Enrichment tips for your bird

by | General Pet Care |

Interested to know how much enrichment your bird needs, and what kind is good for them? We’ve got you covered on today’s blog!  

You may know the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society for our dog and cat adoptions, but did you know that we also find loving homes for birds? Birds are beautiful and intelligent creatures who can make incredibly loving companions! They are a commitment, just like any other animal, and they require enrichment in many forms. Keep reading for some enrichment tips from Fear Free Happy Homes to keep your bird emotionally and physically healthy!   

What is bird enrichment?  

While companion birds enjoy the quality time and interactions we have with them, there are other enrichment tools we can also use to encourage their natural instincts. Birds are highly intelligent creatures and are constantly stimulated in the wild.   

According to Fear Free Happy Homes, parrots use their beaks to forage for food, shred vegetation, and preen themselves; and they use their claws to climb, grasp and perch. When in our care, birds do not lose these instincts – they require a means to exercise these wild urges to forage, shred, preen, climb, grasp, and perch.  

So, how do we provide that? The answer is pretty simple and fun: Toys! We can supply them with the enrichment they need, both physically and mentally, by giving them toys that are challenging, entertaining, and fun.  

What kind of toys?  

Have you ever noticed how fun-looking bird toys are with all their colours and varied materials and textures? Birds can spend hours playing with a toy they chew on, shred, swing from, or fling side to side. It doesn’t matter if the toy is commercially produced or handmade.   

Visit  Fear Free Happy Homes for details on the types of toys that might be right for your bird!  

No matter which toys you choose for your bird, you want to ensure that they are safe. You don’t want your bird to get stuck in a hanging toy that’s too long or get their claws trapped. Watch over your bird when you give them a new toy and make sure to remove toys that have been destroyed, as they can become dangerous.   

DIY bird toys  

Birds need a wide variety of toys to keep them engaged. Enrichment items for your bird can be bought at your local pet store, however you can also make toys yourself!  Here are some easy DIY bird toy ideas from Fear Free Happy Homes for you to try!   

  • Balled-up tissue – crumple a tissue into a ball and place it on the ground or table in front of your bird.  
  • Fruit kabob – skewer soft fruits* like strawberries, bananas, mango, and pineapple.  
  • (*be sure to check with your veterinarian as to what fruits are safe for your type of bird).  
  • Cardboard paper towel holders (make sure they don’t have adhesive on them).  
  • Popsicle sticks, plastic straws, and untreated (non-inked) paper.  

Bird enrichment doesn’t have to be difficult or costly. Simply try some of these DIY toy ideas, as well as some of the other tips above from Fear Free Happy Homes and your bird will be as physically and emotionally healthy as can be!  

For more enrichment and training tips, visit our blog.