Just like humans would get depressed and frustrated if there was no scope for any kind of activity for them, so do birds. You may be surprised to know that many domestic or pet parrots develop emotional or mental health problems causing them to scream unnecessarily, bite, and pluck their feathers ruthlessly. Such behaviors usually stem from complete boredom. This is why parrot foraging toys are so popular; these toys can keep them engaged for hours. Foraging is simply the process of finding food, and this activity can get your pet parrot from boredom.
Why Is Foraging Encouraged for Domestic Birds?
As a pet owner, you may think of foraging as simply an adventure exercise for your bird. In reality, it is a recommended enrichment technique. It will make your pet parrot search for, spot, and get back an object like a treat or food item that it likes. When a bird is free in the wild, it will be searching for its food all the time. However, when you have a pet bird, it does not need to make an effort to find its food. Pet parrots have their feed cups and water holders attached to the cage and they are not motivated to look for food elsewhere.
As a result, their activities become limited because they have everything they need right before them. This can be counterproductive for the birds as they stop foraging completely. At the same time, this activity is much needed for the birds because it keeps them mentally stimulated and physically active. Without any such activity, the bird tends to get bored and lethargic; it can start behaving erratically.
So, the next time you shop for your pet parrot’s toys on the internet, why not get him a few foraging toys, or better still look for ideas on making homemade foraging toys for birds? If you are not someone who prefers DIYs, look for foraging toys online in stores like Parrot Essentials, Petco, and many more. With Parrot Essentials coupons, you can buy many exciting toys from a huge variety of foraging toys like the almond bread chewable natural foraging toy, the kabob-chunky chewable toy, the hanging wood roll loaded with treats, etc. at this store for excellent discounts.
The idea is to make your parrot work for the food they eat. In the forest, parrots are used to spending a large chunk of their time hunting for food, and when they do find these like seeds and nuts, sometimes they have to break or crack them to make them fit enough to be eaten. The entire process is time-consuming and requires a wide range of activities by the bird.
But when parrot food gets presented before your pet in a bowl that it can easily access, the charm, enthusiasm, and challenge are lost. This food is easy for your pet and you can be sure you are feeding him the right diet. But for the parrot, pre-cut food is boring and destroys the purpose. In 2008, a study conducted by Lumeij & Hommes discovered that a tiny pipe foraging toy was all that was needed to get African grey parrots to channelize their energies and distract them from self-harming behaviors.
Easy Ways in Which You Can Encourage Foraging for Your Pet Parrot:
Foraging, one must understand, is a learned behavior; it will not happen overnight and must be encouraged slowly in pet parrots. So, your job is to make sure that your pet can find its food easily at the start. As it gets used to this, you can introduce more challenging methods to keep it engrossed in finding its food. Here are some of the foraging ideas for parrots:
1. Using Multiple Food Stations:
This is an easy thing to implement because you can always buy a feeding station where you place small feeding bowls at different levels. Every bowl must contain only a small amount of food, and there should ideally be different kinds of foods in different bowls. You could even try wedging chunks through bar spaces or weaving foods through cage bars. This newness will get your pet parakeet excited, and it will start enjoying the challenges of finding different kinds of food.
You can get the different types of feeding stations from Parrot Essentials. Try the bird feeder bowl for food and water available at 13% off and just £3.49. You can also get the no-mess bird feeder when you spend £16.99.
2. Hiding Food Items:
If you find that your parrot has learned the art of locating food in multiple feeding stations, you can then start concealing food particles from their view using cardboard or pieces of paper. When you make tiny holes in cardboard the parrot can get a glimpse of the food underneath. The idea is to make the coverings more challenging so that the parrot needs to use its brain and power to lift the covers and obtain its food. You can even try hiding foods and treats in wooden tubes and PVC pipes with holes, twisted corn husks, and crumpled paper cups.
Using the simple foraging box from Parrot Essentials could be a great idea to introduce your pet to foraging. Get it for a mere £4.99.
3. Buying Commercial Puzzle Toys:
Online stores like Northern Parrots will allow you to buy puzzle toys for your pet parrots at excellent prices. This store offers an impressive collection of toys for your pet Polly, whether he enjoys preening, chewing, plucking, foraging, shredding, or swinging. You can choose to buy puzzle toys like kabob skewers, piñatas, puzzle boxes, snack trays, and pinwheel toys for your pet parrot. Each of these will excite your bird and allow him to engage in foraging exercises that are so integral to their natural behaviors. With Northern Parrots promo codes, you can get extra savings on your purchase.
Try a variety of pet foraging toys from Northern Parrots. A foraging pouch chewable toy is available for £6.99. An interactive foraging wheel would also be a great idea; get it for £22.99. If you’re trying to make the foraging interesting and trickier for your pet bird, you will want to buy the buffet ball with cage mount, save 20% on it, and get it for £15.99.
4. Foraging Trees:
They may be built from larger tree branches as they are not yet available commercially. Here, you can place dishes containing food at different levels and ensure that the foods provided are diverse and kept in different places so that the parrot is interested in looking for them. This encourages true foraging in parrots, and it is your duty to place the food or treats in complicated places so that the parrot is motivated to work harder to retrieve the food. This helps to satisfy their curiosity and keeps the birds physically active. You can monitor its progress; it is alright to help your pet parrot locate the food initially to show him how to go about it.
What You Must Remember About Encouraging Foraging Techniques for Pet Parrots:
- While one cannot stress enough the importance of foraging for birds, at the same time, you need to understand that the process should not be hazardous or put your pet in danger in any way. Foraging is for fun and entertainment and when you are not sure about whether a product is safe for your bird or not, make sure to clarify with an avian veterinarian.
- Another important thing to bear in mind is that pet birds may not start foraging right away just because you have bought toys and puzzles for them. You may need to encourage your pet many times before they start to understand the process and how rewarding or enriching foraging behavior can be. You must be persistent and patient because many birds tend to give up when they cannot locate their foods easily, especially when they have been used to getting these comfortably all along.
- Instead of hiding foods every time in puzzle boxes or foraging toys, try to do it one at a time. So, include only one food puzzle every day when you are starting. Even if you were to put the food in the foraging toy inside the parrot’s regular bowl, you would see him reaching out to the one in his toy. This shows that foraging comes naturally to birds, and it is an activity that they love engaging in.
- When you introduce foraging toys for a bird with no previous experience, you may want to use junk treats. You could then slowly replace these with healthier alternatives once he has got used to the activity. There are foraging toys for beginners meant for parrots who are scared of strange new things in their cages.
- For intermediate parrots that have learned the art of foraging, you can move onto commercial foraging toys. For instance, treasure chests and simple pinwheels can get them excited at this stage. You can even start hiding their food items inside egg carton pieces and muffin cups.
- Once you have a parrot that is an expert in foraging, you can up the ante and introduce foraging alternatives involving actual puzzles. This will stimulate its brain and boost its problem-solving skills. So, you can now get him foraging treat towers where the bird will have to figure out ways to get the food to fall off this tower. You could even consider buying a complicated treasure chest where the bird will have to turn keys to open it. You may also use foraging toys and puzzles to get your parrot to look for small toys he loves to play with instead of morsels of food every time.
So, the next time your pet parrot screams or bites without provocation, you may want to consider tweaking his food habits and make mealtimes more exciting for him. Offering mind-engaging puzzles and foraging toys can be a great way to boost their mental and physical agility. Find the latest coupons from Don’tPayAll for parrot stores online offering foraging toys.