Jeb Stuart:

Recipe for health

It can be hard to get a bird to take medications. If they are syringe-trained, we can mix medication with juice and offer it that way. But that can get old fast, especially if a bird is on meds for any length of time. Jeb will be taking his medication for the foreseeable future, so we had to get creative to make sure he would happily ingest the drugs.

One method of offering supplements and medications is to add it to something we call birdie bread. We bake the bread here ourselves, and each time we make it, the bread turns out a little differently. I like to bake a large batch because it freezes well, and we don't have to worry about running out.

Sometimes we use Harrison's Birdie Bread Mix as the base, but just as often we use pellet dust or crushed pellets. Here is a good basic recipe which can be altered to fit any bird's personal taste:

  • 1/4 cup of plain active culture yogurt
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup of cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
  • 2 eggs (we wash the eggs first so we can crumble and include the shells)
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 container organic baby food (we like Sprout for the great flavor combos)
  • 1 cup or more (as needed) of pellet dust to make a nice stiff batter — thicker than cake batter. If the batter is too thick, add water. If it is too thin, add more pellet dust.

Grease a rectangular pan, add the batter and bake until the top is browned and the bread springs back when touched lightly. Cool and then cut into small squares. We usually keep a week's worth at a time in the fridge, with any extra in the freezer.

Jeb loves his birdie bread and looks forward to getting his medication at the end of his nebulizer treatments. If for some reason we don't have it ready right away, he will look into his dish and then turn to glare at his caregiver. You'd better believe we hustle to get it ready right away! He reminds us of a child that wants his lollipop after a visit to the doctor.