I received a package from Kris Porter a couple of weeks ago. Kris Porter is a whiz at creating foraging toys and has a wonderful website called Parrot Enrichment.
Kris is also very well known for her Parrot Enrichment Activity Book that you can download for free here: Parrot Enrichment Activity Book.
Kris and her husband Jerry have begun manufacturing toys based on Jerry’s designs. I don’t know what made Jerry think of this, but I couldn’t believe what I found inside the box.
Inside the package, were some samples of her Puzzler Foraging Blocks (PFBs). I immediately fell in love with them because of the smell of fresh cut wood that came wafting out of the box. These were some fresh cut toys! I looked them over.
They were wonderful! Well made, beautifully designed and ready for some chewing, these toys were wondrous. They were soft enough to entice even the most cautious of birds and the smell! Oh my God, they smelled wonderfully of the bird-safe white wood they were crafted from. There were different sizes made from the smallest chewer to the table saw variety-hard partying Macaw. Notice the “Peek-A-Boo hole” cut in them perfect for stuffing “stuff” in there: anything from a nut to a carrot strip:
You can get blank ones as well as some with vine stars and colored wood buttons. I’m telling you, these toys are amazing. Now how do I know this? Well, let me explain something. My African Grey Pepper, (Yes, that Pepper from BIRD TALK’S Memo to Parker and Pepper) is a relinquishment. When I first got Pepper six years ago, she had absolutely no idea what a toy was. She wouldn’t have known even what to do with a toy if you held it under her beak. And believe me, I spent a lot of time holding toys under her beak… Nothing.
After a while, she began to get the hang of it and tentatively began working on easy stuff: phone books, paper plates, etc. While she is still not a big player, she dabbles. Enter the PFB. I came home from work and found this:
Here’s another view:
Now it doesn’t look like much; but for Pepper? This is enormous progress. See?
This is proof-positive that if Pepper is going to mess around with this toy, odds are your parrots will too. You can stuff them with Nurti-berries, almonds, vegetables, broken toy parts, raffia, dried vegetables, and leather. You are only limited to your imagination.
Parker Giving one a Whirl…
But wait! There’s more! Kris and her husband Jerry are always thinking. At the top there is a screw eye for hanging the toy. Occasionally, you’ll get a parrot that likes working from the screw eye and it finally gets deemed a “foot toy” because you can no longer hang it due to the damaged part of the toy. No problem. Check this out:
Kris and Jerry saw that this might be an issue, so they provided a pilot hole. If one end of the toy becomes too damaged to hang, simply remove the screw eye and screw it into the pilot hole provided at the other end. That way you can rehang it and your bird can finish off the rest of the toy. Here’s a photo of Pepper posing with a PFB stuffed with celery, cucumber and Jalapeño pepper. She did mess around with it after I got the camera out of her face.
As far as I’m concerned these toys are a no-brainer. They are sturdy enough to have a lot of play-value. They are intriguing enough for even the pickiest of parrots. And I think they are worth the cost. They come in small, medium and large. She also has Puzzler foot toys.
You can find and order them all here at Parrot Enrichment.
And be sure to open the box slowly so you can get a whiff…