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Need ideas for foraging treats

Parakeet88

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A couple weeks ago I bought a GCC. I'm constantly looking for new foraging ideas and trying to mix up the treats I put in them. I work night shift so I really stuff his cage full of snacks and foraging toys to help keep him busy/ quiet while I'm sleeping. So far it's working out well but I know I'll need to continually offer different types of foraging toys to keep him busy.

I also need to offer a lot of treats for him to find so I'm looking for some healthy foods/ treats that he can have a lot of on a regular basis. Right now I'm using walnuts, dried green beans, dried blue berries, dried cinnamon apples, and nutriberries. I feel like all the dried fruit probably has a lot of sugar so I'm looking to cut that down. I not only fill up his foraging toys but I also place treats in random spots around the cage for him to find. Should I make him forage for his regular pellets or should I still leave a plain open food bowl for him? I just feel like he eats a lot of treats so I'd like to give him something on the healthier side since I need to provide so many to keep him busy for a long period of time.

Any foraging ideas and healthy treat options would be appreciated! Thanks!
 

TikiMyn

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I would put Some of his pellets in his foraging toys, and then weigh him every day to see if he actually eats them and do not spill on the floor. You could also try to cover his food bowl with paper, in small steps if he does not get it at first, or/and add more Bowls and put a bit in all of them. For treats I do not have a lot of ideas, but Maybe you might use pumpkin seeds sometimes? Or make birdie bread out of fruit and vegetables and break that up in really small pieces, but that is not really practical I think though.
 

ode.to.parrots

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Using dried fruit and berries is awesome, but if you are worried about sugar, maybe you could try freeze dried fruits and veggies? Many vendors on this forum sell healthy freeze dried mixes for birds.

As for the nutriberries, I recommend swapping them for pellet berries. Same company, but far less sugar and way more nutritional benefits. I showed them to my vet and she said they were much healthier than Nutriberries!

I feel like it is fine for them to forage for pellets so long as you weigh your bird and put the pellets in some of the easier or more familiar foraging toys. Then you could put your birds favorite treats into the more complex foraging toys. :)

What types of foraging toys do you use now?
 

Mizzely

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I would definitely do freeze dried fruits and veggies, nothing added to those usually.

If he's already foraging, I would add pellets to the foraging mix, and then you can slowly do away with the bowl, or at least only put a small amount in the bowl.
 

Parakeet88

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As for the nutriberries, I recommend swapping them for pellet berries.

What types of foraging toys do you use now?
I just got a tub of the pellet berries today, the nutriberries were all they had at the store. So far he doesn't seem to like them as much but I'll keep trying with them.

Right now he has the little plastic cups, he figured them out pretty quick so I've been adding crinkle paper to make it a little more difficult. He really loves the cups, even when they're empty he loves to bang them around. He also has one that he has to tilt down to get the food to roll to the opening, he hast figured that one out and seems to have given up on it. I also made him a toy with multiple foraging opportunities. It has a palm leaf basket, a leather cup, and a spiral cone that I fill with treats and he seems to like those.

I have tons of others saved up for when he gets bored of the ones he has now. One is a wheel and one he has to spin to get the food to drop down a cylinder. I also have plenty of toy parts on hand to make other things for him as well.

I've been buying the majority of his treats (and toy parts) from my safe bird store
 

TikiMyn

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You could also try adding beads, shredded paper, foot toys or paper balls to his foraging toys and bowl, and you might try wrapping the pellet berries in paper. I do not know how quick flowers spoil where you live, but if I am not gone too long I give them flowers as well and one of my birds can be very busy with them, Maybe you could put flowers in his foraging toys as well?
 

Parakeet88

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I give them flowers as well and one of my birds can be very busy with them, Maybe you could put flowers in his foraging toys as well?
What kinds of flowers? I've given my parakeets oat grass but haven't tried it with my conure yet.
 

TikiMyn

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Well I am not sure if you have the same kind of flowers that grow here in the Netherlands, flowers I give them a lot are dandelion, dasies, cow parsley, buttercup, narrowleaf?(not sure about the translation) and chickweed. I give them others as well, but I once looked up of they are safe and they were, so now I am not really sure about their names:D I also give them a lot I grow myself, I usually just look up if a certain kind is safe and most of the time they are:)
 

TikiMyn

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Oh a few days ago I bought organic Dried lavendel petals on a nig market! Yet have to try them, and they would be to small for a foraging toy I think nut you could dry/buy petals of bigger flowers. I also bought star anise and they love it! That might work as well.
 

Parakeet88

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Yeah a lot of those I could probably order online. I just ordered some dried chamomile just to see if they like it, it's supposed to be calming but we'll see lol.

I did put some star anise in their last batch of food. I've tried offering the plain stars but he doesn't seem interested, although I've only offered it broken up so I wonder if he'd be more interested if I gave him the whole thing. I'm still experimenting with him, seeing what he likes and how he likes it. I know from my keets how picky they can be with something as a simple as the size/ shape that's offered
 

TikiMyn

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Yeah I know what you mean! Fëanor eats almost everything so Henkie is now learning to do the same, cause he liked almost nothing before he came! They did got the clue with the anise when I opened one and showed them the seed, Maybe that works for your little boy:)
 
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