Did you know that two thirds of a parrot’s day is spent foraging for food? The parrot in captivity has his food served to him in bowls and doesn’t need to spend time foraging in order to survive. But that doesn’t mean that nurturing his natural foraging behavior isn’t still important.
According to Cheryl Rose at the National Parrot Rescue & Preservation Foundation, parrots have four main behaviors: socializing, grooming, sleeping and foraging.
Your pet bird doesn’t really need your help with the grooming and sleeping, but he needs to socialize with you and he needs your help for foraging. You can enhance your parrot’s life and stimulate his mind by providing some of the challenges he would have in the wild.
Foraging means that a bird needs to be inquisitive in order to find certain foods. You can encourage your bird’s natural curiosity by hiding food in different places.
The BirdWalk store in Painesville carries many products to stimulate your bird’s foraging instincts. Their Creative Foraging System provides your parrot with the opportunity to feed naturally, nurturing behaviors and physical activities similar to birds observed in the wild. Having a pet bird obtain food entirely by foraging is a revolutionary concept that offers numerous benefits to both the bird and its human companion. Field trials indicate that parrots fed from traditional dishes spend between 15to 27 minutes per day feeding, whereas, birds that have made a complete transition to foraging for their food must dedicate 4 to 6 hours per day to feeding activities. Creative Foraging System is the only pet bird feeding regimen on the market that provides environmental enrichment, continuous stimulation, and vigorous physical exercise.
- Hide food in toys and offer more puzzle type toys (see the slideshow for all the many products offered at the BirdWalk store.
- Put an almond or nut in a small paper cup and let the parrot retrieve it by tearing up the cup.
- Twist some pellets in corn husks and place between the bars of the cage.
- Wooden or cardboard tubes stuffed with food and/or seeds.
- Hide some nuts in a bowl of wooden beads or small wooden chunks. The parrot will rummage through the wood and find the nut. You might want to let the parrot see you hide the nut the first couple of times.
- Place food on the sides of the cage bars; e.g., carrots with the tops on are good. Not only can they tear up and munch on the carrot but the tops can also be torn up and possibly ingested. Skewers are also good.
The BirdWalk store is located at 549 Liberty Street, Painesville.