Parrots are very active animals , they need to exercise every day and face mental challenges that stimulate them positively. In nature, parrots are gregarious animals with very complex relationships with their congeners. They spend the day communicating, playing, climbing trees, feeding and creating new bonds.
In this article from Animal Expert we will talk about parrot toys, we will see how they should be, what types exist, we will even learn how to make parrot toys since we cannot always afford to visit a specialized store.
You may also be interested in: The best hamster toys
- The importance of parrot toys
- Characteristics of parrot toys
- Types of parrot toys
- How to introduce a new toy?
- Homemade parrot toys
The importance of parrot toys
Lack of physical activity, new challenges, absence of more parrots or other animals with which you empathize can end up causing health problems in our parrot. The symptoms of stress or discomfort in parrots are not usually evident at first, since, being prey animals, they know how to perfectly hide their weaknesses.
If you have one or more parrots at home, you should know that one of the strategies to reduce their stress, frustration or boredom is the use of toys. In fact, toys are crucial to a parrot’s proper health.
Characteristics of parrot toys
All parrot toys must comply with basic premises in order to avoid poisoning, injuries or other problems . The same happens with the place where we host our parrot, it is important to know what a parrot’s cage should be like, of what materials it can be built, where to place it or what to put into it.
When choosing new toys for a parrot we must take into account that:
- The toy must not contain paint or be made of a material toxicto them. You can inform us of this in a parrot game store or in any store where they sell products for exotic animals.
- They should not contain extremely small partsthat can be swallowed by mistake.
- The material with which it is made cannot be abrasive, nor have sharp or pointed edgesthat can hurt the animal.
- When the toy contains fabric or strings, its use must be monitored, because when it frays, the parrot can be trapped.
- The best materials for parrot toys are natural ones, such as woodand its derivatives, such as cardboard or paper . In addition, materials such as olive wood are ideal for the good maintenance of the beak and nails.
Parrots are specialists in destroying toys , so you should bear in mind that these will not last long and will have to be constantly renewed. It is not a wrong behavior, on the contrary, his way of having fun is to pick toys. In nature they also cut twigs or flowers, a very beneficial activity for plants in most cases, as it acts as a natural pruning.
Types of parrot toys
When choosing which toys we want to give our parrot we have to take into account several factors. First we will think about the size of our parrot , the dimensions of the toy for a large parrot are different than for a small parrot.
Second, we must take into account the size of the cage . If we are going to place the toy inside it, there must continue to be enough free space inside, so that the parrot does not feel overwhelmed. Also discover in Animal Expert what a parrot’s cage should be like .
Finally, the toys will be different if we have one or several parrots . If the toy is for a single individual, we must observe it to avoid conflicts. Once these factors have been analyzed, we will choose which type of toy our parrot may like best or which one is more practical for its physical and mental condition.
Birds love to be suspended over tree branches. Hanging toys, like a swing, cause that feeling of being on a wobbly twig. These toys also strengthen the leg muscles . Multiple swings can be placed at different heights to encourage jumping from one to the other.
Parrots are climbing, of course they are also flying animals, but in tropical forests where the vegetation is very dense, it is sometimes easier to climb from one tree to another than to fly. For this reason, toys such as ladders or just perches placed diagonally to the ground will favor the climbing ability of these birds. In addition, parrots climb with the help of their beaks, if these ladders or innkeepers are made of wood they will also fulfill a function of wear and maintenance of nails and beaks.
Interactive parrot toys
In freedom, parrots spend a good part of their time foraging, handling and eating. This foraging behavior can be easily imitated at home. If the parrot lives in an aviary or if it leaves the cage assiduously, we can put its food scattered on the ground, it will spend long moments searching and eating.
There are toys into which we can introduce food so that the parrot can entertain itself by taking it out. It does not need to be a special food, it has been shown that a parrot will prefer to obtain food in this way even if it is the same food that is always available in its feeder.
Toys to stimulate physical activity (playgrounds)
Although it may not seem so due to its physiognomy, parrots can be obese . It is a very serious problem that can seriously affect the liver and other organs, leading to death. Whether or not we have a parrot with weight problems, it is important to keep exercising.
There are toys called “play parks” where the parrot can perform various activities such as climbing, hanging, searching for food, etc. It is like an ” all in one ” for parrots.
The use of mirrors on parrots is somewhat controversial. As we said parrots are very social animals, living alone does not ensure the welfare of the animal. Chances are that if we give a parrot that lives only a mirror it becomes obsessed with the reflection, it could even stop eating. Mirrors are games suitable for parrots that live in pairs or groups , large or small. In this way they can enjoy the mirror.
Parrots need to keep their beaks healthy . To do this they spend time chopping various objects. The best ones are those of natural material, such as wood. We can also use cuttlefish bones or calcium stones , with the extra contribution of this beneficial nutrient.
Whether to maintain a correct beak length or not, parrots are very destructive, so they’ll love it if you give them pieces of cardboard so they can be undone.
How to introduce a new toy?
Depending on the relationship we have with our parrot, if you trust us or not, introducing a new toy will be more or less easy. First of all, we will never introduce a new toy directly into the cage , as the parrot could be very scared and create animosity towards the toy or even us.
It is best to leave the toy next to the cage for a couple of days. If our parrot trusts us and watches us touch the toy, it will accept it much faster. After this time, we can put the toy in the cage, in a place far from where the parrot usually stands, so as not to invade their personal space . Over time you will learn which toys are your parrot’s favorites.
Homemade parrot toys
The sale of parrot toys is on the rise but, as we said, parrots are very destructive animals so these toys will not last long and you may have to invest a lot of money in new ones. This is not a problem, because you can make your own toys following the following tips and tricks:
- It is as simple as hanging ropes or pieces of clothwith small knots from the ceiling of the cage, the parrot will enjoy very much undoing those knots. But I remember doing it under surveillance, because the fabric can fray.
- You can also make toys with the cardboard left over from the paper rolls, make small holes in it, insert food and close it at the ends. This ensures hours of fun.
- If you are a person with DIY qualities, you can build your own parrot park. Remember not to use toxic or abrasive materials such as glue.
- Another idea is to regularly change the arrangement of the innkeepers. You can also go to the field and park in your city and collect twigs and sticks to create new innkeepers. If they have different rude and textures it is better.
Now you know the importance of toys for parrots and how easy it is to build your own toys. Below we share with you a video from the Avetropic YouTube channel in which you can learn to make a homemade parrot toy: