PHOTO BY © CASFOTOARDA
Intelligent play items often present a reward—such as a healthy treat—when they are
moved in a certain way or the puzzle is solved. These foraging toys are great for offering
food, since feeding meals in dishes does not give birds or even other pets a chance to
do what comes naturally—hunting for their food. Foraging toys keep them mentally
challenged and stimulated, which in turn leads to better and happier pets. Boredom can
cause a parrot to look for trouble, just like a child.
Because parrots are so intelligent, they need to have any toys rotated out every
month unless the toy has been destroyed—then it needs to be replaced. Chewing is an
important behavior for parrots to stay active, so toys made for them in the right size
that consist of wood, rope, paper and other chewable items must be offered at all times.
Durable toys made of metal or plastic can be changed out every month and then reused
after a few months.
Foraging toys are usually very durable and generally do not have to be rotated out as
much as other toys, but they do need to be cleaned on a regular basis, since food is put
into them—just like any cups or dishes. Note: if wet food is used in toys or dishes—such
as berries or vegetables—and it is not eaten right away, it needs to be removed within an
hour. Dishes and toys should be washed with dishwasher soap and rinsed well after wet
food is used, and at least twice a week when dry food is used.
One of our biggest challenges in keeping pets is to ensure they are both physically and mentally healthy. Feeding them the correct foods and keeping them in an environment
that is appropriate are important for the physical part,
but how do we keep pets—especially intelligent ones
like parrots—psychologically healthy? And why is this so
important to pet owners?
Playtime is important in keeping parrots, as well as
other pets, mentally stimulated, and toys play a critical
role and must be considered a necessity for pet birds. In
fact, puzzle toys have been offered for decades to super
smart parrots, and even our canine and feline pets have
benefited greatly by the more recent explosion of smart
toys. When a pet parrot is kept busy and interested with
one of these toys, it helps to prevents bad behaviors—
such as screaming, biting, feather plucking and
destruction of their environment—from developing.
Pet parrots need intellectual
BY ROBYN BRIGHT
stimulation, even when eating.