Homemade Bird Toys

By Julie De Savia Dunlop

Toys provide domestic birds with much-needed mental stimulation. Pet stores have aisles devoted to innovative and eye-catching bird toys, but they can be expensive. Make your own bird toys at home on the cheap with materials that are nontoxic and that do not contain small pieces that could break off. Rotate toys every so often to keep your feathered friend from getting bored. If your bird seems scared of a new toy, hang it on the outside of his cage for a week so he can get used to it.

Sock Streamers

Cut a pair of washed socks off at the ankles. Cut half-inch streamers in the socks, starting at the opening and stopping 2 inches from the toe. Cut a hole in each toe and hang each sock from a carabiner. Attach them to the ceiling or side of the birdcage.

Cupcake Liner Totem

Tie a knot on one end of cooking twine. Cut off the desired length. Thread white cupcake liners, plastic beads, hole-punched bottle caps, and bird kabob chews in random order, with a knot between each item, until the totem is about 8 to 10 inches long. Tie a knot on the end, then tie it to the roof or side of the birdcage.

Straw Stack

Collect about 10 paper-wrapped drinking straws and stack them together. Cinch a cable tie around the middle of the stack until it's tight. Tie it with another cable tie near a perch on your birdcage. Your bird can keep busy by tearing the paper off the straws, little by little.

Baby Bird Links

Buy inexpensive baby links, and link some together to the length you desire. Hang them from the top of the birdcage or alongside a perch. Choose vibrant colors, as birds have a keen sense of color.

Caps

Take the cap off a pen, wash it and put it at the bottom of your bird's cage to generate hours of entertainment. Or use a clean plastic bottle cap from a water bottle. Your bird will inspect it, moving it all around the cage and finding different ways to hold it in his beak or with his talons.