We just recently started carving pumpkins WITH our birds. A couple years back I carved pumpkins randomly and tried to make my own bird designs and Cressi bit into my beautiful creation and began carving her own design.
This year I decided I wanted the birds to really be apart of the fun and even got them their own pumpkins. Now, I didn't start here so lets rewind...
If you have a nervous bird, you may need to start with a small pumpkin and gradually get bigger ones. In the previous years, I used super small pumpkins and even let my budgies hang out on them. This is the first year I've used large pumpkins and done this type of thing. In prior years the macaws only wanted their own "top" which was the stem cut out of each smaller pumpkin. This year, they carved into the tops and made their own, along with into my designs! Some of which I didn't even get to put candles in at night because they'd already destroyed the fronts.
But it was way more fun this way and I plan to keep it up!
I enticed my birds to play with the pumpkins by making sure they didn't get offered anything that day. Literally that morning we got up and went to play in the grass, flying and carving. They hadn't had their breakfast yet, and as I was carving I'd throw the pieces of pumpkin their way. This acted as their breakfast and they all dug in. Comet carried large pieces across the grass, Tusa flew from shoulder to shoulder looking for the pumpkins with the most seeds inside and Jinx wanted nothing more than to tear into anyone's awesome design to get an easy piece of pumpkin that HE picked out.
We were literally outside the whole day and enjoyed every second. I laid one pumpkin that I had set aside as the "bird pumpkin" and cut the top off around the stem and placed it aside. This way the birds could see that inside lay tons of pumpkin seeds. Jinx was the first to explore this and his head became soaked in pumpkin guts and juice in no time. Eventually Comet joined him and then Tusa and when we poured the insides out of the pumpkins to gut some of them, they all dug in.
It seemed like the pumpkins themselves were fun enough "foraging toys" for them. They had to break them into pieces and chunks to get to the much desired seeds and sometimes I'd see them merely just breaking apart the pumpkin for fun and then chewing on a tasty piece.
I think after this month, they won't be craving anymore pumpkin! ;)
Article by Jamieleigh Womach. She 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.