September 22, 2014 § 4 Comments
Fall is here… which means some of Lola’s very favorite produce is also in season: cranberries, pomegranates, and squash galore! I dropped by our wonderful local farmer’s market today to see what I could pick up. I grabbed a whole bunch of fresh, delicious fruits and veggies, but was also introduced to something new: a cheese pumpkin! One of the farmers described it as a little creamier than normal pumpkins, and recommended I try it since I really like butternut squash. (I didn’t mention it was for my parrot!) I picked up a miniature one to try.
He’s a cute little guy, isn’t he? I decided I’d roast him up and serve him to Lola for dinner. One of my favorite ways to serve mini pumpkins to her is as a bowl, stuffed with her nightly mash. (One of the many wonderful contributors to the forum Avian Avenue, Saroj, shared this awesome idea!) Lola absolutely loves it. I like to roast them, then scoop out some of the insides, and replace them with her dinner. Of course, I save the insides too and especially the seeds, as she loves eating those as well.
Tonight’s dinner was the Avian Organics Quick Serve, one of Lola’s very combinations. I added some fresh pomegranate seeds to the finished product, then put it all inside her little cheese pumpkin and into her bowl.
Do you think she liked it? I absolutely love watching her go after her dinner with gusto! She actually ate and destroyed a huge amount of the pumpkin, more so than usual. Of course there is some waste involved as she’d probably burst if she consumed the entire pumpkin, but I think the foraging, enrichment, and nutritional value are worth it. Pumpkins are extremely high in Vitamin A, and contain others like Vitamin E and B. Plus, if you scoop out a good amount of pumpkin to save for future meals, you can minimize waste. It’s such a fun and creative way to serve meals, and even my picky eater goes after this healthy treat quite zealously!
September 3, 2014 § Leave a comment
Installment three of spoiling Lola silly… you didn’t think we were over just yet, did you? This awesome bundle of fun comes from I Got a Woody Bird Toys, whose toys Lola just can’t get enough of! This time around, I decided to try out a whole bunch of brand new toys of theirs that Lola hasn’t seen before, but also stock up on all of her favorite skewer clusters. I love that they have so many toys that encourage some form of foraging as well as so many different types of toys.
For example, some of my favorite types of toys are side-mounted toys, but they aren’t nearly as common as hanging toys. I like side-mounted toys because they don’t have to be hung from the top of the cage or a horizontal bar; you can put them anywhere and exactly where you like. They also serve a wonderful purpose in travel cages. I don’t like to put any hanging toys in travel cages because with the stop and go motion in a car, it’s so easy for a hanging and swinging toy to suddenly become a danger or a hazard for a parrot, knocking him off the perch or even doing more harm than that. I Got a Woody has recently started creating a lovely collection of side-mounted toys, and some of them even come with the option of stainless steel hardware, which is my favorite type of side-mounted toy as it is the most secure.
Here’s a side view of the hardware in the first toy, the Devil’s Knot. This toy has a whole bunch of arms loaded with fun parts, but the base is half of a wooden chunk with stainless steel hardware. It’s such a great side-mounted toy that you can put anywhere in the cage. Lola is absolutely nuts about these mahogany toy parts, but there are very few toys that incorporate them. This one is in her cage and she’s already picked apart several of the mahogany pieces.
The second toy in the original picture above is another awesome side-mounted toy called the Tequila. This one is a perfect candidate for a travel cage, which is exactly where it will go. What I like is that there are no swinging arms or parts that might pose a danger in a moving vehicle, but there’s still tons of fun and foraging packed in.
Next up, I chose two new hanging toys for Lola, the Twisted Sister as well as the Lucinda. Below those are three of Lola’s favorite skewer clusters, which incorporate an awesome foraging foot toy as well as beads and bark. Lola is a huge fan of those already, but I know she’s going to love these two new toys as well. The Twisted Sister has tons of thin, chippable basswood slats that even have bark on them, and sandwiched between them are wonderful morsels of cork bark. What bird could resist so much bark and chipping fun?
I had to take a close up of the Lucinda to show you how much is packed in there. There’s cork bark, cork bark stuffed with beads, basswood stuffed with miniature pine cones, barky curly things, thin natural wood coins with bark, seagrass, and shreddable paper! This toy has so much fun stuff packed in plus so many little nooks and crannies hiding beads and mini pine cones– I can’t wait to give it to Lola. There’s so much going on here.
There’s no way I can name them all, but Lola also got a ton of different skewer cluster pieces and foot toys. They combine her precious mahogany, lots of tasty cork bark, some pine, some basswood, some more cork, some snappy beads, and probably more that I’m forgetting. On the bottom left are also some awesome basswood and cork pieces that the lovely ladies at I Got a Woody threw in as a gift.
They’re all awesome, but this is a new foot toy I was particularly excited about– the Vesta. It’s a piece of cork bark stuffed with more cork and then finished off with even more cork and wood beads on the end! If your birds like cork, I think this one is a must-have. Cork within cork surrounded by cork 🙂
Finally, I finished off the order with three HUMONGOUS foot toys! I knew they’d be big but I didn’t quite realize just what I was getting Lola into. I think they’re a bit too big for her to hold on her own, but I’ve put two in her foot toy pail and she seems to be enjoying them while the pail supports their hefty weight. In the future though, I think these foot toys belong in the talons of the big guys, like a big Greenwing or Hyacinth Macaw, or large Cockatoo.
All in all I don’t think we did too shabby. Lola is already enjoying several of these awesome toys. Since the ladies at I Got a Woody are so darned creative and always thinking up awesome new creations, I’m sure it won’t be long until we have an entire batch of more brand new toys to try out! Thanks ladies!