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Parrot Toys

Updated on June 6, 2013

If you have pet parrots, any kind of parrot relative, you know just how intelligent they are. And with intelligence comes the ability to become bored very easily. Here is a list of toys to give you some ideas for entertaining your bird!

Sun Conure
Sun Conure

Safety First

Because birds are much smaller and have a more delicate system than we do, you have to be wary about the toys, particularly if they are home made or someone has given them to you. Use caution and be organic whenever possible. It’s best to use materials that have not been dyed, but if you do buy some, it should be colored with a safe dye, like food coloring. Wood is not only good for birds, but natural, as many species of parrots chew their way through wood to make a nest cavity for their young. But you want to make sure that any wood you bring into your birds cage is safe. Here is a list of safe wood you can use in your birds cage. Also, wash off any wood you bring in from outside, and if it has any sign of disease on the tree or bird poop, don’t use it. Sounds a little demanding to give your bird a toy, but it’s good to keep these things in mind with parrot toy parts or anything your parrot comes in contact with.

Leathers are fun for birds to chew on, but as leather is treated, you might want to leave it to commercially produced toys or make-your-own-toy. Metals are best left to commercial toys, as well. Your bird may not chew on it, per se, but if it’s painted, you could have a problem if your bird ingests the paint. Mirrors are popular to give birds, but be careful of the cleaning products you use on them. Rope is probably best left to commercially produced parrot bird toys, as well, but the video I've included talks about safe ropes to use.

Normal Grey Cockatiel
Normal Grey Cockatiel

Your Basic Parrot Toys

Bells, blocks, leathers, and ropes are basic parrot toys you will see available for your bird. They may be your average toy, but I can’t tell you how much a bird can love a bell. From sleeping next to one every night, to singing to it when in a musical mood, I’ve seen birds practically fall in love with bells. Make sure, however, that bells have wide open mouths, like the liberty bell, rather than closed off with a moving ball inside, like the bells in cat toys. With the close, round bells, there is a danger of the bird getting its beak stuck inside of it – which can be a disaster if you’re not there to free your bird.

Another toy to component to be aware of in large parrot toys is rawhide or dog chews. Like leather, rawhide may come treated, and unless you know exactly where your rawhide is coming from or how it’s treated, you might not want to provide it to your birds. Either way, rawhide is hardly as enjoyable for a bird as it is for a dog. Dogs have a lot of saliva to make the rawhide chewable. Birds do not, and the rawhide is more like to crumble as they chew on it.

Parrot Toys for Shredding

Now that we’ve talked about safety, one of the things that is usually a successful parrot toy are shredders. A product that actually goes by the name Shredders is a natural woven palm leaf that does justice to its name. My cockatiels love to chew on these, and have chewed on them with such ferocity that they’ve left the piece I cut off for them in pieces on the bottom of their cage by the end of the day.

Another toy for shredding that are popular and come in different shapes are piñatas. From big piñatas that can be filled with nuts for large parrots toys, to small, simple, intertwined colored palm leafs for small parrots, you can give your birds hours of shredding fun, as well as provide an eclectic site that’s appealing to the eye for you.

A natural shredder you can buy for your bird in your grocery store is dried corn husk.

Scarlet Macaw
Scarlet Macaw

Parrot Toys for Outside the Cage

Parrot toys that are good for both time in and outside the cage are foot toys. Foot toys are toys that don’t have to be hung, but the bird can play around with at the bottom of their cage or on the floor. Depending on the species you have, or the dexterity of your parrots feet, he may pick the toys up with their foot to chew on, or just be content to toss them around. The foot toys that I have gotten my birds, however, handed death sentences by their avid chewing. Be sure to follow safety guidelines on the packaging and in this article to make sure the toy stays safe for your bird.

The play stand is a way to encourage your bird to come out and play. There are many different play stands in the world of parrot toys, and you should choose one appropriate to the size of your bird. Some are basic outside perches for the bird to be on, while others come with toys on the stand for your bird to entertain themselves with. Throw a few foot toys on the stand for some extra fun.

Parrot Toys to Educate

I love toys that are more than just colorful accoutrements with a bell attached to the end. While one of my bird has no problem with trying to beat up her bell toys, all my birds can benefit from toys that encourage them to think.

Food puzzles are becoming more and more accessible now a days for all types of pets, to decrease boredom and activate the mind. In birds, it’s almost a necessity. One of the first thing a bird owner learns is that parrot food can be fun. That’s why they now make treats that come in a shreddable cardboard box for birds to tear apart before they can get their food. But there are also food puzzles that require the bird to figure out how to open a compartment or move the food through the puzzle before they can get access to their treat. Be sure to try to have one for each bird in your cage as a more dominant bird might kick your other bird out of the way once she has gotten the food out. Yes, this has happened to me…

Another type of educational toy there is are electronic toys that make a noise when certain buttons are pushed. It depends on the bird if they will actually like this toy or not, but it certainly is a concept that is going to be taking off.

Finally, there are toys like Activi-toys that turn, or that birds can pull things out or insert things in. It depends on the toy, but I love these for my birds. They provide hours of entertainment for my toys, and I consider it an investment whenever I buy one of these for my birds.

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