Monday, September 15, 2008

Environmental Enrichment For Parrots

Environmental Enrichment For Parrots
By Dr Jeannie Thomason Copyright © 2008.

Environmental enrichment, refers to the practice of providing animals under managed care with environmental stimuli. The goal of environmental enrichment is to improve an animal's quality of life by increasing physical activity, stimulating natural behaviors, and preventing or reducing stereotypical behaviors.

In the wild, our parrots exhibit four main behaviors: socializing, grooming, sleeping and foraging. In fact, two thirds of a wild bird's day is spent foraging for food. Even their play and interaction with other involves problem solving and thought. Wild birds also are able to get plenty of sunlight and fresh air every day.

Compare this to our captive pets. Life is very different in captivity. We tend to keep our birds inside the house, behind closed doors and windows. Most pet birds are likely to spend most of their days in their cages and of course, too many of them have very little to do in there. Try to think of this from your parrot's perspective, it is like you being locked in a room with window (that is always shut) with just a bed and someone bringing you food three times a day, you have no control over any aspect of your own life. Nothing different to see or do , same thing every day, day in and day out. Some of the obvious results are naturally going to be ill health, and obesity, due to lack of exercise at the very least.

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