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Complete Psittacine

Spreads for web 5

By Eb Cravens

One of the ‘hottest’ topics in the psittacine world the past few years has been “environmental enrichment,” which is ostensibly the improving of our pet and breeder parrots’ lives here in captivity.  Hand in hand with this ongoing concept is the offering of circumstances in order that the birds may forage - that is work to seek out items to eat and chew up.  One general term coined for fresh organic branches and greens offered to parrots is 'browse'.  This is not a bad expression, I would deem, since hookbills often spend leisurely hours disassembling and masticating tree parts once they have satiated their initial hunger.  Giving domestic birds browse is not a new concept, in fact, I first wrote an article about my use of fresh boughs and greenery out in my psittacine aviaries back in 1991 in a Watchbird Magazine article entitled, “A Look at Chewing in Parrot Behavior.”

Enrichment benefits aside, chewable organic plant material offers all sorts of life-sustaining micro-ingredients, minerals, enzymes, etc. to the sampling parrot.  Moreover, it is easy to see how we can take this a step further and seek out wild crafted and cultivated food items for our flocks - those plants growing in our yards and gardens, or upon hillsides and meadows that wild birds enjoy when in season.  This is one of my favourite means of supplementing my psittacine diets.  And at the very top of my list for nutrient freshness and content - I love 'pods'.

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