Play Areas: Playing Outside the Box
In the wild, parrots have an infinite space within which to climb, hang, reach, interact, play and check out what's going on in the neighborhood. They don't have to deal with cumbersome bars limiting their movements and blocking their view. Clearly, we can't give full reign to our pet birds in our homes, if only for their own safety. However, there are many times when we would like to expand our bird's world and have them participate in family activities in other rooms of the house.
Establishing outside of the cage play areas is a great way to offer your bird the opportunity to be in different areas of your home and to interact in a wider variety of manners with their human flock.
Play areas can take many different forms and come in a variety of sizes. There are floor, table top and hanging varieties and they range in design from the very basic to extremely elaborate and can be made from metal, wood, acrylic, rope or PVC. No matter what the form, if properly designed and equipped, they offer the benefits of:
- Increased opportunity for exercise.
- Increased mental stimulation through added interaction and visual stimulation.
- Enhanced learning opportunities through exposure to new experiences.
- Better socialization and a stronger sense of belonging to the flock (emotional security).
- A safe and secure place for your bird to play.
Well-designed play areas have:
- multiple play levels to promote movement through climbing
- an easy to clean base that catches droppings
- removable food cups
- multiple hooks to allow for the addition of stimulating toys
- varied perch diameters to promote foot health
In sum, play areas make for an interesting and safe place to enrich your bird's physical, mental and emotional well being. You will also enjoy your bird's companionship while you watch TV or surf the net . It will also make your time pass more cheerfully while you do the dishes or even the laundry.
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