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Chrysocome

Captive Foraging With Squee

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Chrysocome    0

Here is what I meant by drilling through the perch and putting food in it:

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Here is a toy made from balsa wood and beads...

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And here's what's left of it!

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(No, they didn't actually ingest the wood, but naturally budgies would go about destroying leaves and bark so I count the destruction of wood to be a part of captive foraging)

 

Currently writing up my method of teaching them the concept of scrunched up paper = food - stay tuned.

Edited by Chrysocome

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Chrysocome    0

Just giggling at my budgies. I've taken a variation on the drilled perch theme. I know they go nuts for sunflowers, which I only give it to them occasionally. Lately I've shoved sunflowers into the holes I've drilled, as well as wrapped up in paper on wooden skewers also passed through the holes. It's funny, because Squee checks the skewers meticulously and gets them all, ignoring the ones inside the holes. But Milly ignores the ones on the skewers and checks all the holes in every perch. It's so funny to watch. I'm glad they've found a way to 'share'.

 

What amazes me is that Milly will spot one from the other side of the cage, or from the bottom - there's no way they can see it while sitting on the perch it's in. But she still knows exactly how to get it even if she can't see it when she's right on that perch. It's so amusing watching her check all the perches again and again though - she'll spin and look right around the perch to make sure she's got them all.

 

I also like that once they've gone through all the paper packets and there's nothing but wooden skewers stuck on the perches, they'll start chewing the skewers to toothpicks as well.

 

Foraging time is happy time in Chryso's flock.

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maesie    0

You have so many wonderful ideas! You have two very lucky budgies!!!

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SundayGirl    0

I'm loving these ideas....I like to give my little one things to do to keep him occupied and you've just provided TONNES of great ideas - thanks :feedbirds:

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Dezdemona    0

What a nice thread! Me and my birds also like captive foraging. Fun to see the pictures of your birds searching for food.

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Chrysocome    0

Thanks everyone.

Dezdemona, be sure to post your captive foraging endeavours and ideas! I love seeing them and I'm sure others will too :(.

 

I haven't got a photo of it yet, but I made the budgies a foraging tree. Here is Oz's tree, extremely undecorated. Photo was taken months ago. It looks so bare and messy there. Currently, it's filled with foraging toys, normal toys and drilled holes everywhere.

I will take photos of the budgie one soon.

tree.jpg

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Dezdemona    0

Still loving this thread! It really inspires me! Here are some of my bird's captive foraging-toys

 

Hidden food

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Food and grass

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Hidden food-bowl

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Look at her tiny little tail feather, fun moulting. ehe. :hooray:

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Food and grass in a box. The destroyed the box.

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Food in a candybox

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Food in parcel (is that the right word?)

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Food and paper in basket. (The basket has my grandfather made)

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I don't know the word for the paper-thing but it is food inside it.

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This doesn't really count :hooray:

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Chrysocome    0

WOW Dez, I love your ideas and will definitely give them a go! Please keep posting because I love new ideas, these are fantastic.

 

I haven't taken any photos for a while because I have been so busy. I've started, uh, recycling bits and pieces from work (syringes caps, port and hub covers, needle caps - all sterile and get thrown away otherwise) and hiding food in them. There will be pictures when I get a chance.

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Dezdemona    0

Nice that you like them! I'm looking forward to more pictures from you, always great with new ideas!

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studiobird    0

This thread is great! gives lots of ideas and is especially great for someone like me who's going to have a 3 year old child who will LOVE making things for the new birdie!

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Riebie    0

This thread is exactly what I needed, I am so excited I can't wait to get outside and start hunting for foraging perches!!

 

I have 2 very overweight budgies that I am separating from the rest of the flock. During the week I dragged the old cage out of the shed and cleaned it up and the spare room to make space for it, and it's now sitting there waiting for it to be decorated. My plan is to put 2 teaspoons of seed fore each budgie in a dish per day and hide food other foodvaround the cage to encourage them to forage. Once they understand the paper parcels contain food then I will make them search and work for every bit of food they get. I will make the parcels up at night and put them in their cage in the morning before I go to work. I wont start this though until I am satisfied knowing that they will be getting enough food during the day, I don't want them to starve!! I will keep you updated with pictures as well once I get it all established!! Thank you so much for your awesome thread, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it and especially the picture update!!

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Elly    0

Great resurface of this thread!

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Chrysocome    0

Really pleased to have inspired you Riebie! Please post lots of photos and stories, so we can all share ideas and keep inspiring each other :budgiedance: I advise weaning them onto foraging, in that you should figure out how much they eat normally in a day. Start off by adding the foraging on top of bowl/dish food (use favourite treats), but then decrease bowl food slowly as you add more foraging in. Slowly change the foraging food from treats to their normal food. Do this over weeks (to months) rather than days. That way you're not suddenly switching them onto foraging without them understanding that they won't be getting a fixed amount of food in a bowl and potentially depriving them of adequate food.

My avian vet has this galah who has no food bowls at all! He spends the entire day foraging for enough food that would have made up his normal meals.

You've made me realise I never put up my "getting started" post with pictures about how to get them to recognise the parcels - I'll dig it up from my older computer. I'll also try to get some new updates on how the girls are going :budgiedance:

 

EDIT: Just wanted to add something about getting their weight down. The act of converting to foraging alone (making them exercise more) should be enough to get their weight down initially. If you're going to change the amount of food in total (bowl + foraging food) so they eat less over the day, again do it slowly over days to weeks (you could do it at the same time as introducing foraging, or it may be safer to do it after you've converted to foraging). Watch them very carefully in the first few days to make sure they're actually getting around to all of the food you offer. When you figure they are eating it all, we need to make sure it's enough to sustain their maintenance needs. We want them to lose weight, but not too quickly because rapid weight loss is dangerous. Ideally you should check their weight with kitchen scales (at the very least feel their keel for progress, though it's nowhere near as sensitive. I'll admit I didn't use scales, but I wasn't changing their overall amount of food. Scales are the gold standard and it's the safest way to go). I suggest weighing every few days as you're changing ratios until you get them onto a stable amount. After that weigh them intermittently to check how much they're losing. Any loss over 1% per week is excessive. For a 50g budgie this is 0.5g. Remember to monitor for when you get them to an ideal weight (feeling the keel is probably the best for this, as each budgie differs in "ideal" weight for their size and build) and adjust their intake as needed.

Edited by Chrysocome

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nubbly5    0

What a fantastic thread Chryso!!!!

 

What a full and happy life your beautiful Milly & Squee live!!!! And fantastic ideas I'll hang onto if I ever have an indoor budgie again (one day!!!). And you are so right about how smart the little buggers are.

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Riebie    0

Well I started today. I set up the 'diet cage' yesterday and Bobbie and Sherbie moved in. Bobbie doesn't like it at all and is frantically climbing around the cage looking for an escape route. I hope he settles down soon. At least he is getting exercise! Sherbie couldn't care less and sits around on her favourite perch, making herself queen of her new cage!

 

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This the the new cage set up - you can see Bobbie trying to escape!

 

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I have put their fave vegies in the bottom of the container, and put a few seeds inside the paper, leaving the thin side up so it wont take them long to rip through and discover them in there. They also have in their cage a bowl of seeds and a bowl of fresh vegies. I'm also letting these two out for free flight in the mornings, but Sherbie wont fly unless I literally pick her up and toss her in the air (gently of course) so I have to a lot of work ahead of me to get her moving!

 

So far they haven't shown an interest in them and they are locked out now for free flight time with all the other birds. I've shut their cages off so the other birds don't go in and discover their food, and vice versa.

 

Here's to hoping it works!

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Chrysocome    0

Fantastic Riebie, how did it go??

 

While up visiting bird clinics in Brisbane I came across a great idea about making budgies work for seeds in bowls, for people starting out, birds who are really afraid of new things or people who couldn't spare a lot of time.

 

The idea was to have something else in the bowl that they had to work around to get to the seed. The original idea was recycled newspaper cat litter. I checked how much it cost and with how things are at the moment, I couldn't spare $11 for a massive bag of cat litter (and I didn't want to explain it to my parents!).

 

I got back to Melbourne and dug around in my room. I found plastic beads.

 

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I've posted a "how to" thread in the main part of this forum section :rofl:

Edited by Chrysocome

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Kate    0

Inspirational! I'm going to do some foraging of my own, for tubes and beads etc. etc. etc.

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