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Be Your Bird’s Personal Shopper

Be your pet bird’s personal shopper with these tips.

By Jessica Pineda

Shopping for bird supplies can be fun

Your shopping list for your bird, at times, can be pretty long: pellets, seed, treats, fresh produce, toys, perches, cleaning supplies — it can go on and on. But being your bird’s personal shopper isn’t just about picking up the day-to-day supplies; it’s about picking the products your bird likes and also products your bird doesn’t yet know it loves.

Get Your Bird To Try New Foods
When it comes to your bird’s food, if your bird only likes one type of fruit or vegetable, try similar-looking items to get it to sample a new one. For example, if your bird only likes to eat apples, try introducing a pear or Asian pear for him to try. It has a similar texture and flavor to an apple, and your bird won’t know the difference as it munches away on what it thinks is its favorite fruit!

Similarly, if your bird only likes a certain vegetable, try the same trick. If your bird will only eat snap peas, try edamame or snow peas. If your bird likes broccoli, mix in some cauliflower for him to try.

Toy? What Toy?
While some pet bird stores allow you to bring your bird in with you, often or not, you are on your own when you look over the massive toy wall. What do you get for your bird? You might say to yourself, “My bird likes to chew on electrical cords and my picture frames,” and you’ll notice that none of the toys look like those items.

As with the fruits and vegetables, try similar textures to fill in for what your bird normally likes to chew up. If your bird tries to chew on electrical cords, try leather strips, which have a similar texture. If he likes picture frames, try giving him a toy with a thick cardboard base that he can have fun tearing apart.

Other Things Your Bird Might Love
There are a number of things you can give your bird that it might know it loves. Surprise your bird with an edible perch, a climbing net or a boing. They’re like a perch and toy, combined into one, and provide great ways for your bird to exercise (chewing can be considered exercise, right?).

Try a foraging toy! Have your bird watch you place some of its favorite treats inside a foraging toy; then, watch your bird destroy the toy to get the treat inside. There are a number of foraging toys available now, all of which have interesting ways for your bird to work for its food.

Most importantly, as your bird’s personal shopper, remember to have fun! Satisfaction comes from seeing how happy your bird is with what you purchased!

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Reader Comments
Thank you this is great help!
Rachel, Priddis Alberta Canada
Posted: 5/3/2011 11:58:21 AM
I chew on the toys first before I buy them, so I know he'll like them.
Bernie, Malden, MA
Posted: 1/10/2010 7:57:52 PM
My bird does not eat any fruits or veggies exsept carrots. Pretty whierd.
Scout, baltimore, MD
Posted: 10/30/2009 7:09:12 PM
I always feel like an idiot playing with the bird toys in the store to see if my bird would enjoy it - I know I'm not the only one!
Tammy, Palm Harbor, FL
Posted: 10/30/2009 11:47:18 AM
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