The Fear Factor

I have been making Chop/Mash, for our parrots, since 2011 when I first learned about the concept. I have to admit, it was an interesting road in the beginning. Heck, I didn't even know how to pronounce quinoa properly, and no I am not going to try and phonetically spell it out so you can see just how bad I did butcher the word. I had never heard of Kale, and I certainly didn't know how to prepare any of it. I referred to myself as a farm kid who was "meat and potatoes" and darn it, I meant it. I was lost.

I then reached out to new friends in the avian community and started at the basics. I then gradually started to explore the produce area of the supermarket. Wow. What a difference a little adventurous spirit made. Instead of doing frozen veggies, I began doing everything organic, raw and eventually got the point where I added soaked items and then the biggie, sprouts. I have to admit, I was scared of sprouts, and then Dr. Jason Crean walked me through the process. Wait, did I mention the two minute process? Yeah, it was that easy, and again, I let fear get the best of me and I waited longer than I should have. Funny how fear does that, right?

I won't take you on the misguided journey into this article and you think everything fell into place. I had some big screw ups, and because I am a "go-big or go-home" person, I made some mistakes in some large batches that had to be thrown out.

With my chop/mash, I try and get everything fresh, however if I know I won't have time in the upcoming weeks, I will make the batch a bit larger and occasionally freeze it. I learned in that process adding fruit will be the detriment to your batch. When fruit freezes and then thaws, it is the first thing to go bad, within 30 minutes it will start to smell and then just go bad. So... I only add fruit to my chop/mash when I serve it. It's much easier that way, and I can take comfort in knowing it won't go bad, however that's just my personal way to do it.

Since 2011, I have been invited to various fundraising events, by various bird clubs to give lectures on "how to make chop/mash" and it's been fun seeing people with the same "deer in headlights" look I had when I started and then hear back from them weeks later and hear their birds are raw food converts.

So, what have we learned from this little jot down memory lane? Don't let fear or the unknown keep you from getting your birds or pets in general, the most nutritious diet they can get. They will thank you for it.

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