Toys are an essential part of your bird’s environment for the best quality of life. Toys will help keep your bird’s mind stimulated and prevent behavioral issues such as biting, screaming, and feather plucking. However, not all toys are for all birds. Just like humans, you’ll find that your bird will enjoy some toys more than others. You’ll also want to pay attention to what size of bird the toy is made for. Giving your small bird a large bird toy and vice versa can be very dangerous.
Types of Pet Bird Toys:
- Preening Toys – while preening is a normal and necessary behavior in all birds, over-preening or feather plucking can become a health issue. Rope and other preening toys are very helpful for birds who tend to over-preen.
- Chew Toys – chewing is also a natural behavior, but when birds are not in the wild, they can chew on things that are or can become dangerous to them. These types of toys are especially important for larger breeds such a parrots.
- Exercise Toys – when birds are in the wild, they get plenty of exercise from flying and scavenging or hunting. When they are in a cage, they do not have these opportunities. These types of toys are important for all bird types.
- Comfort Toys – Some birds are very dependent on companionship with other birds in the wild. This is why comfort toys are important – so they can snuggle into something soft. They can help alleviate stress as well.
- Shredding Toys – Another excellent toy for stress relief. These toys won’t last long so you’ll need to purchase them often if your bird likes them. Make sure to read all the labels to ensure that you don’t endanger your bird.
- Foraging Toys – These types of toys force your bird to work for their food. This is great for all types of birds since this mimics what they would naturally do in the wild.
Considerations for toys
When shopping for toys online or in person, you’ll want to know what features are good and which ones aren’t.
- Attachments – most bird toys are meant to attach to the top or side of a wire cage. You’ll want to make sure that the mechanism that is used for attaching the toy to the cage is safe for your bird. C-rings are the best kind of attachment. Watch out for keychain rings and split rings as bird feet can become caught in them.
- Rope and chain – make sure that any chains on your bird toys are close-linked chains. Both rope and chains should be strong enough for your bird – this is not so much dangerous but will definitely cost more money if they aren’t up to par with your bird.
- Bells – round bells with small slits in them – the kind that you’ll see during Christmas, (jingle bells) are dangerous for all birds since they can be easily bent and broken and become sharp.
- Material – common materials for bird toys are rope, leather, plastic, wood, fabric, bungee cord, and/or acrylic. Rope is great for preening, plus canaries love it, just make sure that the rope is strong enough for your bird and that you replace it if it starts to unravel. Leather can be great, but you’ll need to make sure that it is not treated with toxins. It is also very difficult to clean. Plastic toys are best left for smaller birds since larger birds can break the toys into smaller pieces and swallow them. Wood is a great chewing material. If the wood is colored, make sure it is done so using non-toxic stains or coloring techniques. Fabric is good for all sizes and breeds to prevent plucking. Bungee cords are safe for birds, but make sure that your bird won’t get tangled in them. Acrylic toys are very easy to clean, just make sure that they are strong enough for your bird.
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