This is a follow up to our last blog post entitled 8 fun facts about Parrots.
“Oh, I’m SO bored!”
As humans, we have the cognitive ability to express that feeling of boredom and take steps to end it. This can be different for animals, especially when we take them out of their natural environment. Considering that the natural environment for parrots is out in the wild, the caged life can pose a challenge for them. As owners, we are responsible for managing their boredom.
1) Size Matters
In choosing a cage to house your parrot, give adequate consideration to its size. Ensure that the cage is more than a space, as the parrot will play and spend most of its active time in the cage. It should also be big enough to accommodate bird toys, food dishes, perches, and allow for exercise. A small cage limits the parrot’s movement and its use of its wings, making it less enthusiastic about life and about being your pet.
2) Location! Location!! Location!!!
As in real estate, the location of the cage matters a lot. Place the cage where the parrot feels the most comfort. The room must have proper lighting, preferably natural sunlight. Birds need at least a side of their cage up against a wall to offer a feeling of security. Place the cage where the parrot will frequently see and interact with you. Leaving the parrot in a room alone can result in excessive screaming, biting, self-mutilation, depression and other behaviors that are harmful to its health.
3) Toys and Perches
Parrots need a variety of toys and perches in their cage. Toys are a great way to kill time and provide exercise for your bird. Ensure the toys are safe and have no small parts that could cause choking. Much like young children, parrots get bored playing with the same old toys after a while. Because bird toys can be pricey, many bird owners opt to keep a stash of several different types of toys and rotate them in and out of their bird's cage every couple of weeks. This way, your bird will get to play with "new" toys now and then, which will help keep them happy.
Many bird owners play music or videos for their pets when they are away from home or unable to spend time with their birds during the day. Birds are naturally interested in different sounds and noises, so leaving a radio or television on is a great way to keep them happy and comfortable. However, do not leave the television on a nature channel, as the bird may perceive the images of animals as threats.
5) Goodbye Cage
Time outside the cage is a must. Play stands or trees are wonderful things for parrots to have. It gives them freedom and space to exercise. This is important to their physical and mental health.
6) Hide and Seek
Foraging toys provide mental stimulation for parrots. Often made up of indestructible plastic materials that make them tough and sturdy, these puzzles come in a variety of styles and difficulties from beginner to advanced forager. Your bird can destroy, peck, and tear some foraging toys because they know that they contain hidden treats and surprises. Hiding a seed or other bit of food in a box or under a toy will provide your bird with a fun game to play while you’re gone.
Thanks so much for reading! Have other ideas to keep your Parrot from getting bored? Let us know in the comments!