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Dear Parrots magazine,

Keeping them happy

Reading back through my back issues, I came across the article called ”The parrot that chews” in the September 21 edition. I remember reading it at the time and how I could engage with it as I am a great fan of how we keep our parrots happy and content. This article was by The World Parrot Trust and they should know what is important for our birds.

This part of the article really resonated with me and I quote:
A Chewing Parrot is a Happy Parrot
Above all, most parrots love to chew. Their beaks and tongues are built for plucking and manipulating, and their brains are curious. Other than ploughing through their breakfast and dinner, there isn’t much else for a companion parrot to do, so, the daylight hours should be otherwise filled with exercise and toys to stimulate natural behaviours.”

This is so true and I only wish many other parrot owners would take heed of what this says. We have to realise that what is in the article points out that parrots in the wild have the freedom of the skies as opposed to our companion birds that don’t. And although some have free flying space within a home, they are still restricted and, therefore, must be kept busy. In a strange irony, it is their high level of intelligence that can be their downfall, as this makes them very desirable as a family pet and therefore, trafficked from the wild. It is a sad fact that there are many owners who have lost their initial novelty of owning a parrot and become tired of all the chores that are necessary to keep them well and healthy.

Perhaps I go over the top in this respect as I feel for them and how we can provide an interesting, loving and safe environment in which their lives are contained. As the article stated, parrots in the wild only chew for a good reason and not to just destroy their habitat, but in captivity, it seems to me that they want and enjoy shredding wooden object to matchsticks or cardboard boxes to confetti.

I have a Blue-fronted Amazon and he just loves chewing boxes, so have a never ending supply from within my own family and also neighbours who leave boxes of all kinds on my front doorstep. He gets new boxes each day and often pieces of scrap untreated pine wood offcuts from my husband’s DIY efforts.

So my bird is kept busy all day either in his cage or on his Java tree, which is also loaded with a variety of cardboard and other chewable items. I agree totally with World Parrot Trust that a ‘chewing parrot is a happy parrot’ and I can vouch for that!

Sandra Hussain, by email

 


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