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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
All this talk about plulcking has got me thinking about birdie boredom. Having learned that you should provide chew toys, foot toys, and puzzle toys to keep your bird busy, I surveyed my bird's situation. She has no puzzle toys. Do any of you have ideas for home-made puzzle toys?
 

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Chinese finger traps! You can get them at the dollar store easy.

Kismet loves to rip apart paper. I usually tie a paper towel or some tissue paper around a dowel on his play area. He'll chew that up all day. In fact, he prefers that to his store bought toys which, you guessed it, he never touches! :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! I'll have to check the dollar store. "Towel Dowel" sounds like fun. Do you make it thick or just one layer? Do you mount the dowel, or does it hang or lay on the floor?

I still need more ideas! Here's what she has had so far:
Paper-stuffed toilet paper tube
Wad of plain white paper
Glass bowl with beads in it (pick up bead, drop to make noise)
Beads on a twig (lasted about a minute-- lots of fun tossing them to the cats)
Boquet of fresh or dried bird-safe weeds or flowers
Branch with veggies or greens stabbed into small twigs
Plastic bottle caps filled with food and floating in shallow bird bath (she hasn't played with this yet)
Fabric-wrapped perch
Swing covered with tied-on rags
Strip of fabric hanging from top of cage with a bead knotted on the end
Piece of dried corn cob drilled and stuck on the end of a perch-sized branch

Any more ideas? I'm trying to figure out something for her to figure out!
 

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Best toy: Another Parrotlet :D :D I can count on one hand the amount of times my two play with something else when together – they would rather groom each other or forage for food together – well wait, they do still like to bite on clothing and my shoelaces when together :p

 

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I hang things from cotton string - a small soft plastic ball, and little vine wreath, etc. (the ball is his favorite). He loves to chatter at the object and bat it around with his beak. Caution - tie the knot at the top through the cage bar, then use only a single strand of the cotton string hanging down - that way birdie won't get caught or otherwise harmed. I think your ideas are great, Lily! I'm glad to know that you can get the chinese finger puzzles at the dollar store!

I also should mention, Lily, that Bitsy's very favorite toys are the shredding ones that he can tear apart. keeps him busy for hours. Do you rotate the toys often - at least every two weeks or so?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Musicjan--The swing and the corn cob are permanent; the others either rotate or are made up of different materials but the same ideas. The trouble I'm having is, once she has had a good play with a toy she isn't even interested when it comes back a few weeks later.

Shred toys are ber favorite by far. Her least favorite are anything plastic made especially for little birds.

What kind of "soft ball" did you find? Is it spongy soft and looks like a golf ball? I've seen those for cats, but I thought the bird might swallow the foam. Your ball on a string idea gave me an idea, though-- ping pong balls! They're light weight and make a good sound when you hit them. Now, how do I hang one? If I punch a hole in one, it would certainly crack and that would be a tougue hazard. Super glue is probably toxic....hmmmmm.
 

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Lily - my experience with Bitsy has been that sometimes I put a toy in there time after time (over a period of weeks/months) - he will NOT even pay attention to it. Then for some reason the next time, he decides it's magic. Obviously, this may never happen with your bird - they are all different.

A fellow bird owner gave us the little ball. It is about 1 in. in diameter - soft rubber - has "prickly little rubber feet" protruding all over. He loves that ball! We are toast if anything ever happens to it!

You could hang a small whiffle ball. They are on some bird sites that have toys, I believe.

Good luck, and I love your ideas!
 

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About the balls: Try the cat toys! We bought a bag of multicoloured balls many years ago, he prefers one that's about quarter sized and it's fuzzy (It's kind of like tightly squashed up fuzz?)
Kizz has trouble with new and big things... He's slow to pick up a new toy so something small and benign is usually his favourite.
About the paper towel: I get the ones that are half sheets and just tie the thing around, or rip a piece of note paper in half and tie it around the dowel.
Here's his play pen: http://members.cox.net/jmodwyer/play pen.jpg
Not my bird/house/pen -- just a stock photo :p
And I use a mixture of cobb and pellets and cover the bottom with it. The floor is real slippery and I feel that's better for foraging for the treats I hide in it!
I change the cobb regularly, I've read somewhere that when wet that can grow mold (well...duh), but nonetheless. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Musicjan-- I have a little trollish thing that has rubbery prickles coming out all over it. I thought of it for a toy but decided that she might eat the rubber because it is soft. Does your bird bite off the prickles? The whiffle ball is a good idea.

Yes, I've noticed that a new toy has to lay around in sight several days/weeks before the bird will consider approaching it. It's so funny that they are so cautious around a 1" toy but totally unafraid to sit on the floor with man in a pair of size ten boots clomping toward them.

Elyse, I'll watch for the fuzzy cat toys. I have some new cat balls but decided not to use them for the bird because I feared that the cats would get up on the play table and slobber on them. I have to figure out a way to make it clear who gets what ball and have to give everyboay a new one at the same time. Kids.

Or discussion here is really helping me. Last night I thought of floating a ping pong ball in a little water. That could be really fun.
 

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Oh, yeah: buttons! I strung some of those up and they provided a little bit of clinky-bitey fun.
My mother made Kismet a cute toy: She strung Cheerios on a twisty tie and attached it to one of his toys - delicious!
 

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Pado,

My birds are content on either chewing on Ellen's (my wife's) homemade pompoms, shredders or each other.

As for other toys, we find putting food in challenging places, such a Kongs or giftwrapping their food dishes to be a good way of providing hours of entertainment.

Regards,

Art S.
 

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Lily-- Bitsy has never chewed the prickly things on the toy. Watch tomorrow be the first day he does that!!!!

Elyse - buttons! What a great idea. Also stringing up the cherrios - could use my white cotton string. Bitsy has never been too fond of cherrios, but it might be different if they were strung.

Art - giftwrapping the food dishes! What an awesome idea!!!! The Kong - do you use a dog Kong for that? We have a couple - could sure give that a try. In fact, now that I think of it - we could put a string through it (as well as the food) and let it hang.
 

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Jan,

We have the smallest size Kongs avalible, I think they are for dogs. They are blue, but I'm not sure if the size and color are related. Usually, Ellen puts Avicakes or other glued together treats inside.

Regards,

Art S.
 

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Art, good idea! I have lots of those Kongs lying around for my Chihuahua. Nemo would get a KICK out of them - he happens to like rubbery things :rolleyes:
Although I'd be wary of him actually ingesting pieces of it if it ever breaks off - his beak does a lot of damage!
 
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