The 5 Most Important Reasons Pet Birds Need Bird Toys
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The 5 Most Important Reasons Pet Birds Need Bird Toys

Why do birds need bird toys?

So they can have fun right?

Well that’s one reason.

But the need for a bird toy goes far beyond entertainment.

Reason 1
Learning

Reason 2
Privacy

Reason 3
Communication.

Reason 4
Beak and nail (self) grooming

Reason 5
Helps a captive bird fulfill it’s instinctual expectation need to forage.

That’s a lot of pressure to put on the ubiquitous bird toy but upon examination, you’ll understand that to invest in a bird toy is an investment in your birds well being.

Let’s start with bird toy materials.

Wood, leather, rope, cardboard paper.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSwNdMES-OU

The possibilities are endless.

At the-end-of-the-day bird safety is paramount so common sense should drive your choices.

A bird toy can come from a name brand manufacturer or be home grown.

General speaking, a bird toy is meant to be destroyed.

It’s up to you to make sure your bird doesn’t get hurt in the destruction process.

That’s not to say every bird toy ends up getting destroyed.

Sometimes a bird toy will last (be allowed to last) because it serves an alternate purpose – privacy.

A bird toy to a bird cage is what a leaves are to a tree.

Bird toys offer cover and privacy.

Your bird cage should have at least 10 bird toys occupying the top 1/3 of a bird cage.

Why so many bird toys?

Let’s look at another way.

Does your home have window coverings so you’re able to have privacy?

Privacy is something your bird needs.

You’ll never see flock of parrots in a barren tree.

The leaves help hide them.

Parrots are prey animals always assuming a predator may be near.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvg5uZm6OgI

The privacy thing:
By densely placing bird toys in the upper portion of the bird cage your bird will have areas to hide behind.

Shredders from Planet Pleasures are listed as foraging bird toys, the strips can be woven through bird cage bars to create a privacy wall. So what if your bird shreds it?

That’s what it’s there for, now performing 2 tasks. foraging and privacy.

A bird cage full of bird toys insures your feathered companion interesting engagement, foraging fun, and privacy.

How do you select the right bird toy?

A bird toy should be size appropriate, at least to begin with (as they get chewed they will get smaller), and can be made from any number of materials, depending on the application.

A bird toy made of soft wood or paper usually will not last long – but that’s OK.

You have to look at it from the bird’s point of view.

A large parrot in the wild like a Greenwing Macaw will awake every morning at the crack of dawn in search of food.

Researchers have recorded Macaws landing in upwards of 50 different places covering more than a one hundred mile radius on a daily food seeking excursion.

At each stop the bird will inspect the ground, tree, mountain side with it’s powerful beak.

Using a beak to uncover favored fruit or insects is called foraging.

That’s why we have a category called Forage Preen on WindyCityParrot.com.


A foraging bird toy is designed to be torn apart, shredded – helping the bird fulfill it’s innate need to forage.

That’s not to say every bird toy isn’t a foraging bird toy but some materials do the job better than others.

Some bird toys are made to entertain or challenge the bird.

These could be toy where a single favored treat like a peanut or raisin are placed in a maze like container casing the bird to manipulate the container in order to get the reward.

It’s important to note that your bird doesn’t know the difference between it’s little toy box hanging in the cage and your $900 IPhone.

If you’re playing with your IPhone or tapping on the computer keyboard, guess what?

Your bird just sees the device as another bird toy that you’re having fun with.

So be aware of what your bird is watching because chances are, he or she will want to pay with it just like a bird toy.

I don’t know if anyone’s done a survey, but I can tell you my unscientific sampling says that most parrots homes have cordless phones missing several buttons.

Is it a cordless phone or a bird toy?

Don’t ask the bird.

Although we make our living selling bird toys, it’s important to note you don’t have to spend big money to keep your bird flush with bird toys.

For big birds check out our video on Youtube on how to make big bird toys from cheap lumber.

Take a bunch of wrapped straws and cinch the center of the bunch with a cable tie and you have a straw flower.

Stick a phone book through bird cage bars for a big cheap bird toy (if you’re ready for a mess) or place your junk mail through the bars.

Tell your credit card company your bird ate the bill which is why it was late – just kidding.

We took the birds out of the sky – it’s up to us to keep them healthy physically and mentally. and remember inspect all bird toys regularly to keep your pet safe.

Mitch Rezman

He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they visited monthly birdie brunches in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. I have had people offer me a shredder that had replaced with a different model, and I politely tell them, “Don’t need it, thanks, but I live with six shredders.” I actually get worried when the junk mail pile goes down too far, because two of my birds really enjoy their junk mail, and one of my Amazons is eyeing the stack of Christmas cards I took down in January, just waiting until she gets the go-ahead to demolish them.

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