If you know me at all, you know I LOVE spending holidays with my birds! They are so much fun and there is some desensitization that comes with sharing the holiday with your parrots. I immediately assumed (so not to be disappointed) that my birds might be scared of the pumpkins I got. Which is why I got three smaller sized ones instead of huge ones.
I spent Halloween Eve carving all the pumpkins with Patty, who also blogs on here. Dave and her helped me along with the designs and I did all the carving and drawings. The parakeets hung out while we did this, and once they were carved Cressi was the official “taste tester”. If she will eat it, they all will! And I knew she’d be the most ambitious about the whole event.
We brought her into the kitchen to have a taste… the STEMS seem to be the biggest hit!
After Cressi approved the pumpkins, I headed out to the aviaries to offer them to the macaws. After the mess she made in the kitchen, I thought that would be the best idea!
I think it helped that my birds had had pumpkin seeds before in the past, and that the stems have wood on them that make them great foot toys and foraging toys, really. As well as shreddable. The newest task for every bird was to peel off all the pumpkin around the stem. Jinx came the closest to accomplishing this.
I offered the pumpkin first on the ground of the aviary, but the birds didn’t seem that interested and thought I just came to play. So I moved it into their dishes and held it in front of them as well so they knew what it was.
Some of you may wonder why I bothered carving them if the birds were just going to destroy them… and I became so attached at one point that when my bird took the first bite out of my design I said, “Oh no!” and Patty luckily pulled me back and said, “We are doing this for them, remember?” so on she went in her destruction…
My military macaw, Cash, was probably the one least interested. So I made sure to take the filling from the other pumpkins and over flow his with guts and seeds to entice him into it.
Of course, Cash started out by eating the seeds from the top, but once he knew the pumpkin had seeds in it, I put it in his dish with the carved out part facing him and the top hidden so that he would have to pull the seeds out from the carved part, thus getting the outer skin and having to destroy the pumpkin to get what he wanted. What a GREAT foraging toy!
So make sure you offer your bird some pumpkins this Halloween and really make the most of it for them, too! Now you don’t have the throw out the seeds or the guts, and you can even let your bird design his own if he’s really good with them! To see more of our Halloween Birdie pictures.
For some fun Halloween themed birdie recipes, check out our Cooking For Parrots cookbooks.
Jamieleigh Womach has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots whom she shares the stage with.