Nanday Conure Forum

Message #6106.

Name:Laughing Owl
Date:Sunday April 29, 2007 8:12:16 pm MDT
Subject:Foraging
Message:We recently bought a DVD from our avian vet called a "Captive Foraging, the next best thing to being free" by M. Scott Echols, DVM, Dipl ABVP-Avian Practice. This is also available on www.exoticdvm.com
Learn How to: Understand the natural instinct of all animals to forage; Redirect this energy in a captive bird to prevent unwanted behaviors; Build a foraging tree for a bird in a home, zoo or other captive situation; create foraging toys-from basic to advanced-to keep birds occupied and happy

In my limited experience I found the info fascinating. It makes sense that this is what birds do in the wild. Although the poor bird that demonstrated was plucked nearly bald, I understand that birds who are bored over preen and can damage feathers so badly they won't grow back.

I started doing the preliminary foraging with Hootie. She has an area in our room with a little jungle gym, I started showing her that I was wrapping nuts, seeds, berries, whatever in paper and placing them inside little rawhide twists or in various places on her play gym. She seems to have taken to it "the basic, beginner toys" pretty fast and it keeps her a little more active while I'm out of the room or away at work for a few hours. Haven't made her tree yet, just bought extra dishes and starting to make toys. They recommend 5-7 feeding stations on different branches with small amounts of food, then graduate to hiding food in paper or little toys so they have to work or shred to get to the prize. The feeding station shouldn't be above the head of the shortest person in the house barring children. It's very interesting.

What I hope to accomplish with this is to make it more of a natural environment for her, looking/foraging for food instead of just eating it out of a dish and lesson her independence on me for companionship 24/7. I'll let you all know how it progresses.

Laughing Owl

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