Posted by Shawna on 12/8/2017 to
Parrots are only a few generations removed from their wild counterparts.
In the wild, they would spend the majority of their day looking for food, socializing with their flock, flying, and chewing wood and plants. They are messy and destructive by design; their actions help feed the animals below and fertilize the soil. Think of yourself more of a zookeeper than a traditional pet owner!
“My bird will just destroy that toy.”
Good! That is the purpose of the toy! They stimulate the bird in ways that are instinctual for them, to keep their brain and body busy. It is mentally and physically healthy for them to destroy toys. Chewing also helps keep their ever growing beaks in good condition, saving you money on vet bills. Remember, if they are destroying toys, they aren't destroying your furniture!
“My bird doesn't like toys.”
If you gave a child a doll and it didn't like it, do you assume that the child doesn't like ALL toys, or is it more likely it simply doesn't like dolls? Birds have preferences too! Often if a toy is too difficult to master or destroy, they will ignore it versus expending more energy on it. Maybe your bird prefers balsa, bells or leather lacing. A toy with a variety of textures is a good way to figure out what your bird likes!
“Are toys really necessary?”
Yes! Birds are highly intelligent animals and it is physically and mentally unhealthy to not have access to toys. If they can't expend energy and brain power on toys, they might develop unwelcome behaviors like screaming, plucking, or destroying items you don't want destroyed. They are as important to a bird's well being as food and water – really!
A busy beak is a happy beak!