What is Chop?
You might have heard of “The Chop Concept.” It is a method of feeding your birds that frees you from chopping vegetables twice a day as well as allowing you to incorporate a vast amount of other nutritious ingredients in their bowl that you simply couldn’t include every day without an enormous amount of waste. Not only do you make a big batch all at once, you freeze it in meal-size portions and need only take it out the night before to thaw in the refrigerator for the next day’s meals for your entire flock.
It’s not unlike making a large batch of spaghetti sauce and freezing it for later use. If you’re going to make it, you might as well make a lot of it.
Thousands of people all over the world have begun using this method and it truly has become “The New Black” in feeding parrots.
It’s quite similar to a method of cooking called “Once-a Month-Cooking” where you prepare all of the components of your month’s meals and then freeze them.
Each morning and each evening, “Chop” is easy, quick, convenient and extremely nutritious for your birds. It is as nutritious and healthy for them as the ingredients you choose to put in it. The wider the variety and the more nutritious the ingredients, the better it will be for your flock.
You simply have to set aside the time to make a big batch of it, bag it and freeze it. Depending on how big the batch is and how many birds you are feeding, it should last a while.
With the help of many people, I once made 250 pounds at one time for a fund raiser. But I generally make up to 40 or 50 pounds at a time for my three Greys as well as supplying my friends with it .
But What’s In It?
That’s entirely up to you. If you do your research on healthy food for your species of parrot, you’ll learn what is healthy and nutritious for them.
But for the most part, Chop is made up of lots of leafy green vegetables as well as cooked brown or wild rice, some cooked whole wheat pasta, cooked quinoa soaked and cooked beans, root vegetables, squash and other healthy ingredients. Adding dry ingredients such as raw uncooked oatmeal, wheat grass powder, healthy seeds such as hemp seed and flax seed, coconut chips, Twin Beaks Herb Salad even tiny uncooked orzo pasta will keep the Chop drier which aids in a better frozen product. You want it on the dry side.
I’ve found that making Chop over a two-day period is the easiest method. On the first day, your cook the pasta, rice, beans and other items that need cooking and refrigerate them. On day two you shop for the fresh vegetables and prepare those, adding them in a big container to your cooked items.
Adding healthy toppings such as fresh fruit, a drizzle of flax seed oil, or extra seed such as milk thistle seed will get them interested in the Chop as well as changing up the look and flavor of it.
How Do I Prepare It?
Cook your ingredients that require cooking. Then using a food processor, roughly chop your vegetables and add them to the cooked food and dry ingredients. Mix it well, place in zip-lock bags and store in the freezer until ready to use. Do not over process the vegetables. You want them appropriately sized for your flock, but you don’t want “mush.” Pulsing the food processor is the easiest way to ensure you get a nice rough cut on the vegetables.
What Ingredients Should I use?
That’s entirely up to you, but here are some suggestions:
Vegetables and Greens Suggestions for Your Chop:
Carrots with tops, broccoli rabe, celery with leaves, acorn or other orange squash, green cabbage, purple cabbage, kale, beet tops, sweet potatoes, green pepper, collard greens, watercress, zucchini, yellow squash, red pepper ginger root, nori, (Japanese seaweed), broccoli slaw, jalapeno peppers, poblano peppers, cooked beans, lentils, unsweetened coconut turnips, parsnips, jicama, dandelion greens, Swiss chard, asparagus, cilantro daikon radish, jicama, Brussels sprouts.
Grains and Seeds:
For more information and an instructional video, go to my Video on “The Chop Concept.”
Good luck with your Chop!