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Guest eterri

Captive Foraging

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Guest eterri   
Guest eterri

Yeah, definitely. Anything that involves looking for food, reaching for food, or otherwise working for food is foraging. In the wild, they would be doing that same thing in the trees. It still offers some variety and isn't served up in the same dish in the same spot at the same time every day. :ausb: Another good variation could be to put some of the leaves on and around their out-of-cage play areas. My budgies really love finding things in unexpected places.

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Bea    0

Mushy veggies are my worst enemy but my birds favourite snack. Yesterday i put a small dish on the kitchen table (i've learnt to keep veggie mash off carpeted areas) and Cookie was walking through it, taking MASSIVE beakfuls and then shaking the excess EVERYWHERE. I had to wipe the whole kitchen tables, some of the floor and the chairs. :ausb: Talk about a messy eater!!

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Guest eterri   
Guest eterri

Every time mine do that I'm like whyyyyyyyyyyyyy?? It's almost like it happens in slow motion and food goes everywhere. I keep all the cages partially covered to protect the walls just because of this but does it help? Somehow, hardly a bit!! And Poe... I won't even go there, she's the messiest bird (with food at least) I've ever met! Frankie eats all daintily with his foot so I guess I have to give him credit for that but everyone else (especially the budgies since there are six) sheesh.

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Rainbow    0

I have a blue rubber ball just like the red one you have in Poe's cage! I have millet and lattice balls with bells in it now...it was funny to see it in your picture as I just got it out a few days ago to see if the birds would play in it. They go out of their way to poop on it.

 

Again, you had a lot more good ideas! I love to see how the birds react - keep posting more pictures. After the first few days of foraging, Skittles has lost interest, and the other three (who were perfectly willing to let her do all the work to get to the food in the first place) are hard pressed to even look at my new and interesting ways of presenting food to their highnesses. But I will perservere. **sigh**

 

Oh, that thing again....I see it. Please fix it so we can eat.

Waiting1.jpg

 

Ho hum...**soft whistling**

Waiting2.jpg

 

Let me clean my feet so I won't track muck on my food.....as soon as she fixes it so I can eat....I wish she would hurry up...

Waiting3.jpg

 

Good grief, she is such a dim bulb today...but I can do this for a long long time.....

Waiting4.jpg

 

It's about time!!!! What is with her lately???...I'd better eat this quick, those other birds are creeping me out with their staring.....

WaitingNoMore.jpg

Edited by Rainbow

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Feathers    0
:D Rainbow, they are soo cute. Even Skittles has given up on it, what chance of success does that leave you with :) AT least mine go for it after Keely has shown them how to.

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Guest Shellball   
Guest Shellball

You guys are awesome! I will keep working on it. Thanks for all the great ideas. I think I just have too much stiuff going on right now with my flock increasing and everyone moving around to put too much creative time into this issue. As soon as things settle a little I know I will come back to this post over and over.

:hap:

Shell

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Chrysocome    0

I had a go at this the other day, nothing special. Both Milly and Squee absolutely love shredding toilet paper up so I wrapped it around some millet spray, tied off the end and then clipped it with a peg to the top of the cage. It didn't take either of them very long to realise that their favourite game of shred-the-paper had become much more rewarding :D

I'm going to have to try lots of other things. Squee has a ferris wheel type thing that spins and has those balls around it with the smaller round bells inside. I figure I can thread some sprouts through it so she has to spin it around, and work with her feet and beak to get at it.

This is a wonderful thread. Keep those ideas coming :)

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August    0

So i went to the vets on monday with one of my quakers for some blood work and we were talking about her plucking, and i told her about the foraging that i've been doing with all my fids, she was so happy she actually jumped up! she said that most people even with the bigger birds(macaws, 'toos) are not willing to go the extra mile for their babies and it goes a long wait to fixing all sorts of different avian problems from lovies that want to lay all the time, to plucky 'toos and quakers, to loud screaming problems(macaws and conures). so from my avian vet GREAT JOB!

 

she also suggested that make three foraging toys and one without any reward, she says its good for them, in the wilds they wouldn't get a treat everytime so wow

 

i'm so glad this has become so popular because it really is so good for them!

 

:D

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Rainbow    0
I have finally got some photos onto photobucket and here is one of my foraging techniques with a pine cone.

 

http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o88/fcr.../Budgies291.jpg

 

I love that picture with the pine cones. That looks absolutely great. Did you buy the pine cones somewhere, or do you have access to them in your yard, or what? If you pick them yourself, do you do anything special to disinfect them before you give them to your birds?

 

I decided to wrap up damp broccoli in a white paper towel and hang it in the cage. I also clipped carrots in the normal spots, and gave beak appetit on a dish as usual. All the birds are now on the other side of the room, I'm guessing because of the weird white thing hanging in their cage... :DBut...this is a good thing, because they had to fly to get away from it, LOL, and so got some exercise. Stubborn budgies. I'll give an update as to what happens later. Eventually they will go back to their cage, LOL.

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Feathers    0

So funny rainbow... would you go back in your room if there were some really scary things in there :D How did they go? I am barracking for Skittles here.

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Rainbow    0

**BUMP**

 

This was such a good thread, I'm bumping it back up. I'm curious as to what successes everyone has had.

 

Mine has been somewhat an uphill battle, as the girls have me very well-trained as to where the food is placed and what time it appears. Skittles will show interest a small percentage of the time. I think if there were some competition for the food, it would go over better, but the kids are perfectly content to let Skittles do all the work and then go for the food once they can see it. And unless Skittles is really hungry she seems to not bother since the other 3 will be the ones reaping the rewards of her hard work. Anyone that thinks these birds are "bird-brains" has no idea what a compliment they are giving them - they are not dummies, that's for sure!

 

But I am perservering, and one day I'm sure I will hit on the perfect foraging technique!

 

Plus, budgie baby - I gotta know about those pine cones! :)

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Elly    0

A lot of members lately have been dealing with overweight birds, talking about boredom, feather plucking (first determine there is no underlying disease as this is not very common in budgies) and more so I PINNED this to the top. It is excellent information and you can also add ideas, pictures etc...on how you create a foraging type enviroment for your birds. Remember this is what they do in the wild so by recreating what they already naturally do stimulates their mind and body. :angry:

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JimmyBanks    0

This is a great thread. seriously good ideas here people... Thanks for the ideas...

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Meri    0

I read over this thread, excellent ideas so I'm trying the paper towel with seed inside it tomorrow, we'll see how long it takes Dec to work out there's food inside!! I tried putting several food dishes around the cage but he always goes to only one of them. Trying to encourage him to be a bit more adventurous!

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jwancia    0

I tryed abit of this today! Pine cones! YAY ive gotta get some!

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Sailorwolf    0

What about instead of using paper to wrap food, you could use fresh eucalyptus leaves!

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Cara    0
In the wild, birds spend most of their time foraging for food. The act of eating involves much more than climbing down to a food dish and seeing what's on the menu for today (then picking through it, throwing out what isn't wanted, making us a huge mess to clean up, etc.). Looking for their food keeps them stimluated and busy. This can be achieved in our homes and it has almost as many benefits for us as it does for our birds!

 

Bored parrots (remember that budgies are indeed small parrots with the same basic needs as larger parrots) are louder and exhibit more behavioral problems than those who are able to keep themselves stimulated. Interesting toys are one good way to keep our birds busy but interesting food stations may prove to be just as important.

 

Since beginning my own foraging project (I'm attempting to phase out food dishes almost completely), I've already noticed the volume in the house decreasing significantly. With a flock of nine (six budgies, one cockatiel, a yellow-sided green cheek conure, and a female eclectus with a death scream) it can get insanely loud sometimes. Two days into this project, I feel like a saner person. (Which is saying a lot for me, take my word for it!)

 

forage1.jpg

Pixel, Peregrin, Paris, and Pika (cockatiel) with a "foraging pod."

 

Not everyone has the time to implement foraging as a permanent means of feeding their birds (and I've only just begun so it may not even work for me) but there are little things that anyone can do to make foraging a part of their birds' lives. Currently, there are many different types of foraging toys on the market, but most of these are targeted at the larger parrots and only cater to things like large nuts used as treats. I know of one online store owner who is working on expanding her line of products to include foraging toys that can hold tiny bits of food but until then, it might be best to try and do it yourself.

 

My first idea was to make "foraging pods" out of plain black and white newspaper. Place the newspaper flat on a surface, add food, roll it up, then tie each end together. These can hang from perches or you can use cotton or sisal rope (sisal seems to be safer and work better) to put it anywhere in the cage. My budgies and 'tiel took to this immediately and stayed busy for hours getting their food. All they have to do is tear into the paper and the food comes right out. The downside (if you choose to do it this way) is that a LOT of food will fall onto the floor as they dig into the paper pod. To remedy this, I line the bottom with newspaper and today I added a shallow but large wicker basket to catch what is spilled. This makes it much easier to reuse the food and means far less waste. It is also important to make sure that the food on the bottom of the cage doesn't become too soiled, you don't want the birds eating nasty poo-food. :thumbs_up: On the upside, budgies naturally enjoy foraging at ground level and this can help satisfy that instinct.

 

Setting up foraging areas outside of the cage is a great idea as well. My birds have always loved whatever I put onto their playgym just because it's in a different place. For all they know, it won't be there tomorrow so they have to get it now (and get it before another bird does; we all know how selfish they can be!). Having a playgym with several small food dishes can really help feed the need to forage.

 

Foraging can happen in a lot of ways. You can simply add several small dishes to your cages or aviaries and occasionally move them to different positions. I've heard it suggested that you add a few empty cups too, just to spice things up and make it challenging. I prefer for the birds to have to do a little chewing to get to what they want, but because we're just starting, I poke at least one hole so that they can actually see that there is food to be found within.

 

forage2.jpg

Arctic was very enthused about all this -while Crystal looked on thinking it was nonsense at first-. Wish I could say the same for my ekkie, Poe, who has decided that it's better to be handfed her food than having to actually work for it. :D (I did notice those strands from the rope and cut them, I'm using sisal rope now instead.)

 

If you do some researching, you will find a lot of articles that discuss foraging and foraging toys. Here are two that I found especially interesting:

 

http://www.holisticbirds.com/hbn03/winter0...es/foraging.htm

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cl...;articleid=3482

 

There is also a DVD available called Captive Foraging. I've just ordered it today and will reply here after watching it with a bit of a review. I'm really looking forward to it!

 

I came up with a very rough list of things I may be able to use for foraging (some are with larger birds in mind but it may give you some ideas too). If you see anything on the list that you think could be harmful, let me know please. Also, if you can think of anything to add to the list or any ideas in general that would be great.

 

1) Wicker balls

(& other wicker objects)

 

2) Curleycue (any ideas for also making one of these, something chewable?)

http://squawkstore.com/store/product_info....products_id=623

 

3) Willow basket/objects

 

4) Newspaper (Safe for birds to tear into, cheap, good for the little birds with tiny beaks)

 

5) Wiffle balls

 

6) Popsicle sticks (can be manipulated to make triangular or other-shaped base)

 

7) Soft wooden blocks/objects

 

8) Plastic toys with holes big enough to hide food in

 

9) Cholla perches

 

10) Plastic hamster wheel (on its side, made stationary)

 

11) Plastic hair curlers

 

12) Plain paper towels

 

13) Kabobs (string chunky foods)

 

14) Tangle toy

 

15) Plastic chain

 

16) Finch nests (turned upside down or mounted on the side)

 

Another thing I'm working on is making my cage set-ups a little more "natural." I'm using more natural tree branches and trying to keep the middle clear so that flight back and forth is easier. Tree branches create a nice, dense climbing area and it's easier to hide food within this. This also makes for a great place to put leafy greens, especially if you have nice skinny branches to spear them on.

 

 

How do you know wether paper towels are safe like what should you look out for on the packaging?

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Cara    0

What about rapping things up with a bit of paper bark, paper bark is native to Australia so I am assuming its safe for budgies please correct me if I am wrongWas just thinking you could also try hollowing out the apple core and seeds and stuffing the apple with goodies and hanging that up would encourage chewing

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jaznjj    0
I have an 18 inch long cholla log in the cage. So I stuffed a bunch of millet inside. The only way they can get the millet is to go through all the little holes! I had to leave a little sticking out here and there so they would get the idea, but it is working very well. I am so glad for this post. It has really got me thinking about foraging. Thank you all for your brilliant ideas.

 

Hi folk, pardon my ignorance; could somebody please explain what a cholla log is?

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Elly    0
I have an 18 inch long cholla log in the cage. So I stuffed a bunch of millet inside. The only way they can get the millet is to go through all the little holes! I had to leave a little sticking out here and there so they would get the idea, but it is working very well. I am so glad for this post. It has really got me thinking about foraging. Thank you all for your brilliant ideas.
Hi folk, pardon my ignorance; could somebody please explain what a cholla log is?
Click this link for a picture (not promoting the site)http://www.busybeaks.com/20037_cholla_log.htm
What about rapping things up with a bit of paper bark, paper bark is native to Australia so I am assuming its safe for budgies please correct me if I am wrongWas just thinking you could also try hollowing out the apple core and seeds and stuffing the apple with goodies and hanging that up would encourage chewing
As long as you use a tree bark that is safe yes.Apple thing is good too much apple can cause the runs so be careful and take out all seeds they are unsafe.

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jaznjj    0
I have an 18 inch long cholla log in the cage. So I stuffed a bunch of millet inside. The only way they can get the millet is to go through all the little holes! I had to leave a little sticking out here and there so they would get the idea, but it is working very well. I am so glad for this post. It has really got me thinking about foraging. Thank you all for your brilliant ideas.
Hi folk, pardon my ignorance; could somebody please explain what a cholla log is?
Click this link for a picture (not promoting the site)http://www.busybeaks.com/20037_cholla_log.htm
What about rapping things up with a bit of paper bark, paper bark is native to Australia so I am assuming its safe for budgies please correct me if I am wrongWas just thinking you could also try hollowing out the apple core and seeds and stuffing the apple with goodies and hanging that up would encourage chewing
As long as you use a tree bark that is safe yes.Apple thing is good too much apple can cause the runs so be careful and take out all seeds they are unsafe.

 

Thank you - I now know what a cholla log is. Jaz

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Chrysocome    0
What about wrapping things up with a bit of paper bark, paper bark is native to Australia so I am assuming its safe for budgies please correct me if I am wrongWas just thinking you could also try hollowing out the apple core and seeds and stuffing the apple with goodies and hanging that up would encourage chewing

 

I read this when you posted Cara and thought it was a great idea. It's been in the back of my mind since. Finally I worked it out today, made the toy, and will put it to the test in the morning.

 

I grabbed some clean looking bark that fell off my eucalyptus out front. It sheds this bark with lots of stiff curls (it's quite hard to uncurl them without breaking it). I gave it a good wash in really hot water and put it in the sun to dry for a few hours (to help get rid of any nasties that might be in it).

 

I grabbed some cooked rice - which my mum has always told me is an excellent glue when we don't have any in the house. Safe, sticky and edible. I didn't want the food falling out the moment they touched the toy. I stuffed some rice in the hardest bit to reach, then some of their favourite food in it. Add some that are easy accessible to tempt them. Voila - a natural bark foraging toy.

 

IMG_6044.jpg

 

Yes - I used sunflower. It's the only thing that will get them to go near a new, strange looking object. I always switch to good things once they figure out the new thing isn't going to eat them first.

I forgot to get a picture down the centre of the bark with all the goodies in it- will do that in the morning.

 

I also love the apple idea and will try that next.

Edited by Chrysocome

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