Toys & Foraging
- noun: the act of searching for food and provisions
- noun: animal food for browsing or grazing
verb: wander and feed
- verb: collect or look around for (food)
In the wild parrots spend most of their time (approximately 70% of it) foraging, or looking, for food. Not to mention when given the option of eating their food out of a dish or working for their food, studies have shown that parrots prefer to work for their food. Now you can imagine when handed their food on a daily basis how a parrot has to figure out what to do with itself for the other 23 hours of its day.
Most find creative outlets in screaming, mimicking high pitched sounds, biting, etc. Others find more acceptable outlets like talking, whistling, playing and destroying toys and interacting positively with their human companions. Most find refuge in a little of both!
Offering your bird foraging opportunities is the one of the most effective and life enriching ways to keep your parrot healthy both mentally and physically. Not only does the act of searching and finding their food keep them active physically but it also keeps them using their mental capabilities as well which is just as important as their physical well-being.
Most of us assume offering foraging opportunities for our parrot is crazy time consuming but it isn't. Not only are there a variety of toys on the market today to fill and place in the cage for your bird, but there are also simple things you can do in your daily parrot-care routine.
Let's get you started:
- 8 Ideas to get you started with foraging
- 5 Ways to use food as foragers
- 5 Food finding ideas for birds
- Ground foraging ideas for parrots
- Beginner foraging ideas & how to
- What other parrot owners are doing for foraging
- Foraging parrots videos
As you can see, the point of providing toys to your bird is for them to engage with them; to play; to destroy; to interact with them. If your bird is not doing so, the toy becomes quite pointless and action on your part needs to be taken to either alter the toy to become more interesting to your bird or provide a different type of toy that better suits your bird's curiosity.
In the video above, I demonstrate how quiet my own birds become when provided with toys. Toy engagement is a great way to stop unwanted vocal behaviors by offering what is referred to as an "incompatible behavior" which is a behavior a bird performs that makes it impossible to perform the unwanted behavior. (In other words, when a bird's mouth is full of wood it's tearing apart, it can't very well scream at the same time.)
Here are some resources for you to provide the right types of toys for your bird for the ultimate results:
- How to choose the right toys for your bird
- How to avoid unsafe parrot toys
- Parrot toys we use & recommend