In the wild, parrots and many birds spend a lot of time interacting socially and foraging. When we bring them into our homes, it is important to provide our feathered friends items to help keep them busy and entertained to help discourage, or rather, not allow time for negative behavior such as feather picking or destructive behavior, of items such as the trim around the room door. There are quite a few different types of toys you can consider, such as: climbing toys (ropes and swings), foot toys (nuts), chew toys (natural wood blocks, old phone books, or paper towel rolls), or puzzle toys (pvc pipes with holes and treats, commercially sold toys, or pine cones with small treats).

Always be sure to avoid toys with small removable parts. Toys should be appropriate for your birds’ size- i.e.- plastic beads are fine for small birds, but large birds should be offered wood beads instead. A conure, for example, would be fine with wooden beads about 1 inch in size, an Amazon would get beads about 1.5 inches, and macaws and cockatoos would be ok with beads over 1.5 inches. Keep in mind the source of the wooden beads. Coloring of wood should be done with vegetable dye in order to avoid possibly harmful chemicals.

When using ropes, always use natural fibers to avoid possible toxicity as well. Any rope toys or parts should be regularly inspected to find any frays or imperfections that could be dangerous or harmful. Regular nail trims help minimize possible rope hazards. Remember, the goal is to keep your bird busy and give it a job, so destroying the toys you provide is exactly what you want to see. If you give your bird a toy and it doesn’t use it, don’t be discouraged, but rather, try different materials, treats, or approaches. Every bird can have a different preference.