Frozen Fruits for Your Parrots
by Gaye Thomasson
When feeding your birds, most parrot “parents” are aware of how expensive and frustrating it can get, especially if you’re feeding a healthy, well-balanced diet to your flock. In my last two posts, I wrote about expediting making fresh and fresh-to-freeze chop with the appropriate kitchen appliance and also about growing your own veggies.
I do grow blueberries, raspberries and strawberries in my gardens, but I want to provide my parrots with a small serving from an even wider variety of appropriate fruits. Again, a challenge if I can’t just go outside and shake that mango tree, or the garden fruit yield is diminished greatly by the local wild bird population!
For years I would go to the grocery store and purchase fresh fruit for my birds. (Notice I say “for my birds” and not for my husband and for me!) I would use for a few days, and then it would languish, start to spoil, and down the disposal it would go. It was like flushing dollar bills down the toilet. And then, another trip to the store to get more fresh fruit. Frustrating and time consuming as well, to say the least.
Finally the lightbulb went on. Why not frozen fruit? And that’s the direction I went, and where I’ve been for quite a few years. Inexpensive. Instantly available. As much variety as I care to provide to my flock. Here’s what I do: I visit my favorite big box store (Costco), purchase large bags of organic frozen fruit, and throw them in my freezer. I have found blueberries, mixed berries, peaches, and even mangos (cut into about 1″ chunks). Yes, each three pound bag is relatively expensive (approximately $10)..but it lasts for months, not days! Every morning, I can pick and choose an appropriate amount from one bag, then another, do a few second thaw in the microwave, chop it up and add it to my birds’ fresh veggies and bean mash breakfast. Voila! Done.
Does that mean if there are bananas or apples or other fresh fruits in your household that your birds don’t get some? Of course not. If you’re munching on a banana or an apple, there is nothing wrong with sharing a small bite with your parrots. You may want to try wedging a sliver of apple in your parakeet’s cage…truly a treat. Just make sure that you are feeding no more than an appropriate daily amount of fruit for your bird’s size. (We recommend no more than 10% of your bird’s daily diet.)
This method of adding thawed (but never hot!) frozen fruit should help you to provide your birds with a well-rounded healthy diet, whether you have just one feathered friend or in my case, six.
(And remember: NEVER feed your parrots avocados!)