DIY: 15 Foraging Toys For Birds!

Birds need mental stimulation just like cats and dogs and pretty much every animal.  Working for food is a great way to provide that stimulation.  It can also be a great way to get your bird to eat foods in usually rejects.  Wild birds spend most of their time foraging for food, so it’s a strong drive.  Enrich your birds life with ways to foster that drive.  Making your own foraging toys will help save you money too.  You may need to make it easy for them at first to get the treats, but they’ll catch on quickly.  Supervise your birds!

  1. A foraging toy for birds who haven’t learned to forage is this seeds-in-a-cork foraging toy.
  2. Put nuts, veggies, etc. in those little tiny cereal boxes or raisin boxes and let your bird tear into the box to retrieve the goodies.
  3. 2 nifty foraging toys—one that doubles as a swing made from paper & another made with paper muffin cups.
  4. String uncooked pasta, veggies, or fruit you dried on string and hang in you bird’s cage.
  5. A recipe for seed kabobs on wooden spoons.
  6. Great foraging mat for birds who ground forage.
  7. Drill holes in a stick and stuff them with nuts or other treats.
  8. Video on 2 foraging toys—nuts & seeds pressed into untreated balsa wood, a treat in a small dixie cup then twisted shut.
  9. Wrap some treats in paper, stuff into an empty toilet paper roll, and fold the ends shut.
  10. Another version of the toilet paper roll toy uses Kiote Koins (dried yucca chips).
  11. Here’s a recipe for little popcorn balls on popsicle sticks.
  12. Wrap treats in coffee filters and tie shut.
  13. Clever idea to put unpopped popcorn kernels in small whiffle balls, wrap it damp paper towel and microwave a short time until the kernels pop inside the ball. (scroll to 2nd post)
  14. Super easy rice cake foraging toy.
  15. Brilliant stacked foraging toy made using origami.

News Bites: Dog, Parasite, Parrot, DNA, Europe’s Shame

Dog rescued after 8 days at 13,000 ft. on a mountain peak in Colorado.  The guys who rescued her were strangers to each other and to the dog, but they weren’t going to let her die up there.  There’s a custody battle now between her rescuers and her owner, who came forward.


Toxoplasma gondii even creepier than previously thought.  Here’s a really good article on a study that shows Toxoplasma infection is linked to increased risk of violent, successful suicide in women.  Scientists already knew it caused birth defects, changed behavior in rats, can make us neurotic, & increase risk of schizophrenia in children born to infected mothers.  Cats usually become infected by eating animals they kill, so here’s another reason not to let your cats roam!


Clever bird!  Study shows African grey parrots demonstrate a level of abstract, inferential reasoning equal to 3 yr.old humans and previously only seen in primates.


New genetic test can tell you if your kitty descended from cats in the Middle East or 7 other regions or if she’s really purebred.  If your cat is really mixed breed, this test won’t show whether she’s part Siamese or something.  It will only work if one of her parents was purebred.


Disgusting!  In Europe, every summer means thousands of abandoned pets.  What the hell?  I knew Europeans took long vacations in summer.  I didn’t know that so many ditched their pets before they went.

…every summer an estimated 100,000 domestic animals are abandoned in France by owners who say they are unable to take them along or find someone to look after them.

Recalls: Stainless Steel Petco Bowls, Catswell VitaKitty Chicken Breast w/ Flaxseed & Vitamins

Petco is recalling 3 models of stainless steel pet bowls due to possible contamination with radioactive material.  Are you kidding me?!  Scrap metal containing Cobalt-60 was used in the manufacturing of some of their bowls.  It’s at low enough levels that it should pose no risk to people or pets, but what does this say about the standards of the manufacturers with whom Petco contracts?  Sheesh!

The products affected include:

-SKU 1047493
-9.25” diameter; 3.75 cup capacity

-SKU 1386956
-9” diameter; 3.5 cup capacity

-SKU 1047477
-9” diameter; 7 cup capacity

If you bought one of these bowls between the dates of May 31 and June 20, 2012, take it to a Petco store for a full refund. Call Petco Customer Service at 877-738-6742 with any questions.


Dogswell is recalling Catswell Brand VitaKitty Chicken Breast with Flaxseed and Vitamins due to propylene glycol contamination.

High levels of propylene glycol in the treats could result in serious injury to cats. The adverse health impacts could be reducing red blood cell survival time (anemia) and making the cells more susceptible to oxidative damage.

The product affected includes VitaKitty Chicken Breast w/Flaxseed & Vitamins:

Size Lot Best-By-Date UPC Code
2 oz. bags SEW12CH032701/03c 09/10/13 8 84244 00057 2
2 oz. bags SEW12CH032702/03c 09/11/13 8 84244 00057 2

If you have product included in the recall, return it to the place of purchase for a refund. If purchased online, contact the internet retailer for their specific return and refund process. If you have questions, call Arthur Dogswell at 1-888-559-8833 from 8AM to 5PM PST, Monday through Friday, or leave a message at any time.  Or send email to