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How To Streamline Your Morning Bird Routine

Follow these tricks on getting your bird's day started, and maybe you'll get to sleep in a little.

Rebecca K. O'Connor

If you streamline your morning routine, you might have time for breakfast (parrot optional, of course).

While most of us could really use more quality time with our parrots, if you’re anything like me, that quality time is not first thing in the morning. I am definitely not a morning person. Sometimes managing the morning cleaning and feeding routine can be challenging when you have to get out the door. For those of us who have to rush off to work every morning, every minute we save while we get in that first cup of coffee counts! So here are a few of my own tips and tricks to saving time so that you can hit snooze one more time. All if it involves prepping in advance which can be well worth your time.

Cage Liners For The Week
On Sunday mornings I line all the parrot cages with a week’s worth of liners while I do a bit of scrubbing and touch up the cages. This way every morning you can roll up the top layer of paper, toss it and be done. Truth is I stole this idea from Barbara Heidenriech when I watched her morning routine. Somehow after 20 years of caring for my own parrots, the idea never occurred to me!

Extra Bowls
If you don’t have extra bowls, consider getting a second or even third set. You may have to run the dishwasher more often, or wash more dishes in the evening, but you’ll be able to swap out clean bowls more quickly. And then in the evening, you can spend some quality time with the parrots while you do the dishes. Maybe you’ll even be able to convince your parrot to enjoy a little bath during water playtime as well!

Foraging In Advance
On Sunday mornings I also take the time to prep my foraging boxes and toys for the week. Boxes and bags are stuffed with nuts, seeds, and newspaper or shredded paper, lined up and waiting to be put in the cage every morning. Sometimes, even stuffing a box with goodies can be a bigger challenge than I can manage at 7:00 AM. So having everything prepped saves me time and aggravation. The parrots certainly appreciate it too! While you’re prepping your foraging goodies, now is also a good time to swap out toys so that there are other things new and interesting in your parrot’s environment.

Prepping Your Food In Advance
One of the daily foods my parrots enjoy is a warm mix of beans, rice, barley, peas and pasta. I’ve found the best way to make sure everyone gets their couple of spoonfuls of my "parrot mix” is to make a month’s worth in advance and freeze it. If you do "chop” of course, making this in advance can be helpful. I pull out a day’s portion for the freezer, heat it up in the microwave, make sure it’s cool enough to eat and spoon it into bowls. It’s quick and easy!

Preparing in advance can save you some harried mornings and when your routine is quick and easy, it won’t become bothersome. This might mean that your parrots get better can and better goodies. What are your tips and tricks for keeping the morning routine simple?

Parrot mix
Prepping your food in advance means you can have plenty of healthy treats and meals saved up.

Rebecca’s Parrot Mix

There are lots of great recipes for making a parrot mix, but here is mine. Of course, the parrots also get fresh fruits and veggies, pellets and a bit of seeds and nuts.

  • 1/2 pound of kidney beans
  • 1/2 pound pearled barley
  • 1/2 pound brown rice
  • 1/2 pound green split peas
  • 2 cups pasta
  • 2 cups dried peppers

In a giant pot bring kidney beans to a boil. Boil for three minutes. Turn off heat, cover and let sit for an hour. 

Rinse beans and return to pot filled with water. Bring to a boil, cover and let boil on medium heat for 60 minutes.

Add barley and continue cooking for 15 minutes.

Add brown rice, boil for 20 minutes.

Add pasta and crushed peppers boiling for another 10 minutes or until pasta is done. Take off heat and let cool.

Add water as necessary while cooking and drain off any excess after the mixture is cooled.

Spoon mix into muffin tins or ice cube trays, depending on how big your daily serving size is. Freeze. Pop chunks out of ice cube trays or run the backside of the tin under warm water so the serving size chunks pop out. Place the serving size mix chunks in a bag in the freezer and then grab and heat what you need!

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Posted: December 19, 2014, 4:15 p.m. PDT

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How To Streamline Your Morning Bird Routine

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Reader Comments
Can't wait to try this stuff.
Larry, Mockingbird, NC
Posted: 5/18/2015 9:27:36 AM
It never ceases to amaze me how inventive and just plain smart some people can be! I'll bet this article will help a lot of parronts!
Susan, Terre Haute, IN
Posted: 4/7/2015 12:16:53 PM
There are lots and LOTS of possibilities for adding to the recipe and adjusting this recipe. I was striving for the simplest recipe possible. There also some great books out there with recipes specifically for the birds. For my birds, more than anything it is a warm treat in addition to their daily diet. But I definitely encourage the discussion about all the nutritious things we could be giving our parrots!!! It's surprising how many folks don't know the possibilities or how easy of addition these things can be.
Rebecca K. O'Connor, Banning, CA
Posted: 12/23/2014 12:16:20 PM
Too much pasta and rice, in my opinion. And why not use fresh peppers instead of dried? How about adding some quinoa, which is a complete protein and which is loved by most birds?
Ellen, Denver, CO
Posted: 12/23/2014 12:04:40 PM
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