Parrots Love Wheatgrass

Most people I talk to have tried wheatgrass juice on at least one occasion. It certainly tastes healthy, but the flavor doesn’t leave me craving for more. The first time Korina and I went to the juice bar and ordered a shot of wheatgrass she raised her eyebrows as if to inquire “and why do you want to drink this?” I immediately went into an infomercial about why it is so beneficial for our health. Korina was secretly hoping that the “wheatgrass thing” was one of my many phases. However before she knew it, I was ordering a little green house and wheatgrass growing trays. I also bought a manually operated wheatgrass juicer because I am sufficiently self-aware, to know that when something catches my interest, moderation often escapes me. I didn’t  want another appliance crowding the kitchen to remind me of my whimsical nature. I reasoned to myself that the manual version would test my commitment.

After a season of good and bad crops, I eventually leaned into the wheatgrass commitment a little further and sourced a local wheatgrass supplier. Happily, we live close to one of his commercial customers so we get home delivery. However the commitment of the minimum order required the purchase of a heavy-duty wheatgrass juicer and a small refrigerator. We are now moving into our second year of regularly drinking wheatgrass juice and it hasn’t gotten any easier to drink the stuff! It seriously tastes like you fell face first in the grass and ended up with a mouthful.

In spite of the flavor, I stay with the program because I regularly look up information to remind me why I drink it and the data remains the same. Basically, one ounce of wheatgrass juice provides the equivalent nutrition of eating almost three pounds of vegetables. Since we average 2 ounces per day that works out to more nutrition than I would have time to eat otherwise. The live enzymes contribute to better digestion overall and provides a general sense of well-being.

The steady stream of wheatgrass arriving at the door has also given way to feeding it to the birds. I didn’t expect them to like it any more than we do but they actually love the flavor!! I mean seriously enjoy it! The great thing about parrots is that they are equipped to break the grass down in their own, so they don’t need a juicer. “Pluma” doesn’t normally like to venture out much in the food category but she embraced wheatgrass right from the start. She likes it when I snap tie some to her perch and she will graze on it like a little feathered herbivore. If I offer wheatgrass juice she dips her beak in readily and takes multiple sips.

“Pluma” is the career plucker in the family and I read somewhere that one of the possible causes of plucking could be that they are normally ground feeders and that perhaps they are not getting enough minerals from the soil in captivity. If that is true, then wheatgrass should address those needs as it has over 90 minerals. I cannot report that she is plucking less as a result but the remaining feathers are in excellent condition.

“Tica” squeals with delight after she takes a drink of wheatgrass! “Romeo” bobs his head up and down rapidly between sips of wheatgrass. That is his signature move when he finds something to his liking! ”Diane” is also a fan and she utters throaty sounds of contentment as she savours the juice.

We also discovered that a number of byproducts of the juicing process are also beneficial to the birds. Korina decided one day to offer a tray of clipped wheatgrass to the birds in the aviary. It was an instant hit!

I also take the wheatgrass foam that occurs during the juicing process and stir it into their sprouts. This recipe is especially popular with a number of the birds so I always have customers for the wheatgrass foam recipe.

Additionally, I discovered that our composting worms love the grass rope produced during the process. They thrive on a diet of coffee grounds, wheatgrass rope and other parrot leftovers that go into the worm bin. The result is a very high quality composting mix.

In summary, Korina and I drink wheatgrass because we’ve convinced ourselves it’s the right thing to do, but we can barely choke it down. The parrots drink the juice because they love it, and they will take our word that wheatgrass is good for them.

 

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