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ellieelectrons
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foraging

Post by ellieelectrons » Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:14 am

We took Janey & Charlie to a new avian vet today and he talked to us about foraging... what he had to say was really interesting and I'm going to change how I do things with our birds as a result. I thought I'd share what I learned with you. Apologies for the lengthy post!

I always knew that foraging was important.... I give my birds a small amount of foraging to do by using foraging toys occasionally and putting their fruit and veges on a kabob.... However, I was still giving their pellets or seed in a coop cup.... I knew that I should probably be offering more foraging opportunities but I had always felt that creating foraging opportunities was too hard. For example, I'd read that people would wrap food in bamboo leaves... I didn't know where to source bamboo leaves, so I thought it was too hard. All of the suggestions that people offered, sounded really great, but they seemed too hard to me. In addition, when I used my foraging toys, they wouldn't always show interest in the harder toys.... so I stopped putting food in them (as it would take 1 month sometimes for them to empty the forager) and started just putting foot toys in there.

Our vet gave me a new understanding of the importance of foraging and how it can have a positive impact on the relationship you have with your bird.

1. Your bird should spend most of its time foraging for food
Firstly, he explained that your bird should spend most of their time foraging for food... because that's what birds do in the wild. Birds with inadequate foraging time will be bored.

2. Most of their diet should come from foraging
Most of your birds diet should come from foraging. Therefore, you should not have straight seed / pellets in a coop cup. The bird needs to work harder than that for its food. Let me say it very simply, just about ALL of your bird's diet should be acquired by foraging... and foraging should be the activity your bird is engaged in most of the day.

(By the way, our vet doesn't like seed, he likes pellets in conjunction with fresh fruit & veges. In his opinion, seeds should be used as a treat only.)

3. If you're bird doesn't forage, every day is a "bad day at the office"
Birds are created to forage. If your bird does not have to forage for its food, its purpose is not being fulfilled. Our vet told us of his Gang-Gang Cockatoo and said that he had noticed that his bird always seemed to be grumpy in the afternoons... and he thought that "maybe he's just not an afternoon person".... so he never thought any more about it. He heard a presentation on foraging one day... and the light went on for him.... After he changed his feeding procedures to introduce foraging, his Cockatoo was no longer grumpy in the afternoons... it completely transformed his relationship with his bird.

4. The foraging should have adequate challenge for your bird
Until this point, I thought that giving my birds the occasional treat in their Kong toy (which I was using less and less because it was not presenting them a challenge any more) and giving them fruit and veges on a kebob was enough foraging for my birds... but it isn't. It needs to present them with adequate challenge.... which means that you may need to keep increasing the complexity of the foraging as time goes on.

5. You must teach your bird how to forage
Although our birds were created to forage... it won't necessarily come naturally due to being bred in captivity.... so you can't assume that your bird will automatically know how to do it... You need to start simple and build the difficulty.... and if you've gone from having no foraging and are just starting out... you may need to introduce it gradually. For example, reduce the amount of food in their coop cup and introduce some foraging elements with the view to eventually having all of their food only available only by foraging and a small amount from interactions with you.

6. It's not that hard to get started
You can start out by just wrapping favourite treats in paper. Do it in plain sight of the bird so that it knows that it is in there. You may also want to leave a bit poking out. You can leave this in your coop cup if you want.

7. Mixing it up
Give your bird variety. Not all foraging materials need to have food in them. Some may have pellets, others may have a piece of the bird's favourite treat and others may be empty. Have them appear in different locations.

8. Some ideas for foraging
I've read a heap of foraging ideas on the web... and I am going to revisit them soon... but here some ideas the vet gave us to get started:

a) mix every day food and treats in recycled-paper kitty litter (note: don't buy regular kitty litter - it must be recycled paper kitty litter). You can either put this mixture in a coop cup or on the floor of their play gym... or wherever seems suitable for your bird.

b) wrap things in paper - this is a very simple way to create a small barrier for the bird. You can start with one layer and gradually increase. You could also mix some kitty litter with the food and then wrap in paper once the bird gets better at foraging.

c) when your bird gets more confident with foraging use high density cardboard tubes (the type you get in aluminium foil packages) and put your food wrapped in paper inside the tube

d) if you need / want to, you can tie your foraging package with natural fibre string

e) foraging toys can be useful. Our vet recommended the baffle cage (ordered one online today!)


9. Foraging helps you build a better relationship with your bird
Our vet explained to us that birds are not like dogs. Dogs will do things just because they have been trained to do things. Birds reason more. They think more about "what's in it for them". Food can be a motivator and so can praise. If you think about it, if your bird has to work hard to find its food, then suddenly treats from you may be seen as an "easy" way to get food (at least it will be once you have established a good rapport with your bird). Therefore, your bird is more likely to show more interest in training sessions and spending time with you.

10. Foraging can be useful to help your bird learn to like new people
As mentioned in the previous section, if your bird has to work hard for its food... other people can also be seen as an "easy" way to get food. Our two are extremely scared of everyone other than my husband and me (as evidenced by their extremely loud - and embarrassing - screaming in the vet's office today... it's interesting.... you would have _no_ idea how tame our little guys are by the carry on today in the vet surgery). Our vet made a really simple suggestion... when we have someone new come into the house, have them offer the bird a treat.... even if they don't hand feed it to them (as at the moment, this would probably freak them out).... just have them drop the treat in a coop cup... the birds will then gradually get to look forward to having guests over... and maybe over time, the guests can hand feed their treats to the birds.

I think that's a good summary of what I learned today... I went out and bought some kitty litter and a baffle cage today... so I'm raring to go! Unfortunately Janey & Charlie are currently "on holidays" whilst we do our Christmas rounds of the family... so I look forward to starting with this when they get back on Christmas Eve. It is my hope that we will see the following changes:
- Janey will be less prone to snatching and biting (she doesn't do it often... but it happens out of the blue)
- Janey and Charlie will be more engaged during the day and fight less
- Janey and Charlie will be less scared around other people
- Janey and Charlie will have less traumatic visits to the vet!

Obviously my knowledge is all theoretical at this point... but I will let you know how I get on.

Thanks to the Brisbane Bird Vet, Adrian Gallagher, for all of the time he spent with us today. I hope we can make the changes we need to make to improve our relationship with our birds. http://www.brisbanebirdvet.com.au/

Happy foraging!

Ellie.

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Melika
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Re: foraging

Post by Melika » Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:15 am

-hits Like button- :D

This site was pretty neat and full of ideas too! http://www.parrotenrichment.com/
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I've been called 'birdbrained' before, but somehow I don't think this is what they meant. say:hah-nay

jimmyjack
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Re: foraging

Post by jimmyjack » Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:37 pm

that was great. thanks!

after reading it, i'll think i'll change tactics too. ive felt the same thing - you see some fantastically elaborate ideas out there, even the simple ones you think 'where would i get that, is it really that necessary'.

this was a great read as ive recently been re-invigorated to train iggy and also start things going with out little baby salvadore.

another idea i read about on parrot enrichment was even covering the coop cup with newspaper, so they have to tear it away (just be careful with introducing this new and possibly threatening new object)

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Re: foraging

Post by jimmyjack » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:12 pm

first step a raging success!

so after reading this, and the foraging section on parrot enrichment, i started out with the approach taken there. as my birds (one still a baby) havent had much opportunity to forage before, i started with something easy. now, call me tight, but i'd rather not pay a ludicrous amount for a metal rod with a screw cap on the end (bobob) when i can make one myself :P

i made two using a variety of objects and treats taylored to both birds using coarse twine that can be chewed through and replaced regularly. salvadore was the easy pick - i used a bell on the end, some coloured paddlepop sticks, walnuts, rice crackers, wooden chews, apple, plastic play chain and (the real seller) a millet spray. within 30 secs he was climbing all over it.needless to say, he was straight onto the food, but its a good start!

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iggy was a little different, same beads and things, but a nice chunk of corn on there, and a paper bon bon filled with sunflower seeds. she was a little more reluctant, but again, after a few minutes of eyeing it off, she jumped down for a testrun.
i'm trying to training methods with her at the moment - independent toy playing and foraging. the bon bon has been great for one on one training. i wrapped up some sunflower seeds in some brown paper in front of her and then encourage her to grab and bite into it. she hasnt quite figured it out yet, but we're definaetly improving. shes not bothered by the toys, but similar to jeezusbeams, shes not interested in playing with them, instead opting to sit all day, occasionally hunting down a half-reflection in the cover to an ipod, or window, etc (shes terrified when she sees a full relfection in a mirror, but will coo endlessly at a half reflection!).

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anyway, im going to keep this up for a week or so, then slowly make the treats on the chains less and up the difficulty. hopefully the bon bon pays off. im not doing it with the little one yet, because hes still learning to eat by himself and cant crack sunflower seeds yet, but am encouraging food placed in different spots around the cage.

jeansieluvszazoo
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Re: foraging

Post by jeansieluvszazoo » Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:07 pm

Very interesting suggestions!!!
I'd love to know where I can get a baffle cage from. Pet stores around here don't carry them.
I was wondering if you were able to use the baffle cage with your ring necks?
I wanted to see if the birds really liked it.

Also, I was also curious about the kitty litter idea.... The bird will not eat the litter right?
Has anyone else used this as a foraging idea??

Thanks for your post.... I am going to try some ideas for my girl!

:)
Take care,

jimmyjack
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Re: foraging

Post by jimmyjack » Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:39 pm

no they wouldnt eat the kitty litter. essentially its just recycled cardboard, hence the ellie's punctuation of the recycled paper. the birds have a good sense of taste, and wil often pick out what they dont like (you'll notice this regularly when mixing in vegies they dont like - like bratty children). it encourages/forces them to nuzzle through the litter to find food. its a simpe, safe and, really, quite a clever suggestion.

the baffle cages do work, and its easiest (and probably alot cheaper!) to buy online. mind you, a bird wont go from little to no foraging straight up to difficult puzzle solving techniques. if its too difficult, they'll just ignore it. this is why im starting with the bobob things. practice and training will improve their skills and they'll eventually like them. ive seen birds having a thorough go at the baffle cages. the foraging section on parrot enrichment has a really good explanation on foraging. combined with ellie's remarks, its a pretty in depth look at it all.

http://www.parrotenrichment.com/home.html

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ellieelectrons
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Re: foraging

Post by ellieelectrons » Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:45 am

Just a quick update on my foraging progress. Will keep it brief cos I'm doing this on my mobile phone whilst on hols.

My birds seem to be eating some of the kitty litter. Mostly they chew it & spit it out but I think they may be ingesting some of it. I read the packaging thoroughly & called the manufacturer who reassured me that there products are made from recycled newspaper, the inks used on newsprint are vegetable based & they make the pellets using water & heat to compress the paper - so I'm thinking it's probably ok to use.

Day 1 with Baffle cage was very successful. We put some loose food in amongst some food wrapped in paper. At first I thought that they hadn't touched the wrapped stuff but on closer inspection they had gnawed their way through to the food & left the paper there

Day 2 was less successful. They didn't seem to touch wrapped stuff in baffle - only unwrapped stuff.

Day 3 I didn't wrap anything in the baffle & that worked well.

Day 4 I broke the baffle by screwing it on too tight! (parrot society said they would give me a new one)

I need to think more about how to phase in the foraging.

I have noticed some improved behaviour. Will write more soon. Tired of using on-screen phone keyboard!

Ellie.

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ellieelectrons
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Re: foraging

Post by ellieelectrons » Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:49 am

I'm really excited that a couple of you are working on improving their bird's foraging at the same time as me. I look forward to comparing notes!

Ellie.

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Re: foraging

Post by delboy » Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:33 am

quick question for anyone say for instants my birds cum out twice dailey in mornig an athernoon an i have a good bond with all 3 of em really :roll: an they all feed together on our big coffee table then go up an sit on there perchs looking out window and there out for 2 to 3 hour in morn an same roughly later in day but i can say i dont really see alot of foraging cos i clean cages dailey due to fruit going rotton an stinky wot im saying is there any need ???? why try to fix if its not broke or should ichange my methods cos i would like to see my birds more active but they play an talk an chatter an chew there toys an seem quite active. but as a owner myself i like a good rumidge around lol thoughts plz

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Re: foraging

Post by jimmyjack » Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:18 pm

by foraging, they are essentially playing with toys, but by maximising their intellectual potential they are kept further stimulated and recieve rewards at the end of it. sure you can have the toys in one place and food in another - they go hear to nibble at the toys, get hungry and go down for food, but in doing so, they arent as stimulated.

youre children might be happy with an oversized cardboard box, but we buy them the xbox anyway...

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ellieelectrons
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Re: foraging

Post by ellieelectrons » Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:38 am

Just thought I'd give a quick update on my progress with foraging for Janey & Charlie.

I must admit I'm finding it slow going.... I wrap things in paper and stick them on a kabob only to find they seem to discover very little of it. It's a bit hit and miss... some days they seem to figure it out and other days not... They're definitely not spending 70% of their time foraging though.

I'm also trying to change their cage up a bit every day - changing toys around, etc.... and whilst they show some interest in their toys, they don't show a heck of a lot of interest... however, I did find a peanut shell on the floor of the cage that I had hidden with some toys... so obviously when I wasn't around one of them had found it.

I've also been trying to train them to forage. I'll wrap a peanut or an almond in a piece of paper and give it to them when they're on their gym. They'll usually have a quick go at it then drop it. I keep picking it up and giving it back... as they drop it, sometimes it unravels... and eventually they figure out there is a treat in there. Really slow going!

We had some friends over just after New Years.... before when I've tried to get someone to give them a treat, I just give the person the treat and tell them to approach the birds slowly and let them come to you.... This time, I introduced the person to the bird saying something like "This is <name>. He's not going to hurt you, he wants to give you a treat".... and I don't know if it's because I did the introductions or because I was standing there watching so closely.... but I got two different people to do this, and they took the treat from them both times. I tried the same thing two days earlier with another friend minus the introduction.... and the birds were terrified and were about to fly away before my friend stopped trying to give them the treat.

... so I don't know whether this is because of the foraging or my talking to them.... but regardless, this is promising behaviour... as they've been really wild with anyone other than me and my husband... and it's been a traumatic experience taking them to the vet.

Also, I broke my baffle cage - I screwed it up too tightly and the bottom bit sheared off... so I'm awaiting a new one... I'm lucky, the store said they'd send me a new one free-of-charge.... Oh and our big gym broke - we dropped it whilst we were trying to clean it... I've got to see if I can hammer it back together... so for now, they are stuck on the budgie-size gym... which is ok... but hard to do their regular training on it. I'm hoping that's the last of my accident prone-ness!



Ellie.

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Re: foraging

Post by jimmyjack » Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:08 pm

great to hear improvements ellie! thought i'd update as

well, i scarcely had time to finish wrapping the bonbons now before they lunge at them (as i read your post, i heard one of them finally get through the paper and seeds spill out. ive started using thicker paper, and hiding them a little (double the fun!). ive also go big hollow logs in their cage (found a perfect hollowed log about 10cm diameter on the inside, then bark is ~5mm thick! score! chopped it up into useful sizes and baked any nasties out of it). iggy wasnt too interested in the log, so i decided to hide some things right up the back of it last night - i put a millet spray, and also a grape in a different spot - both were demolished before i even got breakfast into her this morning!

im starting to trouble as to where to go next. ive just started on a baking powder tin with some seed in it. its made of cardboard with one of those snap plastic lids. its tougher to break into, but managable. i hope it provides a challenge. and i think im going to have to invest in a baffle cage - thats great they replaced your one free!

in terms of training, salvador can do 'turn around' pretty well, and halfway through training he starts doing them without the command hes figured it out so quick (though i only reward him with the command).

im in the process of making a play gym, and introducing the two - trying to coincide these so iggy (the longer resident) can escape to the gym in the other room when feeling like her own space, but i'll post photos when its completed. also going to make a hanging perch/toy from the ceiling light.

oops! on that note, someone just turned their bonbon upside down and lost all the seeds!

and and we have the most gorgeous problem. the litte baby - salvador - does NOT want us to leave him alone. constantly flying over to us whereever we are, and when hes in his cage and we're about, he paces back and forth until we let him out or go away for a while. he wants out even just to preen and groom and fall asleep on our shoulder. cute!
Last edited by jimmyjack on Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jimmyjack
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Re: foraging

Post by jimmyjack » Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:17 pm

also found this site, may be of some use:

http://www.creativeforagingsystems.com/

Foraging Trees - Place a large branch from a tree in a Christmas tree stand and tuck various foods in and on the branches. You may already have a play gym type stand that you can do this with. Be creative. Make the food somewhat obvious so that they know it is there but have to look. Vary the location of the foods each day to encourage them to look around. They know that there will be food on that tree just where is
it?

Multiple Food Stations - Start out by having several bowls of food in the cage at various levels and places. In each dish, put just a little bit of different food. This will stimulate them to begin looking around in other areas for their food.

Once used to the different feeding stations, you might want to place a loose piece of paper or cardboard on top to “hide” the food from view. Give the parrot a few days to get used to the idea of not “seeing” the food. Then cover the bowls in a manner that makes it more difficult to get into - where the parrot needs to tear the paper to get to the food. He now knows that there “could” be food in that bowl but gives him more of a challenge to get to it.

* Hide food in toys and offer more puzzle type toys
* Put an almond or nut in a small paper cup and let the parrot retrieve it by tearing up the cup.
* Twist some pellets in corn husks and place between the bars of the cage.
* Buy some foraging type toys that tempt the parrot to unscrew or open the toy to get to the food - wooden or cardboard tubes stuffed with food and/or seeds.
* Hide some nuts in a bowl of wooden beads or small wooden chunks. The parrot will rummage through the wood and find the nut. You might want to let the parrot see you hide the nut the first couple of times.
*Place food on the sides of the cage bars; e.g., carrots with the tops on are good. Not only can they tear up and munch on the carrot but the tops can also be torn up and possibly ingested. Skewers are also good.
Use your imagination. Think of other ways to make forage and play fun. And remember, our companion parrots may have a more difficult time taking their own initiative so keep trying - they may need to be encouraged to try again and again until they get it.

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ellieelectrons
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Re: foraging

Post by ellieelectrons » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:33 pm

Here's another update on my foraging...

It's going quite well. I've had what I'd call two mini-breakthroughs.

The first is to do with behaviour. We are getting less lunges from Janey (although they have not been eliminated). In addition, one of the "tricks" I have taught them is to "go to bed". When I ask them to do this, they are supposed to go to their cage and go inside (as shown by this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBIuDWdKgx4). However, I had found this to be a bit "hit or miss" of late. Janey knows exactly what to do but only does it when she feels like it and Charlie follows Janey wherever she goes. I have found that since introducing foraging, they do this when asked almost every time.

The second breakthrough took my by surprise this morning. Yesterday I upped the number of foraging opportunities in their cage (from 3 to about 6 different foraging opportunities). This morning, when they saw me putting all of their foraging items in the cage, they got really excited and were falling all over themselves to get into the cage and have a go at them. They were so excited, that I had to get them out again and place them on a T-perch at the other end of the kitchen just so I could finish the job off. Once they were in there, they absolutely loved it! ... and there were enough foraging opportunities for them to both be happy. This morning I:
- gave them a passionfruit with just a small slit in it (they have to chew through the shell to access the fruit inside) that was wrapped in one layer of newspaper and then had a peat pot on top of it - all of this was threaded onto a kabob
- hid a peanut in its shell in a small pill bottle. I drilled a hole in the pill bottle so that I could mount it on the side of the cage using a quick link. I put some shredded paper in the bottom of it too.
- hid a variety of things in a bird bopper (granulated nuts, cut up bits of millet spray and sunflower seeds) and hung it from the top of the cage
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- put some treats in the mazey munch (just bought that one on the weekend: highly recommended)
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- wrapped veges in a single layer of newspaper and placed them in the baffle cage
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- put a pile of foot toys in a plastic bowl mixed with a couple of wrapped in paper peanuts in shells and some shredded paper
- put some pellets in a coop cup and mixed them with recycled paper kitty litter and shredded paper.

Some things I've learnt:
- don't give up, it takes time for your bird to learn to forage
- it took my birds a while to understand they had to bite through the paper to get to the food. They really seemed to get the idea though when I tried it during play time. Janey really loves banana.... so I got her to do a trick, showed her the piece of banana, wrapped it in one layer of newspaper and then gave it to her. She figured that out because she could still see the banana through the paper. Charlie seemed to pick up chewing through the newspaper naturally but Janey didn't.
- I learnt I had to do things very slowly and gradually. For example, when I first wrapped food in newspaper and put it in their cage, I used a whole sheet and just kept rolling the piece of food up. I'd then tie it up with some jute string. This was too much for beginning foragers. At the moment, I just wrap it so that there is only one layer of paper between the bird and the food.

My next steps and future challenges:
I wouldn't say my birds are spending 70% of their time foraging... so I need to figure out how to keep upping the difficulty and keeping my birds interested in foraging at the same time. They can only eat a certain amount of food in a day, so I need to make it so that it takes them longer to get to their food than it currently does but not make it too hard that they give up completely!

Thanks to those of you who have shared your foraging stories and ideas too. I got some of my ideas from the parrot enrichment link posted by jimmyjack. I had run across this before, but seeing it again, made me really spend some time with it.

I look forward to hearing about more of your foraging adventures too! :)

Ellie.

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Re: foraging

Post by jimmyjack » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:59 pm

hey ellie thats great! ps your setup looks wicked! i was also looking at one of those maze things today actually...wasnt sure if theyd be any good. and howd you go about training 'go to bed'?

once they get the hang of tearing, they really get the hang of it. ive had to start putting treats in toilet rolls for iggy because shes become so good at getting through everything else. but yes, gradual steps. i started with paper towel, progressed to thin brown paper, to a thicker brown paper, now cardboard :P

one thing ive noticed aswell, by enticing this behaviour, you have to become better at stashing their stores. they get clever and have figured out how to get them OUTSIDe the cage aswell! one of them broke into the seed container below their cage so ive now had to make a wardrobe spot for their stuff!

some really simple ideas if you want some more is to cover their food container (which i think you're already putting cardboard litter in?) with paper aswell. also made a toy out of crete paper - heaps of thin strips ~1cm wide (sorry for those not on the metric system!) - and just fix a treat inside it each day. entices toy playing and foraging in one hit! and cheap and easy to remake

i like your passionfruit idea. have to give that one a go! thanks ellie, ive really liked this topic - it has really been very helpful

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Re: foraging

Post by jimmyjack » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:02 pm

actually just looking through your youtube videos - how do you train a wave?

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ellieelectrons
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Re: foraging

Post by ellieelectrons » Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:39 am

The wave was hard to train. I did it by "capturing" the move which involves watching the bird (or at least watching their feet!) and waiting for them to move their foot. The second they move their foot, you say the command and the action that you're going to use to queue the behaviour... and then say whatever you say to indicate they've done what you want (for me, I say "good boy" or "good girl") and then follow up with the treat as quick as you can.

It took a while for them to get it.... and they get a bit frustrated seeing you stand there with treats staring at them and not giving them anything.... but if you perservere they will get it. When I was training Charlie, I first captured him scratching his head... and for a while he thought it was about scratching - not waving... but he soon caught on.

Once you think your bird has some idea what you're asking, you do the queue and see how they respond. They will learn it very gradually.... and you'll think at some point they've got it... but then they'll stop doing it... but when you get to this stage, this is when you are really close and it won't be long till they are always doing it.

Now when I stand at Janey & Charlie's cage with a treat in my hand, they have taken to waving at me without queue. It's become like a "bartender, hit me again" signal. It's very cute.

Barbara Heidenreich suggested you train this behaviour by giving them the queue and then place your hand down as though you want them to step up. You pull your hand away as soon as they raise their foot to stand on your hand. I didn't like doing it this way though because they got confused and almost fell off the perch a couple of times and I want them to trust me when I offer my hand to them.

Good luck - happy waving!

Ellie.

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Re: foraging

Post by Melika » Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:02 pm

Isn't the mazey munch awesome? I love just tossing a few nutriberries in it. When I first got it I had to hang it from the side of the cage until Hane understood how it works. Now it hangs from the top and he swings that thing around like crazy. He knows just how to tilt it too!

Great work with your foraging, ellie!
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I've been called 'birdbrained' before, but somehow I don't think this is what they meant. say:hah-nay

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ellieelectrons
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Re: foraging

Post by ellieelectrons » Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:28 pm

Yes - i wouldn't have bought it (as it's on the expensive side) had it not been for the recommendation in the parrot enrichment activity book. It looks sturdy so it should last quite a while. Not too sure about the best way to clean it though. Might try it in the dishwasher.

What are nutriberries? I put a variety of things in ours at the same time but the smaller ones (eg. granulated nuts, pellets, sunflower seeds) are much harder for them to pull out if it.

Ellie.

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Melika
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Re: foraging

Post by Melika » Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:47 pm

http://www.lafebercares.com/pinnacle/in ... nt=24&pg=1

I just get the regular ones. Most pet stores have them too. They're perfectly sized for the mazey munch. I agree, cleaning it out can be a pain. But I've found the toy to be worth it.
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I've been called 'birdbrained' before, but somehow I don't think this is what they meant. say:hah-nay

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ellieelectrons
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Re: foraging

Post by ellieelectrons » Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:46 pm

Does anyone in Australia use Nutriberries? If so, where do you get them from? I haven't seen them in any of my local stores or at the Parrot Society shop but it could be they were there and I wasn't looking for them.

Ellie.

jimmyjack
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Re: foraging

Post by jimmyjack » Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:59 pm

sorry ellie havent seen these anywhere either.

thats some patience but soo cute. will have to give it a go! and i agree, that other method you suggested of pulling the hand away does sound a little counterintuitive. i'll see if i can pick up on the action!

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ringneck
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Re: foraging

Post by ringneck » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:43 pm

Ellie Wonderful! :O)

Best Wishes,

IMRAN-C

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Melika
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Re: foraging

Post by Melika » Sun Jan 23, 2011 3:05 pm

Derp. I didn't think about availability in AUS.

I did a google search and found this though. http://www.quakerparrots.com/forum/inde ... opic=29555

Definitely more of a treat when you make it yourself, but sounds good!
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I've been called 'birdbrained' before, but somehow I don't think this is what they meant. say:hah-nay

Miss Jojo
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Re: foraging

Post by Miss Jojo » Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:29 am

Reading this post has really got me thinking about what I provide for my Bluey...so the thinking cap is on!

In the meantime I made an origami water bomb out of plan white paper today and popped a few sunflower seeds and cereal flakes inside. WHAT A HIT! At first Bluey just picked it up and threw it around her cage, then she started carrying it around. climbing on perches and then placed it in her food bowl. After some investigation she then took it over to her water bowl and began dunking it...when sufficiently wet she dropped it onto the floor of her cage and proceeded to demolish it! That's one clever bird! even if I say so myself :)

I have to say that was the easiest way to entertain both Bluey and myself for 15 minutes!

Now to put my thinking cap on for more fun experiences!

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ellieelectrons
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Re: foraging

Post by ellieelectrons » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:46 am

Miss Jojo wrote:In the meantime I made an origami water bomb out of plan white paper today and popped a few sunflower seeds and cereal flakes inside. WHAT A HIT! At first Bluey just picked it up and threw it around her cage, then she started carrying it around. climbing on perches and then placed it in her food bowl. After some investigation she then took it over to her water bowl and began dunking it...when sufficiently wet she dropped it onto the floor of her cage and proceeded to demolish it! That's one clever bird! even if I say so myself :)
Wow - that sounds really cool. Can you post a pic? I don't know what an origami water bomb out of plain white paper would look like.

Ellie.

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