I keep a wide variety of necessities in stock that I frequently use for my parrots’ diets. They’re good to have on hand should you get a sudden whim to whip up a Grain Bake, or care to knock out a couple of loaves of birdie bread for the freezer on a rainy day.
These items kept on hand will make it a bit easier to do just that. Some you can freeze, some you refrigerate and some are just fine sitting on the shelf in your kitchen cupboard or pantry.
One group of items that need to be refrigerated are essential oils. These oils are fragile and need to be handled with care. They contain essential fatty acids and you might notice that they come in solid- or dark-colored bottles and can be found in the refrigerated section at the market.
So if it is refrigerated at the market, you can safely assume that it needs to be kept in that state at home. For instance, any oil containing an omega 3 fatty acid is sensitive to heat and is also inactivated by light, processing and agitation.
So keep it cool, keep it in the blackout bottle and as my pediatrician said to my mother after I drank some Mr. Clean sudsy floor cleaner when I was two, “Don’t shake her.”
I like to keep the following items on hand:
- Dried coconut chips
- Mung beans
- Old fashioned steel-cut multigrain oats
- Dried fruit (sulphur and sulfite free)
- Hot pepper flakes
- Wild rice (which is actually an aquatic grass)
- Flax seeds and flax seed powder
- Milk thistle
- Chia seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Coconut oil (it can be kept at room temperature and doesn’t go rancid)
If you find something on sale or normally difficult to find, you can stock up and not have to worry about trying to locate it. Be wary of expiration dates.
- Flaxseed oil
- Walnut oil
- Sesame seed oil
- Wheat germ
- A bag of mixed frozen vegetables
- Cranberries bought in season and frozen for later use
- Bags of almonds in the shell purchased on sale.
Of course I also keep my frozen Chop as well as bags of a batch of Grain Bake in there as well.
When storing these items, take into consideration the area of the country in which you live. I live in Florida so I need to be concerned about mold and bugs. I will normally freeze a dry item such as flour or seed to ensure anything live that might have inadvertently been herded into the package such as a bug, will cease life as we know it and not continue to thrive on devouring the contents without having to so much as turn around.
This happened to me with a bag of buckwheat. It essentially got eaten by some bugs that were packaged in with the grains and when I opened the package, it contained dust. But if you live in a 4-season area, I wouldn’t be as concerned with this. I also tend to use glass canning jars with the rubber ring seal for my good seeds such as hemp and flax seeds.
Having these items on hand can be inspiring and comforting at the same time. You know what is there, you can take inventory and know what you have to cook with and what you need to stock up on.
A full parrot’s pantry can be an inspiring and helpful feature of any home with a flock.