Home made bird toys are becoming increasingly popular amongst parrot keepers and their parrots. Many are discouraged from this, however, thinking that they can?t make their own. You don’t have to be an organized or artistic genius to make great toys at home. All you need is a designated place to accumulate and store your new parts, washed re-usable parts, scissors, and stringing rope.
Set aside a budgeted sum to buy new parts each month. Suggest you take $10 or more each month to the craft store, Walmart or the Dollar Store and re-stock your supplies so you have more variety of parts. Or buy online monthly from toy parts vendors. Use blunt scissors for safety in case your bird happened on them someday. I like pinking sheers for toy making. Pinking sheers are blunt on ends and sharp enough to trim ropes.
If you buy a pre-made toy, assess its usability later for restringing parts. Is the base reusable? Are the parts durable enough to be washed and recycled? Recycling toys is a big dollar stretcher. Observe safety rules when making home made toys. Keep cotton and ropes short and match the size of the parts to the birds. Pony beads are small and are not usually matched to medium or large birds for safety reasons. Watch your birds play with toy parts to see if they are treating any part in an unsafe manner. Avoid using parts with metal, hooked shapes, and shaggy parts.
Buy 100% cotton mop head replacements at your grocery or Walmart. Remove any metal and then tie at the top for hanging. String parts to the strands of mop head. This type of cotton shreds easily and parrots love it.
Another great large bird home made toy is the stuffed brown paper bag. Be sure to remove any staples and fill a large brown bag with shredded paper, toy parts, and nuts.
The safest place to hang a bird’s toy is on or near the sides of the cage. If a foot is caught, then the bird can hold onto the bars until help arrives. Some large birds have mechanical minds and love knots. Single knots between beads or toy parts will challenge the bird and increase the toy’s life.
As parrot keepers, it is our sworn duty to entertain our feathered friends. Toys are wonderful for our birds, lifting spirits and promoting creativity and problem solving.