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 Birds n Ways Recipe Xchange
Mineral Blocks, Cement Perches

This page is devoted to pet parrot and exotic bird owners.
Enjoy the 100's of bird recipes submitted by our readers.

The Recipe Xchange      
•   Birdie Breads and Muffins
•   Breakfast: Eggs, Pancakes, Waffles
•   Desserts, Fruits, Drinks, Cool Things  
•   Mineral Blocks, Cement Perches
•   Cakes, Cookies, Pies & Pizza
•   Soft Foods, Veggies, Grains, Sprouts  
•   Tasty Treats
•   Miscellaneous Recipes

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Birds n Ways note: We've been informed that Plaster of Paris is Calcium Sulfate
(Gypsum), the same stuff that dry wall is made of and can be dangerous. Today
it is also made with additives. Use only FOOD GRADE Calcium Carbonate (or
pure Calium Sulfate). Set up time is longer and the block is softer after it dries.

Plaster of Paris is Carcinogenic!

Posted by: Deborah Alexander - February 14, 2004

I was searching on the web to find some information on plaster of paris for my architectural model, and I came across these recipes for mineral blocks. Having birds myself, I was intrigued at first, then horrified to find that people have recipes for birds which use plaster of paris. This stuff is carcinogenic! There are warnings all over the box about inhaling and ingesting it. For the bird's sake, they can't read box warnings or refuse to use it.

"Aussie" Mineral Blocks for Finches.

Posted by: George Ezzy - June 4, 2001

2 cups calcuim carbonate (* see warning above)
1 cup grit from bird shops
3 crushed egg shells microwave for 5 minutes
1 cup charcoal
1 cup clean clay
1/2cup wood glue(non toxic)

Add water. Mix not too wet, put into containers to set. DO not put in sun to dry. I have been giving this mix to my birds for years. George. Member of the Finch Society of Australia.

Birdie Mineral Blocks

Posted by: Tommie - - May 5, 1999

1 pound plaster of Paris (* see warning above)
1/2 cup oyster shell
1/2 tsp Kelp (find at a health food store)
1 tbs salt
1 cup water

Mix this fast and have containers ready, small plastic bowls or ice cube trays work well. If you want to bolt them or twist tie them to the cage make sure you push the bolt or tie in while mix is wet. After they are set, smack the containers to release them.


Posted by: Krista Collins - - February 16, 1998

Prepare muffin tins by lining with cupcake papers. I use cheap foil ones so I don't have to clean them, just store in clean plastic bags. Prepare wires or twisty ties by bending into a u-shape.

Ingredients: four pound box of dry plaster of paris (* see warning above), 1 cup dried egg shells (cook 2 min. in microwave oven), 2 1/2 tsp iodized salt, 1/2 cup oyster shell, 3/4 cup calcium carbonate (get at health food store), 1/2 box of bird charcoal, 1/2 cup parakeet sized bird grit, 5 1/2 cups water.

Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Add water. Pour into 4 doz. muffin cups.

Cement Perches Recipe

Posted by: Raenett - - December 1, 1998

PVC pipe (Home Depot sells 10 ft. length for 70 cents). I use 3/4" inside diameter, but slightly larger for Cockatiels would be fine.
Duct or Masking tape
One 2" Lag screw per perch (I think that's what they're called; they have threads on both ends)
Two washers per perch (wider than the outside diameter of the pvc pipe and the appropriate size for your cage wire)
One wing nut per perch (to fit the lag screw)
1 bag all purpose sand
1 bag cement
1 tin can or something to hold the molds in.

Now comes the fun part:
Cut the pvc pipe to whatever length perches you want. If you're making more than one, cut them all at once. We have a lot of power tools, which makes it much easier. I usually make mine 6" long.

Now cut each piece of pvc pipe down the center, making a seam. This is not an easy task, but the cut doesn't need to be straight, and my seams usually end up jagged. I have used wire cutters, scissors, garden shears, and a Dremel to make these cuts.

Take the duct or masking tape and tape the bottom and the seam of each piece of pvc pipe, so that when you add the cement mixture, it won't leak out. Stand all of your ready to fill pvc molds in a can, open end up (I have a piece of 2x4 with holes pre-drilled to hold the molds).

Mix 3 parts sand to 1 part cement and add enough water to make it kinda smooth and pourable. MIX WELL, and add more water as needed. Pour the mixture into the pvc molds (a little overflow is better than not filling completely, because some of the water in the mixture will rise to the top).

Place a washer, followed by a wing nut, onto a lag screw, and place it into the center of the cement mixture. The washer will keep the screw from falling into the cement. Don't worry about any dribbles down the side of the molds, this is mostly water.

Let the cement set for several days,... the longer the better. If you become over anxious, your perches will fall apart when you take them out of the mold. I learned this the hard way. Once the cement has set, remove tape and spread the pvc pipe. Take a pair of pliers and pull the perch out of the mold by grabbing onto the screw, or in most cases you can push the perch through the mold once loosened.

When out, the perch will be smooth on the surface. I roughen them up by lightly sanding. If you don't have sand paper, you can use a file, emery board, or whatever. Attach the perch to the inside of the cage, one washer up agaist the cement, attach the other washer on the outside, through the cage bars, and secure with the wing nut.

That's it! I hope I didn't leave anything out. It sounds like a lot of work, but it really is very simple, and as I said earlier, the average cost per perch is 50 cents. The hardest part is cutting the seams and waiting for the cement to cure. Good luck!

Mineral Block

Posted by: Dawn - - August 19, 1997

2 parts Plaster of Paris (* see warning above)
5 parts Garden Lime
4 parts Bonemeal
1 part mineral supplement for birds

Mix in enough water to make a smooth gravy. Pour into paper cups the size you want. (I use the plastic SOLO cups..have many sizes) You can also use cute molds and add some food coloring to make pretty.

Insert a U shaped wire (small birds) or the bolt and drop washer of a diameter to cover most of the cup size (harder for them to break it off the bolt with big beaks..). Let cure for several days depending on size. When totally dry you may drill hole in them and hang on toys etc.

Tip: I like to crunch up a few Manu blocks and add to this.... Enjoy.....

P.S. If anyone knows how to make the soft chalky ones..please send. The small birds rather have them!

Mineral Blocks - chalky kind

Posted by: Judy - - November 23, 1997

This recipe is from one of my Australian National Cockatiel Society newsletters.

Ingredients: equal parts of,
Plaster of paris (available at craft shops or Pharmacy)(* see warning above)
Calcium Carbonate (my vet got this for me)
Garden lime

Mix these together with enough water to make mixture similar to pouring custard (don't have it too wet). Pour into containers/molds and add a piece of wire shaped like a U. Have about 2" protruding from the top, this is used to attach the block to something in the aviary. For molds you can use plastic cups, muffin tins, empty fast food containers. Allow to dry before removing from the mold.

You can also add your own vitamin or minerals or maybe a little grit to this mix. note : the calcium MUST be "calcium carbonate".

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