We all need to rethink this bird bread thing. I think it’s gotten out of hand with all of this “Make it In Jiffy” stuff. Might as well be eating a mattress. It’s not stuff I want to put in me, let alone my birds. The odd part of this is, I used to make these quick mixes all of the time before I had my African greys. It’s amazing what they have taught me.

Here is what is in a Jiffy cornbread mix:

INGREDIENTS: WHEAT FLOUR, DEGERMINATED YELLOW CORN MEAL, SUGAR, ANIMAL SHORTENING (CONTAINS ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING: LARD, HYDROGENATED LARD, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED LARD), CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF EACH OF THE FOLLOWING: BAKING SODA, SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE, MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE, SALT, WHEAT STARCH, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, BHT PRESERVATIVE, TOCOPHEROL PRESERVATIVE, CITRIC ACID PRESERVATIVE, BHA PRESERVATIVE, TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID, SILICON DIOXIDE.

Now do you really want to feed that to your birds? To yourself?

If I can’t pronounce it, I don’t want to eat it. Making a good quality bread isn’t difficult. And making something that is extraordinarily good for you and your flock isn’t hard either. Once you whip out a few of these you’ll realize how easy it really is. I present Birdie Biscotti.

Birdie Biscotti Ingredients and Recipe

  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup milk thistle seeds
  • ½ cup flax seeds
  • ½ cup slivered and toasted almonds
  • A handful of walnut pieces
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 4 tbsp psyllium seed husks (3 tbsp. if using psyllium husk powder)
  • 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 ½ cups water

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Mix thoroughly. Put batter into a loaf pan greased with coconut oil. Smooth the top and ensure it ‘s evenly distributed in the load pan. Let it sit around for at least 2 hours, preferably longer or overnight. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove loaf from the pan and place it either on a cookie sheet upside down or directly onto the rack and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes. Remove your biscotti loaf from the oven and let it cool thoroughly before slicing Bake the slices again to make it crisp or serve as is. Slice before freezing. You can always toast it as well.

Here is the finished loaf after baking:

It’s just the basic recipe and it’s really bland. Feel free to add flavorings like cinnamon, orange extract, dried fruit or other stuff to jazz it up. You can also add slivered almonds, walnut pieces or other nuts. If you make it just as is, it’s not particularly exciting. So you have to play with it a bit to customize it to your flock’s preferences. But this recipe will indeed get you started. There’s no Jiffy Mix BS with this recipe and it’s loaded with fiber.

Give it a try and play around with it. It’s an extremely flexible recipe and the possibilities are endless.

Patricia Sund is the creative director of Bird Talk Magazine, and has written for a variety of avicultural-themed publications, including Bird Talk, the Bird Talk Annual, Birds USA, Phoenix Landing’s Phoenix Beakin’ and Watchbird magazine for the American Federation of Aviculture (AFA). She lives in Florida with her three African grey parrots, Parker, Pepper and Nyla, stars of the popular column, “Memo to Parker & Pepper.”

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