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Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

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jmlw7
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Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by jmlw7 » Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:36 pm

Hi all, we have a few foraging toys for our 10 month old, Remy, but she has mastered ALL of them over the past two months or so. It's annoying (but great) that she spends less time getting out her nutriberries and baby carrots and other goodies than it takes for me to fill it. I also tried filling them with shredded paper, beads, wood pieces, whatever will fit in between the treats, but she is super smart. She wont play with a foraging toy unless she sees the food inside, so we like the ones we can reuse.

We rotate between the stainless steel baffle cage and skewer kabob as part of her main food servers every day, but here are the toys we have so far that we add to her cage on top of those and are there almost every day. She really has mastered all of them. We need to expand our rotation. here are some thumbnails of what we have now:

Her favorite - Ive tried mixing in beads, paper, whatever with her nutriberries and she always manages to get it all out within 10 seconds flat!
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This is stuffed when we leave for work - with veggies, nutriberries, fruit, anything and its completely empty when we get home
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This is a fairly new one we got her (we removed the tray) and we mix beads, paper, plastic milk lids, whatever, with a shelled peanut and nutriberries and dried fruit.. she leaves everything in there and somehow manages to take all the food out. This takes a little longer, but its not difficult for her, but more so than the others since it spins.
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We also got one of those puzzle chest things that she pokes around and sometimes empties it but she doesnt seem as interested.. maybe the beak slots are too small
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Anyway so we also have the hol-ee rubber ball and some shreddable foraging stuff like vine balls that she really destroys, so we like the acrylic and stainless ones that we can continue to refill. She has tons of foot toys that are foraging and we wrap stuff in paper and leave all over her cage. But she is really quick and once the food is out, she is bored. It doesnt take hours, more like minutes. So we are glad that most of our investments are well used, but we dont want her to be bored.

We are now considering the following options, and know it could all be trial and error based on each bird's personality, but are wondering if you could all provide input on which you think would be the best investment since it gets pricey after a while (either on opinion is fine, or maybe you have them and know if they are appropriate for IRN beak size)? We want her to really think and work for it, but not get bored with it if too difficult. We may get one or two, but before we start buying stuff we figured we'd ask since there are really so many options.

1. Zig zag maze (description: Teach your birds to spin the Zig Zag maze to reveal the treat! Mount the Zig Zag to the cage bars or hang it from it's chain. Place one or several treats inside the maze and spin back and forth to load. By placing several treats at one time, your bird will be rewarded multiple times while providing hours of foraging fun.)
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2. Crazy 8s (description: Teach your bird to solve the puzzle of the Crazy 8s for food rewards!! It's so Simple, just place a treat in the opening, turn upside down and rotate until treat reaches the top of the toy, rotate the toy clockwise until right side up again. The treat should now be trapped in the top section of the toy. Hang for your birds to solve and watch instinct take over!)
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3. Daffy for Taffy (description: Teach your bird to rock this toy back and forth for their food rewards! Place one or more treats in the opening, turn upside down and tilt back and forth until the treat reaches the end of the maze.)
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4. Masterminds Heart (description: The MasterMind challenge, for the birds that enjoy a good foraging workout! Food/treats go into the cones and your bird must maneuver the cones to the top of the "track" until treats/food drop through the hole, dispensing in the center chamber. Multiple feeding stations give birds choices! Made of polycarbonate. Suitable for small to medium birds.)
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5. Push and pull (description: Push and Pull Foraging Toy: Fill top chamber with food, Parrots must push and pull slats back and forth to release food into the chamber below, When food reaches the bottom access chamber, it may be retrieved.)
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6. Nut drop forager (description: You can place pelleted food, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts, cereal, fruit, veggies or other dry items in the Nut Drop, which attaches to your cage with nickel plated chain and a quick link. Made out of sturdy acrylic, your bird will need to learn how to pull the levers back to release the treats Lots of fun for medium sized birds)
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Any input or better suggestions are welcome, anything fast, easy and reusable for us, difficult, long lasting and fun for her -thanks!

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Skyes_crew
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by Skyes_crew » Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:49 pm

Those all look like loads of fun. Where did you find them? I haven't seem them here or online. I especially like the push and pull. :)



Edit: never mind...I found them :D
I am owned by my birds...and I wouldn't have it any other way :D

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InTheAir
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by InTheAir » Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:40 pm

We have the push and pull one. It's minutes of fun for Nele. We find if we put more than a few teats in the top they tend to spill into the open side when he starts using it and it's too easy. The holes are too small to add kitty litter or anything else, so it doesn't really lead to being more challenging. But it's ok.

Our favourite bought one is http://www.aussiebirdtoys.com/index.php ... ts_id=1042
You can start it with treats near the bottom, and make it harder as birdy gets the hang of it. Nele has worked it out quite well, and spins the bottom tray so fast that pellets go flying everywhere! We modified it by drilling beak holes in the bottom edges, as Nele didn't like the slippery acrylic and didn't grip it properly.

I want the zigzag maze and the 8 one!

We mostly wrap dry food in plain newsprint and hide it around the cage, in his 'tree', in unscented toilet roll ends and in toys. It takes him awhile to chew through the newsprint. 5 minutes work from us gives us 15 minutes entertainment for Nele :mrgreen:

I think the problem with most of the bought toys is as soon as the bird has learnt to solve them you can't really make them harder, and parrots learn fast. I think the nut drop one may be a better bet then the push pull as it has bigger holes, so you can add more foraging material to it.

Do you give her fresh branches and leaves to shred?

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ellieelectrons
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by ellieelectrons » Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:01 pm

From my observations, there seem to be two main sorts of foraging toys that interest my guys. The ones that require brain power and the ones that require persistence. The problem with the brain power ones is that once they've figured it, they can do it quite quickly. However, I did find that Janey prefers the brain power ones and Charlie prefers the persistence (brawn) ones. Janey will let Charlie do the hard work and then she will come along and participate in the eating. With the brain ones, Janey seems to figure it out first and then teach Charlie how to do it.

Claire lent me the paddle wheel one and they really enjoy it. I think I will buy one of my own, although now that they know how to use it, they're pretty quick with it. When they were learning it, it was really cute. They figured out how to get the items at the bottom but not the ones at the top but they knew I could get the food out of the top. One morning Janey wouldn't come out of her cage, she sat there moving the bottom wheel around until I came along to move the top wheel. She then finished the job and came out after she had her treats.

I also have the push and pull one. Charlie seems more interested in that than Janey but they both enjoy it.

I have a couple that don't get used because they are too hard for my guys - I think they are made for cockatoos. I'm always wary of pictures showing bigger birds using it. If you check out www.myparrotshop.com they ask their customers to provide photos of their birds using their toys (Janey is featured using one of their foot toys). I find these useful because I look at what size bird is interacting with the toy prior to purchase. Unfortunately, they don't have customer photos for everything, but it's a start.

I also have the first and third ones you showed (the mazey munch and the spherical foraging ball). At the moment, I'm liking toys that I can bolt to the side of the cage as I have so many things hanging from the top now.

For me, their main fruit and veg comes in their baffle cage or the spherical foraging ball. I wrap the food in newspaper and sometimes place it inside a peat pot (aka jiffy pot) or cardboard and put it inside. This gives them something extra to do during the day. This is a persistence forage, not a brain power one, so Charlie seems to do the hard work on these.

I've seen most of those other toys you've posted pics of and I feel that they are mostly variations on the mazey munch. Foraging toys are so expensive, that I want to be really sure they're going to get something out of it before I buy it.... so I haven't bought them yet. If you do buy, please let us know which have been successful for you.


Ellie.

jmlw7
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by jmlw7 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:43 am

Thank you all so much for the feedback! It is really helpful to know what others have used considering the costs really do add up after a while.
InTheAir wrote:We have the push and pull one. It's minutes of fun for Nele. We find if we put more than a few teats in the top they tend to spill into the open side when he starts using it and it's too easy. The holes are too small to add kitty litter or anything else, so it doesn't really lead to being more challenging. But it's ok.
This we will skip. There arent too many very small treats we use aside from pinenuts and sunflower seeds, and she isnt too crazy about either of them so if it mostly fits pellets, we will pass. Thank you - we wouldnt have known otherwise!
InTheAir wrote:
I think the problem with most of the bought toys is as soon as the bird has learnt to solve them you can't really make them harder, and parrots learn fast. I think the nut drop one may be a better bet then the push pull as it has bigger holes, so you can add more foraging material to it.

Do you give her fresh branches and leaves to shred?
This is exactly our issue with making sure something lasts and can be evolved somewhat. The mazey much is her favorite, and we started with a single nutriberry that she learned to take out either through the slots or by moving it all the way to the bottom, so we highly recommend this to others as a good investment. After time, you could make it harder by adding big wooden or plastic beads or shredded paper. We've found she really stays interested so we will keep it in her cage, but she is just too fast with it. I think the nut drop one is going to be a purchase - you are right about the bigger holes allowing more material.

We give her fresh branches and leaves and also thread through some of the bamboo plant leaves through the cage which she loves, but that's really only done when she's in the mood.

jmlw7
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by jmlw7 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:58 am

ellieelectrons wrote:From my observations, there seem to be two main sorts of foraging toys that interest my guys. The ones that require brain power and the ones that require persistence. The problem with the brain power ones is that once they've figured it, they can do it quite quickly.
I agree - I think most of the toys we have currently are mostly persistence. It's helpful, but once they know how to get the treats out, it becomes just another container. We had the shreddable vine balls, sometimes a single one hanging on a leather string or on the skewer, sometimes two or three. She went from ripping it apart entirely, to somehow managing to just remove the food without breaking the vine sometimes. I dont know how she does it, its impressive!
ellieelectrons wrote: Claire lent me the paddle wheel one and they really enjoy it. I think I will buy one of my own, although now that they know how to use it, they're pretty quick with it. When they were learning it, it was really cute. They figured out how to get the items at the bottom but not the ones at the top but they knew I could get the food out of the top. One morning Janey wouldn't come out of her cage, she sat there moving the bottom wheel around until I came along to move the top wheel. She then finished the job and came out after she had her treats.
How big are the treats you put in with the paddle wheel? Would nutriberries or chopped up carrots fit? Or is it mainly for seeds and pellets?
ellieelectrons wrote:
I've seen most of those other toys you've posted pics of and I feel that they are mostly variations on the mazey munch. Foraging toys are so expensive, that I want to be really sure they're going to get something out of it before I buy it.... so I haven't bought them yet. If you do buy, please let us know which have been successful for you.
I'm the same way. I think thus far we will get the nut drop forager and a puzzle one - maybe the zig zag maze. I havent found anyone who actually owns this so not sure how big the treats we can put in them are, but at least its different. The nut drop one looks like it could evolve. If we get these two, I'll report back with how she uses it. Maybe post a video of them when she uses them!

jmlw7
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by jmlw7 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:03 am

I'll practice with the videos! :mrgreen:

Here's an old one when Remy first moved into her cage (its changed a lot since then). Eating, easy foraging off the skewer with a tour of her cage, "cribs" style :lol:
If this works, I'll post more so let me know!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppgvJeEL ... video_user

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Skyes_crew
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by Skyes_crew » Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:28 am

:lol: :lol: :lol: IRN Cribs!!!!!

That should be a thread. Everyone take us on a tour of their birds Crib :D :lol:
I am owned by my birds...and I wouldn't have it any other way :D

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ellieelectrons
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by ellieelectrons » Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:32 pm

Regarding the paddlewheel. I put pellets, sunflower seeds and nut granules in it. I'm currently out of kitty litter but I _think_ that would fit in there. Claire might know. We don't have nutriberries in Australia so unfortunately I don't know if they would fit.

Ellie.

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InTheAir
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by InTheAir » Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:28 pm

I've put chopped carrot through the paddle wheel. I think the vet nurse at bbv said kitty litter works in it.

Nele is getting a foraging wheel in the next day or so. I'll give a review of that when it gets here. I don't have high hopes for it, it was just cheap so I couldn't resist.

Ellie: do you have any idea what that wooden triangle one I got at step up is called? Nele loves it.

Claire

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ellieelectrons
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by ellieelectrons » Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:14 pm

Is it lots of layered triangles with indents for food?

Ellie.

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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by ellieelectrons » Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:18 pm

Is it similar to this design http://www.myparrotshop.com/hanging-toy ... _1088.html only triangular?

If that's it, I bought it for my guys a couple of years ago and they loved it. However they chewed it to bits in no time. For my two, it became more of a destructible than a forager. Janey is a notoriously good chewer.

Ellie.

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InTheAir
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by InTheAir » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:08 pm

Yeah it's kind of like that with lots of indents for ttreats. Nele chews it too, but it's lasting well enough and he enjoys it so much it was worth it.

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ellieelectrons
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by ellieelectrons » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:25 pm


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ellieelectrons
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by ellieelectrons » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:26 pm

.. and yes, my guys loved it too.

Ellie.

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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by Skyes_crew » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:50 pm

Is that the wooden one? If it is, Skye ate all the food and then the toy. It didn't last long :( he's a big time chewer. I usually need to buy thick natural wood or acrylic.
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ellieelectrons
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by ellieelectrons » Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:55 pm

Yes, it's wooden... and the same happened to me. :)

I don't mind them chewing things up, it's a very birdy thing to do... but I don't like to spend too much on something they demolish _really_ quickly.

Ellie.

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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by Skyes_crew » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:00 pm

I agree. I try to find stuff on sale so it's not too hard to watch it get demolished. On amazon last week I found the large trio box foraging toys for 1.22 each. I ordered 12 :D
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InTheAir
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by InTheAir » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:18 pm

That's the one. He's had it nearly a month and he's given it a couple rounded edges so far. I guess he's not a hardcore chewer, his first wooden toy was a dolls play park and it still looks new...

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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by jmlw7 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:36 am

WOW! I am TOTALLY buying that snack tray. Its different from everything else she has. I'm just hoping she is as excited about this as the clear ones since she cant really "see" inside it. Maybe if I get the snack tray, and the zig zag maze, I already ordered the nut drop one, that would be a good rotation for many months to come since it provides different foraging techniques.

Keep the ideas coming! Her birdie birthday is August 22, so we will get her a bunch of gifts we expect her to tear open! :lol:

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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by InTheAir » Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:26 pm

Aww, birdy birthday with presents! That's too cute!

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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by jmlw7 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:31 am

Hi everyone - just an update on the nut forager.

We put this in Remy's cage yesterday for the first time.. added nutriberries, carrots and beads. When we got home it was totally empty. I refilled it overnight and this morning when I tried taking her out of the cage, she ignored me, gave me a silly little look, marched over to her nut forager, pulled the tab and the food came out. She was almost smug about it! WAY too easy. We are going to stuff it with more beads, shells and wrapped paper and see if it makes it harder. :roll:

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ellieelectrons
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by ellieelectrons » Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:24 am

They are sooooo clever!

Just to be clear, are you talking about toy number 6 in you initial post? Would you recommend it?

Ellie.

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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by jmlw7 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:36 am

ellieelectrons wrote:They are sooooo clever!

Just to be clear, are you talking about toy number 6 in you initial post? Would you recommend it?

Ellie.
Yep, toy #6. I cant decide yet if I recommend it. I mean its effective for what it does and has lots of space for a variety of treats. She is super interested in it since she can see the contents, but so far its too easy and easy doesnt keep her attention long. If I am able to make it more challenging for her to focus for a while then it is well worth the investment since it would be used over and over, I will report back and let you know. But if its just a 2 minute play thing, I probably wouldnt recommend it. We will see!

In the next week or two, I'm buying the zig zag maze #1 and will report back on that as well.

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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by InTheAir » Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:07 am

Hey,
Product review for you.
We bought Nele a Mazy munch https://www.worldforpets.com.au/products/16342
in the large bird size and it's keeping him amused quite well. I've been putting carrot chunks, broccoli stalks and even a piece of strawberry in it. The chunks don't roll well so he has to manipulate them put with his beak, and it takes ages! I figured I can use a bottlebrush to clean it.
I am quite pleased with it so far.

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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by jmlw7 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:55 am

InTheAir wrote:Hey,
Product review for you.
We bought Nele a Mazy munch https://www.worldforpets.com.au/products/16342
in the large bird size and it's keeping him amused quite well. I've been putting carrot chunks, broccoli stalks and even a piece of strawberry in it. The chunks don't roll well so he has to manipulate them put with his beak, and it takes ages! I figured I can use a bottlebrush to clean it.
I am quite pleased with it so far.
Thats great Nele likes the mazy munch! It's still Remy's favorite too, but if I dont wrap the treats in paper or stuff shredded paper, she takes less than 5 seconds to manipulate with her beak and pulls the whole treat out, even if it doesnt roll. I honestly dont have a clue how she does it so fast since its such a big chunk! I guess since they were born to do this, some things I will never understand :mrgreen:

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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by Melika » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:59 am

My newest bought toy is this one http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/p ... atid=22375 Image

I'm very happy with it. It isn't something that will baffle a bird, Hane figured it out in less than an hour but for Hane it's not just about how long it takes him to get food, but also the effort/agility required. For instance, when I first got the Mazy Munch (his first puzzle toy), I hung it on the side of the cage until he could figure it out. Then I began placing it in more difficult areas so it required more effort on his part. This is usually what slows him down, simply getting to it, retrieving the food, then negotiating his way to a perch to eat the food (without dropping it!). So I make getting to the toy a puzzle in itself.

He hasn't been very into persistence foraging (by the way I love the categories as you described, ellie) but I'm still trying to teach him. I usually have to start things for him, and he is slowly getting better. Slowly. So slowly. He doesn't care to chew through anything to get to the food.

One persistence toy I recently read about is using a dixie cup, putting food in it and twisting shut the top. Sounds easy enough and I imagine you could use just about any paper cup, even the cheap cone ones.
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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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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by jmlw7 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:50 am

Melika wrote:My newest bought toy is this one

I'm very happy with it. It isn't something that will baffle a bird, Hane figured it out in less than an hour but for Hane it's not just about how long it takes him to get food, but also the effort/agility required. For instance, when I first got the Mazy Munch (his first puzzle toy), I hung it on the side of the cage until he could figure it out. Then I began placing it in more difficult areas so it required more effort on his part. This is usually what slows him down, simply getting to it, retrieving the food, then negotiating his way to a perch to eat the food (without dropping it!). So I make getting to the toy a puzzle in itself.
Melika - I was looking at this one myself, but was worried the plastic tops would hurt if Remy got her head in one of the cups with the plastic top still on? Am I overthinking this or do they shred the plastic entirely off first (which would be way more safe) and/or am I overestimating the size of the pod cup?

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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by InTheAir » Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:58 am

I just wanted to add a reveiw on another large parrot toy we got. http://www.myparrotshop.com/foraging-to ... d_567.html it was really cheap from a local petstore that had it for ages and despaired of selling it.
It took some modifications to suit a small bird and it doesn't keep him occupied for hours, but we love it. I made it half as deep packing it with some foam mat like http://www.softtiles.com/ then covered the foam with strong carboard (courtesy of stepup catering). I can fill the whole thing with recycled paper kitty litter sprinkled with pellets and little treats and it takes Nila about half an hour to empty it! Admittedly his goal is to empty it and none of the treats or pellets appear to have been chewed before they land on the floor, but I am happy with anything that gives him a project for that long.

Jmlw, I have found it takes Nila way longer to get the treats of of the mazy munch if they are soft like berries. I watched him get a carrot chunk out in about 5 seconds yesterday. Have you found that at all?

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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by jmlw7 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:04 pm

InTheAir wrote:
Jmlw, I have found it takes Nila way longer to get the treats of of the mazy munch if they are soft like berries. I watched him get a carrot chunk out in about 5 seconds yesterday. Have you found that at all?
Unfortunately, Remy doesnt like berries enough to forage. Only if they are offered on her skewer on in her food dish will she eat them. The only thing she seems to really like enough to forage all day long are nuts, dried bananas and sometimes dried corn.

I also put this toy in Remy's cage because we saw it on sale for about $1 and it was on our maybe list from above:
Image

This toy isnt working so far. We've had it in Remy's cage for almost a month and she hasnt touched it. Well not entirely true, she's touched it but its so heavy and kind of clunky that its hard for her to make the contents rock/filter back and forth. Maybe I'm not teaching her well enough, but so far not a success.

The toy is a good durable size and material, but the openings are too small for nutriberries and really only big enough for small treats. I noticed the food can get stuck in route down to the opening and you wouldnt know that unless you up close inspect it and bang it around really hard to dislodge it. Something a little IRN definitely couldnt do. She does take a while to warm up to toys, so we'll see if she comes around, but so far we are moving on. I think the wooden triangle snack tray is next before the zig zag.

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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by InTheAir » Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:45 pm

It's interesting how different their tastes are, his birdiness adores berries!

Thanks for the warning on that toy, I was considering getting one.

My total fail toy is the rings of fortune. Nila can't get his head around that one, even with lessons!

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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by jmlw7 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:38 am

InTheAir wrote:It's interesting how different their tastes are, his birdiness adores berries!

Thanks for the warning on that toy, I was considering getting one.

My total fail toy is the rings of fortune. Nila can't get his head around that one, even with lessons!
Huge help, thank you. I was going to buy that from Dr Fosters and Smith some time ago and was saving it for when she gets older. I'll probably pass now, it looks too big in size to not be used

Melika
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by Melika » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:18 am

jmlw7 wrote:
Melika wrote:My newest bought toy is this one

I'm very happy with it. It isn't something that will baffle a bird, Hane figured it out in less than an hour but for Hane it's not just about how long it takes him to get food, but also the effort/agility required. For instance, when I first got the Mazy Munch (his first puzzle toy), I hung it on the side of the cage until he could figure it out. Then I began placing it in more difficult areas so it required more effort on his part. This is usually what slows him down, simply getting to it, retrieving the food, then negotiating his way to a perch to eat the food (without dropping it!). So I make getting to the toy a puzzle in itself.
Melika - I was looking at this one myself, but was worried the plastic tops would hurt if Remy got her head in one of the cups with the plastic top still on? Am I overthinking this or do they shred the plastic entirely off first (which would be way more safe) and/or am I overestimating the size of the pod cup?
The tops are very loose and easy to move- not weighted down with anything except a plastic bead. Remy wouldn't get hurt. The tops are very easy to move, they function as a simple baffle rather than a true obstacle. Hane just grabs the edge of the cup and tilts it sideways to get at the insides. But of course he can't just sit there and eat it all- he has to find his way to a perch so he can hold and savour his prize!
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I've been called 'birdbrained' before, but somehow I don't think this is what they meant. say:hah-nay

jmlw7
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by jmlw7 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:59 am

Melika wrote: The tops are very loose and easy to move- not weighted down with anything except a plastic bead. Remy wouldn't get hurt. The tops are very easy to move, they function as a simple baffle rather than a true obstacle. Hane just grabs the edge of the cup and tilts it sideways to get at the insides. But of course he can't just sit there and eat it all- he has to find his way to a perch so he can hold and savour his prize!
Do you have tips on how to make it more difficult so it would present a bit of a challenge? If so, I would like to consider buying too

Jen&Bug
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by Jen&Bug » Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:04 am

Bug loves his paddle wheel toy too: http://www.myparrotshop.com/bolt-on-toy ... d_822.html

Bug was similar to Janey - when he first figured it out, he sat there for ages wistfully turning the bottom wheel, hoping that something would drop out of it. Now he'll give the top wheel a little turn to check if there's anything in the chambers, and leave it alone if it's empty.

It was challenging for him to learn, and although it now takes him less than a minute to get a treat from the top to the bottom chamber (his precision is incredible!), he still seems to get a lot of satisfaction from it. I keep it in the cupboard and bring it out when I want to make his day :) Not cheap but well worth the investment.

My other recent foraging success has been a large, colourful hanging toy made of some kind of natural sponge (can't find picture sorry). The sponge is porous, like Swiss cheese, so I can stud it with treats, like peas or chopped peanuts.

Less successful foraging toys in our house:

The 'Barrel of Fun': http://www.myparrotshop.com/hanging-toy ... d_350.html
Bug the 'brain' bird wasn't really interested, while Rufus the 'brawn' bird used brute force and opened it in seconds.

A purple plastic pyramid-shaped toy (can't find a picture). I don't know for certain, but I think Bug managed to get his head stuck in one of the holes one day (evidence - much squawking and a few missing head feathers!)

jmlw7
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by jmlw7 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:38 am

Jen&Bug wrote: A purple plastic pyramid-shaped toy (can't find a picture). I don't know for certain, but I think Bug managed to get his head stuck in one of the holes one day (evidence - much squawking and a few missing head feathers!)
This reminds me of the nut forager we bought Remy (last one listed above), maybe I'm paranoid but I took it out of her cage and probably wont let her use it again unless I'm really supervising. I noticed the holes are really big - definitely big enough for her head to fit inside. I fear that she will somehow get her head all the way in and some freak accident will cause the sliders to close on her head and trap her inside. Maybe very unlikely, but I'm a worrier so I took it out.

I will try maybe hooking it outside of her cage on the side and if I still feel like its unsafe, maybe someone with a cockatoo or macaw would like it? I'm happy to pass it along if so. I'll report back whenever I have the nerve to use it again

jimmyjack
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by jimmyjack » Sat Nov 09, 2013 10:41 pm

Another thing my vet suggested when I had the same problem with Salvador getting to clever for his foraging toys. They suggested I DIY the toys slightly. Now, for each toy I use this strategy:
- wrap the treat in paper (cupcake trays are cheap and simple!) then place it in the toy
- close up the toy
- sticky tape the closing mechanism (most tapes use a vegetable gum, so safe for birds!)
- then wrap the whole toy in paper and tape it up

this makes each one more timely than the 10 seconds tops it used to take him. Just to get through it all, now takes a fair bit longer, and also he often gets distracted and comes back. Also I:
- often use blanks - fake treat, bead, gum nut or casuarina pod wrapped up as above and put in a toy instead of a treat. Then all that work for nothing. Keeps them guessing!
- Have about 10 foraging toys, using about 4-5 each day on rotation. So each day it mixes things up!
- Often the only easily accessible food in the cage he can get it the one he likes least, ie broccoli or zucchini etc
She wont play with a foraging toy unless she sees the food inside, so we like the ones we can reuse.
I'd suggest you start wrapping up your treats. You said remy will only go for it if she can see it, but begin by wrapping a favourite nut or something in paper so you build an association that a wrapped up item is treat worth getting to...give these to her when training or out on the perch

Also, my all time favourite foraging toy is still a toilet roll. Can't beat em! But some others include:

- Creative Foraging Systems horizontal holder
you dont need to buy refills for the small one, it perfectly fits a toilet roll! easy to load up with whatever
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/251321980420 ... 1423.l2649


- barrel of fun. one of my favourites and the first proper foraging toy I bought
http://www.parrotrescuecentre.com/shop/barrel-of-fun

- dicky bird snack rack. another of my favourites as it has several levels of complexity
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/150980407511 ... 1423.l2649

- mastermind heart
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/251321488730 ... 1423.l2649

- foraging windmill
http://www.parrotrescuecentre.com/shop/ ... g-windmill

- turn & learn
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/160912276409 ... 1423.l2649

jimmyjack
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by jimmyjack » Sat Nov 09, 2013 10:42 pm

Another thing my vet suggested when I had the same problem with Salvador getting to clever for his foraging toys. They suggested I DIY the toys slightly. Now, for each toy I use this strategy:
- wrap the treat in paper (cupcake trays are cheap and simple!) then place it in the toy
- close up the toy
- sticky tape the closing mechanism (most tapes use a vegetable gum, so safe for birds!)
- then wrap the whole toy in paper and tape it up

this makes each one more timely than the 10 seconds tops it used to take him. Just to get through it all, now takes a fair bit longer, and also he often gets distracted and comes back. Also I:
- often use blanks - fake treat, bead, gum nut or casuarina pod wrapped up as above and put in a toy instead of a treat. Then all that work for nothing. Keeps them guessing!
- Have about 10 foraging toys, using about 4-5 each day on rotation. So each day it mixes things up!
- Often the only easily accessible food in the cage he can get it the one he likes least, ie broccoli or zucchini etc
She wont play with a foraging toy unless she sees the food inside, so we like the ones we can reuse.
I'd suggest you start wrapping up your treats. You said remy will only go for it if she can see it, but begin by wrapping a favourite nut or something in paper so you build an association that a wrapped up item is treat worth getting to...give these to her when training or out on the perch

Also, my all time favourite foraging toy is still a toilet roll. Can't beat em! But some others include:

- Creative Foraging Systems horizontal holder
you dont need to buy refills for the small one, it perfectly fits a toilet roll! easy to load up with whatever
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/251321980420 ... 1423.l2649


- barrel of fun. one of my favourites and the first proper foraging toy I bought
http://www.parrotrescuecentre.com/shop/barrel-of-fun

- dicky bird snack rack. another of my favourites as it has several levels of complexity
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/150980407511 ... 1423.l2649

- mastermind heart
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/251321488730 ... 1423.l2649

- foraging windmill
http://www.parrotrescuecentre.com/shop/ ... g-windmill

- turn & learn
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/160912276409 ... 1423.l2649

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ellieelectrons
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by ellieelectrons » Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:34 am

Thanks for the list of foraging toys. Out of those you listed, can you tell which ones are suitable for putting more than just a small treats in (eg. nuts, seeds). I'd like a couple more that I can put their newspaper-rolled chop mix and veges in.

I think this one might?
- dicky bird snack rack. another of my favourites as it has several levels of complexity
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/150980407511 ... 1423.l2649


Also, I have a couple more questions for you:
- Creative Foraging Systems horizontal holder
you dont need to buy refills for the small one, it perfectly fits a toilet roll! easy to load up with whatever
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/251321980420 ... 1423.l2649

I have the vertical one of these and my birds don't show much interest in it. Do you think it's worth trying the smaller one?

- turn & learn
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/160912276409 ... 1423.l2649
Do you screw this right up to use it? I've lent mine out to someone with African Greys for a bit as I mine hadn't figured out how to unscrew it. I just had to leave it unscrewed and put things in it which wasn't much of a challenge. I tried screwing it up as loosely as I could but the birds didn't reliably unscrew it.

Ellie.

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ellieelectrons
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by ellieelectrons » Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:37 am

... and a link to an article about foraging:
http://www.parrotrescuecentre.com/resou ... -and-toys/

It also has a few ideas for making cheap toys.

Ellie.

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Donovan
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by Donovan » Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:49 am

This is a cat toy but I think it has been one of the best training tools I've ever gotten for my bird, and has proven to be an excellent foraging toy. Has a little bell inside.. all plastic from what i can tell other than the inside of the bell.

The slots are big enough to squeeze in an almond or a peanut (you have to kinda squeeze the toy to spread the slots apart)... the bird can't possibly get the treat out of it but can find inventive ways to eat it through the slots

I like to keep one or two hanging on little chains in the cage or just wherever.. for now he loves them.

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Skyes_crew
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by Skyes_crew » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:02 am

My birds love these!!! They also make a bigger version in the guinea pig section at petco. Just make sure the ones you get are the plastic bells inside and not the older ball bearing style. :D
I am owned by my birds...and I wouldn't have it any other way :D

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Donovan
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by Donovan » Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:06 am

Most what I see as foraging toys are really just fun little puzzle challenges. I have a new bird who thinks he's always hungry so to regulate his food intake and help him burn a few calories I need a foraging concept that isnt so much a mental challenge as a physical one. What are some foraging toys (homemade or otherwise) that would keep a food fanatic busy all day

And on a side note, bell peppers make pretty good foraging toys. Cut a small hole in one and put whatever inside

MissK
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by MissK » Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:37 pm

Donovan, what toys does Mr. Bell have? I recall somebody had a really simply toy, it might have been blue plastic, and I thought Rocky might be able to handle it. He's really not good with foraging toys and most are more work that he is interested in. I wanted to but this toy I saw but I delayed and now lost track of it. I think it was yours, though.
-MissK

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Donovan
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Re: Foraging toys - we need more and could use your help!

Post by Donovan » Thu May 01, 2014 9:46 am

I'll try one of those net like wicker things thats like a ball by the time you stuff it full of stuff. Hard to explain, i'll hunt down a picture later

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