Reading tea leaves and cleaning the cage?
Have you ever enjoyed a cup of tea in the afternoon? A nice loose-leaf green tea, in your favourite mug, while dreaming about the future? The art of reading tea leaves says that once you finish that cup of tea, the tea leaves in the bottom of your cup are importantThey must have heard you daydreaming while you were drinking your tea! Now, their pattern on the bottom of the cup can tell you your fortune and predict the future. That’s handy!
Cleaning the parrot cage is something we all do and have to get to spend time at every day. While no one really enjoys changing the cage paper, it is part of life with our birds. I quite enjoy changing papers in my birds’ cage. I see it as an opportunity to see a snapshot of their day. I use it to ‘read’ their life, like tea leaves in a cup.
Look closely at what’s there. Any toy pieces? What kind? Which toy was interacted with? Are there cardboard shreds from the new forager? What about pieces of the seagrass mat? Any wood toothpicks? Or my personal favourite, the roll of paper strewn about the cage like TP on Hallowe’en. Or perhaps something was unexpected, like a toy that way played with for the first time? Hmm. That’s interesting…
Any food pieces on the floor? I see one type of pellet on the floor, but not the other. And there are NO wasted seeds or nuts. I see some veggies from the chop on the floor, but which ones? How was everything eaten today?
How about poops? Do they look good, have solid form, and normal colour? Is there only one pile of poop or are they around the cage? What could this tell me about how he spent his day?
This type of sleuthing provides me with a huge amount of information. It may be indicative of his health, and I’m more likely to schedule a vet visit. Or it might influence the toys I buy, because he’s clearly interacting with that type right now. Or even give me a chance to introduce some new food items that might be more interesting to him. The feedback I get from his cage paper tells me a LOT about how I can enrich his life tomorrow.
Included is a picture of my CAG Quentin’s cage paper from the other day. I see a pile of purple poops, that are quite liquid, and I remember he was fed a large amount of Pomegranate, so those are normal! You can see all the Pom shreds around the paper too! And a bunch of smaller Harrisons pellets (but no larger ones, and no nutriberries!). A few down feathers, and a few cardboard pieces make me think he had a fairly quiet day. All the orange fuzz was interesting to me, that’s from the orange sisal rope in one of his toys. I’ll keep an eye on that. I think I’ll give him more normal chop tomorrow (no pom), and hide his large pellets and nutriberries in a forager. I’ll change a toy out for one with more sisal pieces and see how that goes.
The more enrichment I can provide for him, the better! Use this snapshot of his day to keep him as happy and healthy as you can!
– Robin Calgary Bird School KPA CTP