Bird Toys and Exercise

By Dr Eloise Bright 6 Min Read

Toys and puzzles prevent boredom by encouraging your bird to flap its wings and engage in necessary mental exercise.

Exercise and flight

Flight is essential for a bird’s mental health. If you have a small aviary with finches, make sure they have adequate horizontal space to fly around. If you keep parrots, the cage should have sufficient space for the birds to spread and stretch their wings, but they also need daily time outside the cage with you.

There are a number of dangers to consider when flying outdoors. Pet birds can be overwhelmed and confused by the vastness of the open area, and in their panic, they may fly a considerable distance before settling down. Significant can also be read as “tens of kilometers.” Doves and pigeons have the best chance of finding their way home, but even they should be acclimated to the outdoors in a semi-open aviary prior to being set free. Some pet birds adapt well to flight harnesses, allowing them to fly around while still in your grasp. Cats, falcons, and rats should be considered potential predators whenever your birds are outside, regardless of whether they are confined or not. Keep your pet safe.

Additionally, waterbirds must be able to wade and swim.


There should be at least three toys in every birdcage. For doves and finches, the majority of their toys will consist of ladders, swinging perches, and small wooden pieces that can be rearranged, similar to a toddler’s building blocks. Do not be surprised if your finch repeatedly pushes or carries a particular toy around the cage for several weeks. She is pursuing her interest in nest-building. If you keep parrots of the jungle variety, you should fill a portion of the cage with so many toys that the birds can actually hide in the clutter. And all parrots require items to chew into splinters, regardless of whether their cousins in the wild reside in jungles or deserts.

Loose wooden toys, acrylic toys, and wiffle balls are widely available at pet supply stores in person, online, and via mail order. In actuality, there are online stores devoted exclusively to safe bird toys. Additionally, craft shops sell beak-friendly wooden shapes and craft sticks. Staining wood with food-safe dyes is permissible, but avoid painting anything. The same holds true for hanging toys made of paper, wood, leather, and other materials. Toys will be pecked at by the birds, and birds are easily poisoned. Chew toys are available in a variety of sizes and thicknesses to accommodate different beak sizes. A cockatiel may enjoy a toy made of playing cards for a few days of destruction, whereas an Amazon parrot requires more substantial pieces of wood.

Foraging toys constitute a distinct category of playthings. The treats are concealed within these games and puzzles, so the bird must figure out how to obtain them. This makes his meals more engaging and provides him with mental exercise. In the wild, he would spend most of his time searching for food as opposed to simply approaching his dish. Allow your bird to feel smart!

Every few weeks, you should replace your parrot’s toys. If your parrot is not destroying his toys and you have provided him with “chewable” toys, consult a veterinarian immediately.

Perches and climbing equipment

Almost all birds kept as pets require perches for sitting and standing. To give the bird’s toes a rest, quality perches offer a variety of textures and densities. Perches that resemble natural branches are ideal, so long as the majority of the branch is thick enough to prevent your bird’s toes from overlapping while he is perched. Additionally, many birds enjoy perches made of rope. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes. For long-term sitting and roosting, it is best to avoid wooden dowels because their smoothness is uncomfortable and hard on the feet.

All sizes of birds, from canaries to macaws, have corresponding ladders. Consider including one in each cage. In their play areas outside the cage, parrots will also enjoy rope “nets” as climbing toys. These nets are identical to the net-climbing obstacles in some military obstacle courses, with the exception that they are sized for birds (and parrots enjoy them more than most military recruits).

Keep your bird healthy and entertained.

It is important for your bird’s health that you provide a variety of toys and perches, but you should also keep extras on hand. How should we proceed? Start with a small amount of treat inside a new foraging toy for your bird. Gradually increase the proportion of foraging toys in your parrot’s diet to at least fifty percent. Hide some of their food around the dovecote to attract doves.

Share this Article
Dr Eloise is a Clinical Lead at Love That Pet and one of our resident pet care experts. She also curates the select range of vet recommended and approved products which feature on our site.
Leave a comment