What is foraging?
Foraging is the act of searching for and finding food. In the wild, birds spend a good part of their day foraging. They use a number of skills for finding food that engages them both physically and mentally. For many pet birds, however, foraging behavior rarely occurs because food is made readily available to them at all times. An activity that would normally occupy their time for several hours per day has been decreased to 20-30 minutes.
Why is foraging important for pet birds?
In the wild, foraging for food is part of a bird’s daily routine and occupies a large portion of his time – in many cases over half of his waking hours. Wild birds spend most of their time in 4 activities: foraging, social interaction, feather care, and sleeping. If foraging activity is not encouraged in pet birds, they have many more hours per day with nothing to fill their time. In many cases, social interaction is also limited. So now we have a bird with only two other options – feather care and sleeping. Many times a bird will use the time on their feathers, and feather picking can result. This lack of foraging activity can affect a bird’s physical and emotional well being causing boredom, behavioral problems (such as feather picking), and a lack of natural curiosity.
What are the benefits of foraging?
The obvious benefit to foraging is that your bird is kept busy and this helps to alleviate boredom and behavioral problems. Foraging challenges your bird by forcing him to look for his food instead of having it just put in front of him. Empty hours in the day will be filled with activity. He will have more physical exercise as he uses his beak and feet to remove what is hiding his food. He will need to use his problem-solving skills as wild birds do.
How can I provide foraging activities for my bird?
Creative foraging is providing the opportunity to search for and acquire food. A pet parrot’s cage is its environment and its territory. When something new is introduced into this environment, a bird, being naturally inquisitive, is inclined to explore the newly introduced item and discover that it contains food. The hunt is on, and the bird will begin learning to forage.
Here are a few of our foraging toys. More can be found at: https://birdcages4less.com/page/B/CTGY/Foraging_Bird_Toys
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