My name is Dorothy and I am the owner of many different species of exotic parrots. As you know parrot toys can be very expensive and to watch my birds chew up toys i bought really hit my pocketbook. So i decided to learn to make my own toys.
I did some searching on the internet and I found a woman who was teaching classes on how to make your own bird toys. I joined the class; boy was I thrilled when I made my very first toy. Well, after a few months, she told us that she was not going to teach the class anymore and asked if anyone would want to start there own group to do classses.
I jumped on the offer as I knew there were others out there that still wanted to learn. So I emailed her and asked if I could take over doing the classes. Well here I am over four years later and the classes are still going strong.
Cyber Parrot Toy Classes are about one-hour long. They are done via webcam through Yahoo messenger or skype. A webcam is not mandatory for participation in the class with yahoo you just need a computer with a monitor and speakers so you can hear my instructions BUT now we are also using skype so the webcam is a must to have. YOU will be able to see not only me but all the others who are in the classes an see what they are making an what kind of parts they are using
We have been using skype now for a few weeks and have been testing it to see how it works and well it works really great. For a little while longer you will have the option of using yahoo or skype for the classes. BUT yahoo has proven to fail us many times over an over. BY using skype though we can only have 5 people at a time so if more want to do classes then i will add on more days for classess.
I know some of you have made statements that skype boggs down your computer. So for now we will use yahoo messenger then everyone can attned the classes. I hope at sometime though that everyone will be able to use skype.
The toy making classes are free of charge except for the purchase of your materials.
Every class is for members only; Please email me so i can answer any questions you may have about getting started. Anyone interested in scheduling a one-on-one class (at an addiitonal charge) please contact me for more information.
In addition, the classes are once a month usually on the weekend. There is a class for large, medium and small bird toys. The toys made in the classes are also available for purchase which is considered a donation to support the birds in our rescue.
Let’s picture this: a bird cage somewhere in a quiet room a lonely parrot looking out of the window. This is surely not a nice picture for a bird owner, not to speak about a parrot lover! You can’t always be there by your bird’s side and entertain it. There are times when we have to go places and leave our parrot home alone. What is to be done then?
Parrot toys are the answer! That would most certainly make your pet happy! Toys can help build a healthy personality for a bird and it also solves the lonelyness issue. Your parrot will be in no danger of screaming, biting or plucking and from a medical point of view, parrot toys will make its beak nice and trim. And these are only the advantages strictly related to your bird. I’ve said this because toy-making can be a relaxing thing for us owners too.
It is just like spending quality time with a good friend, as parrots can be friends indeed. And just as you come to know a real person, the same can happen with you and your parrot. Stop treating it like a pet and start seeing him as a funny looking room-mate! You have to get to know their personality, what they enjoy and what they dislike. That’s the only way you can make a parrot toy that’s suited for your own little beaked one!
Your parrot can be your guide, especially if you let it join you while making the parrot toys. What would be quality time with a friend if the friend is not by your side?! Parrots can get very curious of what you are doing, so be very careful about what you leave around you on the table where you’re working. Scissors, needles and plastic wrappers can be dangerous for someone who wanders through the pools of toy parts! Taking part in this toy-making activity makes the parrots less shy about playing with the new parrot toy that will appear in their cage once it’s complete.
Once you’ve managed to finish a number of parrot toys, a wise thing to do is to rotate them every other week, so that the parrot won’t get bored with a single one, and then lose interest in it, or, on the other hand, fear a new parrot toy that’s being brought into their cage. You should watch out for toys to always be in good shape, safely attached to the cage and no loose parts.
Let me give you a few tips of my own on making parrot toys! I’m sure you will all find them at least helpful.
The first parrot toy you could make is a play box, out of a spare food cup fixed on the side of the cage. One can fill it with different wood parts as rings, shapes, spools or blocks, or with small strands of bird safe vegetable tanned leather and with cotton rope, marbella beads and rings. The only thing to keep in mind is to suit the toy parts to your parrot, meaning that you can never exchange toy parts between Parakeet and Macaw or an African Grey. Also, it would be a good idea to order only a few parrot toys so that you can see if the parrot enjoys playing with them or not.
If shopping for vegetable tanned leather , pay attention to the fabric and be sure that it does not contain any chemicals or dyes and that the strips have the suiting thickness and widths for the bird and the size of the hole that is drilled.
Be very cautious when buying the toy parts. They must be safe for your parrot by not having any paint or lacquers that contain zinc and other dangerous chemicals. And it’s not a hard thing to convince a parrot, even one accustomed to colored parrot toys, to like undyed parts! This is also a natural stimulus for birds, not to speak about inhibited birds which shy away from colored parts. Dye doesn’t have to be used to attract a bird, one can accent a toy with plastics like marbella or acrylic parts. That should have a high impact on your companion!
Flavorings must never be used for coloring parrot toys, because you could find them chewing dyed wood and even ingest it.
Do you know what your parrot might also like to do? Unraveling rope, so that they can preen it! There are many kinds of rope on the market, but most popular are solid braided rope and twisted rope. You must be wondering by now what makes a rope bird safe. The answer is a 100% cotton rope that will not fray. Unraveled rope is very dangerous for a parrot, just as untrimmed frayed ends that the bird can get caught into. An alternative for cotton rope is sisal rope/jute, also available in various widths and obeying the same purchasing rules: no chemicals, no harmful oils and no smell to it, as it can jeopardize your pet. From my experience, for Greys to small Cockatoos (medium sized birds), the best width of rope is 3/16", that can easily be made into knots and go through the holes. If your pet is not interested, but happens to like the color blue, you should get some blue marbella beads and it won’t shy away anymore.
Key Chain Rings and Clips are never to be used, because they can become a trap for the poor parrots’ beaks an talon nails. Other things to be avoided are Colored Magazines and Colored Newspapers, Felt, Toothbrushes, Cardboard, Toilet Paper and, Paper Towel Cardboard Tubes, Plastic Bags, Cellophane and Plastic Coated Wires.
If you knew that colored magazines contain inks and chemicals that could probably poison your parrot, or that Cardboard and Cardboard Tubes have different types of glue that contain zinc, you would understand my concern. Plastic Bags, Felt and Cellophane , if eaten by a bird, cannot pass through their digestive system and cause blockage to the little fellow. Toothbrushes are made of nylon fibers and some have metal parts. I think these examples have convinced you for good.
Now, let’s get creative: the cool part is here! As said, follow your birds likes and dislikes. Should it love dangling parrot toys, you could build an octopus toy. Should it love thin wood parts instead, my advice is to try the 3/16" thick toy parts and the suited width for your parrot. Finally, should your parrot be a little phobic, it needs rather simple parrot toys, like simple parts hanging on a string with knots in between. The main idea is to enjoy making parrot toys for your parrot and then you’ll find everything to be quite pleasant ant relaxing.
The first aspect you should take into consideration when buying a parrot toy is the size of the toy and the size of the pet. Basically the parrot toy should fit the size of your parrot. Why is that? Well, because a big size parrot is strong and can easily break a small toy into pieces which can be easily ingested by your pet. Therefore, try to avoid small parrot toys if your pet is big. You should know that nowadays there is a large array of big parrot toys which are made from thick plastic, perfect for a big strong-beaked parrot.
Things aren't easy with small parrots either. A small size parrot can be afraid of a big toy so try to fit the size of the toy to the one of the pet. If you can't tell which parrot toy is good for your pet, look at the label or ask for more information.
Another important aspect is the type of the parrot toy. You should avoid buying parrot toys which are made out of small pieces as the parrot can remove them and, consequently digest them. Remember that a parrot has a strong beak therefore any piece which is bite-size for the parrot should not be on the toy.
A parrot toy is usually hanging on some chains. These chains can represent a possible danger for the health or life of your pet. How is this possible? Well, chains come in two types: the chains with welded links (which are safe for your parrot) and the chains with closed links (which are not safe). The parrot may try to open up the link which is not weld and its beak would get stuck in that space. The parrot may get hurt while trying to release itself. Consequently, examine carefully the chains attached to your parrot toys.
But the chains are not the only dangerous pieces of a parrot toy. Parrot toys made out of wood may also be dangerous. Therefore, wood is another important aspect to think of. Parrots are birds which love to chew wood. They do this to find bugs hidden inside the tree bark in the woods. So a parrot will always start chewing a toy made out of wood. Some types of wood are not good for parrots, so you should check the internet for a list of parrot-safe wood.
Parrots are also birds which enjoy preening and grooming. Their instinct is telling them to constantly pick or even chew their feathers. This is not a healthy habit for your pet. So you should buy a chew rope, which is a very useful parrot toy as it allows your pet to exercise its habit every day without causing any problems to itself. But pay attention to the deterioration of the toy as it gets extremely ragged and worn out. Replace it with a new toy as the clumps may cause accidents to your pet. Your parrot could catch its feet into the clumps and could get hurt while struggling to escape.
In conclusion, there is only one rule to apply for this parrot care issues: whenever shopping for a parrot toy use the common sense rule. If you look at a parrot toy and it doesn't seem safe, don't buy it. Don't buy any parrot toys which can get ingested or which can get a foot or a beak caught inside them. And always examine the parrot toys carefully before putting them into your pet's cage.
And if your parrot is ignoring its new, shiny toy, don't worry. It doesn't hate it, it is just being cautious. Parrots don't like change, like most pets. And a new toy represents an unexpected change for their habitat. Therefore, the toy must be put under strict observation to make sure it is not a possible enemy. After two or three weeks of monitoring the intruder (the toy) the parrot will gain confidence into its new toy and it will start playing with it!
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THE August monthly contest toy winners are the ones pictured here. First is teh small toy an second is eh medium an last is the large toy. These toys were made by members who participate in most of the classes.
If you have been participating in the classes you know that there is a monthly contest going on. ANd the winner of the toy selected at end of month gets a nice prize. THE picture here is the prize barbara recieved in the large toy contest. THIS was loaded with lots of parts. Barb was nice enough to share a pic with us so we all could see what she got.