Meet Mimi, my Mexican Redheaded Amazon Parrot. She talks and sings and eats and showers. One of her biggest habits, unfortunately, is chewing. She'll chew on anything, like the back of the sofa, the edge of my drapes, or my shirt sleeve. So I had to become creative and come up with things for her to chew on and play with to keep her away from my cherished items. Here is a list of great toys for birds that keep them entertained and healthy as well.
- When you think of birds in the wild, where are they? In trees, of course. Perched high on a tree branch, chirping away. Going with that thought, I cut down a huge chunk of tree branch from my back yard. Then I took a five gallon bucket and mixed up some Sakrete, available at any hardware store. Then I sunk the trunk of the tree branch in the Sakrete and let it sit. Now, Mimi has her own abode and she loves perching in her tree, ripping off the bark and chewing through the wood.
- Carrying my simulated tree to her cage, I took small tree branches and laced them through her cage. Now, Mimi has a myriad of branches to climb to and fro, gnawing until her heart is content.
- Another great toy for birds can be found in your dog's basket of toys. Birds love rawhide. I find the square flat ones work best. I drill holes through several and lace them together with a leather strip, knotting beneath each one to give them separation. This gives Mimi not only something to chew on, but something to knock around.
These are just a few great ideas to entertain your loved bird. Anyone can come up with fascinating toys for their own birds. Just think of a bird's life in nature and try to imitate that environment. Stones in the bottom of their cage? Perhaps. A dried flower from your last date? Perhaps. Just a few tips to keep your bird safe when you make bird toys.
- Never use string or woven fabrics. They can become a strangulation hazard and dangerous. If you want to tie or dangle something in their cage, use leather strips but don't be surprised when your bird snaps it in half a few times.
- Use natural products as often as possible. Birds lived in the wild for centuries before becoming domestic pets, so try to stay away from plastics or heavy vinyls.
- My biggest hint for keeping your bird happy and a great pet is to take away the mirror. When a bird looks in the mirror, she sees a mate. Since birds are bonded creatures, they will bond to the bird in the mirror instead of to you as its caretaker. Having a bird is the most satisfying experience for all involved, but it can also be fun trying to create new things and situations for them. Try the few abovementioned and, once you see how much fun your bird is having, you'll find inspiration for new toys every time you take a walk outdoors.