All parrot owners want what is best for their pet . They spend a lot of time carefully preparing their bird’s daily diet to make it as appetizing as possible. The food is washed, cut , peeled, chopped and even pureed .
It may come as a surprise but such human behaviors like over-catering for your pet bird is not such a good idea after all. Recent studies have shown that little things like (washing, cutting, peeling) your bird’s food can contribute to psychological disorders in parrots. In many cases , disorders like feather pecking and sometimes even self-harm will manifest themselves. Feather pecking is when a bird plucks or chews its own feathers. Self-injury is even more alarming and birds who suffer from this behavior , can inflict very serious wounds to themselves.
By owners wanting to do too much , normal animal behaviors that are related to the nature of the animal are suppressed. In nature, a very significant portion of time is devoted to foraging (60%) .
Unfortunately in captivity, foraging for our pet birds as long been limited to an empty bowl being presented ! Not very exciting . When you think about it , it’s downright annoying to birds as intelligent and enlightened as parrots.
To create the best conditions possible for birds in captivity, the inside of its cage must resemble as closely as possible to the bird’s natural environment. Elements such as (swings, ropes, hiding spots, bells and whistles) will stimulate and give him the leisure to explore, search and experiment .
Try and change regularly the place where your parrot eats . Even better , give him several sites where they can eat at different times of the day.
Spread your bird’s food on the floor of a playground or in the bottom of his cage and hide the food in pieces of shredded paper , cardboard, or even twigs .
Hide his food in twists of paper or inside cardboard rolls of toilet paper or paper towels.
Hang pieces of fruit and vegetables near the higher perch and make sure they’re not easily accessible.
Many parrot owners use branches for snagging food. The birds must then be quite the acrobats to get the food.
Several toys in which you can hide food are available at pet stores and are very exciting for the bird .
Do not over-prepare their food. Ideally, you should offer fruits and vegetables complete, at least with their peels . Regarding nuts, leave them in their shells .
At first, it is clear that the bird will be confused with all the changes you made in its quiet and monotonous life . He’ll seem resistant to change , as are humans . You can teach him how to reunite with the joy of discovery and search . Usually after a few days , most birds become very receptive to the idea of going to explore to find food.
Environmental enrichment in search of food is not a universal remedy for the prevention of all behavior problems in parrots but an excellent starting point.