Tamale Surprise

Written by Kris Porter. Posted in Enrichment Tips by Kris Porter

Tamale Surprise for your Parrot!I wrap treats in corn husks to make little tamale surprises. First I soak corn husks in warm water for about 15 minutes to get them pliable then drain them in a colander. I take one whole corn husk and cut or peel it into ¼ inch strips to use for ties. I wrap an in-shell almond or walnut half in one corn husk and tie it up with one of the strips. Almonds are smaller so you may find it easier to wrap if you cut the corn husk in half first.

Once I have the tamale surprises rolled and tied, I put them on stainless steel baking racks to dry overnight. I like to use the baking racks because air can circulate on all sides of the wraps. The corn husks dry quickly and thoroughly which helps prevent mold from growing on a wet husk. I don't store them in closed plastic containers or bags either. I store mine in a plastic storage drawer that fits under the cage. The drawer isn't airtight and it is easily accessible to me for on-the-spot dispensing.

My parrots favor these tamale surprises to such extent that I have started wrapping non-food items inside the corn husks. I wrap up small foot toys, plastic animal shapes, large textured plastic beads or pieces of bird safe wood and mix those in with the nut filled corn husk wraps. Sometimes they get a nut and sometimes they don't. But they are always eager to tear into their tamale surprise to get at whatever toy or treat is inside.

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