This article is for you if you own the parrot or are thinking about getting a bird.
1 – Why Do Birds Need Toys
You already know that you need a LOT of toys to keep a parrot interested if you have a parrot or many parrots. If you’re thinking about getting a bird then get ready to hire a staff of Santa’s Elves because you’re going to need them. Most parrots love to kill toys. This is a healthy, necessary, plus required behavior. After food, drinking water, and your attention, toys are probably the next most important things in your parrot’s world. Toys are not an optional item for you parrot; they are essential. Toys provide mental stimulation, physical stimulation, and keep your parrot’s beak cut.
Parrots spend a lot of time searching plus foraging for food in the wild. This entertains them and stimulates them. In your home, the toys give the necessary means for your parrot to entertain itself. Toys also provide the mental stimulation required by your parrot. Some experts say that the parrot’s emotional level is similar to a two year-old child. They also say their intelligence is similar to a 3 year-old child. So stimulating toys are simply as necessary for you parrot because they are for a 2 or 3 year old child.
There is also another more tangible reason for providing toys for your parrot. Playthings are required to keep your parrot’s beak cut. The beak is always growing similar to out fingernails. Your parrot’s beak will become overgrown without something to chew on. This will require a visit to the vet, toweling, and submitting of the beak. This is stressful to the parrot and can be avoided by giving toys for your parrot to chew up and destroy.
2 – What Are the Types of Toys?
There are several varieties of toys. These are general categories plus some toys fall into several of the categories. Some are designed to give your parrot mental exercise such as Puzzle Toys. Some are designed to give your parrot physical exercise such as Exercise Toys, plus Grasping Toys. Finally, some are created to give your parrot a healthy beak and healthy feathers such as Munch Toys and Preening Toys.
Dilemna Toys – These are typically questions with treats inside them. They motivate the parrot to solve the problem to earn the treat. A few are simple lids on boxes plus some are complex and require the parrot to unscrew nuts from bolts to open a treat holder.
Exercise Toys – These are typically rings or ladders that encourage your parrot to climb, hang, or swing.
Grasping Toys – These are “hand” held toys and other playthings that encourage your parrot to hold them while playing with them. This particular encourages your parrot to exercise its “hands”.
Chew Toys : These are for shredding. They keep the parrot’s beak trim.
Preening Playthings – These are typically hanging playthings that encourage your parrot to preen them. The theory is that if your bird preens it’s toys then it will be encouraged to preen itself. Preening is necessary for your parrot to maintain healthy feathers.
3 – Important Toy Safety Issues
There are several things to avoid when buying or making toys. These include safety issues with your own parrot consuming the toy as well as other physical safety concerns. Some materials to avoid include toxic inks, staples, rubber, Styrofoam, soft plastic plus costume jewelry. These items are potential dangerous items if your parrot eats them. There are also items that pose the physical danger. These items include key-chain rings, frayed ropes, and a packed cage. Key chain rings can potentially get caught on you parrot’s beak or their nails. Frayed basics are also potentially dangerous if your parrot’s feet get tangled in the frayed ends. Finally, a crowded parrot cage can be dangerous if your parrot does not have room to spread its wings.
Leather strips are often used to tie toy parts together. If you’re using your personal leather strips then make sure they are not dyed, tanned, or treated in any way. If there is a doubt then don’t use this. Glue is often used to glue plaything parts together such as Popsicle stays. Make sure you use a non-toxic glue for example Kid-Safe glues if you use glue plus use as little as possible.
Glues needs to be avoided when making toys unless essential. A “Kid-Safe” glue that is non-toxic should be used if required and you ought to use as little as possible.
One final consideration regarding safety is playthings mixed with food or treats. Some toys have treats in them or fastened to them. This is acceptable and this type of toys is one of the parrot’s preferred toys. However , flavoring toys along with food can be dangerous and should be avoided. This happens when some people create toys and want to color the toys. The coloring should be non-toxic and food free. If it tastes such as food or a treat then your bird may consume it. If you want to dye wood blocks then use a nonflavored coloring for the same reason. Some people recommend food coloring or unsweetened Kool-Aid to color your wood obstructs.
4 – What Makes a Plaything a Good Toy?
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There are several factors that make a toy a “Good Toy”. The most important factor is that the toy should be safe. The previous section listed a few materials to avoid. This section lists several characteristics that make a toy the “Good Toy”.
Colorful – Parrots can see colors.
Chewable – This will help keep their beak trim.
Various Textures – Parrots “feel” with their beaks and can distinguish different textures.
Appropriate Size – Buying or making your toys the appropriate size is a key consideration.
Mentally Challenging — The toys should be mentally challenging such as Treats inside Toys.
Quick Links – Also called “C clips” or “C clamps”. They have the screw fastener and are shaped just like a “C”
Moving Parts – Birds love a lot of moving part plus swinging parts.
Makes Noise – Parrots love bells and music toys.
Puzzles – Some “puzzles” are simple (lid on a box) and a few are very complex.
5 – Where Can I Get Toys?
Now we all know what makes a dangerous toy and what makes a good toy. There are a few places/means to obtain toys. You can purchase them at dog stores or on the Internet. This is the easiest and most convenient way to get toys. You can also build your own toys. They are referred to as DIY (Do-It-Yourself) toys. This is the cheapest way to get toys. Lastly, you can do a combination of buying, building, plus recycling which for most people is a content medium.
Buying toys at dog stores or online is very hassle-free. There are two key considerations essential before buying the toys. These are materials and size. Toys come in a variety of materials and are often a mix of the following materials. The common toy materials are wood, rope, leather, acrylic, and metal. All of these materials are safe. Nevertheless , you should check each toy to make sure that there aren’t other hazards like entanglement (frayed rope or clips) or ingesting hazards (small parts). The size of the toy is also a key consideration. Most pet stores recommend what toys should be purchased to get what size of parrots. However , there isn’t an industry standard in “sizing”. Check the size of the toy and match the size of the toy with the size of your parrot. A general sizing is small (Conures & Pionus), medium (African Greys & Amazons), and large (Macaws & Big Cockatoos).
Buying toys is often exactly how parrot owners start out getting toys for their parrots. After buying bird toys for a while you will soon understand that the cost is very high. You will find yourself spending $10 for a toy with nothing to show after a couple hrs of your parrot chewing on it. It is extremely similar to feeding money into a shredder. Some parrots are better from destroying toys than others therefore some parrots require a lot more toys than others require. You will shortly begin to realize that you can build your own toys a lot cheaper than you can buy them. Building your own toys may be the cheapest way to get toys for the parrot. DIY (Do-It-Yourself) toys are a cost effective means to provide your parrot with toys. This does require some knowledge and experience using tools but just very basic tools. You might need a wood saw to cut wood, a drill to drill holes, and possibly a pair of pliers. You can purchase the wood at a local hardware store, bring it house and cut it up, then hang it from your bird’s cage using rope, wire, cloth, or buckskin strips. The DIY method furthermore requires some creativity on your component. However , after looking at other playthings at pet stores or online, you can come up with your own ideas regarding building your own toys. While this could be the cheapest way to get toys, it will require a lot of cutting and going. There is a third option for those of you who else don’t have the energy or inclination in order to dedicate this much effort. This option is really a combination of buying toys and producing toys.
The third option for getting playthings is to combine the buying and making methods. In this case you purchase gadget parts and make your own playthings. These toy parts come in gadget making kits where all the items are included and you just have to set up them. These toy parts are also available in packages that just include wood blocks or just include plastic obstructs, or just include other parts. In this case, you may want to purchase several different packages of plaything parts and mix and match them. This requires very little work because the toy components are ready to assemble and don’t require trimming or drilling. And these DIY sets are often cheaper than the fully assembled toys. This option is how many long time parrot owners get toys for their parrots.