Are you new to sharing your home with exotic companion birds? Don’t worry – Bird Cages 4 Less has your back. Welcome to our “How To” posts, a recurring series of articles dedicating to helping you be the best parront on the block.

How well do you know your feathered companion? Would you know which toys to choose if you were browsing online, or in a store, just based on his personality and preferences? If you’re a new bird owner, you may not know his personality just yet – and that’s okay! Bird toys are much different than toys made for dogs and cats. Dog and cat toys try their best to be indestructible so they are long-lasting and can’t be swallowed. Bird toys, however, are meant to be destructible, crunch-able, toss-able, and able to make a big mess. This difference is due to the fact that parrots are basically construction workers in their natural habitats; they spend their days gnawing on tree branches and roots, or scooping out a nesting hole in the trunk, all with their big, powerful beaks. When we bring parrots into our homes, however, there’s rarely a tree to chew or hollow-out. So what’s a bird to do? This is where bird toys come in – and Bird Cages 4 Less has plenty to suit any species of carpenter-parrot!

A good wooden parrot toy is sometimes hard to find. Firstly, it should be an appropriate size; there’s no point in giving a cockatiel-sized toy to your macaw – once crunch, and it’s gone! The wood should be an appropriate hardness for the species of bird – a javawood toy is munching fun for your cockatoo, but better suited as a perch for your conure. Any colored pieced must be colored in a non-toxic, bird-safe way. Any bird toys which appear to have a layer of paint on the wood, rather than a soaked-on stain, should be completely avoided; it is likely that your bird would end up ingesting flecks of paint from painted wood by accident.

The Rainbow Bridge wooden toy comes in three sizes to suit birds as small as cockatiels, to as large as cockatoos. Your acrobatic parrots may use it as a tightrope to swing and sway as they chew on the blocks, while other parrots may prefer to perch on a stable branch and grab the blocks individually. Make sure you choose the appropriate size so your bird will get the most of the toy!

The Bamboo Dangle toy is also available in three sizes, but is aimed at larger, more destructive parrots. Larger and more blocks of wood are hung from a tough bamboo stalk, which may also be a toy for your macaw. This toy is sure to last your parrot quite a few play sessions and is a great addition to any cage.

The Apple wooden toy is a favorite of my parrots, Symon and Murphy. They always have one of these in each of their cages and they tend to last a month or two, depending on how bored the boys are while I’m at work. Symon, my African Grey, loves to chew on the whiffle balls and ring the bells while Murphy, my Amazon, likes to chew on the wooden pieces. Since the birds will visit each other’s cages, the toys are often played with by both birds at the same time!

Do you recycle your bird toy parts after your birds are done with them? If not, you’re missing out on a lot of creative opportunities to repurpose those parts! Usually, the wood is all chewed off but the metal chains, bells, and hooks are still perfectly intact and usable. You can order new parts from many toy retailers, or you may be able to pick up untreated lumber from the hardware store! What are your favorite things to use when you repurpose toy pieces and parts? Let us know in the comments below!

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How To: Choose a Wooden Bird Toy

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