My Green Cheek Conure Parrot loves to play. Be it either with my hair, with the pen I write or with his toys.
One of the first things we got our bird, apart from the cage and food, were of course Green Cheek Conure Toys.
The reason I call the parrot toys specifically green cheek conure ones is because conures are small and medium birds and therefore the toys need to be suitable for this category size parrots.
Have you ever got your bird a new toy and observed the enthusiasm on his little face and the shining spark in his eyes? 🙂
Why do our parrots need Green Cheek Conure toys?
All the parrots, including Green Cheek Conure Parrots need toys to play.
Think about it. Our birds are like toddlers, they are discovering the world and want to try things out. Same as a toddler, they need toys to develop their creativity and curiosity, they need toys to overcome boredom and the toys are simply so much fun!
Not getting your bird any toys is as if coming home to a child on his birthday party empty-handed. 🙂
Well maybe that is a very extreme statement. That is because I suppose any human deciding on getting a pet bird understands, at least at the very minimum, what a huge responsibility this is for the upcoming 15, 20, or even 25 years. It also means that human is committed, at least to the bare minimum of offering the pet parrot a good life. A good parrot life means, apart from many other things, sufficient parrot toys.
You can read my complete Green Cheek Conure Parrot Care Guide for more information on what goes into a good bird care.
How many Toys does a Parrot need?
My bird is very active and curious. There is always something new to discover and new items to play with.
Although, in my belief, he has plenty of toys in his cage and on top of his cage, he will not play with them all, nor will he play with any of them for too long. He gets bored with the same toy very quickly. He also wants my attention as he is playing.
The moment that we play together is his favorite. If for example, he is on his cage biting on his Pineapple foraging toy, the play becomes more fun if I watch him or if I touch the same toy as well.
From my experience I can say that parrots don’t necessarily need many toys. They need sufficient toys as not to get bored. Here are a few things to prevent your bird from getting bored with his toys:
- Switch the toys around in the cage
For example, if a certain toy has been in a certain place in the cage, move it across the cage or a level lower or higher.
- Change the toys that your bird plays with
If your parrot has had a specific toy in his cage for a while now and his interest in it is decreasing, you can completely remove it from the cage and replace it with a different one. This way, it creates more newness and excitement for your bird.
- DIY parrot toys
You can create parrot toys for your feathered friend on your own. It is important to understand what the bird likes. For example, my Elvis likes to hold items in his feet, preferable that he can chew. That is why I created this DIY parrot toy for him and have improvised additional ‘mini-toys’ for his Java Tree.
What Toys are suitable for my Green Cheek Conure Parrot?
Some of the most important criteria to consider when getting a good toy for you bird:
- Suitable for the size of the bird
For my green cheek conure parrot I would get toys that he can easily grab and comfortably stand on with his little feet and generally that are not too massive and scary for him.
Just a small disclaimer here, my conure is scared of everything in the beginning. To make him comfortable we are getting used to all the new purchases together and we accompany him the first time(s) in playing with all his new toys.
- Made from natural materials
It is important to have your bird toys made from natural materials that will not harm your parrot. Among the most common materials used for toys are: wood, 100% natural fiber rope (hemp or sisal), vegetable tanned leather, natural palm leaves.
- Colorful and fun
I noticed that my bird loves when there are many bright colors on his toys as well as small pieces that he can bite. See for example his small swing hanging on his Java Tree.
What Toys are Dangerous for my Parrot?
Being parrot owners we need to be watching our birds most of the time anyway. They are our toddles who fall down on plain ground. They are our feathered friends who can get into trouble even with the most non-harmful purchases.
For example, my bird got his foot stuck in the ropes of one of his swings. The swing is made from natural parts: wood and ropes, yet the ropes at the end of the string were too long and he got his foot wrapped in one of them.
It is therefore always a good idea to use common sense and observe the way you bird plays with his toys.
If you have a toy that you are doubting about, the best option is to place it outside of the cage so that the parrot plays with it under supervision.
Most common toy-dangers to look out for:
The common opinion has it that bells are dangerous and birds can get their beaks stuck in them. They can also play with the clapper until it is removed. That could lead to swallowing it or choking on it. It is important to make sure the size of the bell fits the size of the bird (bell is strong enough to handle the beak). Alternatively, you can place the toys having bells on the outside of the cage, so playing with that specific toy is always under supervision.
Based on my own experience, long ropes can get your bird’s foot stuck. It is important therefore to opt for shorter ropes or simply cut the longer ones.
Additionally, the bird can potentially swallow bits of the cotton rope. Those bits eventually collect in the bird’s stomach leading to potential gastrointestinal obstruction from cotton fibre. If not detected and treated timely, it leads to refusal to eat and ultimately death.
- Toxic materials
Some parrot toys contain toxic materials, such as zinc. Some of the bird toys are made with zinc coated metal parts. Zinc is also found in some of bird powder coated cages. If your birds likes to chew on cage bars, over time a large amount of the coating can get ingested, leading to intoxication.
The best alternative to zinc coated parts is stainless steel. The alternative to powder coated cages are the wrought iron ones, like the one my bird has.
Best Parrot Toys for Your Bird
As a general rule, there is no 100% safe toy for your bird. The best approach is to use common sense and ask for advice from trained professionals.
It is also a good idea to supervise your bird as much as possible and observe closely any behavioral changes.
Frequent visits to the avian veterinary is also a good idea (yearly or every half year).
To all the Parrot Lovers,