Parakeet toys will make your bird's life more interesting and happier. Prices starting at a dollar or two are definitely not going to be a burden to your wallet.
You should definitely keep your bird supplied with toys, because birds that have nothing to play with will eventually become too demanding. They can even end up preening so much that they pluck most of their feathers out.
Parakeet toys are available to purchase online and in every pet shop, so finding them is pretty easy. More important, there are different purposes for different types of toys and knowing them will help you choose the right toys for your bird.
I would divide all parakeet toys into several categories:
A lot of bird toys are focused around the bird's love for chewing. They fulfill the need to maintain the bird's beak as well as keep the bird entertained. That way you are solving two problems with a single toy ? keeping your parakeet busy and healthy.
They are usually made out of some soft chewable material, like soft wood, minerals or paper.
The most important thing is that the materials used are safe so you have nothing to worry about. You will have to replace these toys from time to time, of course, since your bird will destroy them.
Foraging bird toys are created to "imitate" the bird's natural instinct to search for food. Parrots love playing with these toys and finding food in them.
Besides play time, these toys are great for another very important use and that is stimulating your bird. You definitely want to "work your pet bird's brain" to keep it happy.
These are mostly the cheap balls, plastic blocks or other small toys your parakeet will play with, just kinda grabbing it with his feet and beak. You can buy these really cheap.
You should actually have many of these cheap toys and change them every day. Give your parrot several of these foot toys and change them the next day. That will keep them interested. In case there is a specific toy he likes, don't change it as long as he is happy playing with it.
The next really interesting type of parakeet toys are bells and other sound toys. Or better said noise toys. Seems birds really love them. They will spend hours pushing the toy with bells to hear them make a sound.
Besides bells there are different tubes with beads in them and toys like rattles.
Also, let's not forget the music toys. Parrots will learn pretty fast to press the button on the toy that will make it play.
Preening toys are those that a parrot can destroy. This type of toy replaces the preening so your parrot won't hurt himself by pulling out too many feathers, which can happen easily.
They are usually made out of paper or rope so it is not that hard to destroy them.
Exercise toys for parakeets are all those ropes, perches and playpens they can use to climb, hang off of and do what ever crazy and funny thing they like to do.
These toys are usually puzzles and they are made for bigger parrots.
This is a big issue with parakeet toys. There have been numerous cases of parrots killing or almost killing themselves with a toy.
The most common are getting the rope or leather strings around their necks and hanging themselves. You need to make sure you prevent this by giving them toys with no loose strings.
Another way is to supervise them while they are playing.
Besides getting their necks in hanging strings, they can get their little feet tangled which will get them to panic and hurt themselves even more.
Another thing to pay attention to is the size of the toy parts. If you have a big parrot and you get him a little parakeet toy, there is a big chance he can swallow a part of the toy and choke on it.
Always get big toys for big parrots. This will of course cause higher expenses but bigger birds are not only more expensive to buy, their maintenance is also more expensive.
Make sure to take all this in consideration when you are choosing a pet bird.
One last issue I want to remind you of is to secure the toy properly so it doesn't fall off. If you hang a toy at the top of the cage and it falls off while your bird is hanging off of it, the bird can get seriously injured.
If the toy is a bit heavy, you definitely want to make sure it is secure. That kind of toy falling on your bird can hurt it bad.
Giving your bird a toy has many benefits. They will "exercise their brain" and playing usually improves bird's intelligence. Especially if the toy is a problem they need to solve (like foraging toys).
You will also have a happy bird, because toys for them are like toys for us, a way to entertain ourselves and have fun.
If your parakeet is a single bird, that is one more reason to get him some toys. Many times, they will see the toy as a new play mate.
Another benefit, for you and not only the bird, is that he will be entertained and you can take a break from playing with him. The time he spends alone, while you are at work, will pass faster and the bird will be animated all day.
Here is a great free ebook where you can learn all about parakeet toys and how to make them. You can download it for free by clicking the link - The Parrot Enrichment Activity Book.
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