How to Choose Bird Toys

How To Choose Bird Toys

Bird Toys
Size Matters

Choose bird toys that are a safe size for your bird.  If a bird can bite a part off and potentially swallow the part, the toy is too small.  If the bird can get its beak around a part or the parts are too hard for it to chew up, the toys are too big. Birds enjoy toys that they can preen, cuddle against or chew and destroy. Also make sure that your bird can’t get its beak or toes caught in the toy parts or hardware.


Always choose toys from reputable manufacturers look out for safety.  You’ll find these toys at bird specialty shops.  A reputable manufacturer uses only safe, non-toxic parts.  While no toy is 100% safe, abate probable risks by learning about Bird Toy Safety.

Play Style 

Observe your birds play style to determine how rambunctious he is with toys.  Some birds use toys like monkey bars while others like to preen and cuddle their toys. Watch your bird when you offer it a new toy to ensure he plays with it safely.

Inspect Toys Weekly

 As your bird uses up its toy, you’ll need to maintain unsafe parts or remove a used up part all together.  Always trim stringy frayed fibers and discard parts that may have outworn their use.


In our busy world, we need to provide our very social birds with toys to occupy their mind, time and energy.  Plan on offering your bird at least of 4-6 toys at all times.


Keep a variety of toy styles in the cage at all times, rotating them and changing their location each week when you inspect them for safety.  Never let your bird’s cage become boring.

Types of Bird Toys

As we learn more and more about caring for exotic pets, manufacturers have developed a variety of toys to meet bird’s instinctual needs. 

Foraging Toys

Foraging toys require your bird to work for its food as it would have to do the majority of each day if it were in the wild. These toys require your bird to problem solve on multiple levels in in order to obtain a desired toy or treat.  Check out all of the varieties of foraging bird toys, from skewers, to cardboard boxes, to puzzles.

Chewing Toys

Wild birds chew throughout the day, and especially during breeding season when birds are intently tunneling out nests in tree trunks. Chew toys should be the mainstay of toys for birds that show inkling toward them.  Birds love to chew wood and leather.  Keep in mind that the function of these toys is to chew into toothpick sized pieces. We often hear of customers saying “I buy a big toy and my bird just demolishes it!”  That is what these toys are for.  Birds simply need to demolish stuff.  Chewing is a natural activity for your bird and they must be provided an opportunity to do so for their sanity. Larger birds should be challenged with harder woods while soft woods like balsa, pine or vine based materials are designed for smaller birds.

Exercise Toys

Just like you and I exercise, walk and try to keep our body in condition, your bird, who is equipped to fly miles a day needs toys that promote exercise. Swings and Bungees challenge balancing skills building up the wing and chest muscles while ladders and ropes promote climbing to exercise the back, feet and legs.

Comfort Toys

Many species of parrots live in large flocks in their natural environment.  These “flock species” such as African Grey Parrots, Parrotlets, Pionus, don’t go a minute of day without a partner.  When we cage these species, they become incredibly lonely and may engage in destructive behaviors to ward off anxiety.  We recommend that you provide your pet bird with snuggly toys that it can preen and cuddle up against.  The cuddling and snuggling relieves the anxiety caused by not having flock mates. Examples of comfort toys are the Preening Pal, Scooter Z Snuggly and Snuggle Rings.

Puzzles and Manipulatives

 Birds are incredibly smart and curious by nature. Have you ever seen your bird untie knots, undo nuts and bolts and open their food doors and dump out the contents just for fun? Educational trick toys and foraging toys satisfy a birds needs to use their minds

Foot Toys

A parrot's foot is very adept at holding and grasping small items. Check out this close up of a bird’s foot.  It has about 16 joints and adjoining muscles that allow it to grasp, hold and manipulate objects.  Foot toys are designed to exercise the feet and promote dexterity.  They are also a great option for hiding in foraging toys. 

So, in conclusion, offer your bird a variety of toys, changing them out on a weekly basis.  Ward off boredom and inappropriate behaviors by occupying your bird with fun, stimulating bird toys. 


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