Why foraging toys are important for your parrot?
Most of the pet parrots we got are either from a pet store or a breeder. So they probably won’t have too much chance to live in the wild for their life time, but it does not mean they will lose their natural instinct as a wild animal. The wild parrots have to spend a lot of their time to forage for food in the nature. The foraging activities will keep them busy most of their day, and the foraging process is an excellent exercise to them both physically and mentally. The pet parrots on the other hand, don’t usually get the chance to forage since their food and treats are already well prepared by us, the owners. Since they don’t need to spend time and energy to forage, they will easily be getting lazy and bored. That’s one of the reasons for parrots to get overweight, and develop the plucking behaviour. With the foraging toys, you can bring the lacking foraging activities back to your parrots’ life. Hiding the food and treat in different foraging toys can physically and mentally challenge your parrots and let them have more fun when eating so they are less likely to get bored.
There are different levels or types of foraging toys. When the parrot is young or if he/she has never played with a foraging toy before, you can start with some simple ones, such as the stainless steel skewers or the foraging treat cage. They allow you to string on or stuff in different types of fruits and veggies or toy parts, such as cardboard, vine balls, or wood beads. It is very easy to get the parrot’s attention, and it requires the bird to climb on or grip on to eat or play, so it will make the eating and playing more interesting.
For older parrot, or when the parrot becomes more proficient at simple foraging, you can start using some more difficult ones that allows you to hide the food or treats in. Such as the PVC parrot forager toy or the Super Bagel Parrot Foraging Toy. You can hide the food and treats into the container with cover. The parrot needs to open the cover to see what’s inside. This will give your parrot more mental stimulation when foraging.
When the parrot is ready for some even more challenging toys, you can start trying the foraging toy with puzzle feature, such as the Acrylic Foraging Wheel. This toy requires the parrot to turn the wheel in order to get what’s been hiding inside. With more thinking involved, it will potentially make your parrot become smarter (be careful if your parrot is already smart enough to make troubles)