Dear Parrot Lover,
Let’s face it: bird toys are pricy…and the bigger your parrot is, the bigger the toy is and the bigger the price tag will be.
But parrot toys don’t necessarily need to be expensive. Sure, you can hop on down to your local pet store and purchase a shiny new parrot toy. But you have no guarantee whether your parrot will like that toy or not. You also do not have any guarantee on where that toy was made, or where the parts were sourced.
An alternative here is to make your own natural bird toys for your parrot to enjoy. Allow your creativity to run wild!
Who better to provide your parrot with a fun, and safe, toy, than you – the parrot toy maker!
Regardless of the size or species, all parrots enjoy chewing up and climbing up natural branches and twigs. Take a stroll along a nearby nature trail, venture through a national forest, or simply take a walk through your backyard. You’ll be sure to find many different sizes of branches, twigs, and sticks that have fallen off the trees due to high winds or age.
There are only two simple rules here: 1. Be very sure that the trees have never been sprayed with any type of noxious pesticide; 2. Be very sure of the type of tree before selecting a branch to take home.
Here is a partial list of commonly found trees that are also safe for parrots and birds to chew and play with:
Branches from these trees make great perches. Parrots should have at least three different sized perches in their cages. Having varying sizes will help exercise and strengthen a parrot’s toes, feet, and leg muscles. Natural knobs and twists add to the exercise.
Foraging parrots can be given any of these safe tree branches with its leaves and bark still attached. Just be sure to thoroughly wash the branches in water with a little non-toxic soap. They can be laid outside in the sun to dry for a few hours. If you are worried about diseases, or you just want to play it especially safe, you can disinfect the branches by immersing them in a 1:10 solution of bleach and water, before thoroughly rinsing them and laying them out to dry in the sun as well. You may even want to place smaller branches onto a baking sheet and dry them out in the oven on a low heat setting.
Do stay away from any of the trees that fall within the Prunus family as they are made up of cyanogenic glycosides which release cyanide when ingested. These trees include:
Toys for Your Bird’s Happiness
Toys are a vital element in a bird’s life
You can’t underestimate how important toys are in your bird’s daily life. They provide him with much of his entertainment when left alone in his cage and when you’re not there. Without this mental stimulation and enrichment your bird can easily develop behavioral problems that are undesirable and can be dangerous to his health.
There are a few primary factors when selecting toys for your bird:
- Textures of the toy and the ability to chew. Birds love to chew on their toys and varying textures can help stimulate this natural behavior.
- The appearance of it. This isn’t about if we find it attractive. Instead, the colors of a toy can draw a bird in since birds can see a very wide spectrum of colors.
- The mental stimulation factor of the toy. Toys that allow for enrichment where the bird can use natural behaviors are best. Can you hide food within the toy to encourage foraging behavior, for example?
- The safety of the toy. Can the bird damage the toy, ingest pieces of it, or otherwise endanger himself with the toy? For example, toys with a lot of rope can entangle a bird’s feet or can unravel.
Making sure toys are safe
While it’s important for your bird to have toys, you do want the toys to be safe. You want to make sure the size is appropriate for your individual bird, and you want to make sure no toxic materials are incorporated into the toy.
You also want to make sure that the toy stimulates natural behaviors for your bird because this creates the best scenario for mental health. Shredding and pulling at toys are natural behaviors so some of the best natural materials for a toy are things like leather, bamboo, cuttle bone, coconut shell, and sisal.
It is always important to routinely rotate your bird’s toys to make sure your bird doesn’t tire of any one toy, and this also gives you an opportunity to inspect toys for damage and remove any that are.
Parrots Toys by Mail Club
Parrots Toys by Mail is a great option for toxin-free toys that are readily available and shipped right to you. It’s a mail club that is so simple you won’t believe it. Every month the club will send you brand new toys that are specially selected just for your bird. This way you know the size and materials of each toy are exactly what you need. They are also free of toxins, made of natural materials, and ready for your bird’s enjoyment.
Regards, Nathalie Roberts