A term that is often used when talking about birds and parrots is enrichment but what is parrot enrichment?
Parrot enrichment refers to the continual improvement of your birds environment and lifestyle and aids in the prevention of boredom and the behavioural problems it causes.
In its native environment, your bird would spend a high amount of time searching for food before consuming it. Whereas, in captivity, often your birds food is simply placed in a dish which is directly in front of them and all of their toys are in easy reach and may not be changed very often. Your birds lifestyle is a lot less complicated and requires a lot less effort than what it would require in the wild. There is a good chance that this “easy” lifestyle we are providing our birds is a cause of some boredom and behavioural problems that some parrots and birds experience. By enriching your birds environment and lifestyle, you can help prevent some of these problems from occurring.
First, lets talk about your birds food dishes. Some things you could try to improve your birds food enrichment are:
- Increase the number of food dishes within the cage and place them in harder to reach areas so that your bird doesn’t simply stand there and eat.
- Use hanging skewers for your birds fruits and vegetables.
- Make use of foraging toys and containers for your birds treats and nuts.
- Provide native branches with seed pods such as Gum Tree branches (make sure they are clean and free from chemical!)
Bird toys are another way to improve your birds enrichment. Does your bird still have the same toys hanging in the same spot that have been in there for a number of months? Their environment isn’t changing so is a massive cause of boredom for birds. Try different placement of your birds toys so that they need to work to get to them. It is also recommended that you rotate new toys through your birds cages at least monthly. This will help prevent boredom and encourage them to interact with their environment more.
How do you provide enrichment for your birds?