Birds Need Toys...and so do I  



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Please read the article on "safe toys for your bird."

Birds love to chew on toys. At home in the jungle, they use their beaks for defense, grabbing, preening, chewing, climbing and playing. To not deprive them emotionally, toys and a climbable play stand should be provided for your new bird. A crude toy made of wood, leather and Popsicle sticks strung on a piece of rawhide leather can be extremely entertaining for your bird. You can get toys and toy making kits at bird marts. However, if you don’t want to drive to a bird mart, you can order toys off of the Internet. We buy our leather from a man named Ron Roy. (P.O. Box 235, Mansfield, PA 16933) You can contact him at:  A couple more sites to buy leather are: (On this site, their wooden blocks and toys make very good chew toys!)

Click here to visit Creative Bird toys.

Always supervise your bird when playing with a rope toy. They can get their feet caught in the rope!!!!! In fact, we do not even give our birds rope toys. We consider them way too dangerous and have heard too many horror stories. We sold a bird to one lady who called us 1-2 years later saying that she had just been to the vet. Her bird's leg got in a rope toy and fell off!!!

Birds do love cubbies/tents/cozy snuggly areas. Read here for a great place to buy a quality birdie bunk!

Wal-Mart’s craft department now carries large plastic Marbella beads. You can get corn husks from the grocery store (Mexican food department) for shredding.

Michaels and the baby section of the dollar stores are other great stores to go in and search for toy parts! Please be aware that many toys "made in China" have lead in them.

Here are ideas for shredding toys. They can help deter feather plucking.

  • Purchase a large bag of (natural) rafia at a craft store. Tie up bunches of it with twine or birdie safe rope. I cut smaller bunches and tie them together in a strand. Hang at the top of the cage and enjoy!

  • Get a large box/bag of plastic straws. Tie a bunch of them tightly together in the middle with twine, thin, birdie safe rope. Tie another rope from the middle to secure to the top of the cage. You can also cut the straws in half and secure in the middle and  make smaller bunches and tie together and make a long strand.

  • This is a simple one, which I am sure you have all heard of, but just in case... take a roll of adding machine tape and slide it through a wooden perch/dowel and attach to cage. They love to shred these!!

There is also the "shred master," birdie pinatas, and birdie bagels that are all examples of shredding toys you can buy.

These birds are extremely intelligent. In nature they spend about half their waking hours finding, getting to, and eating food. They work hard to get that delectable fruit  dangling at the end of a branch or breaking open seed pods or nuts or hunting for water; taking care of basic survival needs. They also spend time just socializing and playing with the flock and being with their mate and time grooming. Their days are pretty busy and filled with adventure, new places, and new challenges. Also they do NOT play, feed, and spend their days where they spend their nights. Roosting areas are at different locations than the daytime places. This is why we advise various cages for your pet or having available play gyms.

We have chosen the "Feather Tether" harness as our favorite. If you enter it on your Google bar on your computer, you can find where to buy them. Another place to buy harnesses cheaply is Ebay. You can get almost anything on Ebay. Harnesses go for almost half price on there. Another thing we use to harnesses our birds is called a Flight Suit (we sell these). The flight suits are also fun because they have different costumes...i.e. Christmas. I would almost describe them as a cloth harness. You can get them in whatever color or size you want. I personally believe that harnessing/flight suiting a bird helps with nippiness. They seem to submit and not bite as much. Birds will flip out the first time you put the harness on. Don’t be worried and don’t give up!!!  After you put the harness on, feed them a treat (nutriberries are loved or a chunk of cereal), and then BE SURE to take your feathered friend outside. That way, they get a reward and they will learn to like the harness if they can go outside once it’s on! Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever take your bird outside without a harness. I have heard so many horror stories of people who have taken their bird outside for 8 years for coffee every morning and one morning…poof! They have no bird! If you are an extremely lucky person you might get your bird back…but don’t push your luck. Even if your birds wings are clipped, a gust of wind or if something frightens them can miraculously grow them wings that can take them away from you. In other words…never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever take your bird outside without a harness. Get it???

If we want to keep our fids mentally and physically healthy we have to provide them with as rich an environment as possible and one that changes, isn't static, and I think that environmental enrichment needs to go way beyond just changing toys around once in a while. One friend plays the movie, "Parrots of Telegraph Hill" daily for her fids.

Thus, in addition to their daytime cage, we provide various play areas and a sleep cage. Giving them lots of stimulation and toys to explore is important to their mental health. When people come over to our house, they think that we have 3 times as many birds as we do. Yes, if you’re asking the question, our birds are spoiled. They have an inside daytime cage, an outside daytime cage on our screened in porch, and a cage in our bedroom for them to sleep in!!! My Congo African Grey doesn’t even sleep in her cage. I have attached a perch outside of her bedroom cage and she sleeps outside of it, as happy as could be. It is a rather fun thing to do!

Pine Cone Toys

Pine cones are a cheap fun toy for parrots. Be sure to thoroughly clean and disinfect them. Make sure that they have not been exposed to insecticides.  Avoid collecting branches from areas near highways or where there is a greater likelihood of the plant life absorbing toxic emissions from cars.   You can clean branches with a non-toxic disinfectant (diluted bleach solution of 4 parts water to 1 part bleach), rinse and dry thoroughly. We then place them in the oven at  225 degrees for 30 to 60 minutes. Turn off your oven and leave the cones inside for 2 hours. Do not turn the over up higher due to the danger of starting a fire. The seeds inside the cones are a special treat and are safe for the birds to eat and your birds will have a blast destroying the cone. A fun way to encourage them to play with the pinecones is to brush them in peanut butter, and sprinkle with bird seeds, pellets or crushed cereal. Hang in the cage by tying with thin leather.

Here are still more bird toy sites:


Wrangler's roost is a great place to start your toy hunt and she is Phoenix-based and will be at the local bird marts.  : Scottsdale based; I love her toys for my small and medium-sized birds< 


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