Offering your bird foraging toys is one of the best ways to enrich its life.  That's right! Our smart, busy pets are hardwired to use their "birdbrains" to find diverse food groups in the jungles and rainforests that they live in.  They'll fly for miles each day to various food-rich sites in search of healthy foods that they need to thrive. 

So, how can you help your pet bird to get the exercise and mental stimulation that foraging has to offer without breaking the bank? Learn to make your own foraging bird toys and teach your bird foraging!

If your bird is weary of new things, get my book on how to teach your bird to forage.  It's full of great visuals that show you which materials are save and fun for your pet.  It also shows you how to teach your bird basic foraging skills as well as helping your bird learn more complex foraging skills.  

I also have a great video on teaching bird foraging skills here:

There's no end DYI foraging ideas that you can create for your bird.  Just  check out this fun video.  Now, I don't have a high-powered table saw, but I do have a Michaels and a Hobby Lobby in my town where I can get untreated wood to make this cool foraging wheel. If I did have access to bird-safe wood, with bark intact, I'd bake the bugs out in a 225 degree oven for an hour or so before mounting this in the cage.

I can assure you, each my birds have one in their cage, from my tiny Green Cheek Conure to my massive Moluccan cockatoo. It' the size of the branch and the holes that matters. 

 Click link for Ruota Da's YouTube Channel

Here are some ideas of bird toy part combinations:

Garden Glove Bird Foraging Toy:

Sized for Medium Parrots

Bird Toy Parts:

  1. Garden Glove
  2. Assorted Wood Beads, Plastic bird toy parts, Mini Vine Balls, dried fruits, nuts,
  3. Leather Strips
  4. Sisal Rope
  5. Crinkled Paper

Assembly Instructions:

  1. Fill glove 1/3 full with appropriately sized beads, bird toy parts and bird treats.  Close the top and shake well to distribute bird toy parts among the finger holes.
  2. Tie each finger shut with leather strips.
  3. Loosely sew large buttons in middle of the hand portion of the glove.
  4. Mix a small handful of crinkled paper with dried fruits and nuts and fill the glove full.
  5. There are a couple of ways that you can attach this bird toy to the cage.  You can sew a 1" ring to the back of the glove and attach with a quick link or you can tie the glove to the side of your bird cage.

Gatorade Bottle Bird Foraging Toy

Sized for Medium Parrots

Bird Toy Parts:

  1. Clean, empty Gatorade Bottle (or other wide mouth plastic bottle)
  2. Assorted foot sized bird toy parts for filler i.e. Wood Beads, plastic beads, Mini Vine Balls, Seagrass Strips, Paper Fingers, Mini Grass Bundles, etc.
  3. Cordage: Leather Strips or Sisal Rope
  4. 2 - Wood Slats

Assembly Instructions:

  1. Using a drill bit a little larger than the thickness of your leather strips, drill one hole in the bottle cap. Drill two holes under the neck of the bottle, and one in the bottom of the bottle.
  2. Attach wood slats to make "buttons" for attaching finished bird toy to the cage. Poke an 18" + length of Leather Strip through the bottom of the bottle and out the mouth of the bottle.  Tie a knot in the leather strip and pull the knot back into the bottom of the bottle.  Poke the other end of the same rope through a medium sized bead and knot it.   Repeat this using the other bead and one of the two holes at the neck of the bottle.
  3. Attach the bottle cap.  Using the remaining hole at the neck of the bottle, attach the cap as you did the buttons.
  4. Load with "filler" and Crinkled Paper.  Stuff strips of paper towel (as filler) along with the string of treats into the bottle, leaving one end of the string at the mouth of the bottle, where the bird can get at it.
  5. Hang the bottle on the side of your bird cage.  "Button" the wooden slats through the cage bars on the side or top of the cage.

Plumbing Connector Bird Foraging Toy

Sized for Medium to Large Parrots

Bird Toy Parts:

  1. PVC connector found in the hardware plumbing department - One each male and female (top and bottom)
  2. Stainless Steel Eye bolt with nut.
  3. Stainless steel or nickel plated chain to hang the finished bird toy.
  4. Quicklinks.

Assembly Instructions:

Drill a hole in the female PVC Connector and attach the eyebolt with nut. The eyebolt end will be on the outside. Attach the chain to the eyebolt. Drill 1" holes in the sides of the male part of the connector (bottom) to encourage your bird to forage for bird treats. Fill with dry bird treats, shelled nuts and preening material. 

Related Posts:

5 Foraging bird toys

5 Important ways to keep your bird entertained when you're not at home

Parrot boredom busters

Diane Burroughs, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist trained in ABA therapy techniques. She specializes in avian anxiety disorders and is certified in Nutrition For Mental Health. Diane has written a number of bird behavior books and she offers behavior consultations. She's developed a range of UnRuffledRx Science-backed Parrot Wellness Supplies.

Diane's products have been featured in the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery and at Exoticscon, a conference for exotic pet veterinarians. Her bird collars & supplements are stocked in avian vet clinics and bird stores throughout the US. With over 30 years in the field of behavior, Diane has created thousands of successful individualized behavior plans that help pets thrive.

TAGS: #BirdForaging #TeachYourBirdToForage