On July 20th, I had the enormous pleasure of meeting one of the most prolific bird bloggers on the internet, the wonderful Patricia Sund, who came all the up to Maryland to lead a Phoenix Landing class on how to make “Chop”.
What is Chop?
Chop is a feeding concept Patricia has been advocating for on her blog for years, which calls for mixing a healthy variety of “real”, fresh, nutritious and flavorful foods in large batches, bagging portions to freeze, and then thawing and feeding the mix daily for as long as it lasts before making more.
“Chop is a concept, not a formula.”
The idea is not just to provide healthy foods to our companion birds but to do so in a way that’s easy and stress-free (because if it’s not easy, few will stick to it).
Patricia started this feeding method because she found that cooking for her (then only) parrot on a daily basis was just too time consuming! And since she traveled a lot and relied on friends and neighbors to come feed her bird (now birds) while she was gone, it also wasn’t feasible or realistic to ask other people to prepare parrot meals from scratch twice daily. Chop was the solution to all that.
She blogged about her process and was overwhelmed by the positive response — the idea really resonated with other bird owners who felt guilty about not feeding more fresh food or were overwhelmed by the task of preparing or cooking food for their birds all the time.
Since then, she’s become a vocal advocate for the Chop concept, touring the country to visit bird groups and show them how it can simplify everyone’s life (but she’s quick to point out that she didn’t invent the concept, she’s just working to popularize it.)
A Master(chef) Course in Chop!
Her visit to Maryland is just one of many such workshops she gives every year. I showed up to class to see two huge tables covered with ingredients that we were going to use. Many of the ingredients came from a regular grocery store run from the day before, but quite a bounty came from the garden of Laura Ford, Phoenix Landing’s MD education coordinator.