Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Léa and her *new* foot toys

So Léa is a bit of a picky eater and I'm always worried she doesn't eat enough. Mind you, the way she acts/plays, it doesn't look like she's missing out on food, but I guess that it's just that I don't quite know her weight fluctuation enough to be entirely happy, on top of the fact that she should be gaining a bit of weight if I go from what I've heard of other Cape owners.

In any case, today I was talking about this with Doris of Avian Organics. A few years ago, she had hand raised three Greenwing Macaws and she passed on some advice that she had got from a vet back then. First, she confirmed that baby birds will not allow themselves to starve, which is something that I had in the back of my head but being a worrywart, apparently I kept pushing it back behind all the issues I had. She also mentioned that it was recommended to offer food instead of foot toys to get them used to what you are trying to offer them to eat. So I tried this in the afternoon - I took away her regular out-of-cage foot toys and offered some carrot sticks and broccoli instead.

At first, Léa just passed by the veggies and gave me a look as if to say "what gives?". Yes, unimpressed is what she was. But eventually she started to handle one of the carrot sticks. While she mostly just destroyed it to pieces (which is all I hoped for today), I do think she ingested some of it. She also proceeded to destroy the broccoli. The Boy had also held the broccoli in front of her, taking a bite to show what she was to do with it..but she had none of it. She took it from him and then just let it drop, looking straight into his face.

While I might not be able to fully take away all of her wooden foot toys, I might reduce the number I give her so that she will play and hopefully someday eat the veggies.

Here are some pictures from this afternoon.


Kacy said...

She is such a doll!! Since she loves to play so much, incorporating food into play may just be the perfect way to get her eating more. Good luck!

Ann said...

Try stringing beads onto her food; carrot sticks work especially well for it. I had the opposite problem with my bird, she would eat and explore food, but wanted nothing to do with toys.

HungryBird said...

She is ridiculously cute! I can't get over it.

Malachite gave me problems about eating as well. He refused to eat anything that was not a fruit or veggie chunk. Or a pellet. He would not eat any cooked food. No beans, no rice, no quinoa, nothing. I just kept offering the yucky new food to him early in the morning every single day and eventually he started eating it. Now he eats pretty much everything and it only took a few months.

I did make sure to give him food I knew he would eat as well because I didn't want him to starve. I usually give them fresh food early in the morning and then later something dry to munch on while I'm gone. He had to suffer through watching the other four gobble up their fresh food and I guess he got sick of waiting! I noticed once he was out of quarantine he started becoming more adventuresome when it came to food and I think part of the reason was because it drove him crazy to see the others enjoying it so much. I'm sure once she meets the rest of your birds she will start copying their behavior.