Mash RecipeThanks to Shauna Roberts from The Gabriel Foundation
For more information please visit us at Feedingfeathers.
Background: This is what I have been feeding my flock, although only for 9 yrs (as of 1997), ever since
a cockatoo was diagnosed with a kidney problem and so far it has worked great. Other's in the flock
have come with malnutrition, plucking, liver problems, immune deficiencies. Blood work has been
done often along with exams which sometimes have included radiographs to keep an eye on certain
health conditions. So far my flocks health has remained good or improved.
Good and bad news about this recipe. The bad news is that the recipe amounts are up to you. The good
news is that the recipe amounts are up to you. Not having exact amounts given may seem complicated
or confusing at first but because flock size and food amount needs vary, this recipe gives you the
freedom of coming up with a plan to suit your needs. This mash recipe varies from others in that the
foods are fresher, because produce is added daily, rather than cooked in with grains and legumes.
Grains: Combine as many whole grains as you like but make sure you choose at least 3: millet,
quinoa, amaranth, oats (whole, not rolled or cut), hulless barley (not pearled), spelt or kamut, teff,
brown rice, wild rice, buckwheat. I combine at least 3 grains each time, often more and I always
include either amaranth, quinoa or both and keep any rice in small amounts. Grains are then soaked
and sprouted OR soaked for at least 8 hours and lightly cooked by heating until they almost boil,
covering and turning off the heat. I often cook grains during the coldest winter months.
Guideline example recipe: Combine the chosen grains to equal 2 cups.
Legumes:Add a combination of adzuki, mung, sprouting peas and lentils. Soak them overnight at least
8 hours and then cook by rinsing, adding fresh water, bring to full boil. Boil for 10 minutes uncovered
then cover and simmer for 20 minutes. If your sprout legumes be sure to wait for tails to be at least 1/4"
long on the lentils and the other legumes tails to reach about 1/2" in length. These legumes are used
because they are easier to digest than other varieties. Sprouting takes about 3 days. If you sprout, you
can sprout them with the grains. I recommend using an Easy Sprouter. It is important for digestibility
that legumes either be cooked for fully sprouted.
Guideline example recipe : Combine legumes to equal 1 cup.
Mix the legumes and grains a little differently each time but always have approximately 2 parts grains
to 1 part of legume in order to have a complete the amino acid profile, which results in a complete
protein. When combined , grains and legumes offer a complete protein that is easily digestible, more so
than animal protein.
Guideline example recipe : combine grains and legumes to equal 3 cups.
You now have your recipe base to which you'll add any chosen fresh produce (veggies and fruit), daily
for your bird (if need be you can also add organic frozen vegetables or fruit). The grain/legume
mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or if you make larger batches it can be frozen. To
make it convenient you can freeze in 1-2 days serving sizes and thaw in the fridge for 24 hours before
you plan to serve.
Once the legume/grain mix is done...and cooled if it has been cooked, add at least 3-6 organic
vegetables and 2-3 fruits. The legume/grain mixture should be approximately 50-65% of the meal. The
combined greens and veggies should make up 30%-45%, and 5-10% can be fruit and other additions.
Choose veggies from different categories to help you cover nutritional bases, and be sure to vary these
some each time if possible, and offer seasonal foods. Choose at lease one or more from EACH of the 3
categories, until you have at least 6 choices.
Category 1-Orange veggies (choose at least 1 or more in this category): pumpkin, carrots, acorn or
butternut squash, red pepper (keep peppers to a minimum due to their solanine content which inhibits
Category 2-Dark Leafy greens (choose 2 or more in this category): kale, dandelion greens, mustard
greens, collard greens, turnip greens (you may also want to occasionally add beet greens, spinach or
chard, even though their calcium, iron, magnesium content is limited due to their oxalic acid content, if
your bird has kidney problems, high oxalic foods should be avoided)
Note: Frozen greens can be used if need be. If you only have a few small birds and limited budget you
might consider purchasing a tub or bag of mixed leafy baby greens and make yourself a salad too!
Category3-Other veggies ( 2 or more veggies to mix into the grain/legume mixture) : broccoli, celery,
cucumber, romaine or other dark leafy lettuce, jicama, peas, zucchini, green beans, tomatoes, red or
green pepper, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, bokchoy, carrot tops, cactus leaf, okra, kohlrabi, spaghetti
squash, cauliflower, radish,chayote squash, zucchini, brussel sprouts, escarole, endive, corn, beet root
Note: Frozen vegetables are acceptible, only don't make it all about corn, peas and corn. Consider
broccoli and other choices.
Edamame (green soy) cooked, can be offered about 2-3 times a week as one of the veggies if you like.
Guideline for serving EXAMPLE-If you are serving 1 cup of grains/legumes mixture to your birds that
day, then you'll want to add approximately 1/2 cup or less of vegetables from the above 3 categories.
Grains/legumes making up 50%-65% of total recipe, the rest of the serving is minced produce.
Fruits (choose 1-2 in season) (Generally about 10% of the total serving): papaya, mango, strawberries,
blueberries, pomegranate, blackberries, raspberries, kiwi, oranges, cantaloupe or other melon,
nectarine, cherries, apricot, grapefruit, banana, pears, apple, figs, pineapple, lemon, lime
When adding foods that birds aren't crazy about, chop them very fine, mincing them. You may even
chop food in a food processor to help introduce it to your flock. If your bird picks through food, which
can easily result in an unbalanced diet, finely chopping foods is highly recommended.
Additions: You may also want to **occasionally** add to the mash to spice it up a bit, a little broken
up organic whole grain pasta, shavings of wheat grass, cooked egg (1/4-1/2 teaspoon per bird 1-2 times
per week, do NOT include the eggshell), non fat organic yogurt (1/4-1/2 teaspoon per bird a few times
a week), sprouted grain bread crumbs, edible flowers (make sure they aren't sprayed), a small piece of
finely minced piece of garlic clove can be mixed in 3-5 times per week, or a dash of seasoning such as
cinnamon, cayenne (do not give to birds with fatty liver), fresh grated ginger, turmeric, un sweetened
coconut or even a little fresh washed chickweed or clover from your garden.
Seed: These can also be added in small amounts if you like. Sprouted seeds are preferred. Sunflower
seed, pumpkin seed, sesame, nut pieces.
It’s recommended that pumpkin seed be included at all times as source of zinc in the diet.
Add supplements. These can be added daily or added to the grain/legume base if you prefer.
Kelp- needs to be given in very minute amounts but is important to include. If you add it to the
grain/legume base, add 1/4 teaspoon to 3 cups of base mixture. If you add it daily, then about the size
that would fit on the end of a pencil for a small sized parrot (100 or less grams), up to 1/8 capsule for
birds around 250-500g, 1/4 capsule for birds 500g-750g and 1/3 capsule for larger birds. These are
Green supplements: Rotate these...Powdered alfalfa and either wheat or barley grass. Alfalfa 4 or
more days a week and then wheat or barley grass on the other days. These are usually purchased in
capsule form that can be opened. A light sprinkling daily to provide vitamins, minerals, trace minerals.
Suggested amounts daily: Less than 1/8 capsule for birds under 100 grams, 1/8 capsule for birds up to
1/4 capsule 250-500g, 1/3 capsule 500g-750 g, 1/2 capsule 750g-100g.
If desired a product called Veggie Magma or Berry Green which contains several powdered vegetables
can also be lightly dusted and mixed into mash and used in place of alfalfa, wheat grass or barley grass.
A small pinch of hemp protein powder, per bird, a few days a week if desired for extra protein and
EFA's: Freshly ground Flax seed (use a coffee grinder just for this purpose) daily OR or cold pressed
and dated, hemp seed oil 4-5 days per week. Approximately 1 drop of oil per 250grams that your bird
weighs. If grinding flaxseed then about 1/4 teasp. per 250 grams. For budgies you may want to use less.
Chia seed, same amounts can be offered in place of flax seed or mix them 50/50 if you like. Chia seed
can be ground or mixed in as is.
If you like you can alternate with unrefined organic palm oil on other days but keep in mind giving red
palm oil has not been studied and there are no truly known benefits of giving it to parrots at this time. A
tiny bit for smaller birds. Approximately 1/8 teaspoon for birds 250-500 grams. Up to 1/4 teasp. for
birds up to 1,000 grams. Palm oil appears to provide some of the best antioxidant protection containing
natural beta-carotene as well as alpha and gamma carotene's and lycopene.
Another oil to consider adding at times may be sea buckthorn.
A squirt of organic ACV (apple cider vinegar) if desired:approximately 1/4 teasp birds up to 250g, 1/2
teasp up to 500g etc.
If needed, a quality acidophilus (probiotic) can be mixed in.
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