Parrot Chop actually means anything you want it to mean in regards to ingredients. Basically, parrot chop (or chop for short) is a mixture of vegetables, grains, fruits, and other goodies in whatever ratio that works best for your bird.
It is a great weekend project that doesn't take as much time as you would think, and the more you do it the faster you will be at preparing your chop.
When deciding what to put into your chop think like a parrot, think colors and textures. Orange carrots, red peppers, yellow squash, green broccoli, and so on.
Your bird chop can be super simple with one yellow and one green vegetable, and a couple of fruits such as apples and oranges, or as complicated as you wish to get. You can start with a cooked mixture or soak mixture and then add fresh fruits and vegetables to complete your own special chop.
Unlike the layered salad, (which is not mixed when prepared but still a great method of feeding), chop is mixed at the time of preparation and it is sometimes slightly processed through a food processor to "chopped" sizes. You do not want to leave pieces too chunky but you also don't want to go so far as to create a mash (that's a whole other mixture). So take some time to get used to the size of chop. Since Chop usually consists of smaller pieces of food, it works great for birds who love to throw out large chunky pieces of food, wasting all but maybe a taste, and some birds simply do not like a mushy mash texture, so chop works beautifully for the in-between.
Chop is making the food small enough that pretty much ensures the bird is going to taste some favorites and have to try some new foods as he or she picks and chooses. Chop unlike a mash, leaves the fruits, vegetables, and other foods, large enough to visually be more appealing to your bird and hopefully help make the bird more curious about the colors in particular.
As soon as you feel confident, you can begin expanding on the number of ingredients and add foods such as brown rice, flax, quiona, beans, and more if you choose.
A few tips I personally practice when feeding fresh. Always wash/rinse well all vegetables unless you grew them and know for a fact there is no pesticide residue. I always peel my apples because of the pesticide factor and that most apples have a waxy covering, and wash/rinse all other fruit well before serving.
(NOTE: Standard safety tip - no apple seeds or fruit pits as they are toxic)
Now here is the cool thing about chop. It can be frozen in baggies or ice cube trays (yes they do still exist). Making it easy to thaw out quickly and serve as often as you and your bird like. Some people make a base chop, and then add some chopped fresh ingredients at serving time. If you have the time to do that, more power to you. Myself, I'm lucky to be anywhere near organized in the mornings so I prefer a complete meal ready to thaw and serve.
Chop can be a certain mixture one time and something completely different the next. There is no right way or wrong way, just the way it works best for you and your bird.
RATHER IMPORTANT TIP: It's crazy how time consuming chopping tiny pieces of fruit and veggie ingredients are, so I highly recommend investing in a food processor if you don't already have one. Small counter top size food choppers can be purchased for about $50 or less. You do not need a big industrial expensive one unless you just want one.
There are lots of bird chop food suggestions all over the internet and some groups on facebook will help with suggestions on what to add to your chop.
Check out our Pinterest Board for some great ideas to help you get started on your bird's Chop. Click Here