A very good article on "Are your bird toys safe?"


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All toys should be of the appropriate size for the bird you are giving them to. A toy meant for a small bird can easily be destroyed by a larger bird, and they might ingest dangerous pieces.  Be sure all toys you use are made of untreated wood, welded or closed chains, and leather that is vegetable tanned.  Birds can catch their toenails and beaks in any small openings...this includes jingle bells.  Carefully investigate each toy for anything that can be dangerous to your birds before you purchase it.

Many bird toys that are available are not safe.  For instance, small chains and ropes can wrap around a birds neck or feet or legs.  Birds can get caught on chain links, especially if the links are not closed so their toenails can get caught in the openings. Plastic chain can be dangerous if not sized right for your bird.  Beware of plastic parts that can be broken, and also parts that birds can get caught in. Be very selective when purchasing toys for your birds.

Ropes can also be dangerous as birds can hang themselves or wrap themselves up in them.  Frayed ropes are especially dangerous.  I had a Cockatoo that wrapped the frayed ends of a rope around her toes while gripping a perch.  When I found her stuck there, I cut the rope and threw the swing with the rope in the garbage.  She ended up losing the ends of 2 toes.

Split rings, such as those used for keys, are extremely dangerous as birds are strong enough to pry them open and get their beaks, toes or tongues caught in them.  You will find many toys using these rings.  One Cockatoo got her tongue stuck in one of these rings after prying it open with her beak.  Again, luckily, the owner found the bird and pried it off before the bird lost its tongue.

Woven fabrics found on toys, and also on cage covers, can be dangerous as loose threads can get caught around toes, feet, legs, and necks.  Plastic links large enough for your bird to catch its foot or head in can be dangerous. 

A common fastener used to hang bird toys is a Quick Link or "C" link.  These are now available in stainless steel, recommended over the zinc ones in order to prevent zinc poisoning. If you have toys hanging with these links be sure to watch your birds carefully.  Larger birds can undo these links and possibly get hung up on the open hook.

In closing, please inspect all of your bird toys to be sure there is nothing that might be unsafe for your birds.  Remove any split rings from your birds toys.  If a bird can get caught in something and get hurt...IT WILL!  Be careful when choosing your bird's toys.

If you have the name of a manufacturer of an unsafe toy, be sure to write them and let them know of your concerns.  If we all work together on this, perhaps we can get them to be more careful in what they manufacture for our birds to play with.

The above list is, by no means, a complete list of dangerous toys.  Always be on the alert, and remember, these birds are masters at getting into trouble with anything. 

Compliments of  Joyce's Birds

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