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The Buzz on Enrichment

Come and learn how to spice up your pets life! Follow The Buzz on Enrichment for great DIY enrichment for the animals in your world. 

 

Filtering by Tag: bird toy

Guess What? Pumpkin Butt.

sandy mcpadden

Enrichment is a wee bit intimidating for some like these lovebirds so making things difficult for them is only going to result in untouched enrichment and then what's the point? So, for beginners, we put this pumpkin on the floor to give them something to chit chat about for today. Over time we will offer enrichment of varying difficulty all over the aviary, but we start where they are most likely to be successful and for these guys its ground foraging. 

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The Day I Took Ellies Toys Away.

sandy mcpadden

That't right, I said it. I took Ellies toys away. 

And this beautiful lady is to blame. 

parrot foraging parrot enrichment

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. 

parrot foraging parrot enrichment

Naturally, its a parrot safe tree that I have been walking by a million times a day and not sharing with my bird...whoops. 

Anyways, my tree happens to be a Hawthorn and she is listed as parrot safe here and here

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. 

parrot foraging parrot enrichment

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. 

parrot foraging parrot enrichment

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. 

parrot foraging parrot enrichment

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. 

parrot foraging parrot enrichment

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. 

 

Wrap it Up

sandy mcpadden

Thats right, you heard me. WRAP IT UP!

Your cage. Wrap up your cage. weirdo. 

parrot enrichment

We hang stuff. We put foot toys in...but there is SO much potential in the cage itself to be used as enrichment. In the wild, the environment is for the birds taking. To taste, to touch, to shit on. Those bars that keep my little "Ellie" safe when I'm not supervising her are never-changing. In the wild, cockatoos can spend 88% of their day foraging. How many hours of fun are you providing your bird? 

Lowes home improvement is my jam. They have what I need to put enrichment together, but sometimes they provide the enrichment itself! 

parrot enrichment

This is cord made from grass. Think softer than wicker but tougher than hay? 

parrot enrichment

Anywho, I bought it to string toys and to make new ones but, when I sat it down Ellie went right to work tearing it up, so I made it a toy itself. 

parrot enrichment

Im going to be honest. This took a stupid amount of time, but it is SO fun! You can leave it as is or

  • weave herbs through it.

  • attach toys to it

  • sprinkle spices on it

Its a pretty cool way to utilize all of their space to offer the a change in their environment.