Parrots have accompanied humans for centuries. In the past, they were a popular subject of art and literature, and nowadays, they star in super cute reels, TikToks, movies, and talent shows.
Unlike other animals domesticated for utility purposes, such as dogs for hunting, humans have always praised parrots for their beauty and intelligence. Due to their social nature, parrots are inclined to form strong bonds with their owners, which makes them such beloved and affectionate pets.
If you’re planning on adopting a feathery companion yourself, you should know that as pretty and loveable as they are, they require plenty of mental stimulation and physical activity to lead healthy, long, and happy lives.
What Makes a Parrot Happy?
In the wild, parrots crack and gnaw at nuts, seeds, branches, and other materials to keep their beaks healthy and busy. Foraging for food gives them a sense of purpose and an opportunity to fulfill their instincts. When bred or kept in captivity, parrots should have appropriate outlets to exhibit their natural behaviors since they’re critical for their physical and mental well-being.
This is where parrot toys come into play, helping you create a healthy and stimulating environment for your bird to thrive in. However, one of the crucial things to understand here is that parrots are big chewers, meaning it won’t take long for them to damage or destroy a toy, and that’s usually a good thing. In most cases, the toy remnants on the floor mean they had fun and loved their treat.
But if you want to keep your pet busy for longer whilst providing a safe and rewarding experience, consider buying wooden parrot toys. These come in various shapes, sizes, and colors to suit various species, so you’ll easily find something for your pet to enjoy in or out of the cage.
Are Wood Toys Good for Parrots?
Packed full of benefits, wooden parrot toys are an excellent choice not only for your pet but your wallet and the environment, too. Wooden toys can provide a challenge for your pet to solve or an opportunity to play and explore different textures. This prevents boredom which in turn promotes a healthy mind.
Another great benefit of wooden toys for parrots is that they provide physical exercise for your bird as they learn how to manipulate a new object or crack open a sweet treat. Having a fun and engaging outlet to play and exercise in the cage can prevent destructive behavior and obesity, both of which are common problems in captive parrots.
It’s worth mentioning that, unlike plastic gadgets, wood is biodegradable and durable, which makes these toys both an eco-friendly and cost-effective choice for pet owners. With that said, only the most important question remains. Is it OK for parrots to chew on wood? Yes, wooden toys are generally safe for your pet to chew on, provided that you choose bird-safe and non-toxic products, which leads us to the next point.
Which Toys to Avoid?
It’s easy to think of wooden toys as bird-safe just because they’re made from materials found in nature. However, there are certain types of wood, as well as treatments and paints used in toys that can be harmful, and in some cases, extremely toxic to parrots.
For instance, some softwoods can contain compounds that may irritate your parrots’ lungs or cause sinus problems. Additionally, some paints can contain lead or zinc, which can lead to heavy metal toxicosis if ingested.
That’s why, it’s vital to choose your bird toys with caution. You should always read the label carefully to ensure that the toys are free from any harmful compounds or chemicals to avoid any potential health risks.
What Kinds of Wooden Toys Are There?
When exploring the vast, colorful world of wooden toys for parrots, you’ll come across various types, each designed to provide a unique form of entertainment and stimulation.
Parrot Wood Blocks
These toys are usually made from untreated wood and designed to foster natural chewing behaviors. From solid blocks created to be moved and tumbled to pre-drilled blocks made to be filled with treats, your options are fun and plentiful.
You can also find smaller wooden blocks joined together by rope or string, forming a hanging cluster of goodies for your bird to explore and play with. In addition to providing a chewing outlet, these hanging clusters can help your parrot maintain a healthy beak.
Perches and Swings
Wooden swings and perches can also be great add-ons to your pet’s cage, providing variety and mental stimulation. While swings are often bought to keep parrots physically active and engaged, you may soon discover that your feathered friend actually likes to use them to catch some Zs. Perches, on the other hand, provide a safe area for your bird to rest while also serving as a platform, allowing your pet to interact with other toys or items in their environment.
Ladders and Bridges
Ladders and bridges can help you switch things up a bit in the cage by creating new pathways and structures for your pet to explore. These toys come in various shapes, sizes, and textures to provide an exciting and engaging experience for birds. Apart from promoting mental stimulation and physical activity, ladders and bridges can help your parrot develop balance and coordination.
Wooden Kabobs and Foraging Huts
These toys can allow your parrot to chew, pick, preen, or shred various materials. What’s best about kabobs and huts is that you can fill them with treats of your choice, ensuring they’re well-suited for your pet. Adding foraging opportunities to the cage will encourage your pet to tap into their natural instincts to obtain their food.
Bells and Mirrors
Wooden toys with bells or mirrors add an extra fun element to play by creating a sense of social interaction. This can prevent boredom and loneliness in parrots when they’re left unattended. It should be noted, however, that no toy can substitute human interaction, and these toys should be used in moderation.
With all of this in mind, you can now start building the perfect enclosure for your new pet. Remember to keep in mind your parrot’s species and size, as well as the quality and safety of the toys when shopping online or in-store. If you aren’t sure whether a certain toy belongs in the cage, it’s always wise to consult an avian professional.
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