CHOP…The Concept

“CHOP is a feeding concept. It is like you’re making two lasagnas and you cook one for dinner that night, and put the other in the freezer because you’ll be able to pull it out some evening when you don’t have time to cook.”

– Patricia Sund

Chloe & CHOPCHOP is the brainchild of Patricia Sund.  A fantastic columnist for Birdtalk Magazine and the author of Parrot Nation.  CHOP is the concept of making up a bunch of food and pre-packaging it to serve later…And what a great concept it is!!!  I recently held a “CHOP Party” at my home with 3 of my close friends.  To describe a “CHOP Party”…it’s kind of like a Mary Kay party with vegetables instead of cosmetics  (although at the end of the bagging process, cosmetics could come in handy).  We had such a good time and prepared 1800 healthy meals for our birds!!  That’s right…I said 1800 meals!!!  Everyone always asks me to send them the recipe and well…there is no recipe for for it…just ingredients.  It is a process though and you have to get it right so it doesn’t come out soupy.

There is a huge selection of ingredients for CHOP.  Just go to your local Whole Foods Store, organic market or Farmers Market, go into the produce section and pick one of everything!!  Do your research though…not all veggies are good for your bird…here is a list of ingredients that went into the mixture for our “CHOP Party”… 

004Veggies

 

Broccoli Florets

Cauliflower Florets

Asparagus

Sweet Peas

Sweet Corn

Butternut Squash

Yams / Sweet Potato

Collard Greens

Tri-Colored Pepper Mix

Jalapenos Peppers

Kale

Mustard Greens         

Zucchini

Carrots

Celery

Romaine Lettuce

SpinachIngredients

Yellow Squash

Bell Pepper

Chard

Parsley

Cilantro

Ginger Root

Dandelion Greens

Escarole

Endive

Arugula

Bib Lettuce

Bok Choy

Water Cress

Cranberries

Basil

Oregano

Dill

Banana Pepper

Radish

Broccoli Slaw010

Snap Peas

Black-Eyed Peas

Yellow Split Peas

Green Split Peas

Cabbage 

Red Cabbage

Parsnips

Turnip Greens

Okra

Rosemary

Thyme

Nori – Japanese Seaweed

 

 

Grains

Muesli

Celery Seed

Hemp Seed

Wheat Germ

Brown Flax Seed

Unsweetened Coconut

Red Quinoa

Wild / Brown Rice

Spelt

Whole Grain Pasta Spirals

Higgins Leafy Greens & Herbs

 

To start off with, all the grains that need to be cooked should be cooked ahead of time, drained real well and cooled.  This will prevent the mixture from getting soupy.  Next, invest in a food processor!!  This will save so much time as far as the chopping up of the vegetables.  I personally have 2…a small one for the little stuff and a big one for the big stuff.  Be sure to get at least a 5-gallon bucket to mix everything into.  If you are making a huge batch where a 5-gallon bucket is not going to cut it, I suggest cleaning out your bathtub and mixing it in there.  I have found this to be a great method on mixing because as you are adding the ingredients, all the excess water drains out.  It may sound insane but trust me…I know what I’m doing here! 

 

Here is a little video on mixing in the tub!!

 

 

All the veggies get chopped.  You can use frozen or fresh, but fresh is preferred.  If you are using frozen veggies, be sure to thaw them overnight.  Cook the Quinoa, Pasta, Rice, Spelt, Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash.  Once you have everything chopped, cooked and drained, mix it up really good and add your dry ingredients last.  If you are using the bathtub to mix, I suggest you scoop it back into the 5-gallon bucket after mixing to be bagged up.  This will enable you to sit in front of the TV and sort of take a breather.  When bagging the CHOP, I like to use a 1/2 cup scoop.  I have 4 big birds and this allows me to get 4 meals out of a ba018ggie.  Each baggie consists of 6 tablespoons of CHOP.  Make sure the baggies are SNACK size…or better yet, if you have a vacuum sealer, this would be the ultimate course to take as suggested by Patricia!  Once you have all the CHOP bagged, put those little baggies into a 1-gallon freezer bag.  This prevents the mixture from getting freezer burned.  When rolling the baggies and sealing them, it is extremely important to get all of the air out of the baggie.  This also prevents freezer burn.  If you have help in the kitchen, it’s great!  One of you can bag it, the other can roll it.  Hence, this is why I host “CHOP Parties”.  First of all it’s a great way to get birdie friends together, enjoy a FEW hours with each other and get ideas as well.  Make sure you develop a list of ingredients, then split it by how many people are coming.  The list is so nobody brings the same thing as someone else.  Give each person their own list, agree on a date, time and where to meet.  Give everyone a specific job to do one person could chop stuff in the food processor while another cuts it up and prepares it for the processor…someone else can be in charge of cooking the grains and another can be in charge of chopping up the small stuff (like herbs)…the possibilities are endless!  Count how many little bags you have at the end and split it up amongst yourselves. Missi.Me.Cash.Chloe Just think of all the free time you and your birdie friends are going to have to play with your birds after this!  I am personally off the hook for the next 81 days after our last “CHOP Party”…Now my friend Missi and I have time to hangout together and play with our birds!!

 

EndNote: Last but not least!!!  When serving your birds CHOP be sure to add a nice nut mix such as Higgins Boca Nut Mix as well as a pellet food.  I personally like Hagen Pellets, they are small enough that the chop gets deposited on them nicely so with every bite I know my bird is getting complete nutrition.  My personal feeding regimen consists of 1 tablespoon of Chop, 2 tablespoons Hagen Pellets, and 1 tablespoon of Higgins Boca Nut Mix.  This gets eaten up completely by noon if I feed at 10:00am. and then again at around 9:00pm.  The other thing I like to do is place my birds food bowls in different parts of their cages.  This provides a sort of search and reward enrichment excercise.  This provides excellent foraging skills as well as excercise without them even knowing it.  It will help build muscles and provide total climbing throughout their cages.  Be sure not to put your birds favorite treat into the CHOP (such as sunflower seeds, pine nuts, etc.).  These must always be saved for the training!  Trust me…you’ll make a bigger impact with your bird when he’s focused on getting done what he has to do to get what he wants!

For more information on the concept of CHOP, please visit Patricia Sund’s “Parrot Nation”.  There is tons and tons of information there.  Don’t hesitate to ask questions as well…they are always welcomed.

Happy Chopping!!!

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One Response to “CHOP…The Concept”

  1. […] thrilled about the growing interest in my “Chop” feeding concept. You can read a popular post about it here: “The Chop Blog.” It […]

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