Fall harvest time brings an abundance of colors and flavors and super nutrition for your bird. Pumpkins are especially a favorite with mine.
Pumpkins and pumpkin seeds are truly a superfood. High in vitamin A, providing calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and other wonderful healthy nutrients, makes them a winner for your parrot's diet.
Check out your grocery store or local farmers market for large pumpkins as well as the smaller edible pumpkins that are great as a whole foraging food for larger birds.
If your bird prefers cooked softer foods, bake them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes first, and after completely cooling, let your bird's fun begin. You can also cut the top off and remove all the pumpkin seeds (use the seeds later) for less mess if you prefer.
Larger pumpkins can be cut open, seeds removed, baked for about 45 minutes, then cut into smaller sizes and placed in freezer bags for lots of future foraging fun. You may also cut the pumpkin into chunks before baking as well.
Pumpkin seeds can be prepared by rinsing well to remove the stringy gooey pumpkin pulp, pat the seeds dry with a paper towel, or spread seeds on the towel or paper plate and air dry. Then place the pumpkin seeds on a large cookie sheet or cake pan (REMEMBER: DO NOT US NON-STICK PANS THAT MIGHT CONTAIN TEFLON). You can lightly spray the cookie sheet or pan first with some non-stick cooking spray or use the safe old-fashioned wax paper as a liner to help keep the seeds from sticking to the pan. Preheat your oven to 250-300 degrees and bake the seeds for about 40 minutes. Ovens can vary so keep on eye on the seeds to be sure they do not burn. It may help to stir the seeds around about every 10 minutes as well to prevent sticking.
You can serve the seeds to your bird as soon as they have cooled, as well as placing some or all in freezer bags or containers and freeze for later use.
Pumpkin seeds make great nutritional treats all by themselves.