Parrots are about choice. Parrots live for choice. There is no living creature happier than a parrot faced with a myriad of choices. This is truly the key to a happy, healthy and well behaved parrot. Choice is your key to unlocking that little clown soul in your companion bird. This applies to hook bills and soft bills. Birds are, by nature, choice driven and choice seeking creatures.
So, let's gain some perspective and apply this idea to a 4 year old child. Because let's face it, a parrot is an eternal 4 year old in feathers.
Let's pretend we have 2 four year olds and 2 different rooms. Winston our 4 year old boy gets the empty room. No seating, no toys, no windows, now openings, no crevaces, no colors, no sound, no music. Nothing.
Stella, our 4 year old girl has a room full of different types of chairs and stools and seating, she has books, blocks, dolls, trucks, cars, crayons, pictures on the wall, puzzles on the floor, and toys strewn on colorful tables throughout and sounds of music playing toys, bells and whistles. She has windows that look outside to trees and moving people and things.
Now, let's lock those kids up! Turn on the stop watch...and wait...wait for it...who's the screaming child? Winston of course!
And so it goes for our companion birds. Toys are not optional, foods of every color and flavor are not optional! Views of their world outside and inside are not optional. Voices, and noises and clanging shananigans are not optional! Companion birds are more than just "smart", companion birds are intelligent creatures that truly choose between food, perches, toys and views. The less you give, the less healthy, happy and behaved they choose to act. Lack of choices brings a big case of frustration.
A wooden letter block can become a tongueing textural treat, a chewing/crushing event, a thoughtful clawful of wow! A hanging toy with straws, and grasses, and plastic widgets, and ringing bells and rolled corn husk and twisted ropes around wooden bits and blocks is days of discovery. A companion Parrot doesn't just "chew" toys. They explore them visually through inspection, texturally through the tongue and tactically through their feet. This isn't about "a parrot has to chew", this is about a parrot wants to explore! A parrot needs to be employed.
Give your companion parrot choices every day, and your parrot will give you untold treasures of love and interaction that only a companion parrot parent can understand. Because as companion parrot parents, we choose to understand.