Bird toys are about more than just having fun. Safe bird toys offer exercise, mental stimulation, relief from boredom, and aid against behavioral and health problems. It’s likely that your avian buddy will spend most of his or her time when you’re not around playing with toys. That’s why it’s so important for the toys you provide to be exciting, but more importantly safe!
Desirable toys for birds
As you pick out the right bird toys, look for the following:
- Interesting textures to stimulate the bird’s mouth and feet
- Bright colors since birds see a wider spectrum of color than humans do
- Different sizes to provide a unique look and feel when playing with different toys
- Fun sounds to give auditory appeal
- Appealing tastes to excite your bird’s palate
- Reflective surfaces, such as mirrors, for fascinating playtime
- Physically challenging options, such as puzzles or ladders, to give the bird the chance to problem-solve
- Appropriate size for your bird to have the most fun (small, lightweight toys for small birds and thicker, heavier toys for larger birds)
Types of toys to avoid
With the above tips in mind, watch out for toys with the following characteristics that could be dangerous for your feathered friend:
- Cotton ropes: Only allow your bird to play with ropes under supervision, since they can shred and ingest them. Sisal rope is a safer alternative to cotton ropes.
- Hanging chains: Metal or plastic links and chains can snare toenails and beaks.
- Clips and rings: Keychain rings and lanyard-type clips are notorious for trapping and injuring parrot beaks. C-links are much safer.
- Spherical bells: Avoid these types of bells with little slits in them and choose a classic bell shape instead.
No matter which bird toys you choose, rotate them periodically to give your bird something new and exciting to play with. Also, check the condition of toys on a daily basis to make sure there’s nothing dangerous in the cage.
For more information on how to keep your avian friend safe and entertained, refer to our Smart Pet Guide.