Author Archive

Parrot “Candy”! And cheapo bonus

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

I should call this idea ‘parrot crack’, because they love it so much. They can’t get to this foraging dispenser fast enough. Seriously, it is probably their number 1 favorite foraging object. And the funny thing is, I created it in desperation and in a hurry. I was out of supplies and had to leave the house. I didn’t want to leave the parrots with nothing to do. I created these and were they ever a hit!

You need paper baking cups for making muffins or the smaller size for making candy. (I found them in the baking aisle at the supermarket, at the craft store in the candy making aisle, and in the dollar store). You want plain paper or crinkly paper ones – they can be thin and shiny, but not wax covered.

Take the cup and put some treats inside: pellets, popcorn, dried fruit or veg, sesame sticks, nut slivers, you name it. I’ve even put a cranberry inside. Anything ‘dry’ will work:


Next, twist up the end to make a little packet, like so:


Then, make 5 or 10 of these, with different or the same fillings. You can make 5 of these in less than 2 minutes. Then either put them in a foraging box, or put them in a foraging bowl. Here they are in a foraging bowl, with other fun foraging ingredients (in this example, they have stuff to dig for, like nuts, pellets, edamame beans in pods, etc..  and they also have to open these little ‘parrot candy’ packets, too):


Here’s another super quick idea I made up in my head really fast, and MADE really fast – foraging cups:

forage cup

Fill cup with treats and shredded paper, smash top, punch hole, then thread with ribbon or paulie rope. Viola! Hand in cage. (again, you can poke a ‘starter’ hole in the cup for parrots who give up easily. If your parrot is new to foraging, the first few times you might have to cut a big hole in the cup for the parrot to see there are treats inside. Now, my parrots have been doing this so long they know instantly that any object like this probably contains food.

Another great Reader idea! Pasta Slider

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Once again Jude and her dear birds Paco and Princess have sent in a great foraging toy idea. The thing I like most about this toy is that it works even for birds who are not motivated by hidden treats. Birds who just like to destroy things will chew the pasta, and the removal of the pasta causes the other parts to slide down, revealing the treat. The bird will learn how to do it by accident, if she likes destroying dry pasta!

Jude says,
“This toy is made with string (I used raffia), a needle, pasta, bottle caps
and paddle wheels (available for $.40 cents each  from
pony beads and a wooden spool or other item as a stopper at the bottom.” Here is a photo of the completed toy:Pasta Cup Slider (my name for it)

Here are Jude’s instructions for making this toy:Items go on in the following order;  string stopper, pasta, bottle cap, paddle wheel, pony bead, bottle cap, pasta, plastic bottle cap,  paddle wheel, etcetc.  The bottle caps need holes drilled in them for threading.P2211551

Over paddle wheel, put pony bead then wrap string around and thread itthrough again to anchor the pony bead in place.  You will want the pony beadto be about even with the top of the paddle wheel


Put treat in paddle wheel (I used cheerios) then string bottle cap over it.
repeat steps as desired. on the top of the last bottle cap, set another pony bead to help keep things in place


When the bird eats or breaks off enough of the pasta, the bottom cap and
paddle wheel fall, revealing the treat inside.  The top cap is held in place
by the secured pony bead when the bottom cap and paddle wheel fall.

Super easy Rice Cake Forage Idea

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

Here is the world’s simplest foraging toy. Both simple for humans to make, and simple for birds to use, but it is very popular with my parrots. All you do is take a rice cake, poke a hole in it, and thread it with a piece of ribbon or Paulie Rope. Hang in cage, and….et viola! For Pepper, my female eclectus, I hang it somewhere difficult for her to get to, to encourage her to exercise. For Ollie, my male, I put it somewhere more accessible, because he will give up. I don’t know if Pepper actually eats any of it, but boy does she like crunching it. I use brown rice cakes with no added preservatives or salt. Here’s what it should look like ready to hang in the cage or playstandricecaketoy