Toys are an integral part of any parrots life and should be available in ample supply. Birds are curious and playful by nature and require stimulation to keep from being bored – while we can never totally replicate their wild habitat, we can ensure that they have enough mental stimulation to keep them from being bored.
Always remember to use bird safe products – this is very tricky for some owners who are unsure of what is and what is not bird safe – when purchasing toys always check them over to ensure all parts are compatible and safe for your parrot – mass market manufactures don’t always check each toy before it is packaged for resale – some toys have missing parts/jagged pieces or rings used not suitable for parrots.
A growing concern today is the lead paint used in some foreign countries to color both parrot and baby toys, if you are unsure if this product is safe, do NOT purchase it.
Remember to purchase species specific toys for a parrot – the smaller toys more suited for cockatiels/conures/quakers are NOT suited for larger birds – the parts are very small and can be ingested by a larger parrot – the bells can also be broken and the little dinger inside can be ingested – plastic pieces not suited for a large bird can be ingested and cause crop impaction.
The standard hook used to attach the toy to the cage is a U shaped hook – it looks like 2 U’s together with a screw to tighten both ends up – this is one of the safest hooks out there – others that are not considered safe are those that resemble key chains – toenails/beaks have been known to get caught in these – S shaped hooks are also not the best to use as little legs can also be caught up in these.
New toys can sometimes be scary to certain species so its important to introduce them slowly to it – try hanging the toy on the outside of the cage for a day or two or on a table where they can see it – having the bird out with the toy and watching them is also a good idea to ensure that they can’t eat/break any of the parts making the toy a danger to them.
Don’t purchase or use any toys with long strings/wire/thin rope – if you DO purchase these, cut the strands off as they are a choking hazard.
Rope boings are a favorite among parrots and while they do play/sit on these, they also chew them – inspect these daily!! The loose fibers could easily wrap around a neck or a leg causing serious injury and/or death.