Feeding Parrots Seasonally: Autumn
Why Squash and Pumpkin should be on Your Birds Beak!
There are hundreds of different varieties: little, big, warty, smooth, green, orange, yellow, white; they are all equally great to feed! The super tiny ones are great since they are closer to a birdie serving size. Large pumpkins on the other hand, will give you lots of extra meat to freeze. Minis are often coated with wax or other thick synthetic coatings that make them unsafe to consume so make sure not to buy those ones! Look for uncoated minis in the produce section, at your farmers market and from your local farmers.
How to Prepare?
You can offer squash raw or cooked. Baking, steaming and microwaving are all easy ways to prepare them for your birds. You can cut the squash up and remove the seeds or bake them whole with a few vent holes poked through the squash to the seed cavity.
Bake at around 375°F (either cut and guts/seeds removed or whole with vent holes) until the meat is tender enough that a butter knife can be easily inserted into the flesh. This is my preferred way to cook squash. I like to mix the meat in with chop and veggies and if it’s a tiny squash I put everything back in the shell before serving. It gives the birds a fun foraging meal.
* You can also stuff the seed cavity of a raw one with chop for an equally fun and entertaining meal.*
to your bird’s preference. You will want to experiment with all the cooking method to see what texture your birds prefer, but especially with steaming since it can make squash slimy and mealy.
Ways to Feed
-Mix in with chop, dry food, greens or other bird-healthy foods
-Beat it into eggs before you cook them or in with boiled egg yolks.
Bird safe seasonings to add?
Adding bird safe seasoning is a great way to change up a meal and many spices actually have health benefits. Salt and preservative free chili and pepper powders, ceylon cinnamon, cumin and ginger are all great lightly sprinkled on squash meat or seeds for your fids.
A Few Other Things to Remember…