Read in 6 minutes
It amazes me that a lot of bloggers have a hard time coming up with ideas. I have an inventory of ideas for our Sunday morning get togethers.
Ideas are constantly finding me from all sorts of sources.
This past week a comment was left on one of our YouTube toy making videos saying a particular toy we were demonstrating was using a piece of chain that was unsafe.
Not 20 minutes after that in a blog post from a respected bird training site, we read where a bird toy from Wal-Mart allegedly poisoned the bird because of lead paint on the toy.
We have not fact checked that and there are a couple of red flags in the story.
The first being, quality bird toys do not get painted, they are typically colored with bird safe food dye.
The second being that Wal-Mart is known to pay its due diligence in terms of the safety for the products it sells.
Their fiduciary liability is too great not to test everything that can be ingested by animals or humans.
With those stories as a backdrop I decided to make a list of the top 100 safest bird toys .
“There is not ONE 100% safe bird toy,
bird cage nor captive bird accessory”.
(you’re old of you remember Jim Nabors)
Every item you put in a large cage including the cage itself is engineered to be bird safe – by humans.
Birds are great engineers too. Unfortunately they are what we call “reverse engineers”.
Anything you put in front of them will be reverse engineered until it no longer exists.
This makes everything you put a birds cage a potential danger – some examples.
- wood toys can split, a toe can get caught
- threads can unravel from a sleeping hut or fabric perch & a toe can get caught
- plastic toys, food dishes can crack, stainless steel dishes can get punctured leaving sharp edges
- even the food itself can get stale and get contaminated in a pantry
- the pantry moth traps on top of the refrigerator your bird gets caught in the adhesive
- a toe gets caught in a loose leather knot or some sisal.
Wal-Mart did not kill that bird.
Not knowing that paint on a bird toy is a red flag – did.
Our plastic chain is not dangerous to your bird. You not checking the chain’s integrity regularly – is dangerous.
The birdcage manufacturer whose cage “came apart” and your bird escaped in the middle of the night injuring herself with a bite through an extension cord – is not responsible for the injury.
Saving $200 on a birdcage and not knowing your bird has the ability to chew through the wire, break some welds or walkout through a feeder door – is dangerous.
Please don’t lay “this is a dangerous_fill in the blank bird accessory” at the feet of manufacturers.
This all is on you – the caged bird keeper.
With a more than a 100 year history of caged bird keeping information and feedback to draw from, no manufacturer of substance is deliberately negligently making things that will hurt your bird.
You also have us as a buffer/ retailer because there is other caged bird keeping paraphernalia on the market being sold. that we feel poses a danger to a bird regardless of degree or intention, thus we don’t carry it.
So it’s is up to YOU, the Caged Bird Caretaker to ensure that the bird has a safe environment. Daily checking of all toys and perches is imperative.
Every bird cage, toy & accessory we sell is designed to be bird safe.
As mentioned before our birds unintentionally re-engineer these great designs.
We know how a beak works at 250 psi squeezing 2 V shaped sets of razor blades.
We know how bird’s feet work and very strong legs in proportion to the size of the body.
People “outside” of caged bird keeping just assume bird toys are there for decoration rather than life enriching entertainment.
We know the toys are there to entertain but they are also there to challenge and provide foraging opportunities.
We are cognizant that our birds will re-design and ultimately destroy said toys.
Perfectly round or square pieces of bird safe colored wood can quickly become unveiled traps because of a crevice or large splinter left by chewing.
My intent was to capture your attention and not disappoint.
Consider this a reminder that however much interaction you have with your bird, it’s your responsibility as a caged bird keeper to be the building, water & health department inspector for your birds small world – Every day.
written by mitch rezman
approved by catherine tobsing
On 11/04/2018 Gary M wrote:
Had a freak, very serious accident last week.
My eclectus speared himself on an open toy hanger.
Somehow, he got the threaded hooked inside his beak.
The end with the nut on it literally penetrated the soft membrane under his chin and was visible inside his beak.
It was a fairly heavy one, so no way I could bend it. I didn’t want to try to “double plier” to twist it.
Fortunately, it didn’t result in anything besides the scare. No problem with pain, no trouble eating or drinking, no infection.
Ran him to an emergency vet with the hanger attached to a toy which was attached to a acrylic sided portable perch all hanging off of him.
Fortunately, he took it incredibly well.
Never a biter (the only time he’s broken the skin has been due to the sharp edges of the beak, not from any serious pressure.
He let me hold his beak from the INSIDE while I supported the toy with my other hand all the way to the vet. Once there, they wanted to towel him.
I convinced them he was doing fine and held him throughout. It took the heavy duty 18 inch bolt cutter to finally get the thing cut off and release the dangling perch.
Then, no big deal backing out the piece in his beak because the nut didn’t get all the way through to where we’d have had to get the membrane stretched to let it out.
Thought you might be interested in this story.
The hanger was like this one, only heavier gauge, and the perch.
That thing was dangling from him by the chain on the hanger for at least half an hour.
He deserves a triple platinum star, don’t you think?