Little Guy’s Ground Foraging Mat
Little Guy is my Princess Parrot, Leo. We call him ‘Little Guy” more than we call him his real name. 😉 (Princess Parrots are also called “Princess of Wales Parakeets”)
In the wild, parakeets and many other small birds are ‘ground foragers’, basically meaning that they walk around on the ground searching for food. Many other little birds are ground foragers, too – cockatiels and budgies also ground forage.
In addition to being a ground forager, my little Leo is handicapped. He can’t fly due to a slightly twisted neck, among other problems. He just isn’t as ‘cerebral’ as my Eclectus parrots. Most of the toys on this site are for my very intelligent and easily-bored Eclectus. But this one is for the little guy. Not only is it natural for him, it is easy for him to do.
This toy is a Ground Foraging Mat.
All you need is a grass doormat, which you then cut into whichever shape you prefer
Then sprinkle food on it. I use millet, small pellets, and crunched up stick treats for birds.
In the stick form, they are no challenge for my little guy. Crushed up and sprinkled onto the mat, he has to work harder, and is doing the job he was born to do.
Leo was a little apprehensive at first, but now he absolutely loves this toy! And while his big siblings are doing more complicated foraging, he is doing the foraging he was born to do.
Note: I have found out that when these doormats are new, sometimes they have a chemical odor. I certainly would at LEAST air them outside for several days, or probably not use it at all if it smelled like chemicals. The one I bought did not smell, so I did not consider this before I posted this idea. Please use your discretion before copying this idea. Also, I have seen this toy sold at a large parrot/pet bird store after I made one myself. It was from a very tiny manufacturer. But they were packaged so I didn’t get to ‘sniff’ them.