A couple days ago, I posted about serving my birds a variety of foods, including fresh vegetables. I haven’t always done a great job of mixing up where food goes in their cages. Usually, pellets go in one bowl over here. Water goes in another bowl over there. And I generally serve fresh foods the same way in the same place in each cage.
Treats appear in toys specifically designed for foraging — and I have a variety of those toys and the birds have to go find which ones might contain a treat at any given time — but I’ll be honest and admit that the food bowls don’t move often enough.
Many experts counsel mixing things up a bit. Variety keeps things a bit more interesting. In the wild, food isn’t always going to be presented in the same exact way, in the same location, all the time. Mixing up food types, presentation and location can stimulate a parrot’s foraging instinct.
With that in mind, I bought a few more stainless steel food bowls. If Stewie and Mika both have multiple bowls (or containers of other types), then it’ll be easier for pellets to be in one bowl one day, another bowl another day, for fresh food to appear in new locations, and so on. Fun! Right?
I forgot that Mika loves to toss her food bowls to the bottom of her cage. If it’s not firmly attached such that she can’t remove it, she’ll find a way to toss the bowl.
Plus, for some reason, she doesn’t like the plastic quick-lock food bowls and will go after me when I try to add or remove one from her cage. So I have metal bowls she can toss or plastic ones she’ll attack. This makes putting fresh, perishable food into her cage a bigger production than just topping off pellets.
Right now my best strategy is letting her out of her cage and encouraging her to hang out on her stand while I reach in and secure her food bowls via a quick-lock bowl. And then doing the same thing again when it’s time to remove the fresh food (don’t want her to have access to spoiled food!). With Stewie, I can just reach in his cage while he’s inside and do my business. He’ll happily come over to eat (or ignore the food), but he doesn’t try to dislodge the bowls or fling himself at them while I’m dropping them in.
My next strategy is trying to feed Mika her mash in her stainless steel bucket, although I already predict she won’t like that.
What about you? Do you have a bird who likes to toss its food bowls around? What’s your most successful way to present fresh foods?