Getting Started With Using Foraging: Beginner Tips & How To

Posted by Jamieleigh on

Photo by Jamieleigh
Location: Orlando, FL
Foraging for a nutriberry: Galah “Bandit”

Foraging seems like a wild and time consuming idea for a lot of people, but it’s not and it is WORTH IT for your bird to build confidence. I can’t even explain how important it is for your bird not to be sitting around all day bored out of its mind. Boredom causes a huge percent of the behavior problems out there in birds today such as plucking, aggression and biting, etc…

So let’s talk about foraging for beginners, how to do it and what you need to get started today with your bird, I promise it’s EASY!

Photo by www.beadjam.com

Easy Foraging Tip #1: Non-treated pieces of wood, wooden beads, etc. (non-toxic)

Simply start your bird’s first day of foraging by placing these pieces of wood or wooden beads (or both) inside your bird’s food dish along with its pellets. The first day add a few, the next day add some more and then more and more until your bird has to go from eating around the wooden pieces to picking out the pieces in order to get to what he wants to eat.

Some birds will start playing with the pieces, or begin destroying them into small pieces which is great. That’s what you want. Make your bird work harder and harder as he has more and more beads and pieces to pull out of the dish to get to the pellets he wants to eat. Some birds may avoid them and eat around them and that’s okay too.

Photo by www.richwallerart.com

Easy Foraging Tip #2: Plain white paper.

You can either fold the paper like shown above or crumble little pieces up like this:

Have them be the same size as the wooden beads and add them into the dish as well. This will get your bird picking something up and tossing it out or shredding the paper that’s in the way of his food. You can put all different sized pieces in there and even wrap some pellets up in some of the pieces for him to see and discover.

Easy Foraging Tip #3: More white paper.

This time you’re using sheets of white paper. Take the sheet and lay it over your bird’s food dish half way or 1/4 of the way so your bird can still mostly see the food inside. By either mother nature or your bird, your bird will move the paper off of it. Do this for a few days until you can cover the bowl completely and your bird moves the paper off of its bowl to eat.

You should still have all the wooden beads and pieces of small paper inside the dish.

Easy Foraging Tip #4: Using more white paper… and a rubber band…

Place the white paper over the food bowl and this time poke a hole in the center of the paper and wrap it around the food dish so it holds a bit tightly but don’t secure it with anything.

Once your bird is examining it curiously and moving it off the food dish, then secure the paper down with a rubber band and the hole poked in the middle to try to get your bird to start from the hole and break open the rest of the paper to get to its food inside.

Easy Foraging Tip #5: Now do a little less with what ya got.

Now do the same thing with no poked hole. Just secure the paper around the food dish and don’t poke a hole, leave that part up to your bird.

Photo by Jamieleigh
Location: Orlando, FL
Foraging: Galah “Bandit”

These tips will get you started on very basic and super simple ways to get your bird to start knowing about what foraging is all about in easy steps for both of you. Once your bird has this mastered, secure down more layers of paper to make it thicker and harder for your bird to break through.

If you’re more of a video type of person, I made this pretty awesomely unorganized video demonstrating it all for you:

Have fun and get creative, the possibilities with foraging are endless!


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4 comments

  • You guys referred this post to me about a week ago and I love it
    I have started adding paper to their food dish everyday and you can’t believe how happy I am to see they have picked some of the paper out and thrown it to the ground! They are finally starting forage – thank you so much

    Natalie on
  • Like Clarissa, I couldn’t even start . Now I can and my birds and I thank you.

    Marilyn Hoyt on
  • My blog is all about cheap and creative foraging ideas to make yourself: www.foragingforparrots.com
    Hope it helps some of you!

    Name (required) on
  • For the larger birds, I use a large brown paper bag. Sprinkle their food or treats on the length of it. Roll it up (like you would roll up a cinnamon roll) and secure the ends with leather strips. Tie to cage and they will chew it, find pellets/fruit/chili peppers or nuts in each…they eat everything they find and it usually lasts a week or so. For the smaller birds I use the small lunch bags.

    rhonda on

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