There is no question that fresh chop is the way to go when adding vegetables to your bird's diet but, while we all want to to what's best for them, it isn't always a realistic option.
Life happens. Sometimes you don't have time to make it to the store, sometimes you might not have access to a healthy mix of veggies, and sometimes (or more than sometimes), you lose track and those fresh veggies become, well, not-so-fresh. Travelling with your bird and trying to safely manage fresh vegetables can be another challenge altogether.
This is where dried vegetables can become a lifesaver! Dried veggies are a fantastic substitution for fresh and can even be combined with fresh chop to add even more variety. They are quick, convenient, and don't have to be cleaned up as quickly as fresh veggies do. Hookbills often love the taste and texture of dried veggies and will usually take to them quickly.
Which Dried Veggies are Safe for My Bird?
While there are many varieties of dried vegetable products available on the market, keep an eye out to be sure that you are offering your bird the safest options available. Read the ingredient panel carefully. The safest dried vegetables for your bird (and your family) will have been processed with no preservatives. The most common preservative you will find is sulphur dioxide which ha been known to cause dangerous reactions. Keep an eye out for that, salt, sugar, or any other type of preservative (more on sugar in dried fruits in a future post).
Now that you know what to look out for, here is a list of some dried vegetables you'll definitely want to try with your birds:
How to Feed Dried Vegetables to Your Bird
You have several options when offering dried vegetables to your bird the simplest, of course, being to just offer them on their own. Birds love the textures and crunch of dried vegetables and often enjoy them just as they are. Dried vegetables are also perfect for foraging and can be added to toys for a uniquely enriching experience.
Dried vegetables ca be mixed into your bird's daily diet. Whether they eat seeds, pellets, or a mix of both, the addition of dried veggies can make your bird's meals more dynamic and even more attractive.
Does your bird like soft foods? Dried vegetables can be rehydrated with water (or, even better, with avian tea...hint, hint). Use caution if you choose to serve these veggies before cooling completely as soft, warm foods can often encourage hormonal swings in some birds.
One way my birds love to eat their dried veggies is as part of their birdie bread, an occasional treat. The vegetables add nutrition and fun textures to a treat that's already a huge hit.
Dried Vegetables Can Help Your Bird Convert to Fresh
Dehydrated vegetables are especially valuable when you have a bird with an aversion to fresh chop. It is not uncommon for a bird who has been on the "traditional" all seed diet to turn its beak up to the fresh foods we so desperately want them to have. Dried veggies provide a less foreign addition. The bright colors are attractive and the textures are fun, making them hard to resist. Many bird owners have found success using dried vegetables as a a stepping stone to help with the transition to fresh. Many birds that would refuse to touch fresh, will accept dried and it should definitely be offered to bring them closest to their healthiest diet. Naturally, check with your avian veterinarian to get an idea of how to best supplement your bird's normal diet.
Veggie Mix by Posh City Pets
Now, you didn't think we would leave you without a source for your dried veggies, did you?
Whatcha Chewin'? Veggie Mix is our answer to your need for dried vegetables. Our fifteen-ingredient blend includes all of our favorite dried vegetables and is boosted with herbs, flowers and roots that make Veggie Mix an amazing enhancement to your daily offering. Our original veggie mix is the perfect size for hookbills.
Our parrotlet, Nora, loves original blend but we also offer Veggie Mix "Crushed" which is the same great formula processed smaller for birds her size. We can't leave out the tiniest babies, though! Our newest Veggie Mix variety is granulated and comes in a convenient spice shaker. Finches love it straight from the bowl and it can even be sprinkled on soft foods to increase flavor and nutrition. As are all of our products, Veggie Mix is crafted with the same human-grade ingredients we use for our own family so you know your bird is getting a top-quality treat!
Dried vegetables can make an amazing addition to your bird's diet. If you and your avian companion are ready to give them a try, visit our ETSY shop and be sure to mention this blog post!