That't right, I said it. I took Ellies toys away.
And this beautiful lady is to blame.
I push enrichment down the throats of anyone who will listen. You have a dog? yeah, you're learning about enrichment. You have a neighbor who's sister used to have a bird? Yeah, you're learning about enrichment too.
Sometimes I forget to think like a zookeeper with my pets at home. If you're new here, then you haven't heard me talk about how zookeepers are the most creative enrichment creators in the entire world.
Zookeepers are the most creative enrichment creators in the entire world.
The #1 go-to enrichment at zoos has to be a tie between cardboard boxes (cats aren't the only ones who love a good box) and browse. When I say Browse, I mean natural tree/shrub/plant clippings that are safe for the animal getting them.
I am still new to the Midwest and not that great with plant identification off the top of my head so browse doesn't jump out at me like it did in AZ. But, as I was trimming this tree in my front yard I figured I should see what she was.
Naturally, its a parrot safe tree that I have been walking by a million times a day and not sharing with my bird...whoops.
Do me and your pets a favor and walk around your property and familiarize yourself with whats growing around you. You'll be blown away by what is growing in your own garden.
Like the name implies, she has thorns. Even though I think that Ellie would probably be fine with some thorns, these things were no joke.
So I nipped them off before filling her cage.
We don't use pesticides or fertilizers on our property so I feel comfortable using browse from my yard. I would be a tad more cautious taking browse from unfamiliar locations.
I only put browse in half of her cage and left her door open to give her the opportunity to stay away if it was a little too scary. But, in true Ellie fashion, she blew off my concern and dove straight into it.
Bring the outside in sometimes. Let them be birds and shred some shit up. We all know that its what they love to do and what a great way to change up their environment and try something new.
P.S you'll be cleaning up a huge mess. I remove it all the next day and bring back the basic toys. This fun doesn't last forever.