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Bird toys are expensive. If you’re like me, you started out buying your birds fancy toys, and if your birds are like my birds, they ignore anything they can’t shred.
Caged birds truly don’t need a lot to be happy (or as happy as they can be outside of being free): space to spread their wings, fresh food and water (if you only feed your birds seeds, please read this post on how to make bird bread,they need so much more. They also need toys, especially foraging toys. It’s what they do in the wild.
I have spent so much money on expensive toys that they paid no attention to, minus my lovebird Woodstock who loves bells. I finally got with the program and started making their toys. They aren’t pretty but they love them. They usually destroy them within a day or too.
This one is completely free. It’s all stuff you have lying around the house, thrown together into a toy that makes a bird happy as can be.
Start with a small box (for small birds) and stuff it with newspaper. After every crushed paper, throw in a bit of your birds favorite treat. In ours I put in a mix of their pellets and muesli. Every bird I have met loves (healthy) cereal (don’t use sugar covered cereal, healthy is the keyword. Mine are Cheerios nuts too.).
When it’s full, make 2 holes in the back to fasten it, and one small hole in the front. I do that to start it for them so they can see there is something in the box to get to.
Then attach it to the side of the cage securely. I use fishing line and as soon as they tear the box down, I remove the line so they don’t get talons stuck in there.
Yes, the box magically changed. 🙂 I already had one hung in my budgies’ cage and used that one.
Can I offer a piece of advice? If your cage isn’t big enough to put a box that size in it, you really should get your bird a bigger cage. Especially if they don’t get a lot of flight time in your house. My budgies never leave their cage. We’ve tried. They don’t leave their flock ever. Their cage is big enough to put a few of toddlers in so they can fly around a bit in it. I’d like to get a flight cage that size for each of my lovebirds, but even their cages they have now are big enough to put a couple if small dogs in. No, I haven’t tried. Junie and Suki would totally not appreciate it.
Other things I use: a wiffle ball with Chinese finger traps shoved through the holes (I also use newspaper because they are addicted to the finger traps and can tear one up in minutes.), an egg carton cut up (NOT styrofoam), one side of it filled with treats and then topped with another section of the egg carton so they have to forage to get to it, anything with straws (just put a clump together, it doesn’t have to be pretty, they’ll tear it up), a toilet paper tube covered in peanut butter and rolled in cereal and bird seed, a toilet paper tube stuffed with newspaper and straws. You probably see the theme here. Anything they can tear apart makes an awesome toy and mine prefer them to store bought toys any day.
For bigger parrots, I was the coolest thing once. Someone had attached a very sturdy box to the wall (out of cage time, huge!) and filled with shreds able things and treats to find.
If you don’t like a messy animal, you definitely have the wrong pet. Every bird I have seen throws food out of the cage and regurgitates stuff on the wall behind the cage. 🙂
So, moral of the story, instead of paying a boatload of money on things your bird will just destroy, think outside of the box! Or in this case, think of what you can put inside the box.