Complete Guide to choosing Parrot toys [5 questions answered]

Complete Guide to Parrot Toys [5 questions answered]

pinewood parrot toy
Pinewood bird toy

I received many questions about parrot toys since I sell them to create funds for my sanctuary and for my flock. There are many different types of parrot toys, all having their own function.

The main purposes of parrot toys are mental stimulation, free of boredom, and exercise. Parrot toys encourage the natural behavior of the wild. Most parrot owners want to create the best habitat for their parrots, and toys help do that. We can provide them with a variety of parrot toys to help them forage, chew, destroy and solve puzzles. This creates a good balance environment for your parrot where they can be challenged, stimulated, and have fun. 

Foraging Toys:

Foraging toys are toys where you can hide food items, and make your parrot work to get the food. These types of toys come in all different varieties and the internet is full of them. Foraging toys allow your parrot to find food, which they do in the wild. 

Seagrass mat with foraging cup bird toy
Seagrass mat with foraging cup bird toy

Shreddable Toys:

Shreddable toys are to rip, destroy, and chew. Chewing is a major natural activity in the wild and enriches parrots' well-being. Parrots love the shred, tear and rip these types of toys. It's a natural behavior. Shreddable toys are made from all parrot-safe, shreddable items:  paper, egg cartons, pinewood, balsa wood, vine items, cardboard, etc. Depending on your parrot's personal preference, they might like soft paper shreddable toys or need wood toys. This helps them maintain and challenge their natural instincts and activities.

shreddable bird toy
shreddable bird toy

Foot Toys:

Foot toys are essential for parrots. Different shapes and sizes help with motor development, coordination, and balance. They also love carrying around small toys and throwing their favorite foot toys.

balsa foot toys for birds
balsa foot toys for birds

Puzzle Toys:

Puzzle toys are amazing. They are made from durable plastic and come in different sizes and puzzles. The purpose of these toys is to make your parrot solve the puzzle. Puzzle toys stimulate the brain and help develop skills. It can be opening little drawers, turning, or pulling. Or they will surprise you and find a completely new way to solve the problem.

Noise Maker Toys:

Stainless-steel toys or talking, animated, pet toys are annoying and loud but parrots love the interaction. It is great to keep them engaged when you're not there. They love making loud noises and banging toys around; stainless steel is perfect for this.

stainless steel parrot toy
stainless steel bird toy

Exercising Toys: 

Exercising toys are toys that make your parrot move around in different ways making them work different muscles. In nature, everything isn't straight, so having bungees, cargo nets, and swings is a great way to make them exercise, gain muscles, and work on balance.
Birch bird swing
birch bird swing

Preening Toys:

Preening toys help feather plucking parrots to relax. They are usually made of non-pill fleece, leather strips, or other materials, and the parrot can preen, and chew on this toy. 

duck preening bird toy
duck preening bird toy

Leather Toys: 

Vegetable-dyed leather is a great material to use for parrots. It's great as a preening toy or just another texture. Thick veg-leather strips are great to chew on, make foot toys or add to any seagrass mats. 

Those are all the different types of parrot toys to help parrots be outside their natural environment. They are highly intelligent animals and with that, they need mental stimulation and lots of exercises. 

leather bird toys
Leather bird toy

My 5 most asked questions about bird toys are answered below:

1) Do parrot toys need to be colored? 

Will, my parrots chew pine wood, the purple, and red ones first. However, when I got this question, I decided to do more research. 

Parrots see more color than humans. Not only do parrots have three cones color receptors, the same as humans, but they have a fourth, an ultraviolet cone.

This extra UV cone in parrots is very important, and part of your parrot's life. For matting, females can see reflective patches on males' feathers which are unseen by humans. For foraging and food, the UV cones help them detect the bright waxy reflective food in the dense green forest. 

So yes, color is needed for mental stimulation.

However it is also true that many parrots will chew un-dyed woodblocks, and there might be other parrots who might only prefer certain colors.

With time you will find out what your parrots like and want. 

large block parrot toy
Large block bird toy

2) What if my parrot doesn't play with toys?

You play with it first. The best way is to get a small toy and play with yourself and show your parrot how much fun it is. 

That is the best way to get your parrot to become interested. Sooner or later he/she will have to check out what was so exciting to you. 

3) What toys should I start with?

The small wood toys, larger acrylic toys.
Small wood toys, to see if your parrot will chew wood. Some don't. If they chew the small wood too fast, go to the medium wood toys.

Larger acrylic toys because smaller toys can be more dangerous to parrots because they might easily break the plastic parts. 

4) My parrot is afraid of toys, what should I do?

Introduce the toy. If your parrot is comfortable with you and trusts you,  then if you're able to hold the toy, it means it's safe too.  

Place the toy outside its cage and let your parrot go to the toy.  Once your parrot is comfortable with the toy, you can place it inside its cage.

5) What is the best type of parrot toy? 

There are a few different types of parrot toys. All are important and have functions to keep your parrots happy and stimulated.

Foot toys, shreddable, wood toys, puzzle toys 

It's best to have different types of toys for your parrot to enjoy. It does take time to figure out the best toy for your parrot, but when you do, your parrot will appreciate it so much.

Always remember, new toys should be supervised when first given. 

pinewood bird toys
pinewood bird toy

For more articles about parrot toys please reach us at:


Author Monika Sangar 

PDS is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (tax id #46-2470926)

DIY Parrot Wood Blocks [complete guide]

DIY Parrot Wood Blocks [complete guide]

pinewood bird blocks
Pinewood parrot toy
pinewood bird blocks

Have you ever wondered, how parrot wood blocks are made? 
or maybe you wish to learn to do them yourself. 

Here I will go step by step so one can appreciate the effort and love that goes into making and building pinewood bird toys.

Where to buy wood for your birdie block parts?

You need to buy untreated pine wood from your local lumber yard. Pinewood is a soft white wood that Home Depot, and Lowes carries in different sizes. Most parrots love this wood because they can easily chew it into toothpicks. 

Before you head towards the lumber yard, bring gloves and a pocket knife. Gloves to prevent splinters. Knife to open new bundles of lumber.

There are a few different sizes. 
1 by 2
2 by 2
1 by 3 

If you need something larger, you can go for the 2 by 3 and 2 by 4. Those are usually Fir, which is still safe, but harder. Great for Macaws, Cockatoos. 

When purchasing lumber you want straight pieces with minimal knots. I know knots make it look cool, but for our purpose, no knots. 

You always want to look at the color of the wood. Make sure there's no discoloration, which can be a sign of mold. If you're unsure, leave it, and find another piece. 

Your lumber pieces shouldn't have any sap, or stickiness. If it does, it's no good.

For perfect pieces of parrot wood blocks, make sure your lumber has all corners, throughout the whole length. Yes, I spend a good time at the lumber yard, inspecting every piece of lumber I buy.

pinewood bird toy
Pinewood parrot toy

What do you do with all this lumber?

Now it's time to cut your lumber into Bird wood blocks.

You can cut them into any thickness, any length, any width. 
Sometimes your cuts will depend on your toy designs but most times it will depend on your parrots. 

Most parrots like nothing thicker than 3/4 inch. 

Small parrots will like thinner pieces, up to 1/8th of an inch. 

You might want a 1-inch or greater thickness if you have a wood chopper.

Cutting wood blocks for birds
cutting wood blocks for birds

Next, drilling holes

Mostly 3/8th inch hole is good enough for wood pieces. For larger wood blocks, larger hole will be needed for the larger chain or thicker rope

drilling wood blocks for birds
drilling wood blocks for birds

Coloring wood

Now the real fun begins when you start dyeing parrot wood blocks with different colors. We dye ours outside, with lots of room. 

Use food coloring: Wilton, Americolor, or any other human grade-food color.  You will also need 70% isopropyl alcohol.

large block parrot toy
large block parrot toy

Side note: Alcohol will not be consumed by the parrot. During the drying stage, the alcohol will evaporate. I use alcohol because I find it easier to use, and it disinfects the blocks.

Mix 1:15 ratio of color: alcohol. With gels, you might need to work it a bit more. The ratio can be changed on personal preference. But 1:15 is a good place to start.

Place your color in a bucket and then submerge your wood blocks, take them out and dry on wire or newspaper. I use the same dye for all my wood, vine items, and paper cups. 

After you're done selecting, cutting, drilling, and dying your wood parts, you can start making wood bird toys. 

colored wood bird blocks
colored wood parrot blocks

Additional information about parrot toys please visit:


Author Monika Sangar 

PDS is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (tax id #46-2470926)

Prego Dalliance Sanctuary . Theme by STS.