The Benefits of Toys
Today's bird toys are designed to serve several very important functions. Obviously they entertain your bird. The pyramid of colors, shapes and sounds available in bird toys can keep many birds entertained for hours. This helps relieve boredom when you are not available to interact with your bird. There is nothing crueler than leaving such a social and intelligent animal locked in a cage all day with nothing to do. This often results in undesirable behaviors such as feather picking or a marked aggression.
Bird toys can also challenge your bird. Birds are intelligent and inquisitive creatures. The best toys have movable parts that may include rope with knots or beads, or acrylic rings with sliding dominoes. These toys challenge the bird to move the parts, ring the bell, untie the knots, or simply take it apart.
Toys can also provide a psychological boost to your bird. They become a constant companion. It is not uncommon for a bird to form a bond with a particular toy and to become quite loud and upset when that toy is removed. The bird may not mind other toys coming and going in his cage but his "friend" has to be there all the time. The bond with this toy is much like that of a young child with a special blanket, he doesn't really need it, but it isn't causing any harm either.
You can add a little spice to your birds life by rotating toys into and out of your birds cage on a weekly or monthly basis. Plan on some toys being chewed to pieces; these toys should be replaced. If your bird enjoys chewing and has no toys that are destructible, it will chew up dowel perches. Not providing anything for the bird to chew, could cause behavioral problems such as biting, screaming, plucking and so on. Keep this in mind when taking on the care of a bird.
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