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How exactly do foraging toys work?

Xoetix

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I was looking at toys for Tteok, and noticed that anything listed as “foraging” was weirdly expensive. So I thought I’ll make some myself!

Got rattan ball thingies, some finger traps, tissue paper (the kind usually stuffed in gift bags), and some twine. Sixty minutes, lots of cussing, and much frustration later - I see why they’re so expensive. Darn things are fiddly as hell to make.

It probably didn’t help that Tteok, in all his irritating glory, decided to lend a hand (wing?) by testing the extent of my patience :meh:

Anyway - how do I make these “foraging” toys? I stuck tissue into the rattan balls and through the finger traps. Am I supposed to put some sort of food in them? Even with the tissue, it would all fall out though. What makes them foraging toys? What are they foraging for?
 

Shezbug

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Birds in the wild spend hours each day foraging to get their food- this can be as simple as finding and pulling a seed off a strand of grass or can be as difficult as finding a fruit filled tree, climbing along the limbs, then cracking open a few layers of stuff to get at a nut for example.
It’s basically a work and reward system- all animals thrive when foraging designed especially for them is incorporated into their daily life- keeps brains active and satisfied.
Many dog toys are made so food can be incorporated into their play use- this is foraging!


Foraging is essentially the act of working to get at something they want, for wild birds it is usually food or nesting materials they forage for. It keeps them busy, fit, mentally occupied and healthy.

I use fav small toys and also food for Burt to forage for. He started with simple things like paper fixed over the food bowl or a heap of marble sized wooden balls that he had to move so he could eat being thrown on top of his dry food.
Some foraging I still make really simple and some that I set up means Burt has to think and physically work for his treats.
Simple foraging for Burt- a chunk of something like FD mango in a small closed cracker box that has to be torn into for the mango to be accessible.
A bit harder foraging - a box stuffed with shredded paper that has a nut or FD mango piece hidden in among the shredded paper.
Harder foraging - a reusable foraging toy such as Burt’s Elewaiter (which we are seriously loving!) or a small wood box made from pine slats that Burt has to chew through to get at the goodies hidden inside. (Many stores sell reusable and single use pre made forage toys)
 

Pixiebeak

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Anything! I use metal and plastic millet holders to stuff things inside. I have little dollars store plastic boxes with drawers they can pull open to find stuff. I use seagrass nets and stuff their veggies so they they climb and find. They sell bird skewers and bird stainless steel boxs thst are reusable. Those rubber ball toys with big holes are great. Willow balls. Use burd safe leather or shoe laces abd tie something to a perch abd tgey have to bring it up to get to it.

Hang things on the outside of the cage so they have to pick st through the cage bars
 

Mizzely

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It also depends on what you are using to forage. Seeds are harder in homemade toys because of their size; blocks of cardboard or balsa you can press safflower seeds into, but they would fall out of a vine ball easily.

Nutriberries are good for foraging, as are some pellets. Freeze Dried veggies and fruits can also be good.

Some birds aren't as food motivated, so for them, hiding some of their favorite toy materials can be fun.

For birds that like to forage on the ground, like cockatiels, a basket with toy parts and seeds can be an easy and rewarding task.

 

SunTruth

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It also depends on what you are using to forage. Seeds are harder in homemade toys because of their size; blocks of cardboard or balsa you can press safflower seeds into, but they would fall out of a vine ball easily.

Nutriberries are good for foraging, as are some pellets. Freeze Dried veggies and fruits can also be good.

Some birds aren't as food motivated, so for them, hiding some of their favorite toy materials can be fun.

For birds that like to forage on the ground, like cockatiels, a basket with toy parts and seeds can be an easy and rewarding task.

For a senegal or members of the poicephalus family what would your advice for foraging? I am asking because I think you have one :)
 

Xoetix

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What if you’re pretty sure your bird isn’t the brightest cookie in the tool shed :roflmao:
 

Mizzely

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For a senegal or members of the poicephalus family what would your advice for foraging? I am asking because I think you have one :)
I use a lot of the Caitec plastic foragers for my Jardine's :)
 

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What if you’re pretty sure your bird isn’t the brightest cookie in the tool shed :roflmao:
You start easy. Foraging can be as simple as dividing food between several bowls around the cage and room. You can then increase difficulty by putting shredded paper or paper balls on top of the food.

You can do a toy like the dinos I offer where the food is just tucked into a small hole.


It is not automatic for all birds
 

Emma&pico

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Hi

I just push millet into the middle of the finger traps push chilli pods through the ends or weave into the sides or banana chips or dried papaya then stuff shredded paper into ends and attach zip tie through to attach to bars mine love these

seeds in bottom of a clean Tupperware box then put wooden Popsicle sticks shred paper paper rope tied in knots leather strips chilli pods piece of millet old bits of toys wooden etc bells paper straws with sunflower seeds in them


this (pictured is cheap) on Amazon my lovebirds love it stuffed with millet chilli pods dried papaya banana chips nuitberries

you will be surprised how fast they catch on to foraging and love it keeps mine entertained
Doesn’t have to be complicated paper tissue over their food bowl nuitberries Wraped in paper
 

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Pixiebeak

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You start easy. Foraging can be as simple as dividing food between several bowls around the cage and room. You can then increase difficulty by putting shredded paper or paper balls on top of the food.

You can do a toy like the dinos I offer where the food is just tucked into a small hole.


It is not automatic for all birds
Love this! Plus has bats!!!!! Perfect!
 

Wardy

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What if you’re pretty sure your bird isn’t the brightest cookie in the tool shed :roflmao:
I found this a really simple introduction to foraging for mine some of the straws have sunflower seed stuffed inside.
Just throw a handfull into a spare food bowl. 20210729_155410.jpg
 

Appolosmom

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What would be good for bourke parakeets & canaries?
 

Destiny

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What would be good for bourke parakeets & canaries?
For my finches and parakeets, I offer open foraging trays with loose material, like crinkle paper or dried grass. I scatter seeds, edible flowers, freeze-dried veggies, nutriberries, and other fun stuff for them to find.

20210404_150000.jpg

If you are using a tray like this indoors, I recommend choosing one that has deeper sides or placing it inside a larger container to keep clean-up easy, because they will scatter the filler material around looking for goodies.

20210419_153555.jpg
 
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Wally&Eva

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My birds have a ton of toys but they love the little paper triangle I make the most. I cut strips of paper about an inch wide and put a very small amount crushed nutriberries. I fold it into a triangle over and over and then tuck in the end. It takes them a few minutes and the reward is a very little seed but they love chewing through it and playing tug of war with it. I’ve gotten good at making them quick and I store them and give them about 5 a day.
 

calibird

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I was looking at toys for Tteok, and noticed that anything listed as “foraging” was weirdly expensive. So I thought I’ll make some myself!

Got rattan ball thingies, some finger traps, tissue paper (the kind usually stuffed in gift bags), and some twine. Sixty minutes, lots of cussing, and much frustration later - I see why they’re so expensive. Darn things are fiddly as hell to make.

It probably didn’t help that Tteok, in all his irritating glory, decided to lend a hand (wing?) by testing the extent of my patience :meh:

Anyway - how do I make these “foraging” toys? I stuck tissue into the rattan balls and through the finger traps. Am I supposed to put some sort of food in them? Even with the tissue, it would all fall out though. What makes them foraging toys? What are they foraging for?
Tissue paper used in gift bags as pictured here is not safe for birds
. tissue.JPG
If you are using the shredded paper found in gift bags this is typically safe :)
 

FeatheredM

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As long as your birds works for the treat it is a foraging toy. I simply just stick treats where I can. Hide it in a mini basket, a finger trap, vine balls, paper ect.
 

Blanae

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I keep a foraging box in my cockatiels cage. I fill it with treats and just random stuff they love to play with. I uses shredded paper they have to dig thru. They love it and get so excited when I refill it. Keeps them busy for HOURS!
 
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