FUN Bird Playgrounds
Bird Playgrounds ... Bird Cages ... Bird Toys
Most people really don't know how to set up a bird's play area. We realize that a simple cage isn't enough for intelligent creatures, such as parrots.
They need plenty of out-of-cage time to play and exercise. Many of us would rather not have them use our furniture as playgyms -- unless you don't mind beaks "customizing" your furniture to their liking. Some people don't care -- but if you do, a playground will provide a fun playground for your bird and will take his or her focus away from your furniture. The more fun and creative the playground is, the more likely your parrot will want to spend time on it.
The photos of the playgrounds on this page will help those of us with a lack of "creativity" (including myself) by giving us some ideas as to how to set up our own parrot playgrounds.
If you have created a fun play area for your parrot, please e-mail me photos and help others create fun environments fo their pet birds.
Please don't miss the:
- "Foraging Web Page" -- Great information, tips and photos on how to set up your bird's area to maximize fun and enhanced well-being.
- "Outdoor Living" for parrots. Check out the great photos! The ultimate bird paradises
- Indoor Playareas / Bird Room Set-ups
These are the things you can do to create a fun place for your bird:
- Create the most interesting / create bird play area possible. The more fun it is, the less time your parrot is going to spend on your furniture. Natural, non-toxic branches (with leaves would be great). If you are not into building it yourself, buy a really fun playground - with lots of natural branches and toys or toy hooks. Placing two playgrounds together, or the playground next to the cage and adding ladders and ropes to be able to move over to the next area is a fun way to create a play heaven for your pet.
- Have small bird areas in the spaces that you and your family often hang out in. Birds love your companionship and will seek it. They will follow you around and if they don't have anything to perch on, they will readily accept any of your fine furniture as their personal playground, which you don't want. Having playgyms in the different areas will give them a place to go and chew on toys and branches, as they should. This won't mean that they will not try to chew on your furniture; this is where training comes in. A firm "no" and providing them a toy to chew on will teach them what is theirs and what is yours.
- Use blankets and towels (THICK ones if your pet is a heavy chewer - such as a cockatoo or macaw) and placed them on top of those couches / chairs he likes to sit on. They are easy to wash and you won't worry about your birds ruining your couch.
- Hide all visible electric cords. Parrots usually like to chew on those, creating fire hazards, in addition to potentially electrocuting themselves!). Attaching the cords higher up behind the appliance or covering the cord with plumbers tubes will prevent that from happening. The plastic tubing is available at Home Depot.
- Protect your cupboards / high areas with corrugated plastic siding. The kind people often place on the sides and tops of their aviaries or sheds. These panels are available at any Home Depot and are quite inexpensive. By placing them on top of your cabinets, you will protect them from bird droppings and being chewed on. It can easily be cut to size. I let it hang over the sides a few inches prevent the parrot from being able to reach the wood of the cabinetry. If you choose transparent siding, it's hardly visible. Every few months, you simply take the panels outside and hose it down. And voila -- they are clean and ready to be placed on top of your cabinetry / elevated areas.
- In addition to which I have toys EVERYWHERE. I have “finger toys” (his favorites) – bought ones, as well as "freebies," which my parrots love just as much, such as plastic bottle caps and pen tops. You can take old pens apart and provide them to your parrots to play with. My parrot carries them up to his favorite place on top of the kitchen cabinetry). Wherever I tend to hang out, I have toys for him. When he starts chewing on his environment or on me ;-), I tell him a firm “no” and give him a toy to chew on. That keeps him busy for a while until I have time again to snuggle with him.
- Foraging for food is an important step in enhancing your bird's life and keeping him or her too busy to chew on your furniture. The following applies to larger parrots only, of course - as small parrots don't have beaks that are strong enough: Offer almonds and other nuts in the shell. Hide them is something he/she can see but will have to dig for. The following applies to any-size birds: Provide him/her healthy treats, like grapes, berries, apples, carrots -in foraging cups. You can do this by putting a piece of (blank) paper over a cup secured with a thick elastic band. Join the bird channel! Here are some more tips for introducing foraging into your flock.
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