Birds are highly intelligent creatures, and they need mental and physical stimulation to thrive in captivity. Crafting homemade bird toys not only enriches their lives but also provides a bonding opportunity for you and your feathered friends. Unleash your creativity with homemade bird toys. 10 great ideas for any parrot to shed, chew, and destroy. But first,
Why do birds need toys?
Parrots are highly intelligent and therefore need mental and physical stimulation and agility. Bird toys encourage exercise, decrease boredom, and keep them happy and healthy.
Are cheap homemade bird toys any good?
I should start this post by stating: Skilled, handcrafted isn't cheap, and you get what you paid for. Cheap bird toys are just that: cheaply made, dangerous, and causing more issues than one needs. Cheap toys are smaller, with few wood blocks, dangerous hanging clips, and the wrong material used.
Many times I will receive donations of toys, and I didn't give them to the birds because the toys will cause more harm than good. I took them apart and remade them. However, there are a few things you can do, for cheaper bird toy options.
What bird toys should I get for my bird?
We should be aiming for good quality bird toys, fairly priced. A good bird toy maker will use proper materials to make sure the bird toy lasts as long as possible. They will use materials that are non-toxic and safe, yet still, deliver creative bird toys for your parrot.
As wood prices increase and bird toy parts increase in price, parrot toys have and will also increase in price. There are other options and creative ways to help our feathery friends stay happy and enriched.
Homemade bird toys ideas: Make your own bird toys, safely.
Cardboard might be every bird owner's best friend. As bird toy parts prices increase, making homemade bird toys out of cardboard is easy and fun. There are cardboard boxes, cardboard blocks, and cardboard sheets. Cut the cardboard into smaller squares or rectangles. Make a hole in the center and string the cardboard pieces. Yes, it's that easy. Cut, Hole, String. For Further Reading: Best Bird Toys for Small Birds
Infant/ baby toys
Infant toys are not just for a human baby; your 20-year-old parrot might love them too. There are so many varieties of toys from wood to sound-making. Go to your nearest thrift store or look at marketplaces online for used old baby toys. (baby wood toys are safe since they use safe material for baby stuff). Watch out for moving parts toys because your parrot can get its toes stuck in them. Best to use simple, no-moving-parts infant toys.
The Dollar Store
My favorite place where I find all types of goodies for homemade bird toys. Wooden spoons to paper cups and rubber ducks. The dollar store or bargain stores are the best places to find all types of treasures for DIY bird toys. Remember to check out their baby section. Also, don't forget the popsicle sticks and coin paper wrappers.
Even with high prices, you can find a clearance section at the lumber yard where they are selling untreated pine wood for 70 percent off. You might not be able to use the full length and throw away part of the damaged wood, but it's much cheaper than the full-priced stuff.
DIY bird toys
If quarantine had taught us anything, it's how to youtube and google new skills. There are many DIY homemade bird toys videos. Many places are selling wood blocks with drilled holes. All one needs to do is string them with a sisal or chain.
Further reading about: Learn to make your own bird wood block.
Parrots love catalogs that get delivered to your home and go straight into the cage. Cheapest shreddable bird toy you can find. Just hand it over to them. To convert a book into a homemade bird toys, make a hole about an inch down, 1/2 depth on the spine side. String.
If you live in a semi-rural area with no hazards from insecticides or exhaust fumes, you can use pinecones as free bird toys. Bake them in your oven for 1 hour at the lowest temperature to sanitize them.
Yes, sometimes it's as easy as paper. So, how do you make bird toys out of paper? Use plain paper, no dyes, cut into strips and weave the strips, in and out on your bird's cage. They will have a bast shedding it, destroying it, or getting rid of that paper you just added to their clean cage. A perfect homemade bird toys for any type of parrot.
Paper towel roll
Just a paper towel roll can be entertaining for hours. Give it as is or make them into a homemade bird toys. Wait until you have a bunch of paper towel rolls. Fold them in half. Make a hole on the folded end and in the middle about 1/2 in depth. String a bunch of folded rolls together.
Sometimes, you can find cheap bamboo or willow baskets. Fill the baskets with foot toys and paper shreds, and watch your bird spend hours trying to find all the cool stuff you added. Remember to add a few foraging toys for even more stimulus. Another homemade bird toys idea is if you are friendly with your pizza delivery person, ask for an unused pizza box. Use the pizza box in place of the basket.
For stringing your bird toys, I suggest paper rope since it is the safest and most bird-friendly, in my option. For the rest, you should know your bird and use jute, sisal, hemp, chain, and/or cotton rope according to your discretion.
Unleash your creativity with homemade bird toys and discover the joy of crafting toys that keep your feathered companions happy and healthy. By providing mental stimulation, exercise opportunities, and a source of entertainment, you're not only enhancing their well-being but also strengthening your bond with these intelligent creatures.
If you're looking for new bird toys, made safely and bird friendly, PDS parrot shop has toys for all types of birds.
Author: Monika Sangar
Co-founder of Prego Dalliance Sanctuary, Artisan of PDS Parrot Shop
Monika Sangar, the co-founder of Prego Dalliance Sanctuary, a 501c3 non-profit organization, uses these blogs to share her hands-on experience with parrots.
She is a designer and artisan at PDS Parrot Shop, and her craft can be viewed below. (click on logo)
PDS is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (tax id #46-2470926) PDS parrot shop makes parrot toys to help fund our sanctuary, Prego Dalliance sanctuary, 501c3, non-profit. www.pdsnonprofit.org