The first step in choosing the right toy for your companion bird is to make sure the toy is sized properly. This is very important because if the toy is too large it may be very intimidating or provide components in which a smaller bird may become caught, such as a head in a large ring, and too small may mean that a larger bird can chew, break and swallow components creating a serious injury. Here are some basic guidelines:
Bird Toy Size
Tiny: Canaries and finches.
X-Small: Cockatiels, Lovebirds, Parakeets and Parrotlets.
Small: Caiques, Conures, Lories, Hawk-headed Parrots, Pionus, Quakers and Senegals.
Medium: Mini Macaws, large Conures and small Cockatoos.
Large: Amazons, Eclectus and African Greys.
X-Large: Large Amazons, Macaws and large Cockatoos.
Next, spend time watching your bird and start to recognize your bird’s preferences. Which textures does he seem to like and try to play with or chew? Watch and see if you can determine if he would prefer rope, leather, colorful acrylic, wood or chain. If he is an outgoing bird then a larger more interesting toy would be great, however, for a more timid bird a smaller less intimidating toy would be best, at first anyway. If your bird is a big chewer bolder toys and thicker wood is a treat, however a lighter chewer will be frustrated and soon grow bored with this toy so go with a softer, thinner wood for that particular bird. Chewing wood helps to keep beaks and nails trim.
Most birds seem to like bright colors, especially orange and appear to prefer toys that mimic the color of their own species. They also love textures so keep a variety on hand such as natural fibers and materials that mimic those they wound find in the wild, cotton rope, leather, wood and acrylic.
Toy placement in your bird’s environment may either encourage or discourage interaction with the toy. Watch and see if your bird more often uses it’s right or left foot and place the toy on that side. Keep several toys in your bird’s cage to provide variety, depending on cage size of course, but never too many to prevent your bird from moving around comfortably and safely. Some experts recommend giving your bird a place to hide, which will provide security. Never place the hideaway in the top center of the cage as this is usually a bird’s place of dominance and removing him from this secure place may become difficult. Rotate toys every other week to prevent boredom. Clean with soap (only the safer soaps like we offer here (see: cleaning supplies) or grapefruit seed extract (see: cleaning supplies) and warm water and let air dry completely before placing back in cage. You may also sand until clean but never soak your toys. Wet toys can build up bacteria quickly. Chewing is a natural instinct and vital to your bird’s well being. All the toys we offer are designed to be chewed, destroyed and enjoyed!