The choice of toys available for birds has increased greatly over recent years, with owners appreciating that toys can be very benefi cial, both for the mental and physical well-being of their pets. This benefi t is often described as “behavioural enrichment”. It should help to ensure that parrots are less likely to pluck their own feathers for example, using their bills instead to play with their toys. These will help to prevent your bird from becoming bored, especially when you are out a lot during the day.
Young, hand-reared birds are instinctively curious so that they will actively investigate toys which, in the case of older parrots, are more likely to be treated with suspicion at first, or ignored. Aim to introduce toys to a pet bird at an early age therefore. It is mainly parrots which will respond to them-other pet birds such as canaries show little interest in toys, although they may appreciate a mirror on occasions.
In spite of the huge growth in the avian toy market however, you may not find many in your local pet shop, compared with the choice on offer at a specialist bird farm or a pet superstore.