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Homemade Bird Toys

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My husband and I have two parrots and I am constantly looking for ideas to make my own bird toys for them. I have come up with several ideas for those of you who have parrots and want to make your own toys. Parrot toys are expensive and end up getting destroyed anyway. So here are a few ideas:

  • Take some newspaper and cut it into strips. Make a paste of a handful of flour and non-chlorinated water in a bowl. Blow up a balloon. Make a paper-mache anything with the balloon. You can even fill the end result with seeds and other treats. My Green-Cheek Conure has almost destroyed the one I made last night!

  • Find some leather ribbon. Make sure it is bird-safe by reading the label and verifying it is free of dyes, except for vegetable-based dyes. Braid 3 long pieces together and knot both ends. At this point, the bird may just want to play with the braid, but he or she may get bored with it after a short period of time. Tie some knots in the braid and thread it through some beads for some extra fun.

  • Make your own stand perch using 1 1/4 inch dowels, plywood, and a 2x4. For the actual perch part of it, I re-used a safety perch that had about half the rough edges chewed off/scraped off. See picture.

  • Shoestring in loud colors is an inexpensive toy and is so much fun for them! My Congo African Grey lives to chew the ends up first and then work on shredding the rest of the shoelace.

  • Thread some original Cheerios through some 100% cotton string. This part takes a while but will provide at least 1 hour of fun for the bird to play and eat. Be careful with the string so the bird doesn't hurt himself/herself by ingesting it.

  • Reuse what can you can when the bird destroys toys with beads. If the beads aren't in too bad of condition, sometimes you can re-thread some cotton rope or leather ribbon and make a new toy for your bird.

Go to specialty animal catalogs/websites, such as Dr. Foster and Smith and PetSolutions through their website and look at toys and try to recreate them yourself! Even if they don't turn out to look exactly like the catalog, your bird will love your efforts anyway.

There is really no such thing as a completely bird-safe toy. All toys pose some sort of hazard so make sure you supervise your bird with his or her new toy. Also stay away from treated wood from hardware stores as the treated woods contain toxins. Additionally, be aware and stay away from toys that have parts that are too small or too large for your bird as they pose the risk of strangulation and/or getting beaks or toes caught in toys. Finally, remember to rotate, clean, or replace the toys as needed. Happy bird keeping!

By Jenni from Lincoln, NE

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By SUZANNE [1]08/18/2010

My cockatoo loves empty toilet paper and paper towel spools.

By one.of.a.kind [57]07/27/2010

Good ideas! I always save any toy parts that are still good after the bird has has their fun with them, and reconstruct and reconfigure to make new toys. Thanks for the article!

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Archive: Homemade Bird Toys

I want to find how I can make my own bird toys and to make the Happy Hut. I am a senior and can't afford to buy new ones. Thanks.

Marcia from Spokane, WA


RE: Homemade Bird Toys

I made some bird toys with large wooden beads and bells and twine. My bird loves them! (01/13/2009)

By Karen

RE: Homemade Bird Toys

Hi Marcia -- I have never had birds and wouldn't know the first thing about making toys for them, so sorry in advance if this advice isn't practical.

Is that picture above an example of what the Happy Hut looks like? If so, to me it looks just like one of those natural loofahs you can buy at the store. Like those round, hollow ones (not the mesh ones). I suppose you could find one of those at a dollar store or for a few dollars at Walmart. I'm not sure if that would be ok for birds...but those loofahs are natural sea sponges.

Anyway, the top you could attach to the cage with carabiners (that's what they look like in the picture). That's the first thing that came to mind when I saw this picture. Good luck! (01/16/2009)

By khilde80

RE: Homemade Bird Toys

Oh, you know what else I thought of as I looked at this picture? It looks like one of those car washing mitts. I bet you could get one of those and cut off the edges so it's accessible from both ends. I'm not sure if that would work or how frugally you could get one...but I thought I'd mention in case. (01/16/2009)

By khilde80

RE: Homemade Bird Toys

Fleece. (its safest fabric for birds & wont catch toes as easily as other fabrics). Cardboard for the bottom to be sturdy. hot glue gun *use outside stainless steel or nickle plated toy hangers (zinc is TOXIC) if you don't have toy hangers use Sisal or Hemp to hang it. resource: birdboard.com DIY section (01/28/2009)

By Guest

Archive: Homemade Bird Toys

***

Homemade Bird Toys
*** Anyone know where to find a pattern for bird toys or a bird happy hut?

Dawna from Boone, NC


RE: Homemade Bird Toys

I made some bird toys with large wooden beads and bells and twine. My bird loves them! (01/13/2009)

By Karen

RE: Homemade Bird Toys

Can you tell how you made them? Do you know where you found the directions? (01/14/2009)

By Marcia S

RE: Homemade Bird Toys

Hi Marcia, I have never had birds and wouldn't know the first thing about making toys for them, so sorry in advance if this advice isn't practical.

Is that picture above an example of what the Happy Hut looks like? If so, to me it looks just like one of those natural loofahs you can buy at the store. Like those round, hollow ones (not the mesh ones). I suppose you could find one of those at a dollar store or for a few dollars at Walmart. I'm not sure if that would be ok for birds...but those loofahs are natural sea sponges. Anyway, the top you could attach to the cage with carabiners (that's what they look like in the picture). That's the first thing that came to mind when I saw this picture. Good luck! (01/16/2009)

By khilde80

RE: Homemade Bird Toys

Oh, you know what else I thought of as I looked at this picture? It looks like one of those car washing mitts. I bet you could get one of those and cut off the edges so it's accessible from both ends. I'm not sure if that would work or how frugally you could get one, but I thought I'd mention in case. (01/16/2009)

By khilde80

RE: Homemade Bird Toys

  • Fleece. It's the safest fabric for birds and wont catch toes as easily as other fabric.
  • cardboard for the bottom to be sturdy.
  • hot glue gun *use outside
  • stainless steel or nickle plated toy hangers (zinc is TOXIC)

    If you don't have toy hangers use Sisal or Hemp to hang it. Resouce: birdboard.com DIY section (01/28/2009)

    By Guest

    RE: Homemade Bird Toys

    We make all of our own toys as we have approximately 100 birds. One easy toy is wooden spoons. You can find them at a dollar store. Make a hole in the handle and hang in the cage. (02/12/2009)

    By Diane: Lazicki's Bird House and Rescue

    RE: Homemade Bird Toys

    My green cheek conure loves to play with the hard plastic caps that come on soda bottles. They are made of very durable plastic and come in a wide variety of colors. They make great foot toys that he enjoys picking up, banging, and tossing to the ground. I even hide treats in them from time to time. My husband drilled a hole through 3 different colored caps and attached them to the cage with a zip tie so that hangs. Despite all of the pricey bird toys that I have purchased for him, this is what he plays with the most. (02/13/2009)

    By Anita