Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Parrot toys

I wrote a few weeks back about making parrot toys. In addition to making toys for my own parrots, I make toys for the birds at the shelter where I volunteer. If anyone reading this wants to help out at a parrot shelter but either lives too far away to be able to go there frequently or just doesn't have the time, this is another option -- making toys in your spare time (while watching TV, for example) and bringing them up when you're in the neighborhood. Just ask your local parrot rescue -- I'm sure they'd love the help!

At the rescue where I volunteer, we take in several hundred birds ever year, and usually have at least 15-20 cockatoos and 5-10 macaws at any one time, in addition to many smaller birds. As you can imagine, they go through a lot of wood!

The other shelter volunteers save toy parts left over when the bird has destroyed the toy, such as wire and chain. I'll take a box or two of parts home and remake them into new toys for the birds. In this way, we save money as well as landfill space by recycling parts into new toys.

This is what I brought home last Saturday:
And this is what I dropped off at the rescue this morning:
By making toys, you also know that your donation is going directly to help the birds, and you're making their lives more enjoyable!

On the same toy note, I was at the hardware store over the weekend and noticed a plastic 5-drawer storage container. I have used 3-drawer containers as foraging toys for the parrots, but this one was taller and about perfect Rocky size!
I filled the drawers up with different things. Around Easter time, the stores near us are filled with paper Easter grass. I always buy a cart-full and use it throughout the year. I could probably make this cheaply at home using a paper shredder. In addition to the paper sheds, I put in various toy parts (including wood pieces to chip), and a few Harrison's power treats (Rocky's favorite).
I placed it in his cage, like this.
When I returned home from work, several of the drawers were open and he had gone through them. I think the whole toy cost about $7. Keeping your parrots' minds active does not need to be expensive!


Stephanie said...

I put a toy like that in Scooter's cage - where he had to figure out how to open it to get the toys out. He decided to just chew through it instead. Typical!

Beloved Parrot said...

What wonderful ideas!

Mary said...

Stephanie -- that's funny! I had thought mine would just destroy them as well, but hte've pleasantly surprised me. Max has chewed the handles off of her drawers, but I figured she just thought she needed more of a challenge to get to the treats :)

BP -- thanks for the comment. I am such a fan of toys and of foraging, obviously :)