CZAAWE Resource Article

Effects of Foraging Enrichment on The Behaviour of Parrots
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
Animal Welfare
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.