Will work for food
Yvonne van Zeeland is an avian medicine specialist at the Utrecht University Clinic for Companion Animals. She offered parrots a choice between a bowl full of ready-to-eat feed or a puzzle in which the same feed was hidden. In order to get the food, the parrots had to work to solve the puzzle. Healthy parrots chose to work for their food. They preferred to pick their food out of a pipe with holes rather than just pick it up out of a bowl. Feather-plucking birds more often chose the easy way out: they elected to eat out of a feed bowl instead of a puzzle. It appears that feather plucking has taken over the satisfying role previously fulfilled by working for food.
The lesson is that a healthy parrot loves a challenge. These kinds of toys can be bought in stores and over the Internet, but a parrot owner with some creativity can also construct one at home. A parrot should be given the chance to think, pick, gnaw and search for food. Eating from such a toy takes a parrot two to two-and-a-half times as long. It provides the bird with a physical and mental workout, and stimulates its natural behaviour. What could be better?