| Will Your Bird have the Same View for 50 Years?
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In the video below its stated quite succinctly. In the wild, parrots spend 50 to 70% of their daylight hours foraging for food. Most parrots in captivity are given food in a bowl. What would take a parrot 4 to 8 hours to do in the wild is reduced to a leisurely 30 minutes in captivity. As a result some of these birds resort to other behaviors to occupy their time. This could be screaming or over-preening which eventually leads to feather plucking. If not corrected these birds can develop other destructive or neurotic behaviors due to extreme boredom.
In the video everything the bird did to eat was earned and was a challenge. You best believe every day there was a different treat in a different compartment in a different toy. The video goes on to show how the toys are used in different order to further challenge the bird. Tell me that wasn't one happy bird having the time of his life just looking for the next challenge?.
I listen to customer service calls and read customer service tickets all week long asking similar questions. What can I give my bird that he will like but not upset him? The new perch we put in the cage is freaking him out. Or we've had this cage for 25 years, it's wearing out and we want the same one so we don't upset our bird. But then your satellite service gets you 936 channels for variety.
Help get your bird used to change again, we advocate 10 or more bird toys in the top one third of your birds cage, line the inside walls of the cage, sides, front and back, leaving much of the center open for the bird. If they want to play with a toy, or snuggle next to one, hide behind another or destroy something they will go to it. The toys in your birds cage are the leaves on the tree they may be living in the wild. Next, go into your birds cage at least once a week and move a toy from one side of the cage to the other side, or add a new toy. Think things are getting dull, or your bird is getting upset with a small change. It is time for an overhaul of senses. Remove the bird to another room or a stand and move everything around, not just the toys but the perches too! Unless you have a "special needs" parrot, stop making things so easy for your birds. Why not make them reach for the food bowl once in a while?
Your bird is a thinking and feeling animal. The majority of us have deprived our birds of the gift of flight. Subject them to the stresses of something unknown to them in the wild, and much shorter day and nights, calledwinter. Your bird needs constant mental and physical stimulation for optimal health. Simply feeding them the best bird food money can buy does not ensure their overall health. They need variety and regular "change". We like to move things around the birdcage and make our birds "work for food" for the same reasons humans go to the gym, take long walks and do other physical activities, to help improve the quality of our own lives. Why deprive these wonderful feathered creatures that live for decades of the same benefits? New items don't have to be costly, boxes, phone books, measuring cups, plastic water bottles with a bead inside, and so on can help renew and energize your birds activeness. Click here for plenty of DIY bird toy ideas
Although this video has absolutely nothing to do with birds we thought it theme appropriate as its title is "Change" It's a music video from the band "Churchill", a song we've really grown to like with a pretty cool video to boot.
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Mitch Rezman CMOWindy City Parrot, Inc
Simply Everything for Exotic Birds - Since 1993
Mitch Rezman Date 3/10/2013
absolutely Linda. Cockatiels are smart little birds and can live upwards of 30 years - thank you for the kind words.
Linda Date 3/10/2013
You speak of changing things around in you bird's cage, adding lots of toys etc., but you usually seem to refer to larger birds. I have two cockatiels that have a LARGE home. Do these same suggestions apply to them? I realize they don't live for 50 years, but I do want them to be happy and healthy in their home. I love reading your blogs and emails. Thank you.
Tracy R Adler Date 3/10/2013
You mention boxes as a cheap way to keep your feathered friend busy and I feel compelled to add that every time I get a delivery from my favorite online shopping store, as soon as the empty box hits the floor my birds dive right in to play. They enjoy taping the sides to hear the different sounds and and hiding in the corners while saying "peek-a-boo".
Beverly Date 3/11/2013
I have a young CAG who loves the packing material with the small bubbles. They make such a nice noise! I also give her the small styrfoam cups to dismantle. She loves the soft plastic toothbrushes and baby spoons. Toilet paper rolls with a lot of paper still on them keep her busy and phone books get her really excited! I move my furniture quite often, including her large cage on wheels. Doxy doesn't mind the move at all. Sometimes she gets a bit mixed up when she flys around and lands