Learning How to Forage


In the morning I walked in to say hello to Storm and saw one of his foraging toys (aka food finding toys) open! I was so excited because it meant he did it all by himself and figured out how to forage for the first time… ever!

I decided since Storm was eating so well at our house that I would take his food out of his cage for 24 hours and see if it would encourage him to use some of his foraging toys. Now, in the wild, there’s plenty of times where birds end up going 24 hours without food, so I didn’t think it was a cruel thing to do. Food went back in his cage after the 24 hours was up.

The cool thing about it is the amazing progress he made. This will make Storm more active, healthier, more mentally stimulated and less aggressive when he goes back home with this new found talent of his!

He is learning to self-entertain, which is a great thing to teach a bird since boredom leads to feather chewing, plucking and over-preening as well as biting and more aggressive behavior. Birds aren’t healthy if they aren’t active.

To find this toy and many others like it, check out Busy Beaks. They are my personal favorite for variety in toys (besides our own, of course!). I’ve loved every toy I’ve gotten from them and more importantly, so has my flock!

We also have toys in our store that are excellent for foraging. Our toys are all-natural so you never have to worry about paint, unhealthy dyes or toxic metals. We also offer a discount for anyone who signs up for a subscription!

Tip to take home: Some great beginner food finding toys are clear ones so the bird can actually SEE the treat for which they are working. This creates increased motivation over other toys that don't allow you to see the good stuff inside. Sometimes you have to start with treat-foods first. Eventually you can begin putting your parrot’s pellets in there once he gets used to the idea of working for his meals.

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 with whom she shares the stage.

1 comment

Jennifer Kennedy

Wow! So many great ideas! I plan to try all of them. I like how you described how parrots react if they do not have lots of ways to forage. Thanks!

Jennifer Kennedy

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