Thanksgiving is an exciting day for both the family and the flock. There is a lot of activity and excitement and with that we may not necessarily be on our game where the parrots are concerned. This holiday is centered around the kitchen where there will be hot burners and cooking foods, perhaps open flame.
As much as you might like to let your parrot be involved in the family festivities, the kitchen on Thanksgiving is not the best place for a parrot. There are too many distractions for you to be fully aware of your parrot’s safety and, therefore, too many opportunities for disaster.
I can’t remember a Thanksgiving that did not result in an accident with somebody’s parrot – usually involving an escape as people come or go from the house. Please use “better safe than sorry” thinking this year.
Most traditional Thanksgiving menus contain foods that are very healthy – until we add the butter and the sour cream and the cream cheese and the sugars… However, as we are cooking we can set aside some potato, yams and vegetables for the birds before we add all our human accoutrements that make them so deliciously unhealthy.
We can make special birdy stuffing from cubed whole grain breads and add thyme or sage, nuts, raisins and dried cranberries all softened with boiling water. Your parrot might want to indulge in a bit of turkey breast, which would be fine in moderation.
Since I don’t know any of my birds’ hatch dates, I celebrate their “birthdays” collectively on Thanksgiving for the obvious reason: I am very grateful for their presence in my life. I have been known to over-indulge them on this day. There certainly isn’t any shortage of food with which to do so.
Patty Jourgensen specializes in avian health, behavior and nutrition and has been working with and caring for rescue birds since 1987.
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