Sunday, November 7, 2010

Harrison's Birdie Bread

Harrison's Birdie Bread

It's been a long time since I've made a post. Here's what I've been up to today.
This is my recipe for Harrison's Birdie Bread made with Harrison's pellets. It's cheaper than the Harrison's bird bread mix. The corn is fresh and my birds prefer it.

This recipe can be doubled.

1 1/2C finely ground Harrison's Adult Lifetime pellets (grind to consistency of flour -grind before measuring)
2tsp baking powder
1/2 C gray millet (I used organic hulled millet)
1/3 ear organic corn - cut off cob.
1T Organic Virgin Palm Oil (or Harrison's Sunshine Factor)
2 eggs - no shell (I use duck eggs when my ducks are laying)
1C water

Optional additions for variation:
1/8C chopped organic veggies
1/8C hulled organic hemp seed.
1T crushed organic red pepper
3T organic flax seed

Makes 2 dozen mini muffins.

Oil 2 mini muffin tins and preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix dry ingredients plus corn or extras.
Mix wet ingredients in separate bowl starting with eggs, then add oil, then add water.
Combine wet and dry ingredients until thoroughly mixed.

Using a small spoon, fill each muffin cup to the top using the last of the batter to even out the cups that are not as full.

Bake 20-25 minutes.
Cool 5 min and then flip muffins on their sides to finish cooling.
Place cooled muffins on a cookie sheet and freeze over night. Place frozen muffins in zip-lock bags and keep in freezer for individual use.

I like to chop up the muffins and then once it is in a food dish, sprinkle on a few hemp seeds. With parrotlets, muffins tend to get dropped to the bottom of the cage so that is why I chop them up.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Another Bean Snuggle

This time with his new love. Penelope the pea from Toy Story 3. He will feed her and preen her and rub his head on her. So sweet. Except when he is defending her territory!

He has been my constant companion while I have been sick with a very bad cold. Better than watching TV while sick.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Need a Bean Fix?

Here he is snuggling with Buttercup from Toy Story Three and getting a little finger scritch from me. He was super snugly yesterday while I was home sick with a nasty cold.

I've been sick for a week and the only thing that has made my days entertaining is my little green birdie. I'm not much of a TV person so having Bean hanging out with me while I lay under the covers was a real comfort.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Make Your Own Hummingbird Feeder

All you need to make a hummingbird feeder is probably already in your kitchen. Clean an empty spice jar with red lid. Make a hole in the middle of the lid using a drill or knife. Hole should be big enough for a hummer beak. 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch in diameter. (I just did it by eye) Make sure there are no rough plastic edges by trimming the opening with fingernail clippers or file. Take a rubber band that you saved from your store-bought vegetables or newspaper and a twisty tie also saved from your store-bought veggies. Attach to the spice jar as shown. Fill with nectar made with 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. Make sure sugar is dissolved completely before filling jars to the brim. Replace caps. Hang your feeders by a window so you can watch the birds visit. You might like to buy suction cup hooks that can attach to a window for even closer viewing. Be sure to clean the jars and replenish the nectar weekly. If you experience heavy traffic, then replenish nectar as needed.
See a larger photo here.

Here is the hand made feeder in my hand. If you place the feeder on an deck chair. Once they get used to feeding there, all you have to do is get comfy and hold the feeder and sit still. You may get a nice surprise like this...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Romp Game Completed

A year after the first Mother's Day gift of Romp game pieces, my son Brenden designed the playing field. It is a poster sized lithograph that he created during his last semester at SF State University. The game is called "Romp! A Springtime Adventure in the Land of Der Zoo" There are 4 game pieces. Bean the Parrotlet, DeDe the mini holland lop, Rooster the cockatiel and Zoop the call duck. Brenden still wants to add color to the playing field. But we can still play the game as it is.

1. Players place their pet at its start location

2. Roll die to see who goes first. The die has 0,1,1,1,2,3 printed on each side.

3. Take turns rolling die and moving your pet the number of steps on the die. If you roll a 0, you do not advance. Collect the stepping stones as you go.

4. Players may only hold 10 stones at a time. If you land on a step with a stone, an exchange must be made. Strategy - you can swap out a stone that has a better point value for your pet.

5. The first player to make it back to their start location with ten stones gets 5 additional points. The rest of the players get 3 additional turns and then the "Romp" is over. Everyone adds up their points by using the chart in the upper right corner of the board.

6 The pet the wins the round gets immediately cuddled.

For more pictures see the set on flickr.
What is underneath the stones?
worms, chicken, millet, carrot, calcium, cilantro, and nesting material
Here are the point breakdowns for each pet.

0 Bean
0 DeDe
1 Rooster
3 Zoop

3 Bean
1 DeDe
2 Rooster
0 Zoop

2 Bean
1 DeDe
3 Rooster
1 Zoop

1 Bean
3 DeDe
0 Rooster
2 Zoop

4 Bean
6 DeDe
4 Rooster
4 Zoop

3 Bean
5 DeDe
1 Rooster
0 Zoop

Nesting Material:
0 Bean
3 DeDe
5 Rooster
5 Zoop

Saturday, April 10, 2010

What does Bean Eat?

For Bean's friend Miss Marie...
Bean eats a variety of foods. He always has a seed dish that is filled with either Volkman seed for parotlets, or a mixture of cockatiel seed that I add more safflower and hemp seed to. I also offer a mixture of seeds for smaller birds. I store all birdseed in the refrigerator to keep it from spoiling. In addition to seed, I give him a little square of home made birdie bread which I bake ahead of time and freeze small portions. My recipe for birdie bread is here. The ingredients vary depending on what vegetables are in season and what I might have on hand in the kitchen. I try to make sure that I have Harrison's pellets and hulled hempseed from the health food store. I try to make sure all ingredients are organic. Harrison's company makes a birdie bread mix that you can add your own ingredients to but I prefer to make everything from scratch. It seems like a lot of work but I bake it in a 9 x 12" baking dish. Once the bread is cooled, I cut it into little squares, spread them out on a cookie sheet, freeze them, then individually wrapped them and store in the freezer. These little squares can last over a month. Bean also gets a variety of foods and treat cups near his favorite perches. This might include fruits and vegetables, hard-boiled egg, brown rice, fresh cooked corn, acceptable table foods providing they are low in salt and sugar. He also gets an occasional bit of meat. We don't eat soup that often but when I make it, he gets his own cup. (low salt) He loves chicken but we don't give it to him everyday. I grow my own cilantro, lettuce, collard greens, spinach, strawberries and raspberries which he also enjoys. He just recently decided that he likes millet sprays and I usually place a piece of one on his playstands. He really loves kiwi and strawberries and the seeds of bell pepper. Another favorite treat is a slice of dried organic fig. Another fun thing to do is to take bunches of cilantro or parsley, tie them with a little string, get them all wet, and tie that to the side of his cage near perch. He will take a bath in it and then later might decide to eat or shred it. There was a time when I had too much parsley growing, so I took bunches, tied them together, hung them upside down to dry and then offered those as toys to shred. As long as nothing gets moldy it's okay for him to bathe in his greens and play with them later. I would say that most of his diet comes in the form of birdie bread and seeds, so I make sure that the birdie bread is chock full of nutrition. I am sure there are other things that he likes to eat and I'm just forgetting to write down. Most things that are safe for humans are okay for birds as long as they are not forgotten in the dish and allowed to spoil or get moldy. Be sure to check on lists of poisonous foods for birds as well as plants that can be unsafe or toxic. Some people like to bring in branches from their yard to make as perches. Just be sure that the branches are safe, clean and dried. Here is a link to poisonous foods and plants.