Some of you may have seen this on Facebook but I wanted to share a post about it too! I really enjoyed Jamie’s recent article about foraging for beginners, I was particularly inspired by re-using bits of toys that have been chewed to pieces!
I also recently read Patty’s post, do you spend too much money on your bird? and was inspired to try to make something really cool that the flock would enjoy. We try to keep the enrichment in the parrot aviary pretty natural looking and tend to go with leafy branches or coconut husk toys, but yesterday the centre was fairly quiet and I thought I’d give them a cardboard box which, believe it or not, I had never thought to put in there for them!
Needless to say, it went down very well with the parrots, all of them got involved at some point during the day! There was a huge mess to clear up afterward, but it was well worth it to see how much they enjoyed such a simple thing.
One of the macaws (I have my suspicions that it was Bonnie as she is the master at destroying anything wooden!) chewed a wooden perch and it fell down to the floor of the aviary a couple of weeks ago.
When this has happened before, we’ve either re-arranged the perch/branch if it’s big enough or put it ‘to one side’ which often means it gets forgotten about and we end up with shiny pretty new perches or leafy branches instead. The piece that had fallen down was fairly small but we had the idea to make it into a foraging toy! So we drilled some big holes in it and stuffed in a few walnuts, some fruit and some big chunks of veg. Then, hung it up in the aviary and stood back to watch the flock slowly creep over to investigate… and then go nuts with excitement when they realized what it was!
I must also credit Ben Coulson, who works with me at the Tropical Butterfly House for this as he did the hard work drilling the holes and hanging it up! I appreciate that not everyone has access to a power tool to make holes in a chunky piece of wood like this, but it just shows that a piece of wood from a toy, a broken perch, a piece of rope, or anything else, could be re-used to make a fun toy for your bird AND it seems a simple cardboard box is as fun for a parrot as it is for a small child!