Have you ever wondered, how parrot wood blocks are made?
maybe you wish to learn to do them yourself?
Here I will go step by step so one can appreciate the effort and love that goes into making and building pinewood bird toys.
Where to buy wood for your birdie block parts?
You need to buy untreated pine wood from your local lumber yard. Pinewood is a soft white wood that Home Depot, and Lowes carries in different sizes. Most parrots love this wood because they can easily chew it into toothpicks.
Before you head towards the lumber yard, bring gloves and a pocket knife. Gloves to prevent splinters. Knife to open new bundles of lumber.
There are a few different sizes.
1 by 2
2 by 2
1 by 3
If you need something larger, you can go for the 2 by 3 and 2 by 4. Those are usually Fir, which is still safe, but harder. Great for Macaws, Cockatoos.
When purchasing lumber you want straight pieces with minimal knots. I know knots make it look cool, but for our purpose, no knots.
You always want to look at the color of the wood. Make sure there's no discoloration, which can be a sign of mold. If you're unsure, leave it, and find another piece.
Your lumber pieces shouldn't have any sap, or stickiness. If it does, it's no good.
For perfect pieces of parrot wood blocks, make sure your lumber has all corners, throughout the whole length. Yes, I spend a good time at the lumber yard, inspecting every piece of lumber I buy.
What do you do with all this lumber?
Now it's time to cut your lumber into Bird wood blocks.
You can cut them into any thickness, any length, any width.
Sometimes your cuts will depend on your toy designs but most times it will depend on your parrots.
Most parrots like nothing thicker than 3/4 inch.
Small parrots will like thinner pieces, up to 1/8th of an inch.
You might want a 1-inch or greater thickness if you have a wood chopper.
Next, drilling holes
Mostly 3/8th inch hole is good enough for wood pieces. For larger wood blocks, larger hole will be needed for the larger chain or thicker rope
If you don't wish to cut and drill wood blocks, www.pdsparrotshop.com have wood blocks kits, ready to turn into parrot toys.
Now the real fun begins when you start dyeing parrot wood blocks with different colors. We dye ours outside, with lots of room.
Use food coloring: Wilton, Americolor, or any other human grade-food color. You will also need 70% isopropyl alcohol.
Side note: Alcohol will not be consumed by the parrot. During the drying stage, the alcohol will evaporate. I use alcohol because I find it easier to use, and it disinfects the blocks.
Mix 1:15 ratio of color: alcohol. With gels, you might need to work it a bit more. The ratio can be changed on personal preference. But 1:15 is a good place to start.
Place your color in a bucket and then submerge your wood blocks, take them out and dry on wire or newspaper. I use the same dye for all my wood, vine items, and paper cups.
After you're done selecting, cutting, drilling, and dying your wood parts, you can start making wood bird toys.
Author: Monika Sangar
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, non profit. www.pdsnonprofit.org