First off, the ‘milk’ of the coconut is VERY good for our birds, and they will love you forever for sharing this unique treat with them. The meat can be saved and frozen, grated, etc. Wonderful treat for the birds.
IF you still have a whole one:
Wash and scrub the coconut. Then put holes in each of the three eyes and drain coconut liquid milk. Place shell in a low oven, 250, for an hour or so (until you shake it and you can hear it move). If you’ve already cut it in half, place in oven meat side down on baking sheet. Remove, allow it to cool. While still warm, take a spoon and scoop the meat out.
You can either cut the coconut in half, using a saw or pick a clean spot on concrete or driveway, lay down a clean tarp, throw the coconut onto the concrete and it should break. What a way to get aggression out! It will break into pieces and you can drill holes in the chunks, using them for toys, stringing them on rope, etc.
You can make toys, feeding dishes, etc. out of the halves.
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.
P.S. According to the book called the Visual Food Encyclopedia, 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 uncracked 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.
Instead of pulling out your heavy drill to cut holes, invest in a ‘cheep’ soldering iron and use it for the holes. Obviously, this ‘cheep hint’ will only work with plastic pieces. Much faster!!
NOTE: Use caution when using a soldering iron, they get very, very hot!!!
MAKE SURE TO DO THIS IN A WELL-VENTILATED AREA, AWAY FROM YOUR BIRDS!!! PLASTIC FUMES ARE HARMFUL!!
Thank you to Cilene M., WI