Lola’s Foraging Fun House
November 7, 2011 § 5 Comments
I redecorated Lola’s cage yesterday! I actually wasn’t crazy about the previous cage setup anyway (don’t think I ever posted photos of it because it never felt quite right)– but I think this one has a lot of potential. I tried to maximize foraging opportunities for her with various foraging stations throughout the cage, as well as make sure to have a wide variety of toys. As I’ve said before, I find it incredibly difficult to set up her cages, especially in comparison to the budgies, because I have to be so cognizant of layering and putting things under other perches. Her droppings are huge and once something is soiled, it has to come out. Things would get pretty disgusting otherwise. This time, I think I’ve done a fairly good job of using the entire cage yet making sure that nothing will get too dirty — or that the things that have the potential to be are very easily cleaned and sanitized, like stainless steel toys. Here it is!
So there it is: on the top left side there’s her double-bolted ribbonwood perch, which she likes to roost on because it’s extra sturdy. She has a ribbonwood perch underneath it, which I chose because it’s much easier to clean than other woods, as well as a stainless steel bell toy. Towards the back there’s a water bowl and her stainless steel side-mounted bucket full of foot toys, and a cotton rope perch that goes up to the ceiling. In the door, there’s the skywalk platform perch as well.
Just below the door, there’s a stainless steel shelf perch that creates a porch for her. I noticed that Lola would often try to perch on those thin bars when I opened the door because she likes to sit and hang out there, but it didn’t look very comfortable, so I added the porch for her to have a hang out spot when the cage door was open but she didn’t necessarily feel like coming all the way out. She’s loving it already!
This is the other side of the cage, where there’s a super soft and snuggly ring swing that Lola adores, a bamboo pedicure perch, an ocotillo perch, and a curvy sandblasted manzanita corner perch. There are three more bowls here, but the one in the door is just temporary. (I’m going away this weekend and want her to have two water and two food bowls each because I don’t expect the sitter to refill her foraging toys full of food for me. After this weekend, I’ll remove that one.)
As for Lola’s toys, I really tried to maximize foraging opportunities. Most of the toys double as foraging toys for her. The elephant shaped toy, for example, has several small holes in it that I stuff with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, pine nuts, and more. Then there’s the skewer with the two palm and woven boxes: Lola has to figure out how to open those two up, and inside she might find some nuts, seed, fruits, bird bread, or other dry treats. The corkscrew pictured above has three large vine toys amidst all the lovely wood to chew, and those hold all kinds of goodies, treats, or food as well. Finally, there are other natural, shreddable type toys, and all of these might contain goodies or treats.
On any given day, there are five different toys or skewers that could contain food or treats for her. In my effort to stop free feeding her anything except for her two fresh meals a day, I’m really trying to make a better effort to vary her foraging opportunities. Today, I chose to load four different ones with treats, but I plan on changing this everyday to keep her alert. She won’t know necessarily which to look in because I will be constantly changing them. Some days all five might have treats, some days maybe only one. In this way, I hope to keep her entertained, adept, enriched, and busy!
I’m pretty happy with it thus far: no perches or toys have yet been soiled, and she seems to be very active on all levels. She’s relaxed on her swing, foraged from perch to perch, destroyed some foot toys, hung out on the platform, rang her bells, chipped some wood, and taken a nap from all the excitement. I think this will be a good one!