This article is for you if you own a parrot or are thinking about getting a parrot.
1 – Why Do Parrots Need Toys
You already know that you Kaylee and K’mya need a LOT of toys to keep a parrot entertained if you have a parrot or several parrots. If you’re thinking about getting a parrot then get ready to hire a staff of Santa’s Elves because you’re going to need them. Most parrots love to destroy toys. This is a healthy, necessary, and required behavior. After food, water, and your attention, toys are probably the next most important things in your parrot’s world. Toys are not an optional accessory for you parrot; they are essential. Toys provide mental stimulation, physical stimulation, and keep your parrot’s beak trimmed.
Parrots spend a lot of time searching and foraging for food in the wild. This entertains them and stimulates them. In your home, the toys provide the necessary means for your parrot to entertain itself. Toys also provide the mental stimulation required by your parrot. Some experts say that the parrot’s emotional level is similar to a 2 year-old child. They also say their intelligence is similar to a 3 year-old child. So stimulating toys are just as necessary for you parrot as they are for a 2 or 3 year old child.
There is also another more tangible reason for providing toys for your parrot. Toys are required to keep your parrot’s beak trim. The beak is always growing much like out fingernails. Your parrot’s beak will become overgrown without something to chew on. This will require a trip to the vet, toweling, and filing of the beak. This is stressful to the parrot and can be avoided by providing toys for your parrot to chew up and destroy.
2 – What Are the Types of Toys?
There are several types of toys. These are general categories and some toys fall into several of the categories. Some are designed to give your parrot mental exercise such as Puzzle Toys. Some are designed to give your parrot physical exercise such as Exercise Toys, and Grasping Toys. Finally, some are designed to give your parrot a healthy beak and healthy feathers such as Chew Toys and Preening Toys.
- Puzzle Toys – These are typically puzzles with treats inside them. They encourage the parrot to solve the puzzle to earn the treat. Some are simple lids on boxes and some are complex and require the parrot to unscrew nuts from bolts to open a treat holder.
- Exercise Toys – These are typically rings or ladders that encourage your parrot to climb, hang, or swing.
- Grasping Toys – These are “hand” held toys and other toys that encourage your parrot to hold them while playing with them. This encourages your parrot to exercise its “hands”.
- Chew Toys – These are for shredding. They keep your parrot’s beak trim.
- Preening Toys – These are typically hanging toys that encourage your parrot to preen them. The theory is that if your bird preens it’s toys then it will be encouraged to preen itself. Preening is necessary for your parrot to maintain healthy feathers.
3 – Important Toy Safety Issues
There are several things to avoid when buying or making toys. These include safety issues with your parrot consuming the toy and other physical safety concerns. Some materials to avoid include toxic inks, staples, rubber, Styrofoam, soft plastic and costume jewelry. These items are potential dangerous items if your parrot ingests them. There are also items that pose a physical danger. These items include key-chain rings, frayed ropes, and a crowded cage. Key chain rings can potentially get caught on you parrot’s beak or their nails. Frayed ropes are also potentially dangerous if your parrot’s feet get tangled in the frayed ends. Finally, a crowded cage can be dangerous if your parrot doesn’t have room to spread its wings.