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neoow

Foraging

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Posted (edited)

I'm trying to encourage Alfie to forage more for food. It's a natural behaviour of African Grey's (and other parrots of course) and a good one to encourage as it keeps them active and makes them work that bit harder for their food.

Tonight I made a foraging tray and put it on Alfie's shelves. I put some fruit and veg and other tasty morsels in the bottom of a tray then filled it up with shredded paper and foot toys. He had to root around and pull the paper and toys out before he could get to the treats. It kept him busy for quite some time. Most of it (including the food) ended up over the sofa but he seemed to enjoy digging through the tray.

I have a couple of foraging toys in his cage (a buffet ball and a wheel that he has to spin and line up the holes with the treats in different compartments) and I'm thinking of putting a tray at the bottom of his cage for him to forage in.

I'm also toying with the idea of getting some bird safe plants and putting them in his cage (whilst supervised) so he can dig through those and pull them apart. I just need to be a little bit careful because I also have two cats- so I would have to make sure they either can't get at the plants or that they are cat safe as well as bird safe as my two cats get into everything! (they are indoor cats)

Do you provide foraging opportunities for your birds? If so, what do you set up for them?

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Edited by neoow
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I have hidden things inside plain coffee filters inside a cardboard box but I let them watch me wrap the treats so they understand the presentation of something into their cage. Have also gotten sterile sand and hidden almonds in the shell so they have to dig.

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I have tried wrapping treats in paper but Alfie prefers to fling them around rather than grab them and tear them apart. Even if I show him the treat and wrap it in front of him he will still fling it as far as he can!

I found some great little boxes recently which are perfect for foraging. I fill the smaller box with treats and paper, put it in the larger box and top it with treats and paper and Alfie has loads of fun shredding the box and finding some tasty treats. I have a small stockpile of the boxes at the moment as they are the perfect size to fit on his shelf and the fact there is a box within a box gives him an extra challenge too. (plus it makes more mess for me to clear up!)

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Snickers (CAG) just discovered lima beans (frozen/thawed for him) and seems to enjoy them.

I never thought to offer limas before.  I am more of a pizza and subs eater, so I have to buy "healthy" food just for him and the bearded dragon.

Anyway, limas were a huge hit!  And this from a CAG whose middle name is "Skeptical."  lol

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Timber loves butter beans (the big lima type bean). Than again, beans are one food he will eat cooked, so I guess that is no surprise. He isn't as fond of limas, but will eat them once in awhile.

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