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Dress it Up!

Dress It Up

by Jami Galindo (Parrot Problem Solving 101)

My thoughts today take me to window dressing and fancy packaging. Dressing it up, making it look interesting.

Many out there struggling with converting picky eaters to a healthier diet. Remember we are always here, and will never give up on finding ways to help you convert to a low energy, healthy feeding plan for your birds. So take a deep breath, it will be ok.

Parrots by nature are wary of anything unknown. If you are changing anything, they will have to be taught it is safe and YOU, as the flock leader, trust it. Share it with them (I have eaten many a pellet ), offer it to them for a treat, or put it in the food they do trust. If you are introducing pellets (the seeds must go all at once) make them look as much like the food you have removed, so natural, small sized pellets usually work well here. Be determined, and consistent. Most important DO NOT GIVE UP!

When encouraging a parrot to eat a new food, determination, imagination and consistency is a MUST, but there are three things you can change to entice your bird and they are taste, temperature, and texture. Let's have a look one at a time.

1) Taste... Regardless if you are introducing pellets or chop, boosting the taste can be a big help; add things like almond butter (or almond powder), Ceylon cinnamon, chili flakes, herbs and spices.

2) Temperature... This is kinda self explanatory; warm it up or cool it down (freeze it).

3) Texture.. This ranges from mush-like roasted sweet potatoes to raw chunky hard veggies. Chop it up fine or blitz it to a smoothie or puree texture. Use them all or just a few and remember to remain calm and confident. If you trust it and show your bird it is not to be feared it will go easier.

Here are a few tips and tricks. Good luck and remember we are always here.

**Almond Butter** 3 cups of roasted or raw almonds Blend in a food processor for 15 minutes (butter consistency) Store covered in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. (this can be added to pellets or chop)

**Parrot Pesto** 1/4 cup Pine nuts 1/4 cup almonds 1 1/2 cup Basil 1/2 cup Oregano 1/2 chili flakes 5 Tablespoons Coconut oil Blend in a food processor until pesto consistency Store covered in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. (can be added to pellets or chop)

**Banana Pancakes** 1 very ripe banana 2 eggs shells included Red Palm oil or Coconut oil for frying Add all ingredients, here you can add pellets or chop (not the oil) to a blender and blend. You will get a batter consistency. In a medium heat pan add the oil and fry like pancakes. (Pellets, chop or any supplement can be added to these)

Roast Veggies (Sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, turnips broccoli and cauliflower) are a good medium to disguise pellets and chop and the warm and soft texture are pleasing to many parrots.

**Smoothies** Blend dark green leaves like Kale or Collards, ( not spinach) 1 Strawberry 1 Banana 1 carrot 1 peeled Beet Just a splash (enough to achieve smoothie consistency) dark or tart Cherry Juice or water. This can be served room temp, chilled, or frozen from a cube tray.

**Foraging packages** Wrap it , cover it, or hide it. Remember parrots forage a majority of the time in the wild and enjoy a challenge. The need to find their food and have a job will give them something to do. You know as well as I do if they think they are not supposed to chew it they will.

These are just a few of the tips and hints we have found to work but the main theme here is be creative and do not give up.

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