Parrots spend up to 70% of their day searching for
food in the wild. Once found, the food needs to be peeled or cracked open. Contrast that level of engagement with the typical "fast
food" lifestyle that most captives birds experience. Each day their food is
neatly delivered to them, often nicely chopped up, in a bowl. Hmmm, so how are they supposed
to spend the rest of their day?
Lack of activity leads to boredom which often results in frustration and
abnormal, self-destructive behaviors such as feather picking. It is possible to avoid these problems by
utilizing a variety of foraging devices placed at various
levels in the cage or play area. Hiding food in various locations throughout the
cage will keep them busy, challenge their minds, stimulate their curiosity and make eating more fun.
C. L. Meehan (U. C. Davis) has reported that there is evidence that indicates
parrots "prefer to perform some sort of work for food even when "free" food is
available". This indicates that foraging is a behavioral need of parrots.
toys provide your bird with a purpose, a mental challenge, increased
opportunities for exercise, essential
play time and a reward for their effort !
Foraging toys are devices that require birds to
work for their food and they are commonly categorized as either
mechanical foraging toys. There are many other types of foraging devices
fruit and veggie skewers,
and nut cages and
foraging boxes to name a few. Most require some
level of manipulation or puzzle solving to uncover and remove the food such as
turning, pressing levers, rummaging, opening lids, tearing/shredding materials or