Mash questions


New member
Sep 21, 2014
Pazu - Green Cheek Conure - Hatch Date ~27 September 2014~
Hi everyone!
I've decided 100% that I'm going to incorporate mash into my future birds diet. Possible more for my peace of mind, always having something ready in the freezer, but I want it to be good.

I've hit a snag though, most people recommend something called 16 bean soup without the spices. Living in the UK I discovered that we do not have this anywhere. I know I could get the beans separately, but I want to money efficient if i can. On the other hand I have found dried, ready made minestrone soup. Would this be a good substitute?
wholemeal pasta (20%), part-cooked barley, part-cooked emmer (wheat), part-coart cooked green split peas, part-cooked yellow split lentils, part-cook yellow split peas, red split lentils.
pasta contains: Durum wholemeal semolina, water.

And the cooking instructions just say and water and heat, add seasoning as you want.
There's no seasoning in the bag, the ingredients seem OK, do people think this is a good substitute for the 16 bean soup people the the states use?
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May be worth noting that the pasta is tiny tubes. Less than 5mm by 5mm

I make a hodgepodge of peas, soup beans, carrots, sweet potato, apple, kiwi, banana, and sometimes I will throw in nuts and/or olive oil for fats+protein. My guy doesn't take much to seeds and nuts, by hand. Then again, I'm new to aviaculture and have no real experience.

For me, anything processed (at least, outside of the home) is a no-go. I make all my own stuff. I believe it's cheaper, easier, and healthier. Hope this helps, I doubt I actually answered your question....
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XD sadly dr1124 it didn't but what you said was cool. Its encouraging to me to try my own mash.
I was thinking of using that lentil and wheat soup mix as a base and adding sweet potato, various green veg, sweet and hot pepper, and maybe some carrot. All along side pellets with a small amount of seed and fruit.
XD sadly dr1124 it didn't but what you said was cool. Its encouraging to me to try my own mash.
I was thinking of using that lentil and wheat soup mix as a base and adding sweet potato, various green veg, sweet and hot pepper, and maybe some carrot. All along side pellets with a small amount of seed and fruit.

One of the main things I rationalize is that these birds dont need excessive fiber. So I try to balance out fruits (and similar things) that pass completely through the metabolic pathways VS things that do not (roughage and so forth). We humans have, on occasion, a need for fiber to positively affect our intestinal health; I'm not so sure about birds.

But to DIRECTLY answer your question...

I think the soup *could* work, but only as a temporary solution. I don't think it would be a diet to be on for more than a few weeks maximum. Birds, like children, will eat anything that tastes half decent - even motor oil (crude oil is edible in small amounts, don't ask how I know that). That doesn't mean that they'll eat it based on health content, only flavor (which can be chemically enhanced). They could become picky and decide that whatever it they're eating IS the only thing they like, period. Problematic if the diet has adverse health effects, as their behavior will follow suit with their health (bad diet, bad behavior). Just think about how much salt is added to everything we humans put in a can/jar, that salt level is suitable for us not bird weighing 1/200th our weight [1/100th metric].

IDK about your area, you sound UK-English to my virtual ears. I would imagine several bags of:
-lima beans,
-kidney beans (iffy),
-green beans,
-navy beans

^all totalled up, would be like $15 and last 2 weeks. Bagged is better over canned, and usually cheaper. Not a complete diet, but we've all seen worse (peanuts and sunflower seeds). I still think a bag of apples @ $8, a banana bunch @ $2, Kiwi @ $3.99/lbs, and sweet potato/carrot (which here are basically free). I grow some of these things in my garden, which is nice if you can swing it.

Enclosed is a pic of what I know you're talking about, stateside. I'd not go this route, but I'm hardly anyone to tell others what to do. :) The second pic is the lesser of the two evils, if this is the only route you DO have available to you. Cheers!


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I have access to neither (and no access to Lima beans either, not sold in the uk other than Amazon in preserved jars), which is why I've been trying to find a substitute. The second pick is the one I've heard everyone go on about though.
What the heck kinda remote island type place you live in?! Lol.

I can't believe you don't have access to things like this. I guess if it came down to it, what you have is alright. Better than cheeseburgers or ice cream all day!

I still venture that the cheapest and healthiest option is to get a bag of baby carrots, a sack of potatos, a can of peas, and a bag of apples. Dice it up, blend it together, or serve whole - the above things are top of the charts in my book...(I use sweet potatoes instead of white because I don't like white potatoes from a nutritional standpoint).
So, here's a link that talks about chop/mash, it helped me start down the road to making my own.
The Chop Blog | Parrot Nation

The minestrone soup mix you originally referenced actually sounds like an excellent addition to a chop. I'm not a fan of the fifteen bean soup mixes commonly suggested because it is my understanding that hookbills do best with only mung, garbanzo, adzuki and lentils. The other legumes are poorly utilized.

So, if this were me, I'd definitely use that minestrone base, throw in some adzuki, mung and garbanzo beans if I could find them, also add some quinoa (a nutritional powerhouse and a huge hit with my parrots) and probably wild (or at least brown) rice. I'd thoroughly cook all that up, but make sure nothing got too mushy. After it partially cooled I'd add a cup or two of mixed frozen diced veggies (the kind with peas, carrots, corn, broccoli, green beans, etc).

I've done it enough now that I know how much liquid to use so as not to have to drain the cooked mix. If you do have some extra liquid left in the pot, rather than drain it off and loose all the goodness in it I usually throw in some diced dehydrated veggies to soak it all up.

While that mix was fully cooling, I'd set to work on my fresh veggie chop. My rule of thumb is at least five quality greens (collards, kale, mustard, etc) and at least three orange/yellow/red (carrots, squash, yams, etc). Hot peppers are dearly loved around here so I always add some of those. I use the food processor and chop everything into very small pieces that way the less palatable stuff (but healthy) can't be discarded in favor of the tastier stuff. I make sure to wash and thoroughly dry everything before its chopped so as to minimize liquid runoff.

So, now I combine the grain/bean mix with the fresh veggie chop mix, usually it works out to 2/3s veggie chop to 1/3 grain & beans. Then I throw in about a half cup of mixed small seeds (usually hemp, millet, sunflower, pumpkin, etc). I mix it all up in this giant pail I have and portion it out into freezer baggies. Usually about 2 cups per baggie and I typically get at least a dozen baggies. Then into the freezer they go.

When I pull a baggie out I transfer the frozen contents to a glass container with lid and let it thaw in the fridge, since there will be some liquid from the thawing I usually toss in an 1/8 cup of quick oats. They soak up whatever liquid oozes out of the thawing chop and therefore the thawed chop stays moist but not too moist and fresher for a couple days in the fridge before it gets used up.

Note: I don't use fruit in my chop as fruit is generally too juicy to freeze well and makes the chop way too wet when thawed. Also, IMHO fruit should not be used as a diet staple because captive parrots that aren't flying 20+ miles a day don't need all the excess calories and sugars that fruit contains. I do offer larger pieces of fruit each day in their bowls as something they can grasp and manipulate, but the base of the diet in veggies and then grains/beans with fruit more as a treat than anything else. One exception, I do generally include one chopped green apple in my mix...but not always.
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Wow, that's well thought out and sounds very good and healthy.
What kinda of bird do you feed that? I'm not familiar with BFA.
I actually have two. I'm not particularly active here so I haven't gotten around to updating my profile. BFA=Blue-fronted Amazon and then I also have a Blue-throat Macaw. The chop is a big hit with both.

My BFA came to me on the typical sunflower seeds only diet. First bird so I kind of had to jump headlong into nutriton research to get him eating healthy stuff for the first time in his life. We tried a lot of permutations before finally hitting on the above. When the macaw came along it was a snap for her to go with it as well.

It's actually been a big hit with all different sizes of birds too, since I chop all the veggies super fine in the food processor. I've helped a couple seed-only budgie and cockatiel owners introduce fresh veggies this way too. We just upped the seed portion into the mix and then they had to root around to get to the seeds and incidentally ingest some healthy stuff. Eventually they were eating the good green stuff all on its own.

I could conceivably go with bigger pieces now, would certainly save some prep time, but with the finer chop I can sneak all sorts of novel foods in and not have to worry about the birds batting an eye when something weird and new shows up in their bowls.

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