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 shreddable tree lying around. 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 demolition-focused parrot!

I’ve had success with cardboard-based toys for every parrot I’ve shared my home with. From Sun conure to Amazon, they all lose their minds over shreddable cardboard and paper toys. This likely stems from their innate tendency to be de-construction workers! The Shred-X toy comes in two sizes to suit both small and large parrots, and is made with safe, recycled cardboard and a few wood slats. The cardboard is tough and dense to ensure your bird will be entertained for at least a few moments before turning into a satisfactory pile of paper mulch. For a toy that will pack a little more crunch, the Spiked Parrot Piñata is sure to please! This toy is also dense and more durable than a regular paper toy, with cardboard fringe on the bottom to add different modes of play. The colors are visually stimulating and the spikes provide a perfect spot for small treats, like a sunflower seed or piece of dried mango. This toy is a favorite of Symon, my African Grey. He sometimes will hang from it, upside down, and attack the fringe on the bottom! It’s great when a toy can keep both your bird’s brain and body active as it’ll improve their mood, keep them happy, and drain their extra energy.

Not all shreddable toys are made from cardboard. Some use lighter materials, such as finger traps, to entice smaller species of parrots, and parrots that are reluctant to play. One such toy is the Whiffle Fingers! With several finger traps for shredding, plastic whiffle balls for gnawing, and plastic chain for chewing, this is a great combination toy that can be suitable for most species of small to medium-large parrots!

Not every parrot needs a pre-made bird toy. Feel free to get creative, and make your feathered friends toys at home! Since my birds tend to enjoy shredding cardboard, I usually will retain shipping boxes, cereal boxes, and request extra (clean) pizza boxes when I order take-out. All of these keep Symon and Murphy busy for hours – I rarely hear a peep! They also have previously enjoyed beating up paper towel rolls, tissue boxes, and ripping up computer or newspaper. As long as the product is clean and the adhesive parts are removed, nearly any cardboard product can make a cheap and entertaining parrot toy. What toys are your parrot’s favorites? Share a picture with us in the comments below! You can check out our entire selection of bird toys on our full site.

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How To: Choose a Shreddable Bird Toy

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