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Old 01-03-2019, 02:42 PM
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Lack of Interest in Foraging

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I have an adopted and bonded pair of Amazons. They look healthy and seem to be happy with each other with maybe a minor disagreement here and there. I try to be a good parront and give them toys. They pretty much ignore all of the toys in their cage. I found one toy that had little cups to hide treats. I thought that they would love foraging because I know they love these treat which are clearly visible in one open cup. It just gets ignored

I guess I am asking if there is any way to encourage foraging? I would think they are quite bored all day but they look healthy and there is no feather plucking or anything like that. Should I not worry until I see a physical problem?

They are reported to be 25 years old or so. Would that make a difference?
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Old 01-03-2019, 03:32 PM
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Re: Lack of Interest in Foraging

First, Read with Detail the second Thread in the Amazon Forum found highlighted in light blue! Understanding Amazon Body Language. This is best read while sitting with or next to your Amazons. Read it softy aloud at least five times a day over several days. The goal is that they become use to your voice and you learn their basic body language. Once you know the basics at least as good as a second language and better if possible, you can slow the number of readings down.

Second, Read with Detail, the first Thread in the Amazon Forum also found highlighted in light blue! I Love Amazons - ... As above, also read it out loud to your Amazons. This one is your go to Thread as your relationship and interaction with your Amazons grow over the years ahead you. At least read it all, once. Then come back for updates as the needs arise.

So, what does this have to do with Foraging Toys. Frankly, nothing! That is due to you getting way out in front of yourself.

You have two very different Amazons! Amazons that come from very different areas of the Americas, thousands of miles of separation between their DNA base. They should not mate! And, to that point, you need to verify whether you have two males, two females or one of each. This is very important as you likely have them is the same cage.

An Avail Vet Visit in the very near future, yesterday would have been nice, that includes the DNA verification and a full Well Parrot examination including a full blood screen and gram stain. Also, a check for any illnesses that are common in your area.

Yup, it is going to be expensive, but living with an Amazon is expensive and two is just that much more expensive.

It is likely that these two have been just setting together for ages. Amazons of this age group are normally very active. Your's having little interest is a statement they have been stored in the cage for years with little to do! Getting them active begins after you determine their health status!

You will want your Avian Vet to provide you a clear understanding of the health of their heart and air-sacks, plus their other major organs. The detailed blood screen and examination will aid in that information.

Do not leave the Avian Vet Clinic without a copy of all the findings and determinations of the examination. You have a full right to this documents and it will be helpful for you in the future.

Once you have this in place, we can look at ways of getting your Amazons far more active.

Congratulations - Amazons Rule!
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Last edited by SailBoat; 01-03-2019 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 01-03-2019, 05:22 PM
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Re: Lack of Interest in Foraging

Be creative, I make ppper fringe from brown paper bags and hang across the cage, they have to duck under it go through it, give a plastic water bottle to beat up, leave the cap off and put seeds in in the bottle, I float bottle caps in shallow dishes of water with seeds in the cap, you can offer a spray if millit from time to time, set up perches so they can jump from one to the next to the next, I hang a rope straight down the middle of the cage , and they learn to climb, I hang that plastic chain from Lowe's in a loose arc and the live climbing and flipping on it. Plus when weather permits I can't stress enough the emotional benefits of getting outside, parrots have excellent eyes sight and can see in spectrum that we can't being g outside and looking far off is so good for their minds...EllenD recommend whole paper back books to shred that's a big hit here! The more you get them doing the more confident and willing to try even more new things they will be. Give em big hunks of veggies to destroy, ropes to untie.. congratulations on your rescues! Sailboat has some excellent threads under Amazon, and talks about shut down parrots, which my quaker rescue was, and has taken months to get her trying new things and exploring she still needs help with that but is doing more. You can have a forage flock party you all sit at a table and you guys rip into stuff and turn over plastic cups exposing yummies, parrots really learn and mimic from their flocks.
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Old 01-03-2019, 05:40 PM
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Re: Lack of Interest in Foraging

Boki, do a Google search on "how to teach your bird to forage" and you'll get a number of articles to read. The key is to start simple...so simple that to a human you might say that this is too easy...it won't be.

The articles will give you ideas how to go about this.
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Old 01-03-2019, 06:02 PM
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Re: Lack of Interest in Foraging

I also will add sometimes it's easier to get them to try new things outside of the cage at a play area. Think of all the trouble they get in when they room the house! I have natural crepe myrtle branches that I have attached standing upright on the top of one if my cages. Then I tied and attached toys and treat items to the branches, it took them a bit to start exploring but now the rush and climb the branches because they never know what they will find! My GCC just loves to destroy crunchy toast, she doesn't eat it really just loves to crunch and ripped it up. I hang small foot toys outside the cage on a rope, they have to pull the rope up and figure how to get the toy through the bars of the cage, drives em nuts!
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Old 01-04-2019, 12:15 AM
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Re: Lack of Interest in Foraging

Thanks for the suggestions. I think bill e is right. I need to make the foraging more basic than I thought.

For the record, I was told I have a female (Marcy) and a male (Mac). It is funny that they follow their respective human gender traits so I believe the rescue organization. I have no interest in them in even thinking of mating. As I would told by the rescue organization and what I have read in this forum, effective parrot birth control and hormone raging is to not to give them a place to hide. Why people buy little snuggle huts is beyond me? In nature, birds sleep on perches, work on hormones in dark places. But I am off topic.

Yes they are in the same cage. That is how they were kept at the rescue place. I will say this. That cage has a view of the ocean that people would pay a lot of money in a hotel to spend a vacation. And maybe that is what I am doing right. They have a lot to look at each and every day.

I got some good basic foraging ideas to try. They are done with the shredded telephone book.
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Old 01-04-2019, 05:26 AM
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Re: Lack of Interest in Foraging

Thank you for rescuing these birds, and thanks again, for sharing them with us.

Great reading above. I enjoyed it.

My bird? He is not a really smart fellow. I'm sure there is variation within species. Maybe some Patagonians are geniuses. But mine... well...
He is stymied by forage toys of any complexity, can't figure out the fastest routes from point A to point B when cage perches are changed; NEVER learns that certain big toys when swung, knock him off his perch (I just leave 'em on the cage floor). He's a fun character, but... not a clever forager. Just screams in rage and frustration at the very sight of one so yeah, we go for SUPER EEEEEEEE-ZEEEEEE stuff.
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Old 01-04-2019, 05:54 AM
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Re: Lack of Interest in Foraging

Just a note on your side topic, birds don't sleep on bare exposed branches in nature. Go outside and look. They find deep v' , or snags, or other hidden places. Also there is some thought and data cavity nesters use the cavities year round. Certainly you shouldn't have a nest box! It's just a misconception that a bird would sleep on an open perch, they do because that's all we offer..
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Old 01-04-2019, 07:47 AM
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Re: Lack of Interest in Foraging

Quote: Originally Posted by Laurasea View Post
Just a note on your side topic, birds don't sleep on bare exposed branches in nature. Go outside and look. They find deep v' , or snags, or other hidden places. Also there is some thought and data cavity nesters use the cavities year round. Certainly you shouldn't have a nest box! It's just a misconception that a bird would sleep on an open perch, they do because that's all we offer..
TIL! No wonder Cairo loves sleeping on his c-shaped perch (I made one end a higher level than the other). It's a nice curve with different heights and up in the corner of his sleep cage (so much so that some of his feathers turned black from him sleeping with his side against the cage).

As for foraging toys, baby steps! Sometimes I pretend to eat his favourite treats from there (if it's not complicated). Sometimes I break it down into steps, and sometimes I have to show him (he loves to learn). It also depends on the foraging toy - haven't had the chance to show him the fancy acrylic ones, but he loves lifting up cups and tears into woven stuff for treats. What really piques his interest is texture and colour.
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Old 01-04-2019, 08:09 AM
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Re: Lack of Interest in Foraging

I don't know if this will help, but this "foraging toy" got a 22 year old scarlet macaw interested in foraging:


Really easy to make, just take a clear water bottle, cut a hole in the side, fill it with treats and hang it somewhere

When you want them to start foraging, it has to be quite easy and you can then up the level once they get a hang of it.
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