Busy beaks are happy beaks!
A minimum of ten bird toys should hang in a well-furnished bird cage. Parrots should not be easily seen in their cage. This their home and they should feel camouflaged as in the wild. Parrots naturally live in trees allowing them to be heard, not seen. Nests are built inside trees surrounded by more trees. Here, young are raised in the safety of nature’s cover.
Good toys have different shapes and textures for the bird to explore and destroy. At least three toys should make a bird work for food Working toys are toys that make them work for their treats or favored foods. Parrots in the wild will spend the majority of their waking hours, hunting and foraging. Bird toys stimulate their mind and help replicate actions they would execute in the wild. Proper bird toys and bird toy placement enhance a Psittacines life in captivity.
Parrots think they’re working for food while avicultural outsider sees birds playing with bird toys as birds; playing with bird toys. Your companion parrot is always thinking, and since nothing has changed in their minds, playing with bird toys is their job. It’s what Mother Nature gave them to survive, this need to forage. If you provide no means of foraging, your bird will seek other avenues. It may be furniture or personal affects. Usually because they are easy and plentiful targets. It’s important to encourage your companion parrot to work for food because it’s a natural behavior. Bird toys that encourage birds to work for food are foraging bird toys.
Three or four bird toys should be made of soft wood. Soft wood allows you to push your fingernail in forming an indent. The next bird toys depend on the bird. Large birds like macaws and Cockatoos may have a huge appetite. Introduce hardwood bird toys into bird cages and perhaps toys with hard plastics so they can spend more time on the various pieces. Bird toys may be strung together with rope, leather, chain or a combination of materials.
The balance of bird toys should be easily shredded. Bird toys may be store bought or home made. Parrot toy parts are available and helps keep toy making economical. Soft wood, paper, leather and other textures are important for the bird to explore and destroy
Introduce pieces of food like broccoli or corn, using one of many commercially available or home made bird toy holders. The food on the bird toy holder rewards them for playing.
The more textures, shapes, sizes and colors the better. Diversity is important because in the wild your birds eat a diverse diet. An eclectic selection of bird toys helps maintain your feathered companions interest.
Watch a bird in its natural habitat and you’ll see them chewing soft bark and hard tree trunks. Bird toys made from compressed palm leaf or treated Yucca introduces hours of “pecking pleasure” Interactive bird toys made from Plexiglas are very effective at reducing birdie boredom.
The majority of bird toys should hang or be placed in the upper third of the bird cage. Introduce a few more toys to the middle third (without hampering access to food dishes) around a perch made from soft wood, comfortable to grasp depending on the size of the bird’s feet. The bottom third of the cage should remain relatively uncluttered to allow the bird to walk freely.
Spot-check bird toys and perches on a daily basis looking for frayed or sharp edges that may potentially harm your bird.
The more you change the bird toy and perch arrangement, the more you challenge your companion parrot. It helps them socialize and helps avoids “bird-toy-phobia”
Parrots can develop phobic reactions to new people, new furniture, and even new birds.