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Go Back   Talk Parrotlets Forums > Parrotlets > Your Parrotlet's Health > Parrotlet Diet

Parrotlet Diet Discuss the diets of parrotlets here. Recipes can go here too.

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foraging with the Bugz

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Old 01-26-2007, 07:05 PM   #1
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Talking foraging with the Bugz

So, I have recently started foraging with my guys, and it's going great. They seem to really like it and have really taken to it quickly. I've now started on the "next stage" too and their figuring that out quickly too. I have loads of pics, but no time to post right now, so will post tomorrow.

Anyhow, the starting stage just consits of many different food stations, and putting just a bit of food in each. So essentially, they have to work their way thru all of the stations to get their food for the day. I also switch the position of some of the stations, so their not always in the same spot, but others I leave in place for now. That will be at a later stage.

Anyhow, am so proud of my guys because they are actually CHOOSING to go and forage out of these stations, than take the food out of their regular dish, which I have left in for now with food still in it. Altho, much less than before.

The next stage I was talking about was putting the food in, slightly covered. I show them that there's food in there, and then hide it in whatever in plain site of them so they see and know where and what it is. This piques their interest enough so they go venturing to find it. I've started out with things they LOVE and will eventually turn to everyday food like their pellets. So far I hide avi cakes and my special muffins because they go nuts for them and will do almost anything for them.

Doing the foraging has also helped with their grip, since they have to be slightly athletic to reach some of the feeding stations. And has helped to keep them more occupied and learn that everything is a toy and is meant to be destroyed or figured out somehow.

Anyhow, like I said, I will post pics tomorrow of all the thigns I'm using as dishes and hiding places and such. So keep an eye out for that!
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Old 01-27-2007, 12:43 AM   #2
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Sounds great, photos needed!!!
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Old 01-27-2007, 11:53 AM   #3
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Alright now, photos!

So, I made little boxes basically, holding them together with string, rather than glue or tape that could harm the birds, then I hung them in the cage:





I leave food in their old dish, but make it harder to get to by this:



The middle hole is more than big enough to fit their heads thru, and the whole thing is light enough so they can move it if they wanted (which they do on a regular basis, I put this back about 3-4 times a day still.) It's just popsicle sticks, but they already have grooves and such punched out of it, so I can put them together like this. It just sits loosely over the dish.

Then I already had this foraging toy, which the Bugz can get their heads into quite easily, so it's not really a challenge:



And this is a doily (100% cotton) with a muffin cup inside it. The doily has 6 points (looks like a star) so I tied a string on one point, then onto the exact opposite point. I did this 3 times for all 6 points so it makes a bowl essentially, then stuck the muffin cup in there and strung it up. I like this because I can put wet foods in here too, and then I just throw out the muffin cup, and throw the doily in the wash and its ready to go again!



Next, I got a pill container (unused!!) from the dollar store, this is a week long one, so has 7 compartments in a circle, perfect for hanging. At first I left the compartments open, and then I've started closing them, but the Bugz haven't quite gotten the hang of that yet (soon I hope)

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Old 01-27-2007, 11:59 AM   #4
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Now, these things were my next stage of foraging, their a bit more complicated, and I have to make sure that I'm constantly showing the birds how to do it until they get it, but they've caught on quite quickly...

I stuffed a loofah sponge chunk with treats such as dried papaya, nuts and seed:



and then hung it in the cage with a zip tie:



Here's another foraging toy I made, using a baby toy I already had and a whiffle ball. The ball slides up and down with a fair amount of ease and I hide food in it, then push the ball down. So they have to move the ball (obviously) to get to the food:





And like I said, I've started closing the compartments on the pill container, but that hasn't been figured out yet. We'll keep at her tho!

Anyhow, now I'll just post some pics of the birds using these things too.











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Old 01-27-2007, 12:10 PM   #5
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You can see in the background of the one photo (of them using the pill compartment) that the orange toy is open and empty (it's fuzzy, but it's viewable).

The male is so easily spooked that I have trouble even peeking in the room when he's eating, let alone getting a pic of him! So all of these are the female. But again, we're working on that too and I'm slowly getting the male to trust me a bit more. If I keep my hands behind my back he seems to be a bit more at ease. The other day he came within about 3/4 of a foot from me, which is a massive step in the right direction for him. Normally he runs to the back top corner of the cage and won't move, and certainly doens't come towards you at all. He is very skittish, Poor guy.

And the loofah sponge is almost toast already. It's been about 3 weeks since I first put it in, maybe a bit less even. I'm going to take a photo of it today and I'll post later for you guys to see.

If anyone wants to steal any ideas, be my guest! That is why I'm posting it, I'm hoping to inspire everyone to start foraging as well. I've found that my birds really like doing it, not all birds will tho. But if you take baby steps thru it, it is a GREAT thing to do for your birds. I got inspired by another person on another forum I frequent, and just wanted to pass it on here as well. My guys seem happier already, they are much more active than before, and whenever I peek into their room I'm normally seeing them moving about the cage foraging. I hear them munching a good part of the day, but it's a good thing because I know their not standing in one place in front of their dish and pigging out. I know they are moving from dish to dish, trying to find their favorite thing or the exact pellet or treat the want to eat at that moment. I think they like the variety I've incorporated in as well, and often choose a different thing they like that particular day (altho, they never like the roudybush LOL, but eat it anyhow)
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Old 01-27-2007, 01:07 PM   #6
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Wow..you must spend a lot of time figuring all this out....I bet the fids love it. I'll have to try something like that. Paulie has a coconut swing and I put Avi-cakes in that and he likes it.
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Old 01-28-2007, 01:51 AM   #7
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That is neat stuff. I just want to say that the long strings might possibly get around their neck. Can they get caught in any of the fun foraging places? Just wanting to be sure, I am a worrier. I know they have to be loving it though!!!
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Old 01-28-2007, 09:11 PM   #8
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great job, make them work for their food, food for their tummies and food for their brains! great idea!
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Old 01-29-2007, 12:09 AM   #9
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Sally, I certainly understand your worry. Which is one reason I didn't put multiple strings to hang it from, rather just the one string on each station. Also, with the food in there, it is simply too heavy for them to do anything with it but hang on and try to eat! I too am a worrier, and am keeping a close eye on any habits or practices that may pose a threat with the stations. If I see anything that gives me reason to worry, they will immediately be taken out and other methods will be used. I am hoping to start getting more into other methods anyways, so I will hopefully be able to eliminate the hanging stations after too long. Or will create more permanent one out of something other than cardboard and string. (such as a bowl and chain or something).

I certainly understand your point tho.
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Old 01-29-2007, 03:44 PM   #10
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Just wanted to bring it up. I always feel if something happened and I didn't mention it, I would feel horrible. I know you are there and can watch. Just a worrier... I bet they have a ball looking for food. I will have to try to do something new also.
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