[ Reprinted with Permission from Cheep Parrot Toys & Tips- Yahoo Group]
First off, the ‘milk’ of the coconut is VERY good for our birds, and they will love love love you for forever for sharing this unique treat with them;
IF you still have a whole one:
Wash and scrub the coconut. Then put holes in each of the three eye’s and drain coconut liquid (milk. Place shell in a low oven 250 for an hour or so (until shake it and you can hear it move). Remove, allow it to cool. Then if you like you can do two things, cut them in half for use in dozens of different ways or pick a clean spot on concrete or driveway. Lay down a tarp (clean), throw nut onto the concrete and it should break. Or, you can use a hammer. It will break into pieces and you then drill a hole in the chunks and use them as hand toys, additions to boings, rope, whatever.
If you just score it around, you also can take the hammer and gently tap it all the way around and it should snap clean for you.
Then the meat is taken inside and you can serve raw, freeze, grate, dry then store or???
IF you have already cut them in half or in sections:
Coconuts are the perfect item to buy. To dry I break in 1/2, put on cookie sheet w/ the meat side down. Turn oven on 250 slide in and back shell and all till you start to smell coconut. About an hour I think. While still hot take a spoon and scoop out. Keep the shells. Run the meat through the grater on food processor. Put in zip lock, and freeze. Sprinkle on top of fresh veggies. The shells make wonderful toys. Drill a hole and hang a bell instant fun for hours.
P.S. According to the book called the Visual Food Encyclopedia and it says that an unopened coconut can be stored at room temperature for 2-4 months. Once opened it can be refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for up to 9 months. It also says that when you buy a coconut to look for an un-cracked coconut that still contains water (shake it) and it should have intact, firm “eyes” that are free of mold. (unfortunately it is impossible to be sure whether or not the pulp is rancid without opening the shell).
The easier the white pulp is to remove the more ripe the coconut is.
Hope this helps. Happy toy making.