Charting life's circuitous path

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It’s a Grey Life

How to live like a grey and get the most out of your parronts.

  • Be sure to sleep for more than 10 hours every night.  This prepares you for the hard day ahead.

  • 8:30 am Wait for your parront to wake up and prepare breakfast.  If you’re lucky, your parront will be an early riser.
  •  10:30 am: If your parront is like mine, however, this might take some prompting.  Good tip: if your parront won’t wake up quickly enough, then chat at half volume.  This is more effective than at full volume since it makes you look cute and you might get some treats for breakfast.

  •  11 am Let your parront know what you think of this silly diet thing by tossing the freshly prepared breakfast onto the ground whilst giving them a pointed look.  Be sure not to let them see you munching on the yummy carrots and parsnips, though.  That will ruin the effect when they see your messy beak.
  •  2:00 pm: If you’re lucky, your parront will let you play on your swing while they cook a yummy lunch.  Swing, attack the toys and remind your parront that you’re excited about lunch by repeatedly asking what they’re doing in the kitchen.  Hopefully it’s pizza day and you’ll get your own wedge of whole wheat crust!

  •  4:00 pm: Remember: when taking a nap, be sure to be as sweet as possible.
  •  5:00 pm:  Dinner time!  Let your parront know just how much you love your new food by waiting near the food dish door as they scoop out your dinner.  Eat every last pellet and leave the old ones. (Caution:  Chewing on the food bag is a bad idea.)

  • After dinner, preen, grind your beak in happiness and bask in the togetherness your flock exhibits as they watch tv or play games while you watch them from your comfy perch.

  • Repeat. *yawn*

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Chop, chop!

You know you are a bird fanatic when you cook healthier food for your bird than for yourself.  And I eat pretty darn healthily, too.

The vet suggested a low fat diet so we have been making changes to Eddy’s daily food schedule.

Here’s his previous schedule:

Well, the vet said to scale back the premium blend since it contained seeds and cut down on the peanut butter (even though he was only getting a small amount once a week).  We now give him just 1 tablespoon of the blend and a 1/2 cup of the pellets.  This gives him a lower fat ratio and more nutrition.  He does love his seeds (it’s all he was given for 17 years) and roots about for them first thing, but it’s for the best.

Our vet also suggested putting him on a more regimented schedule.  He gets a breakfast full of fresh veggies, fruit and grains.  I then take it away after a couple of hours.  At around 5 pm he gets his pellet and seed mix until bedtime when I take it out again.

Here’s his breakfast:

It’s called “chop”.  You can find a few recipes online, and I’ve listed a couple that I drew inspiration from at the end of this post.

Chop is a mix of what’s in house, really.  I buy veggies at the store, usually ones that I’ll be eating that week anyway, and fruits that are in season.  Every morning, I wake early and chop up a leaf of this or a slice of that.  Most of the sites listed talk about making huge batches of chop and then freezing it for future use.  I’d love to do that.  Unfortunately, I have a bird that’s a bit finicky about his food and dislikes thawed food.  I tried it and he just ignored it completely.  The only thing I can make ahead is the quinoa, barley and sweet potato.

After I get all of the “wet” ingredients together (drain those ingredients that are really soggy), I sprinkle some flaxseed meal (just a bit) on top and a little crushed Quaker Oatmeal Squares cereal.

Sometimes I heat his chop in the microwave.  When I do, however, I make sure that it’s cooled down a bit before I give it to him.  You don’t want to burn your bird’s crop!

If you have one bird and need to feed him/her chop in the morning (or for dinner), here’s what I do.  Btw, does this count as a recipe? 🙂 I think I just might make him his own category on the recipe page.

Eddy Chop


(Note: There’s no fast rule about this, except know your bird species.  Some birds can’t eat certain things.  Also be sure to wash everything really well before you add it to the food bowl.  It’s also all fresh, so throw it out after a couple of hours in cooler temps.)

  • 2 inch stalk of broccolini (because Eddy doesn’t like the florets).  Chopped into 1 inch pieces.
  • 1 inch piece of baked sweet potato (cooled and diced)
  • 1 spoonful of cooked quinoa
  • 1 spoonful of cooked barley
  • 1 leaf broccoli rabe/choy sum/bok choy – diced finely because he doesn’t like leaves
  • 1/2 inch piece of peach – diced
  • 1 (1/4 inch) strip of red bell pepper – diced
  • 1 (1/4 inch) slice of banana – diced
  • 1 tablespoon grated carrot
  • dash of flaxseed meal


  1. Chop or dice to your bird’s preferences.  Some things Eddy likes to hold and others he’ll ignore so I dice them.  I figure that he’s probably getting some of it when it’s so small and clings to other things.
  2. Mix in bowl and serve.

Makes about a half cup of chop.

Could you get me a napkin?

Eddy loves to watch me make his chop in the morning.  I always include him in the process, although I usually don’t let him nibble.  I want to be sure that he’s good and hungry for the chop when it’s done.

Like I said, you can vary the ingredients.  Sometimes he doesn’t get barley or banana and other times he gets bits of celery or rice.  Just be sure you know what they can eat and that you don’t overdo things.  Eddy is a picky eater so he never finishes all of his chop.  If your bird can down it all quickly, then you might want to rethink quantities.

Other Recipes for Chop 

  1. Bean/Rice/Grain mix – found on the Grey Forums
  2. Chop Mix by Patty
  3. Einstein’s breakfast chop
  4. Video by Parrot Nation showing how to make large batches of chop

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Eddy’s First Vet Trip.

The day started off bright and sunny.  Mommy woke up early (8 am) to go for a run.  I went to sleep with Daddy on my bedroom perch until Mommy came back home.  YAWN.  It’s tough being a bird sometimes!

After mommy woke up daddy to get ready (I wonder why?), she took me into the kitchen for breakfast.

She gave me some carrots to munch on while she prepared some food.  I like to sit there and watch her cook, but sometimes I can be sneaky.  See that black water bottle right behind me?  Well, let’s just say that it just might have been a matter of beak meeting bottle that sent mommy cleaning up water from the floor.  But she loves me so much that she didn’t blame me for it – said it was her fault for leaving it there.  Isn’t she nice?

After she was done preparing breakfast, we all moved into the dining room to have cereal.  I put on my cutest look and daddy gave me a tiny piece of Quaker Oatmeal Squares – yummy!

But wait!  What’s that thing sitting by the front door?

I think I remember that!  Didn’t I go into that when I went to grandma’s house two years ago?  Hmmm….

Definitely something going on here – why am I in here? This isn’t my bed!

The car!  I wonder why we’re in here?  I’m sure glad mommy is here with me in the backseat.  She talked to me the entire time and I whistled back to her.  Daddy drove and I clung on for dear life – these things move fast!

We finally arrived (it felt like ages even though it was only 8 minutes), and they took me into this small building.  Inside, there were more birds like me!  They were caged, too, and I looked around nervously.  Why are we here??

They took me into a small room where a nice lady asked all sorts of questions.  She wanted to know how long I was with mommy and daddy and if I had any issues. Then she left us alone and we waited…

A very nice man came in and looked at me very carefully.  He said that I looked really good!  You betcha I look good! That’s because mommy gives me a bath every other day.  I love my baths!  They talked about a lot of stuff and I only caught a few words…nails…something about a beak…oh, dear.  I have a bad feeling about this!

The nice man (or so I thought!) told my mommy and daddy to go wait in the waiting room while they “complete the examination”.

I don’t remember very much about the exam except that I was scared!  I let them know, too, until they quieted me down.  When it was all over, they had trimmed my beak and given my nails a clipping!  I felt like a new bird, but I sure was tired.  I went right to sleep once I got home.

I almost missed my follow-up call but mommy’s happy “yay!!” let me know that I must be one healthy bird!  I have to go on a low fat diet, though, so no more peanut butter on toast.  😦 I’m so disappointed, but I do get more fruits and veggies for breakfast!  I can’t wait to see the cereal and veggies mommy buys for me tomorrow!


Mommy:  Apparently, the vet told us that he had a bit of “beak rot” on the left side of his beak.  This scared me since I had never heard of it before, and he said that it could be a sign of another problem like liver disease.  I was so worried when we got home and felt so bad for not taking him to the vet earlier that I could hardly stand to wait for the follow-up call.

Btw, looking up diseases and health issues online can be horribly stressful.  When I googled Beak Rot, I got back so many horrible and deadly diseases! I got myself all worked up reading about it that it was such a relief when we got the phone call.

Luckily, he’s in great health!  He just needs a low fat diet and a limit on sticky foods.  I’m going to be cooking his breakfast every morning.

I cannot stress how important it is to find a good avian vet and to take your pet bird for a checkup.  We found ours through The Association of Avian Veterinarians.  We’re lucky that ours is only 8 minutes away!  Definitely worth the money and the time since we would never had known that our little guy had any problems.  Plus it’s a relief to know that he’s healthy and happy. 🙂