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"Cheep" Bird Toys

Be a better thrifty bird shopper with these bird toys tips.

Jessica Pineda

Nanday conure playing with foraging toy

Times are tough, so saving money wherever possible is key. While it's tempting to not buy toys to save some money, birds need toys for physical and mental stimulation, and it makes them happy! Save money on toys and keep your bird happy with these tips.

1) Buy In Bulk
Hit a local bird show or shop online for toy parts in bulk, such as paper traps, wicker balls, untreated leather strips and bird-safe colored wood pieces. By buying these items in bulk, you can create your own toys, or just give them individually to your bird to play with.

2) Buy Toys Made From An Assortment Of Items
They last longer. If the toy is hanging on a stainless-steel chain with a wiffle ball and bell, beads and leather strips, your bird has five things to play with! It might chew away at the leather strips right away, but it still has those beads and bell to play with.

3) Buy Big
Have a smaller bird? Buy a bigger toy for it! Toys made for medium-sized birds can be placed into the cage for your small bird to work on; just make sure that there’s no way a nail could get caught or beak pinched. The same works for medium birds by buying them a toy for a larger bird. As for the big birds, giving them smaller toys means giving fun, handy foot toys! (Note: this is no excuse to only buy small toys for your larger birds. They need large-sized toys, too.)

4) Create A Clever Setup
If you buy a series of toys for the cage, rotate them as you normally would, but also be clever in how you set them up. While you can simply hang it in the cage, you can also stuff it into a corner, place it on the top of the cage (so the bird has access to only one part) or hide it in a bigger toy. Like foraging, make your bird work for its toy.

5) Look For Sales & Coupons
Check your magazines, local bird stores and online for sales and coupons throughout the year. You might save more if you buy at peak sales time!

6) Buy Toys That Last Longer
Destroy toys are "destroyed toys” very quickly. Buy different types of toys, such as acrylic or stainless steel, which can last months (if not years) and rotate them frequently so they are always new and fresh for your bird.

7) Types Of Toys
Opt for a foraging toy and stuff it with those bulk items you've purchased. Your bird might not notice it’s a foraging toy for a while when it's busy getting all the other stuff out!

From budgies to large macaws, birds need toys to live happy, healthy lives. Parrots are incredibly intelligent creatures and without toys to challenge and stimulate them, they might develop physical or behavioral problems. Toys fall into four general groups: interactive, noise, destroy and exercise toys. Each group offers an aspect of play that helps ensure a parrot’s mental well being.


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Posted: August 12, 2013, 5:45 p.m. PDT

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"Cheep" Bird Toys

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Reader Comments
great ideas
n, n, TN
Posted: 9/10/2013 7:45:59 AM
this is really cool! I know my little budgie will love these ideas!
Sonja, International
Posted: 9/1/2013 11:07:18 AM
i go to the rite aid in the dollar isle and buy the ropes she loves them and then i go to family dollar and get the rope with a huge tennis ball on it it takes her about 3-4 weeks to go thru it and they cost 3,75 each thats the way to go i cangt afford a 35 dollar toy and the wood is so cheap it will be gone in a day
Jill, phila, PA
Posted: 8/27/2013 3:17:40 PM
My Senegal parrot loves homemade toys the best. I make them with all her favorite stuff, plus she loves watching them be made. Sometimes she flies down from her cage, just to inspect and make sure I am making them right.
Kelli, Lithia Springs, GA
Posted: 8/21/2013 4:19:54 PM
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