Now, I know all of you have just been waiting to hear about the bird mash we eat, so here goes. Pookie The Cockatiel and I have a primary diet of cooked grains, which Dad and Mrs. Highpants call mash. Periodically, Dad makes a trip to a natural grocer in Central Square Cambridge, MA. This place is completely natural, including occasional moths in the grain. To be honest, Dad doesn’t go there, because it’s natural, but instead because they have good prices on bulk grains.
Cooking the mash takes several elapsed hours, because everything has to cool. However, the actual cooking time is about 1 1/2 hours from prep to finish.
First, after the grains (and beans) are purchased, they are divided into three categories and three jars, long cooking, short cooking, and no cooking.
Small beans like Adzuki
and any other grain that takes about 40 minutes to cook.
Red/Orange, Green, or other kind of Lentil
Buckwheat (groats, kasha)
Wheat, Rye, or Oat Flakes
or anything that will cook (soften) from the heat of the other cooked ingredients
To a 4 QT covered saucepan, mix 1 cup of long cooking ingredients and two cups of water. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for twenty minutes.
Then add 1 cup short cooking ingredients and two cups of water to the first ingredients that have been cooking for twenty minutes.
Heat to bring back close to a boil and then simmer for twenty more minutes.
Remove mash from heat.
Stir in one cup of no cooking ingredients, and let everything cool with the lid on, to preserve moisture.
This mixture can be seasoned with a little allspice. If you want to use other spices, check with your veterinarian or bird expert for spices that won’t hurt birds. We know about allspice, because it is used in commercially available bird mash.