Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman
Sherry L. comments:
Yes, my birds are fed ‘chop’ (Arlo the grey, calls it ‘bobbity’) This is a new term for what I have done for 28+ years.
Chop is chopped veg, grains, and sometimes, a tiny bit of seed sprinkled on top or a bit of walnut, or something.
I used to cut the vegetables larger because Arlo was pretty accepting of lots of things, and I didn’t have a food processor.
I also (now) feed Arlo a pelleted diet, along with the chop.
She also gets a small amount of fruit, and sometimes about an inch square of chicken breast (baked) or some steamed scallop (yum).
Arlo recently switched to pellets, successfully.
I have tried numerous times, and given up, never successful.
Then, she was diagnosed with atherosclerosis.
I contacted a behaviorist/nutritional advisor for parrots, Pam Clark.
She helped me switch Arlo from seed and ‘chop’ diet to a strict pellet/nutriberry and chop diet.
Arlo takes a med that opens her arteries, and she is better; I don’t know the time this will buy her- one year? Ten?
She is almost 30, and I don’t want to live without her if I don’t have to.
So, yes, ‘chop’ ‘bobbity’ whatever.
Chop is not the only thing you should feed.
I recommend a Facebook page, The Parrot Pantry, for nutritional information.
They have files and the moderators know about the nutritional needs of birds or at least parrots, and other behavioral issues as well.
Good to hear from you.
In this post, I created a nutrition label explaining where the data came from for a popular chop.
Clearly chop alone is not sufficient for an animal that needs to reproduce 5000 – 7000 feathers annually.
Feathers require amino acids for growth, amino acids are derived from protein.
Glad you were able to make a conversion to pellets.
Dominic F. relates:
I have many rescued birds and other animals. My dogs, cats, and parrots are fed only real food.
I totally agree that fresh chopped is limited in protein.
For too long we have been convinced that vegetables contain everything our pets needs, but it is lacking in complete nutrition.
The morning meal for my parrots is a homemade bird cake, minus any junk food ingredients, such as cane sugar.
My recipe is by eye, but I do start with a dozen eggs from my chickens. I add sweet potato, mixed frozen vegetables, old fashioned oatmeal, cornmeal, and whole wheat flour, and a little pink salt.
That is baked into a loaf.
Their smaller evening meal consists of a mix of seeds and nuts, with a little oregano and oyster shell.
After many years, I have had no problems.
I love it, Dominic!
Nutrition label for a popular chop ~ see full post here:
Lisa S. comments:
I never fed my parrot’s chop.
Before bringing home a Parrot I would do research on the species of parrot.
I feel you need to know if you have the time, money, and patients to care for it properly.
I also never feed the seeds most people give their birds, not as any nutritional source.
I would feed Harrison’s Pellets along with fresh fruits and vegetables and walnuts.
I tried thinking about what they would eat naturally.
I searched the web and I came across Leslie Moran’s site:
She also writes for Parrot Magazine for many years.
I researched her and I have been feeding my flock, I am up to 8. (D2, BTM, Scarlet, 2 Cag’s, 2 RB2, Ekkie along with 6 parakeets..).
Its a balanced nutrition source of sprouts, yes, sprouts. I highly recommend going to her site.
I have been with her for almost a year now.
It’s organic and balanced, it’s an entire “Thing”. LOL Proteins are crucial…
Her goal is to eradicate avian malnutrition… My vet wasn’t keen on the idea. She stressed Harrison’s…. (I love my vet, but here I refuse to take her advice).
She will work with you, answer your questions… You have everything to gain but a lot to lose.
Love to hear happy bird food stories like this.
Glad you “get” the protein thing.
Leslie’s site is very cool.
BJ A. commented
Hi, I have 2 amazons, 1 grey, and 1 cockatoo, what would be the best seed/nut mix for all of them?
They get Harrison’s pellets, and Roudybush, along with a chop in the am and mash in the evening.
This is just to add some variety to their diet. I have had them all for over 20 years and they all are quite healthy according to our avian vet.
The cockatoo does pluck some so I try to avoid any artificial coloring and would prefer something without peanuts and soy.
Thank you for your help.
Sounds like you have everything under control BJ.
Your entire flock is a candidate for Lafebers Classic Avi-cakes Parrot 12 oz (341 G)
The ingredients are right for your bird’s sizes.
They could literally live off these “treats” because of their nutritional value.
Avi-Cakes contain 50% pellets and are bound with molasses for palatability.
Molasses also makes a good grip for offering powdered supplements too
For a great, no soy pellet try
Gail M. weighs in:
I feed a modified chop cause they won’t eat chop.
They also have pellets and a seed mix and nuts cereals and some people food they like to eat dinner with me.
Only chop wouldn’t provide enough for them to be healthy.
My guys are doing pretty good so I’m happy with our method.
I made once a big batch of chop full of good stuff they ate it first day after that they wouldn’t touch it.
I tried freezing it heating it up after defrost in hot water wouldn’t touch it.
They will eat up to three to four items chopped but prefer just one a lot of times.
I try to go with their lead.
Your feedback is most valued, Gail
You are on the right track.
My concern is that my Moluccan is not getting enough nutrition, especially protein.
Not all pellets are created equal.
Kaytee is a “value” brand with a high percentage of corn which is the first ingredient in your bird’s pellet blend
This is the ingredient panel for your bird food.
Ground Corn, Ground Wheat, Ground Oat Groats, Soybean Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Wheat Middlings, Ground Flax Seed, Soy Oil, Dried Whole Egg, Dried Beet Pulp, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Wheat Germ Meal, Corn Sugar, L-Lysine, Salt, Algae Meal (Source of DHA), Fructooligosaccharide, Brewers Dried Yeast, Vitamin A Supplement, Choline Chloride, Dried Cane Molasses, Titanium Dioxide, Mixed Tocopherols (a Preservative), Yeast Extract, Dl-Methionine, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganous Oxide, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Niacin, Rosemary Extract, Citric Acid, Calcium Pantothenate, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Cholecalciferol (Source of Vitamin D3), Beta-Carotene, Canthaxanthin, Folic Acid, Calcium Iodate, Biotin, Cobalt Carbonate, Sodium Selenite, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Licheniformis Fermentation Product, Artificial Colors, Natural and Artificial Flavors.
We understand the value of a pelleted diet but feel I can get boring for the bird overtime.
I’m going to advocate for Higgins Sunburst Macaw Size Gourmet Bird Food 3 lb (1.361 Kg)
It’s got lots of flavors and textures from fruits, nuts, and dried veggies while inclusive of Higgins InTune Pellets.
Also please look at Higgins Premium’s new Harmony line.
Gloria F. relates:
In answer to your question do you feed chop?
Yes, I do. I try to add different items such as certain vegetables and fruits they may like, with rice and grains. About 3 times a week they get scrambled eggs or hard-boiled for protein.
They also get seeds and nuts, and Nutri-berries.
They HATE pellets, they are not natural and do not appeal to them, unless they are colored.
I do not believe we as humans give them what they really need as they would find in the wild.
Look at our food chain and look at the general public they certainly are not eating healthy either.
So Gloria ~ I’m a numbers and data guy.
A large egg weighs 61g about the weight of a green cheek conure and contains all of 6 grams of protein.
In that, your bird “nibbles” the nummy eggs, he/she is getting no protein from the said egg.
I see they hate pellets but Nutriberries contain 8% pellets so you a pulling a nutritious hoax on them.
Let’s further the hoax.
I advocate Avi-Cakes from Lafeber that contain 50% pellets but your bird will never know because if all the other nummy ingredients all bound together with sweet molasses.
RE: “I do not believe we as humans give them what they really need as they would find in the wild.”
I would ask you to read what Mark Hagen, the creator of Hagen bird foods has to say:
”Some Breeders have a romantic notion that captive diets that are complicated, labor-intensive, using expensive ingredients are the most nutritious. Yet it is possible to feed easy to prepare, cost-efficient diets that do not compromise proper levels of essential nutrients.”
Commercial bird food manufacturers don’t use data from the “general public”, they produce pet bird food based on the needs of pet birds.
Does not make a difference what the manufacturers say about the ingredients if they don’t eat it. And the Avicakes turn into rock-hard food that they do not eat either.
I couldn’t agree with you more.
The trick to Avicakes is to serve no more than a thumbnail-sized piece something the bird will eat in a single sitting.
Otherwise yes it will turn to rock so you have to adjust the treat’s volume.
Hope that helps.