Chapter 5

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Toys and accessories for you Quaker are prime examples of environmental enrichment’s, a concept that refers to improvement in the surroundings that stimulate mental and physical activity and growth. The importance of this concept is being realized by the increase in the number of enrichment committees formed and workshops held at various zoos across the country. Your Quaker can benefit from a variety of enrichment techniques, all of them quite simple but necessary for healthy, happy avian companion.

Whether in the wild or in a domestic environment, playing is a natural part of a Quaker’s behavior, and usually includes various objects that are exciting to them. In the wild, playtime takes up a sizable portion of the day; second only to gathering food. Quakers are very active birds, and playtime serves a number of important functions by becoming part of the learning process. It develops and improves coordination, and allows for the identification of colors, shapes, textures, and taste. Mock fighting in older birds keeps them fit and ready to defend themselves and their families against predators. Flocks of birds playing in trees are strengthening and clarifying their positions within their communities, and learning the rules and regulations of their society and how to conform to them.

Enrichment: Techniques
Quakers spend much of their playtime with their companions in the wild, so be sure to take time out to play with your bird. Invent some fun games to play, or simply allow your Quaker’s own personal interest to guide you. Some Quakers love to lie on their backs and be tickled, while others will be just as happy chasing a little ball on the floor. Take the time to know what your bird enjoys doing, and then do it with him. Playtime is healthy, and will only serve to enrich your relationship. Taking a Quaker outside in it’s cage during warm weather will enrich his environment dramatically, as will moving his cage from one vantage point to another on a routine basis. Keeping your Quaker in one room, one corner, all the time can become boring very quickly, and may lead to unhealthy or destructive attempts to amuse himself such as chewing or feather plucking if not provided with items to capture and hold his attention. Quakers who are subjected to environmental enrichment’s become less self-absorbed and more independent, leaving little time to create problems.


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