June 24, 2021
Pets in captivity don't have the opportunity to engage in the same activities they naturally would in the wild. Toys are incredibly crucial to the mental and physical health of your parrot. Parrots, at first, may not understand how to play with certain toys, but after a while, they will start to identify textures, colours and shapes. Toys allow parrots to expend energy through exercise. Many birds spend long periods of time without our company while we are at work or school. Boredom sets in. They may become easily agitated. We must keep them busy with play while we are not there for them. Parrots are brilliant creatures, and they require stimulation and enrichment. There are different types of toys, and each bird may have their own preference. Some parrots like softwood toys, some acrylic and some shreddable. It all depends on your parrot's individual interest. It's important to take note of the type of toys your bird enjoys. This way, you will make better toy purchases in the future.
In the wild, most birds love to chew and shred wood or bark to build a nest. A shareable toy is typically made of soft material that they can easily rip up or destroy. My birds really enjoy shreddable toys that are soft and material. I can say that it's probably by far their favourite type of toy. Most toy companies use soft paper material to make such toys. They can come in all different sizes and colours as well!
Foot Toys are great for birds to play outside of the cage, or you can place them in a bowl or on a shelf in the cage for your birds to play with. I find that it's easier getting shreddable toy parts and placing them on top of their cages with budgies. I also suggest foot toys to be a bit softer in material for smaller parrots. People assume smaller birds don't really play much with foot toys, so it tends to be overlooked. Most birds would love foot toys as long as the right materials are used regardless of size.
Birds really like bells! My birds go a bit too crazy about bells and toys that make noise. Bells can be dangerous to some degree because of the small gaps. It can get smaller parrots, little toes and beaks caught. The clapper material inside the bell can become a choking hazard since it can be loosely attached. This is why it has to be supervised if used. Also, avoid the Christmas bell toys. They are not suitable for parrots. If you are a bit wary of toys with bells, you can get stainless steel toys that can make similar sounds.
Acrylic & Plastic Toys
Acrylic or plastic toys generally last longer than all the other toy types. They brighten up cages, give visual stimulation and are still fun for birds to play with. I stocked up a large selection of acrylic and plastic toys in my storage bins. Most plastics toys can be found in your nearest pet shop. Personally, I prefer acrylic toys more than plastic. My birds seem to like both types equally. Just make sure that your bird is not chewing on the plastic toys. If your plastic toys get worn out, replace them.
Soft & Hardwood Toys
It is essential to encourage birds to chew wood, not only to keep their brilliant minds occupied but also to grind down their beaks. My birds seem to enjoy softwood, such as balsa. They like hardwood too but not as much as softwood. Most budgie owners get hardwood toys and feel discouraged when their birds show no interest in their toys. I highly suggest you use softwood first. Budgies beaks are not that strong enough to play with hardwood toys, but I would suggest a couple to see how your birds respond to it. Smaller birds do better with balsa wood.
Toys that you can DIY are a fabulous way to extend your parrot toy collection. They are also a great way to budget by assembling or repairing toys from older toys! I have plenty of toys that I made that are themed-related. I enjoy making Halloween, Christmas, Easter or other seasonal toys. I buy toy parts in bulk and visit my Dollar Store for cheap toy parts. I enjoy using straws, balsa wood, vine, beads, cardboard chips and many more miscellaneous items. Making toys can be more financially reasonable, and it is also easier to figure out what your parrot likes and dislikes.
Like many birds, my birds also really like spending time playing with forging toys. It keeps their brains busy, allowing them to complete a puzzle or follow instructions to get a treat. Foraging toys require parrots to think critically to earn a treat rather than utilizing their beak's blunt force. Examples of foraging toys are those in which treats can be hidden, threaded on a skewer, stuffed in a hole, or otherwise incorporated into the toy. I like to use small treats and hide them inside their toys. It's fun watching them try getting the hidden treats
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