Birds can be highly intelligent which is one of the reasons why they often need some sort of occupation. Aside from preparing the best bird cages for parakeets (or what other bird species you may have), you need to offer them some entertainment as just staying in a cage all day doing nothing is not exactly fun.
What can you do?
Parakeets, parrots, etc, are intelligent creatures and as a result, they’ll need some sort of occupation if you want to keep them happy. Because you can’t spend all of your time entertaining the birds you own, you can offer them some toys that you can make by yourself at home so you won’t have a bird that develops unwanted behaviors out of boredom.
One of the reasons why you should offer them a DIY toy is their habit of chewing their favorite items. If you buy them a new toy every time the old one was chewed to pieces, you’ll find yourself spending a lot of money which is probably not what you want to do, given the fact that pet toys can sometimes be even more expensive than the actual pet.
So, just with some ingenuity and plenty of fun, you can make your own toys for your pet bird by using household items or from the world around you. This way you’ll keep the costs at a minimum. Here are some ideas that you can try to use. Focus on the easy ones if you don’t have experience with DIYs and don’t forget that you can modify them as you please.
Let’s have some fun outside the cage
If you want to create a climbing frame, you just need to use a wire coat hanger. This idea is useful if you sometimes let your feathery friend fly out of the cage on occasion as the cage they call home is probably not big enough. As a result, this idea can be created if you hang it from a hook in the room your bird is allowed to fly in.
So put a hook in the ceiling and tie some coat hangers, one below the other. You don’t have to use many hangers as even three would suffice. You can tie some chewing objects or treats on each hanger to make them even more attractive and you’ve already created something simple that will be lots of fun for your friendly bird.
Another similar idea is to screw hooks into the picture rails of the room or rooms in which your bird is allowed in. At their end, you have to put some ropes. The best part is these can be removed easily when you have guests over in case they don’t feel comfortable when the bird is out of the cage.
Because parrots are such fun-loving creatures, they will play for hours on end on said ropes, jumping and swinging around. When it gets tired and wants to return to its cage, it may actually let you know by the fact that it will stay motionless for a long period of time. Check daily for frayed ends so the bird doesn’t get caught in them by accident.
Play inside the cage
Foraging toys are also a great idea. This one is also really easy to do as you can wrap a treat in a raffia mat and then let it hang loose in your cage. You can put inside leaves from plants that aren’t dangerous for your bird (check first), pine cones or anything else that can be seen as suitable for the bird.
Because most cage birds love chewing so much, you may find your bird being happier for the wrapping than for the treat you put inside. Balsa wood is a good solution that can be used in this case and you’ll keep your friend busy and happy for a long period of time. Create a new treat once the old one is finished.
We can’t skip a really popular one which is to make a willow wreath. Create a circle by using stiff wire and be sure that the ends of it are tied in a way that won’t hurt the bird. If you have enough space for it, you can even use a hula hoop or something with a similar shape that doesn’t have any edges.
For this, you’ll need anywhere between 20 and 50 sprays of soft Bedale willow with lengths between 30 cm and 2 m that can be easily threaded. The leaves may be kept or not, it depends on you, as they are not toxic for birds. In order to create the wreath, you just have to wind the sprays of willow on the hoop or circle.
The whole making-of experience is very calming and it shouldn’t take you more than 40 minutes. The ends should be tied in with very thin wire. After about a day you can untwist them as the willow sprays will keep in said shape from now on. You can hang small toys or food treats on the wreath once you have completed everything.
A swing is an accessory that we naturally associate with a parrot that’s held in a cage as we all know how much they love to swing on one. From a broom handle, you can create more than just one swing for your little friends to jump around on. You’ll also need rope and a chain or a plastic one that you may have at home or is available at the hardware store.
A tire that has the inner tube removed is also a great way of creating an aviary swing. Your bird will love it a lot as it loves to swing on tree branches when free so this is a completely natural behavior that it will adore to do even while in captivity.
What else could you do?
For the next idea, I have just one word for you: flowers. A lot of birds love to chew on flowers which you may have noticed in parks during spring. Some birds actually live on flowers so you can pick some flowers and make your bird’s day better.
If the flowers you picked are from your garden, then you know what you should do or not, but if you buy them, you’ll have to wash them thoroughly so you’ll avoid bringing any insecticide, pesticide or preservative to your bird. Avoir flowers like the foxgloves or datura as they are considered to be poisonous. Holly and poinsettia are also forbidden.
Just do some research and find out what flowers are do’s and which ones are don’ts in general and then for every bird. In time, from all the flowers you can pick from, you’ll see some are much more liked by your bird than others so you can focus on them from then on.
On a similar note, you have the foliage. In an aviary, a bird that is maybe shy is going to be way happier if it has lots of foliage in which it can hide. If you live in a rural area, you can solve this problem easily, but if you live in an urban area, try and make contact with a gardener from the local park or somebody who lives in the countryside.
This way you can obtain the much-needed cut branches, dandelions and all the things that you need for your bird without having problems with the local park authority afterward.
If the place from which the foliage comes is a bit fishy, you can use a disinfectant that is suitable for birds. From grapefruit seed extract to just water and soap, rinse the foliage and you’ll have a safe environment for your bird. Bleach or any other similar liquids are completely forbidden as they are highly toxic!
Because the bird will spend a lot of time on branches, you can disinfect them if you are worried they may contain herbicides or various insects that could harm your pet. Again, don’t use anything toxic, just substances that the veterinarian would approve of so you can consult with the specialist before going any further.
And the list goes on and on
These are just some ideas, but there are plenty of others you can try and adapt to your needs. Just let creativity take over and don’t forget to make everything safe for your bird.