Do your pet birds seem a little down these days? Do you want to spend more time playing with them but you don’t have the time in your busy schedule? Fear not! You can keep your birds happy while you’re away by giving them some fun toys to play with.
Why Do Pet Birds Need Toys?
According to an article by The Avian Welfare Coalition, pet birds require toys and enrichment activities. They also love toys that they can chew up. That means you should buy or make toys frequently.
According to Petcha, playing is important for birds to release stress and make their life more enjoyable. Playing with toys also encourages good physical and mental health. Birds use their feet and beak while playing. This improves their strength and dexterity which are crucial for climbing, perching, and eating. It also helps them develop good balance and coordination. Toys also provide mental challenges and stimulation that keep the brain active.
Why Should I Make Instead Of Buy One?
There are two main reasons why you should make your own bird toys. First is to ensure the toy is made from bird safe materials and the second is to save money. Not all toys on the market are made of safe materials. The ones made by reputable companies are mostly okay, but they can also be quite expensive. Plus making your own toy also allows you to be creative and make use of your arts and crafts skills.
Materials For Homemade Bird Toys
There’s a number of easily available household items from which you can make toys for your birds. Just consider some of the following:
Toilet paper rolls
The cardboard cylinder from a toilet roll is ideal for birds to chew and shred upon. Also, they can be easily combined with other items when making other toys for your pet bird.
A simple piece of paper can seem boring to a human but it might be able to keep your pet parrot entertained. Simply hanging a few pieces from the cage gives your bird something for them to shed.
If you want to take it to the next level then you can use your origami skills to make a number of different toys that will keep your birds entertained.
You get a lot of excess packaging in item deliveries these days, but instead of just throwing it away this can be used for bird toys.
Another type of cardboard box that can be easily turned into a bird toy.
Old books and old phone books
Birds love ripping their way through an old yellow pages.
Their own feathers
A parrot loves to preen it’s own feathers and will also find feathers that are integrated with toys also interesting.
Popsicle sticks/ice Cream sticks
Gives you a good excuse to buy yourself some ice cream!
Small wood sewing spools
Your birds get to play with the sewing string/yarn and also the wooden spool itself.
Strings and ropes
Ideal for hanging other toys and items off and creating things such as tassel balls. The ideal material for this is sisal rope.
A pack of cards
You can stick a hole into these and hang them from the cage or simply bend the cards into different shapes.
Types of Bird Toys You Can Make
There are a number of different types of toys that your birds will enjoy. Just check out the list below for ideas:
- Chewable/Shreddable Items
- Nest boxes
- Noisey items (bells and chimes)
- Foraging Toys
Videos On How To Make Bird Toys
For more ideas, you can watch this great video below on DIY parrot toys, showing you how to make various bird toys using stuff that you can find easily.
The video below shows how to make even easier foraging toys using only paper towel, sisal string, and scissors. It can provide lots of fun for the birdies for next to no cost at all.
Please remember that it’s better to have three or four toys ready for rotation. You get bored when playing with the same thing over and over again when you were kids, right? It’s the same for birds. Combine and switch the toys every week to keep things interesting for them.
My Birds Won’t Play With The Toys. What’s Wrong?
Relax! There’s most likely nothing wrong. Some birds just like to play when no one is around to watch. However, if you suspect your birds never touch the toys even once, try placing some seed or any of their favorite foods close to the toys. Let them know it’s okay to play with them. You may also want to replace the toy with a different one. Just like with kids, you can’t force birds to play with something they have no interest in.
Important Things to Consider
Although sometimes a plain paper towel can provide tons of fun for your little birdies, you may often want to spice thing up with colors. Birds see in colors so toys with a combination of colors are more interesting to them. Stick to safe food coloring to paint or soak materials used for making toys. You certainly don’t want your feathered friends to ingest paint that’s compromised with lead or other harmful chemicals.
One last thing —please don’t forget to interact with your birds. Hold them and chat with them. Fun toys are okay, but you still need to show affection to let them know they’re loved. We all want the best for our pet birds, right?
Be sure to let them out of their cages from time to time. Let them fly in the living room when the windows are closed so they can give their wings a good stretch. Dr. Michael Krinsley of ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital said that pet birds should have a good amount of time outside their cages, about one to three hours a day.