By Stacy Richford
Many birds become very unhappy rather quickly due to the boredom of sitting in an empty cage. Birds have very active minds and strong beaks they need to work out in order to help keep them occupied and happy. Boredom is one of the reasons why many birds become pluckers and pull out their own feathers. This is why it is important to choose the right toys for your new pet bird.
When choosing a toy for your pet bird it is important to make sure that you choose a toy that is the right size. Some toys are specifically designed for smaller birds and are not always safe if you have a large pet bird. Larger birds have much stronger beaks and can easily break apart toys that were designed for smaller birds. This can be a potential choking hazard.
An extremely popular toy for many smaller birds are swing sets and Olympic rings. Many birds get so much enjoyment out of these two types of toys that they will in fact try to swing on both of them at the same time. Some larger birds also enjoy playing on swing sets, but the majority of bigger birds are not as fond of them as their smaller brethren. Toy ladders are a favorite of birds of all sizes but you have to make sure that you have adequate room in your pet bird’s cage.
If you have a bird that has tendencies to pluck a lot, it would be in you and your birds best interest to buy toys which can be preened. Keeping your little buddy busy preening their toys means they are much less likely to spend time pulling out their own feathers. If you purchase a toy that has been made with cotton preening strips you need to pay close attention for any threads that begin to fray. A loose thread could easily tangle around your bird’s neck or foot. Preening toys composed of feathers are significantly safer since you do not have the dangers of any loose threads.
Toy play gyms for pet birds are a lot like the gyms in which children play, and many birds get almost the same amount of enjoyment from their play gyms as children do theres. Most bird play gyms include climbing ropes, perches, ladders, seesaws as well as swings and a small bowl for treats.
There are certain toys you should think twice about giving your pet bird. Any toy that has a mirror or highly reflective surface may cause your bird to become bonded with its own reflection. Also toys with flimsy parts with tiny attachments that are not securely fastened such a small bells can also be a bad idea. If your bird manages to pull off any tiny part from one of its toys it may end up swallowing it, and the results could be fatal.
Lastly worth pointing out is the fact that many birds, just like children are quite happy playing with simple objects rather than expensive toys. For example, a paper towel tube or something like a wooden tongue depressor can be quite a joy for many birds. As always be sure to supervise and watch your pet bird closely to make sure they do not injure themselves with whatever it is that they are playing with.