A Project Parrot Care Video on Enrichment Featuring Tony Silva
The dictionary definition is “the action of improving or enhancing the quality or value of something.”
However, when it comes to parrots, enrichment is something that fulfills a need for them that allows their well-being. Here’s a good way to think about it:
I lost our original budgie and her mate- which made us blue. So, we went to one of our favorite restaurants on the beach for breakfast. We walked along the water, felt the sun kissing our skin, smelled the fresh ocean air, delighted our taste buds and felt the cool ocean water on our feet.
It enriched my soul.
In captivity parrots miss out some essential communing with their environment. Being in a cage certainly doesn’t compare to flying free, seeing plants all around them and eating, biting and nesting in them. Parrots in the wild rely on plants and trees for every aspect of their lives: food, a home, a place to live and make a family.
Enrichment, “You Have To Get Creative”
In the video you’ll see Tony Silva talking about enrichment and showing you some enrichment at his farm (which I call the Silva Parrot Center).
Tony tells me that parrots need to be fed an appropriate diet, and yet, a parrot that has enrichment or access to some natural plant-life, will do better than a parrot that is fed a perfect diet but is kept in a cage with no enrichment?
Why is that?
Enrichment offers more than food or something to entertain their beaks; it can provide benefits like bark, which naturally binds to any toxins they may have eaten. Enrichment can offer something natural that a parrot is meant to use to grind their beak down or use to make a nest. In other words, enrichment enhances the quality of a parrot’s life, but it also provides necessary materials parrots require for their physical, emotional and psychological well-being.
What’s That? A Parrots Have A Psychological Need For Enrichment?
Yes, yes they do. As much as you might need to cut loose and have fun or blow off some steam, or even just go for a walk or a run, parrots need to exercise too. Along with literal fresh air, enrichment provides them a breath of emotional and psychological fresh air.
You and I need more than just food and shelter to enjoy well-being and your parrot does too.
Clip Or Pick Enrichment
If you are fortunate enough to have a fruit tree (please research to make sure that your enrichment offering is non-toxic to parrots) or a palms, then you’ve got your enrichment. Trim your tree, pick a fruit, nut or flower and place these in, on or around your parrot’s cage.
Or, if you don’t have much around, pick something up at the grocery store. No, it’s not quite the same, but you can easily plan your dinner’s vegetables and give a little to your parrot. Pick a piece of your broccoli head, some carrots or a coconut from your grocery store to offer your parrot. The floral department there might even have pussy willows, which parrots love and are a great enrichment offering.
Keep your parrot happy, healthy and blissful; enrich their beaks and souls by offering enrichment a couple times a week.
Have a questions about parrots?
As the author of “The Parrot Bliss Bond,” I love and welcome questions about having a parrot and creating one of the best experiences of your life!
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