Interactive Toy Too Big for My Birds

hi! i received everything i ordered from you folks in beautiful condition. sometimes it seems, other places just throw everything in a box and hope it gets to it`s destination in one piece.
was wondering if the see-saw toy i ordered came in a smaller size. my mini and both conures freaked out when they saw it, i guess, because it`s bigger than they are, ha! if not, what would you recommend that is smaller for foraging?
thanks for everything…diane porter

Dear Diane
I am glad your order came well packed and intact, we try our best. Especially all the way to California.
Sorry the See Saw toy is large enough to be scary to your birds. 
I suggest you entice them to go to it to start by either of these methods.
#1 Just to get them used to it, try tucking a millet spray in it so it sticks out, it may attract them to go over to it and taste it, thus getting used to the new item .
#2 Then next time, try filling up the toy FULL, they will SEE the food/treats, etc in it and start working on the stuff, then as it goes down, they may start to work the toy like it is meant to be to get to the rest of it.
We are seeking out more “smaller” foraging toys and have a few new ones in stock already.
Snack Rack Toy – It is lighter in weight and fun
Natures Instinct Interactive Foraging Bird Toy Snack Rack
Barrel of Fun Toy – also smaller and easy
Nature's Instinct Foraging Nut & Treat Holder Barrel of Fun Toy
Treasure Chest – Small
Bird Proof Interactive Bird Toy - Treasure Chest - Small
We are continuing to add toys to our website weekly. The Foraging toy section is found here.
Thank you.
Catherine Tobsing


Do I Really Need The Largest Bird Cage I Can Afford?

Macaw parrot standing on top of antique bird cage
We posted the picture above today on Facebook and one of our fans commented “I sure hope this macaw doesn’t live in that tiny cage” and my response may be a bit of a shock but I don’t necessarily have a problem with that.
The conventional wisdom is always been to get the largest bird cage you can afford for your parrot. Unfortunately conventional wisdom is not always correct. The basic use for a bird cage is to keep the bird captive basically so it can’t get in trouble when unsupervised. 
But here’s the thing – the size of the cage should really be determined by the lifestyle that you develop with your bird. I love to use the example of a customer of ours in the far southwestern suburbs of Chicago. Years ago I delivered a bird cage for her new Military Macaw. The drive was far and I didn’t get there till about 9:30 that night. 
The customer’s husband helped me bring the two large boxes containing the new cage into the bird room. Turns out the Military Macaw was Macaw number seven for the family. There were two Hyacinth’s, a Greenwing, a Scarlet, 2 Blue and Gold Macaws all sharing the room with the new Military Macaw.
What was notable was that all of the birds were on top of or on play stands next to cages that looked very similar to the cage pictured above. The pristine antique cages were no more than 24 to 30 inches in diameter. The customer had kept the birds up until I got there and once we finished the transaction, I asked her about her philosophy regarding the relatively small cages for the very large birds. She just smiled and said “watch this”
She clapped her hands and said – just one time “okay bedtime for everybody” and the six large Macaws, without hesitation, all entered into their relatively small cages. The Hyacinths actually pulled their cage doors shut and she closed the other four doors with only the new Military now kind of rocking back and forth wondering what to do next on a stand.
Without missing a beat because she must have been reading my mind she went on to explain that she worked from home. She let the birds out of the cages by seven o’clock every morning and they were out until usually 8:00 or 8:30 every night so they were happy to climb into basically what were “sleeping cages” 
She had some of these birds for more than 20 years and this was her lifestyle. You could tell these birds were well behaved, happy with wonderful feathers (no pluckers). The experience really changed our philosophy about housing birds. 
Circling back to the theme of this blog post. If you’re gone 8 to 12 hours a day – work, school and all the other places that life takes you we would like to see your bird in a walk-in aviary if could afford the space in your house. But if all your bird is doing is sleeping in his cage and is out all day that cage really doesn’t need to be all that big relative to the size of the bird.
We have many customers who have the birds in large cages in social areas of their home. Social areas mean family members in the household may be up late watching television or conversing. If the bird remains in the social area and is kept up not allowed to sleep for 12 hours because of distractions until one or two o’clock in the morning, the situation can easily put a bird on the path of feather destruction or other nervous disorders.
Cage with Stand for Cockatiels to Conures Prevue Pet 123 Black
The cage pictured above a Prevue 123 makes an ideal sleeping cage for an African grey or large conure. When placed in a another room it’s easy to take your bird away from late night family activity and simply provide the right amount of birdie bedtime.

Seeking Cockatiel Breeding Cages

Hi Jimmy,

We can offer a few suggestions to help you find suitable breeding cages for your Cockatiels and Macaws.
For the cockatiels, although you said you wanted six individual cages for the six breeding pair my wife take a look at this cage from HQ
Bird Aviary & Stand for Finch to Conure 32 x 21 by HQ 13221
The Bird Aviary & Stand for Finch to Conure 32 x 21 by HQ 13221 is well suited to your needs in that you could probably put 4 -6 cockatiels in this cage. The cage has breeder box doors on two sides. The stand is included for the affordable price which offers a shelf for storing your breeder needs. The cage is also ideal for housing your birds once they become adults
30" Divided Breeder Cage - 3 Pack - Prevue FO630 Black
This cage can be used on an optional shelving unit (see below) that has casters helping to maximize your space
Bird Cage Stand - 3 Tier Fits 30" Wide Breeder Cages - Prevue ST30
As you can see from the picture three cages can go on this cage stand
Lastly, one of our favorite breeding units is the Divided Double Breeder Bird Cage on Stand HQ14020
Stacked 2 Divided Double Breeder Bird Cages & Stand HQ 14020
As you can see this is actually two cages stacked on top of each other with a stand providing new four distinct “cells” which allows you to house four breeding pairs. You can order these cages without the stand and stick them three high if you’re looking to save money and room.
You also asked about a breeding cage for macaws we would ask you to consider the Divided Parrot Cage for Large Birds HQ 36432 it’s big enough to for two large Macaws and has a removable divider they can be used to separate the male and female. it also has two nest box stores which makes it ideally suited for breeding large birds.
Please let me know if we can answer any further questions. Thank you for contacting Windy City Parrot
Mitch Rezman

Foraging Toys for Two Very Large Moluccan Cockatoos

I’m looking for foraging toys for my two very large Moluccan cockatoos. All the ones on your web site seem to be for much smaller birds. Please let me know if you haven’t appropriate toys.


Dear Lea
I know Moloccan cockatoos, they are very strong. It can be very difficult to find good toys for them.
There is a new trend for Foraging Toys and I am sure it is very frustrating trying to find toys hard enough to insure your bird won’t destroy it immediately.
We do carry a nice selection of Foraging toys for birds, but ones that will hold up to all Moluccans and also other highly destructive birds like Green Wing macaws, I cannot promise that they cannot be damaged by your bird.
I have had a couple of Moluccans, about 30 years ago and I was very aware of their strength.
Some Moluccans are not as destructive as others, but it sound like yours are a handful.
Now these items are not considered Foraging toys but when someone comes to us looking for strong toys, I will aim them to the Expandable Habitat Stainless Steel kebobs. 
They are VERY strong and serve a destructive birds needs well. They are best loaded with the left over toy parts I am sure you have from other destroyed toys. They then can be added to the cage and hold up VERY well.
Expandable Habitats Stainless Steel Chewable Kebob Skewer 1 3/4 Inch Ball
This would be my #1 choice.
You can make a nice foraging toy by adding a few of these coconut shells to make a place to hide treats inside them.Coconut Shell Half Hairy for Parrot Toy Parts
I recommend these beads as a base, meaning one at the bottom of the kabob, which is strong enough for a Moluccan and keeps the rod from being pushed out of the cage.
Marbella 42 mm Round Bead for Large Parrot Toys 1 pc
I am sorry, but I have only ONE GREEN bead left in this size in stock. I have to get more soon.
As far as the premade Foraging toys, I do not know if a highly destructive Moluccan could damage any, but I like these.
Paradise Foraging Ball with Chain and Bell Interactive Treat Holder
Paradise Foraging Systems - Foraging Wheel Generation II Extra Large
Chomping Chain of 7 Plastic Links - Large Parrots
Locking Stainless Bird Feeder Cup with Clamp 20 oz
Rope - 100% Natural Cotton 3 Stand Twist 1 Inch Diameter by the Foot
Now these are not all Foraging toys, but they are items geared for the big birds.
Sometimes even something simple as a phone book will please a big bird.
Free Bird Toy - Phone Books
I hope some of this has helped.
If you are looking for something in particular, please let me know and I will look into it for you.
Thank you.

2mm Plastic Chain for Bird Toys Question

Plastic Chain, 2 mm (1/2" link) for Bird Toys Jewelry 2 feet
Subject: 2mm plastic chain
Im working on a special project and wanted to know the weight capacity / tension on the 2mm plastic chain
Ann D
Dear Ann As we are simply a pet supply company and our plastic chain is used for bird toys, the 2 mm chain would serve parakeets and cockatiels, little birds to nibble on, hand light weight toys, we have not have the weight test issue come up. I took a heavy item in our store with a handle (gallon jug of cleaner weighing almost 9 lb and using an S hook dangled the jug and it did not break, but who knows if it would later. 
Then I tried it on a handled bag of bird food weighing 25 lb and it broke about 4 links up. The bag of bird food was only a couple inches off the ground so it was not damaged. I have nothing else here I can try with a hole or handle This is plastic chain made in China. Not meant for heavy use and there could be inconsistencies in the links (one thinner than another), so I am sorry, I can’t help any further. You could buy some and test yourself. It is available in 2 mm, 3 mm, 6 mm and 8 mm. Thank you Catherine
Windy City Parrot, Inc.

Will Your Bird have the Same View for 50 Years?

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In the video below its stated quite succinctly. In the wild, parrots spend 50 to 70% of their daylight hours foraging for food. Most parrots in captivity are given food in a bowl. What would take a parrot 4 to 8 hours to do in the wild is reduced to a leisurely 30 minutes in captivity. As a result some of these birds resort to other behaviors to occupy their time. This could be screaming or over-preening which eventually leads to feather plucking. If not corrected these birds can develop other destructive or neurotic behaviors due to extreme boredom.


In the video everything the bird did to eat was earned and was a challenge. You best believe every day there was a different treat in a different compartment in a different toy. The video goes on to show how the toys are used in different order to further challenge the bird. Tell me that wasn’t one happy bird having the time of his life just looking for the next challenge?.

I listen to customer service calls and read customer service tickets all week long asking similar questions. What can I give my bird that he will like but not upset him? The new perch we put in the cage is freaking him out. Or we’ve had this cage for 25 years, it’s wearing out and we want the same one so we don’t upset our bird. But then your satellite service gets you 936 channels for variety.

Help get your bird used to change again, we advocate 10 or more bird toys in the top one third of your birds cage, line the inside walls of the cage, sides, front and back, leaving much of the center open for the bird. If they want to play with a toy, or snuggle next to one, hide behind another or destroy something they will go to it. The toys in your birds cage are the leaves on the tree they may be living in the wild. Next, go into your birds cage at least once a week and move a toy from one side of the cage to the other side, or add a new toy. Think things are getting dull, or your bird is getting upset with a small change. It is time for an overhaul of senses. Remove the bird to another room or a stand and move everything around, not just the toys but the perches too! Unless you have a “special needs” parrot, stop making things so easy for your birds. Why not make them reach for the food bowl once in a while?

Your bird is a thinking and feeling animal. The majority of us have deprived our birds of the gift of flight. Subject them to the stresses of something unknown to them in the wild, and much shorter day and nights, calledwinter. Your bird needs constant mental and physical stimulation for optimal health. Simply feeding them the best bird food money can buy does not ensure their overall health. They need variety and regular “change”.
We like to move things around the birdcage and make our birds “work for food” for the same reasons humans go to the gym, take long walks and do other physical activities, to help improve the quality of our own lives. Why deprive these wonderful feathered creatures that live for decades of the same benefits? New items don’t have to be costly, boxes, phone books, measuring cups, plastic water bottles with a bead inside, and so on can help renew and energize your birds activeness. Click here for plenty of DIY bird toy ideas
Do you have your own ideas, suggestions or questions about changing your birds cage environment? Click here to post them to our blog

Although this video has absolutely nothing to do with birds we thought it theme appropriate as its title is “Change” It’s a music video from the band “Churchill”, a song we’ve really grown to like with a pretty cool video to boot.

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Mitch Rezman CMO
Windy City Parrot, Inc
Simply Everything for Exotic Birds – Since 1993
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