomed into a delicious and nutritious feed for all my birds: finches, doves, budgies and cockatiels. It is high in protein and a good source of calcium, but mineral blocks should still be provided, especially if you have breeding birds.
I do not like to bake, so to simplify the process, I first make a dry mix that will give me more than one batch.
Bird Bread Mix:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup almond flour (ground almonds)
- 1 cup chick pea flour
- 4 ½ cups yellow cornmeal
- ½ cup quinoa grains
- ¼ cup baking powder
- 1 tbsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup bird seed (optional – a good idea to help convert seed-junkie birds)
Mix together and store in an airtight container.
Bird Bread Recipe: (pre-heat oven to 350 F)
- 4 cups bird bread mix (above)
- 8 large eggs or 12 small
- 2 ½ cups pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 3 tbsp. molasses or honey
- 1 cup apple juice (or any other non-citrus juice)
- Optional: add crushed nuts, shredded coconut, grated carrot or grated apple
Mix melted coconut oil into dry mix with a fork or pastry blender. Continue to work with your fingers until crumbly. In separate bowl, mix eggs and pumpkin; add remainder of ingredients. Gradually mix the wet ingredients into the dry. It should be a cake batter consistency. Line 9x13 pan with parchment paper. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 350 F for 30- 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Crumble bread, or cut into meal sized squares, whichever your bird prefers. Parrots would probably like something they can hold in their ‘hands’. Once cooled completely, put crumbles or squares into freezer bags and store in the freezer. Keep no more than 2-3 day portions in the refrigerator at a time, to ensure freshness.
Serve on its own or mix in fresh fruits or veggies. You can also thaw some frozen corn, peas or berries and add them to the mixture. Corn is especially important for doves and pigeons. (I have tried adding this to the batter, but the corn dries out too much and is unpalatable)
Don’t forget the greens – snips of lettuce (not iceberg), kale or parsley are good. Spinach can be given in moderation. Grated carrot, apple or snippets of bell peppers are also appreciated. Switch it up. Your birds will appreciate the variety of not knowing exactly what is going to be in their bowl each day.