Feeding Dehydrated Foods

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I’m a big fan of a whole foods sprout based chop style diet with supplements. If a chop style diet works for your birds, then stick with it! However, dehydrating that same diet could be a convenient way for your birdsitter to feed your birds when you’re away from home. Or you might just want to use dehydrating as a way to provide healthy treats for your birds. Or you can serve an occasional meal of dehydrated birdfood in the morning that will be safe in the cage all day long if you know you won’t be home to serve birdie dinner on time. Dehydrated foods can be both nutritious for your bird and convenient for you.

The recipes on this site are meant to serve as examples for someone new to dehydrating to go by. When I make dehydrated food I don’t actually follow a recipe, but I do sometimes jot down the ingredients in case I want to make something similar in the future. My recipes may be a good place to start if you are unsure of what your bird will like. Anyone making dehydrated birdfood should feel free to experiment with recipes and customize the ingredients and flavors for their birds.

 

Dehydrated Meals

None of these recipes on my site represent a complete diet. I use the dehydrated foods as a convenient means for getting my birds to eat some of the fresh, whole foods that they won’t always consume on their own. You notice I don’t include foods such as nuts or apples in my recipes, because my birds voluntarily eat as much of these as I will serve them. Yet the kale based crackers shown above include other nutritious vegetables, berries, sprouts, spices and herbs mixed in and they are readily consumed by my birds.

Because none of the meal recipes on my site are nutritionally complete, I suggest only using them as occasional meals. Ensuring your bird has a well rounded diet that covers all the nutritional bases is important and using any of these recipes as a large a portion of the diet will make that more difficult.

When serving dehydrated food as an occasional meal, you might want to weigh out each portion. The dehydrated food can vary in thickness and just eyeballing it hasn’t worked as well for me. Below are the amounts I use for a single serving. Since each bird is an individual and things like activity level will affect how much a bird eats, you should use these amounts only as a guideline. Start with a few grams more than what I have listed below, because you don’t want your birds going hungry until you’ve determined the right amount to feed them.

  • African Grey: 12 grams
  • Umbrella Cockatoo: 13 grams
  • Blue Crown Conure: 8 grams

It doesn’t seem like much food when you put it in the bowl! But remember that all of the moisture has been removed and that greatly decreases the weight. When I feed a mash or chop meal I’m usually feeding at least double these weights.

 

Dehydrated Treats and Snacks

It’s easy and fun to make dehydrated treats and snacks for your bird! You should experiment with recipes that help you sneak lots of nutrition into each batch. Just remember that these treats and snacks should be served in limited amounts and make up only a small portion (5% or less) of the daily food intake.