CZAAWE Resource Article

Effects of Foraging Enrichment on The Behaviour of Parrots
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
1997
Publication/Journal 
Animal Welfare
Abstract 
The purpose of this study was to enrich parrot enclosures by creating foraging opportunities appropriate for the species and to investigate the possible preference for a variable versus a constant food supply. The foraging device comprised of a length of wood (2x0.08x0.08m) with 50 holes (0.02m diameter x 0.02m depth) drilled into one face. Food was placed in the holes of the foraging device in one of two distributions: 'constant', one food item in every hole (total = 50 food items) or 'variable', 5 food items in 10 of the holes (total = 50 food items). The holes were then covered with starch paper. During the enrichment period the parrots spent significantly more time allopreening than in the baseline or post-enrichment periods. The results also provide some evidence of contrafreeloading in parrots, but no preference for a variable over a constant food source. The study shows that providing extra foraging opportunities for parrots is a useful form of enrichment.