Some toys appeal to us but can be hazardous to our pet birds.
Birds are very intelligent creatures and just like us need mental stimulation. One of the best ways to achieve this is to provide a wide range of different toys. However not all toys for birds are created equal and it is up to us as bird owners to make sure that the toys we do provide are safe.
Cotton rope toys are one of the few that we would not expect to be dangerous. Often birds will sit and chew on the cotton fibres and ingest them.These fibres are undigestable, ending up in the gizzard where they can cause severe blockages – leading to death.
Natural fibre ropes are a much safer alternative– however these also need to be maintained so that birds do not get their claws and feet entangled in loose ends.
Toys with metal parts can also be dangerous, as some metals, such as zinc and lead can cause toxicity if ingested. Choose toys with stainless steel components instead.
Safe materials for toys include natural wood from nontoxic plant species(pine and apple for example), natural fibres, non toxic plastics (such as acrylic), paper, cardboard and stainless steel.
Dr Taryn Hutt