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Making Mock Honey Sticks

Written by Duddles

These treats are meant to try to trick your seed-addicted bird into trying pellets, by serving them in the form of their favourite treat – honey sticks. Please note that the preparation method of these treats requires that they be served immediately after making them – this is not a treat that you should make in bulk and allow to sit. This is because once pellets have been taken out of the bag, or have come in contact with water, they spoil quickly. This is true of all pellets, but especially those that are organic or have few preservatives. But don't worry - these are very quick and easy to make, and you most likely already have all the stuff you need to make them. You can experiment by making several different sticks with different types of pellets, or some with whole pellets and some with pellets that have been crushed up a bit (you can crush them up with a mortar and pestle, food processor, or by putting them in a bag and smashing them with a hammer or rolling pin).

Materials you will need:

  1. Used honey stick, with all the seeds eaten off (using the back of a knife, scrape off whatever seeds remain)
    OR
    popsicle stick (unused, bought new to prevent passing on germs from you to your bird), with a hole drilled in one side for hanging
    OR
    wooden chew stick (you can use a hamster one), with a hole drilled in one side for hanging
  2. 1 tablespoon flour
  3. 1 tablespoon water
  4. pellets (1 to 2 tablespoons)
  5. a few seeds (optional)
  6. a very small bowl

Making the mock honey sticks:

  • In the very small bowl, mix together equal amounts of flour and water, to make a thick paste. This will be the “glue” that you will use to stick the pellets onto the wood. The thicker the better.
  • Using the back of a fork or spoon, spread the paste onto the stick, and cover it completely.
  • Wipe off the majority of the glue using a fork, spoon or your fingers, leaving only enough to wet the stick - a very thin layer (less than 1 mm thick)*.
  • Put the pellets onto a flat surface, on top of a paper towel or piece of wax paper. You can add a few seeds if you want. This may help attract your bird to the treat.
  • Press all sides of the stick into the pellets, covering the stick entirely.
  • If any bare spots remain, sprinkle them with more pellets, or pellet crumbs.
  • Gently press the pellets into the stick with your fingers.
  • Allow the Mock Honey Stick to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 2 hours, until the paste is dry and the pellets are stuck to the wood (or leave it in the fridge overnight, inside a sealed container? Not sure if the glue will dry in a sealed container, or if the pellets will still be fresh the next day).
  • Hang the treat in the cage, in the area that you usually put honey sticks. Use string to hang the stick if it does not already have a holder. Make sure you use as short a string as possible, and trim the ends to avoid strangulation or toes getting caught in the string.
  • Leave the stick in for one day only, as the pellets will spoil quickly.

*Remember: the more glue you use, the longer it will take to dry, and therefore, the longer the water from the paste will be in contact with the pellets - this will cause spoilage. Only a very small amount of paste is necessary to effectively stick the pellets to the wood. If you find that, when served, the pellets fall off the stick as soon as the bird touches them, try using a little bit more of the flour and water “glue” next time, or try crushing up the pellets a bit before sticking them. Never use commercial glue - always make your own using flour and water only.

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