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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11507
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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My conure keeps digging in s food bowl and throwing

Customer Question

My conure keeps digging in his food bowl and throwing everything out when i feed him
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What sort of animal are we talking about?
Customer: Sun conure, small parrot
JA: OK. What is the parrot's name and age?
Customer: Peeps, he is about 5 i believe
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Peeps?
Customer: Oh im sorry hes more like 7
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Customer: No he seems to be in good health
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Pet
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Good health as far as I am aware, 7 or 8 year old sun conure. Over past few days has been digging in his food bowl and throwing everything out
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in birds. I just want to let you know I am working on your answer, and will post it as soon as I have it put together and typed up. I appreciate your patience, and I'll be back shortly.
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for waiting. One possibility is that Peeps has decided to be picky, and i looking for certain food items, but this behavior most likely indicates that he is bored. In nature, parrots spend a lot of their time foraging for food. When a domesticated parrot becomes bored, one of the best things we can do is provide foraging opportunities. Of course, you can turn him outside to look for food, but we can create artificial foraging.

I would begin by placing bits of favorite fruits and vegetables around the cage - some on the floor, between wires, etc. This introduces the idea that food is not found only in the food bowl. You can also place a small safe branch in the cage with food stuck on the twigs. Some of the more common safe trees are maple, alder, aspen, and birch. The following site has lists of trees that are safe for birds, and those that are not. You'll need to scroll down on the page.

Driftwood from the pet store also works.

Another thing to try is to cover the food bowl with a small piece of paper so the bird has to move it or tear it to reach the food. You may need to poke a small hole in it to begin with. A variation is to cut strips of paper and bury the food bowl in them. Newspaper is safe if it is printed with soy-based ink. Most are now, but check with your local paper to be sure. Don't use the pages that are printed in colored ink. Once Peeps will do this, you can use a paper cup. Poke a few holes in it that are big enough for your bird's beak. Place some tasty food in it. Then you can squash the top together and fold it over to close the cup or you can hang it in the cage with bird safe rope.Once Peeps will forage in all these ways, you can introduce her to some of the foraging toys that are sold in larger pet stores. Just check the bird department. You may eventually want to eliminate the food bowl altogether.

If you have more questions, just let me know.


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Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?