We have a contractor friend who was kind enough to offer to cut up pieces of his leftover untreated pine two-by-fours when I mentioned that I could use pine scraps for parrot toys. I picked up a small bag of them yesterday and restrung a $15 toy Mika had shredded in a few days. (This was a toy hung on the outside of her cage, which means she had limited access to it. It would’ve lasted even less time if it had been on the inside of her cage.)
I was too lazy and impatient to dye the wood pieces before stringing them up. So here’s the end result:
This toy is held together by bird-safe leather “laces” (vegetable-dyed thin strips of leather) and has pine slats, wooden beads/small bits of plastic straws to separate the slats, and plastic whiffle balls.
If it doesn’t hold her interest, I may need to dye the wooden slats — I do think bright color has a lot to do with why birds are interested in some toys.
This is our first foray into making a bird toy of this size (although I have replaced parts here and there) so I stuck pretty closely to a toy design that was already a big hit. As time allows, I’ll work on creating more toys from the wooden slats. We still have a lot of pieces left, but do need to drill holes into them and probably dye them.
If you’re on a budget and want to make your own wooden bird toys, run down to the hardware store and get some untreated lumber, find a way to cut them into thin pieces, dye them (optional), and then string them up with bird-safe materials.
Create more visual interest and variety with:
- cut-up pieces of colored drinking straws
- colorful wooden or plastic beads
- large nuts
- wiffle balls
- anything else you have leftover from previous toys that got destroyed
- bird-safe toy parts from kits
As with ANY toy parts, make sure that the components are safe. Be careful about choking or strangulation hazards, opportunities for birds to get themselves caught on or trapped in anything, metal poisoning, etc.
Also check out these posts about “foraging” toys:
Do you make your own bird toys? What kinds of toys are your parrots’ favorites? Share your tips for awesome DIY parrot toys in the comments.
Good job and excellent toy-making tips. The toy kits available from different vendors are a good way to get fairly inexpensive parts and pieces.
Thanks Bart! Do you have a favorite DIY toy or toy parts?
Great toy, I buy my raw parts from Calfiornia Bird Nerds. Very inexpensive.
So are you sure when you got to a hardware store that the lumber you get wasn’t definately not treated and not against or did not come into contact with anything poinsous to a bird before you got it? I’m just curious cause I wouldn’t mind making my own slats.