curious birds

Foraging ideas?

Hey, this community's been quiet for a while, but my stir-crazy caiques could REALLY use some new foraging ideas. Anyone got any good ones for me? I'll take make-it-yourself ideas, store-bought toys (the more challenging, the better), or whatever you've got. Hit me with 'em!

Foraging Doors/Drawers Toys?

Hey, I'm new to the group although I've been reading it for a while. I've been considering getting my cockatiels the Creative Foraging Systems Foraging Doors/Drawers foraging toys. I was wondering if anyone has tried either of these with their 'tiels and how they managed? We've had the Foraging Sphere for them for months, and love it, and they do well with all the other foraging toys we've tried with them (as you can see in my blog), but we haven't tried them with anything that needs manipulated in the same way as the Foraging Doors toy, and I can only find them online, so I can't really see for myself how easy/difficult they would be to open. Thanks :)
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curious birds

Foraging Toy Recommendations?

I'm about to go on a shopping spree for new toys for my caiques, so I need some recommendations for good foraging toys.

My criteria are:
- Washable
- Reusable
- Sturdy
- Safe (of course)
- Moderately to extremely challenging (they have mastered the Rings of Fortune and the Parrot's Treasure)

Edited to clarify: When I say "moderately to extremely challenging," I don't necessarily mean hard to figure out. I would prefer toys that continue to present a challenge even after the birds have figured out the toy's gimmick, although I'll take challenging one-trick ponies - like the Parrot's Treasure - as well. For instance, toys that are physically difficult to manipulate, like the Rings of Fortune, are ideal, since they're tough to figure out but also continue to be somewhat challenging to get food out of even once they've been mastered.

Those aren't dealbreakers, but they're things I look for in toys.

Has anyone tried any of these? If so, how would you rate their difficulty?

Snack Rack
Zig Zag
Daffy for Taffy
Lucky Bird Treasure Chest
Lucky Bird Can O' Nuts
Locked Up Loot

Any others you can recommend?

wadded up papers...?

Cookie, my Triton Cockatoo, is making his first foray into foraging, and we're all thrilled to death about how well he's taking to it!

I'm most excited about the plethora of DIY foraging toy ideas I've been finding here and on other sites... however, I've run across a question on logistics:

This is a chain toy. A few treats or toys are placed in the tissue paper, parachute-style. The crumpled end is threaded through the chain link and then "floofed", so it stays in place. The idea is that the parrot will rip open the hanging "mini-pinatas" and get the treats.


Cookie's cage has a grate over his poop tray, which is located maybe 4 or 5 inches below the grate. If he rips open the tissue paper, the seeds will fall through the grate and onto the tray below, where they will be most definitely out of reach. :/

My only solution idea is to put a cookie sheet in his cage (on the floor/grate of the cage) directly underneath the hanging toy. That way he'll be able to grab the seeds from the tray.

Do ya'll have any other ideas? How do you manage foraging in a cage with a grate?

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Homemade Foraging Toys Blog

Hey everyone!

Wow, this community has either been silent for quite some time, or my LJ isn't updating for some reason.

Anyway, I just posted a blog entry on my website about how to make foraging toys out of everyday objects around the house, and I was hoping that some of you who have been so creative and helpful in the past would mind taking a look at it and perhaps offering up some additional suggestions as well?  I have a lot of clients who have been asking about how to make foraging toys at home, so I'm trying to offer as many possibilities and resources as I can.

The link to the blog is:


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Reaching out for help. (Cross-posted)

Hello everyone,

I promise not to make a habit of using my LJ for begging, but I wanted to reach out to all the animal-loving people I know to ask for help.

A little over a month ago, over 100 parrots of all sizes and species were seized from a home in Weatherford, TX, where they had been found in squalid conditions.  These birds were all taken to a local county shelter which has little funding and even less experience with birds.  This shelter is simply not equipped to properly handle and rehome all of these birds.  A nearby avian rescue, Wings of Love Bird Haven, is doing everything they can to help alleviate the burden and provide these birds with proper living conditions, medical attention, and forever homes.  However, their resources are limited as well.  Anything you can do to help will be greatly appreciated. 

How You Can Help:

*(If you live in or near Austin or Dallas, or anywhere in between)  Donate cages, playgyms, and/or toys.  My friend and I are going up to Bird Haven on the 14th, so if you have anything to donate, we can take it up there for you and bring you back a receipt for tax purposes.

*Donate money directly to Bird Haven:

*Sign up to attend Barbara Heidenreich's workshop at Bird Haven in March:

*Apply to Bird Haven to adopt or foster a bird:

*Apply directly to the Parker County Shelter to adopt or foster a bird: - or call: (817) 598-4111

If you do adopt or foster a bird from this situation and need help with any behavioral issues, I will be happy to help you for free. 

If they are not able to find suitable homes for these birds through adoption, Weatherford's City Manager has stated that they will probably auction the birds off with minimum bids.  This would be detrimental, as many of those birds would likely end up in unethical breeding situations or in homes similar to the one they came from.  Please help if you can, and spread the word to anyone you know who might be able to help.

Thanks guys!
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Turn 'n Learn Logs

Daedalus has figured out the Turn 'n Learn Logs! I got this toy for Christmas, and she immediately wrestled it open, but after that seemed to lose interest. I rotated it through the cage and play areas a couple of times, but she ignored it.

I wondered if she wasn't interested because she couldn't see what was inside, since the toy was opaque. So I left the bottom two sections dangling and put treats in them. I repeated the process this morning.

Tonight I put Nutriberries into the sections of the "log," twisted them just a little bit shut (not all the way), and she immediately wrestled every single section open. Awesome!

Next task: work her up to opening them when they're twisted all the way shut.

This toy is very solid and easy to clean, and would be appropriate for medium to large birds. It's a difficult toy, and its opacity makes it even more challenging - the bird has to know that the toy has a reward inside even if it can't see it. I'd highly recommend this toy for experienced foragers. It's a great follow-up to the Rings of Fortune, which works in a similar way but is translucent.
Rainbow Ducky
  • txscyn

questions for what you are looking for in a foraging toy?

I am a bird owner in the process of launching a bird toy making business. I have a few Ideas that seem to be fairly unique and not in use by any one else yet. But before I get to far into production I would love some feed back. So if any one wants to let me know what you and your parrots like in the way of foraging toys I would love to hear it. Feel free to pass this on to others. Either you can leave a response here or at this email address... I will try to respond to all emails sent to the email address.

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  • ltdead

Foraging toy discovery

I found this at Omar's Exotics (So Cal bird store). It's designed to be a manipulative and noise-making sort of toy. But remove some of the beads and strings, and the ball can be stuffed with small treats like millet spray.

Bootstrap Bill loves this toy. The foster cockatiels have yet to figure out the 'foraging' part, but love to play with it as it was originally designed.
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noob =]

this is zoe- 5 yr old demanding sun conure-

i recently picked up a foraging toy for her to keep her occupied when im not around -

within the last month she has started plucking her feathers it all started when i started working more and leaving her home all day to amuse herself- i guess she didnt like that too much being used to being with me during the day- anyway, the toy keeps her amused for a long time and shes actually silent which is amazing-

id like to try to make my own foraging toys- the vet suggested buying those little chinese take out boxes or hanging paper cups in the cage stuffing them with whatever. AVI CAKES-- she devours those things like nothing-

one more thing before i add the photo- Dr irene pepperberg recently published a book called Alex and Me -- if you havent read it- i suggest you do, it is fantastic and i cant stop reading it.

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