by Kris Porter
This post is reprinted from the Phoenix Landing Summer Newsletter.
I was having coffee at a friend’s house when I discovered an exciting new parrot toy. I went to the kitchen to put my coffee cup in the sink before leaving and saw a “Munchkin Deluxe Dishwasher Basket” on the counter beside the dishwasher. My friend had purchased the basket to use to wash baby bottles and pacifiers for her visiting grandson.
It was love at first sight for me when I laid eyes on this plastic dishwasher basket. I immediately recognized the foraging potential of this particular item. I stopped by the infant’s department at WalMart on the way home and purchased four of them. Then I went to work turning the dishwasher basket into a proper parrot foraging toy.
I threaded a couple zip ties through holes at the back of the basket. Initially the ties kept popping out, so I held them in place with small rubber bands. I put small foot toys, nuts, vegetables and fruit in the top and bottom baskets, making sure that some vegetables stuck out the holes at the front of the basket. I wove dried corn husks in a few of the holes for shredding. The basket has straw cleaning racks on each side to hold straws upright for sanitary cleaning. I used the racks to hold veggie sticks and toy straws.
When I was satisfied I had the basket sufficiently stuffed, I attached it to the cage bars. The zip ties were held in place by small rubber bands which I slid off right before I threaded each zip tie through the cage bars. It is important to remove the rubber bands before attaching the basket to the cage because you wouldn’t want your parrot swallow or get tangled up in the rubber band.
The “Munchkin Deluxe Dishwasher Basket” is a huge hit as a foraging toy in my house. You can also use it as it was originally designed and place parrot toy parts in the basket to be washed in the dishwasher.
To find Munchkin baskets, go to: http://www.munchkin.com/where_to_buy/result.php.
Here are 2 photos, courtesy of Leigh Ann Hartsfield. Her greys, Pepper and Franco, think these are really cool!
For more great foraging ideas read Kris Porter’s Parrot Enrichment and Activity Book at http://www.phoenixlanding.org/PEAB_V2.pdf or visit her Website at http://www.ParrotEnrichment.com/
Great idea. I have tiels and lovebirds and on the top shelf of my kitchen cabinet is the little basket that came with my dishwasher – which I didn’t need. Wow – that’s the perfect size for the little guys. It’s getting pulled down tonight – foraging here we go!
Oh, what a neat idea! I will have to keep this in mind for my future fid(s)… if I am accepted as a foster/adopt parront.
WalMart here I come! What a fab idea!