We all go to great lengths to ensure that our birds are healthy and happy. We purchase the finest food, clean, cook, study books about the proper nutrition, have cages and play stands, and so on. While all of these things are vital for a bird’s well-being, another component is stimulation.
A bird would be aroused in nature from the moment he wakes up until he goes to sleep. There is always something to do: hunt for food and water, eat, drink, play, preen, prune trees, and so on.
We attempt to provide a pleasant and trusting environment for our birds at home. To provide the stimulation that a bird would get in the wild, a family member would have to carry it about all of its waking hours, which we all know is impractical.
Another option is for the bird to live with other birds, which will give company as well as a playmate. However, birds raised in human environments often refuse to engage with other birds.
How can we include the essential daily excitement into our tranquil home setting, particularly because our birds do not interact with one another? Even if they do, they still need to do something else. A happy bird is a busy bird. So we have the option of carrying the bird about all the time or letting it chew up our dwellings and stuff.
A far better option is to supply a variety of toys, especially ones that may be readily chewed up and damaged. Simple colored chew blocks are often sufficient, although color is vital. The natural-colored chew blocks that I provide for my birds are usually the ones that are left over.
The majority of birds have a color preference. My congo grey prefers orange wood, but my cockatoo prefers green and purple wood. They also require toys that provide them with challenges as well as those that simply make noise. Toys that are not easily destroyed become boring after a while and must be replaced. If they are returned after a period of time, they are usually interesting again. So try replacing them every now and again.
Toys should be kept in places other than the cage, such as the stand or the play gym. I’ve seen cages so crammed with toys that the bird wouldn’t even go in it because it couldn’t move around. “My bird does not play with its toys,” said the bird’s owner. More does not always imply superiority.
When purchasing toys for your bird, avoid anything that could harm it. While no toy is completely safe, we can avoid the more obvious dangers, such as non-stainless steel parts, which can lead to metal poisoning. Or parts (such as open chains) that the beak or toe can become entangled in. I prefer sisal to cotton because it breaks more easily when wrapped around a toe or leg, which some birds have turned into an art form.
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