DELICIOUS AND HEALTHY TOO
Grains are a blessing for bird owners. They
are that rare combination of a nutritious food which birds also love to
eat! There are many varieties of grains, each providing somewhat different
nutritional values. As a group they are low in fat and packed with
proteins, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. And prepared
properly, birds love the taste. Use grains along with pellets, seed mixes,
veggies, pasta, etc to increase the variety in their diet.
It's great and the birds just love it. I sometimes take a several baggies for the bird club raffle table (it is often the first to go). A friend has a macaw who is a dumper of everything. He tasted the grains mix and never raised his head until the bowl was empty. Now, he checks the bowl and if it's the grains mixture, he NEVER dumps the bowl until he's eaten it all.
PEARLED BARLEY - a cup of cooked barley
offers the same amount of protein as a glass of milk, along with hearty
increments of niacin, thiamine, and potassium. A substance that inhibits
cholesterol production in the blood has been traced to the nonfiberous
portion of the grain.
BUCKWHEAT GROATS - the proteins in buckwheat
are the best known source of complex carbohydrates. Buckwheat also
contains a high proportion of all eight amino acids which the body does
not manufacture but are nonetheless deemed absolutely essential for
keeping it in tiptop shape. All this makes buckwheat closer to being a
complete protein than any other plant source - even soybeans!
BULGAR - each quarter pound contains over
11.2 grams of protein, 75.7 grams of carbohydrates, 338 milligrams of
phosphorus, and 229 milligrams of potassium, as well as healthy doses of
calcium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. Or as many nutrients as
one will find in a whole loaf of 100% whole-wheat bread. Freeze unused
HULLED MILLET - rich in phosphorus, iron,
calcium, riboflavin, the nutritional value of cooked millet (90 calories)
is only a step below wheat on the protein ladder. It is also higher in the
amino acid lysine than rice, corn or oats.
WHEAT BERRIES - high in protein,
carbohydrates, B vitamins and 7 amino acids that provide the body with
energy: 335 units of protein per cooked half cup. And low in calories: 55
for the same amount.
QUINOA - jam-packed with lysine and healthy
amounts of the other amino acids that make a protein complete, besides
being a repository for phosphorus, calcium, iron, vitamin E, and assorted
TRITICALE - a hybrid grain of wheat and rye.
The average protein content of wheat is about 12%, rye is lower about 7%;
triticale runs about 15-17%. Triticale contains a better balance of amino
acids than either of its parents, with twice as much lysine as wheat
offers in every spoonful.
There are as many ways to serve the grains to your birds as there are people to devise them. The following is a recipe which I use. It combines grains with pasta and vegetables. The grains and veggies can be varied. Experiment to find the combinations which work for you!
GRAINS, PASTA, & VEGGIE MIX
1 cup of several different grains. Cook
separately so there will be many flavors.
Add several of the following:
Use about 2 tablespoons for bigger birds, and about 1 tablespoon for conures or cockatiels. Package into baggies in 1 day portions. Remaining baggies can be stored frozen for an indefinite period. Store unused grain packages in freezer.
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