African Greys NEED toys. They need a constant supply of toys that they can destroy. So eventually it will cost you a pretty penny to keep buying bird toys for your African Grey. Instead of buying parrot toys, you should consider making some yourself. A simple toy I give my African Gray is a balled up newspaper, with bits of her favorite treats in them (sunflower seeds). It’s an easy way to keep your African Grey active and interested when you are not around to keep them company. They also love destroying newspaper while trying to find the seeds. Just make sure you clean the cage DAILY, if he plays with newspaper that has been pooed on, you risk having a sick parrot.
Why should you get your African Grey Parrot toys?
People who often complain about African Greys being feather pluckers are usually at fault for not meeting their birds needs. An African Grey with no toys, less than 4 hours of human interaction a day, or does not have the proper diet and cage, will become feather pluckers. It’s like if you were in a small room, with no TV, no internet, no one to talk to or play with, you’d start going crazy as well.
There is no excuse not to have toys for your parrot now, it’s cheap! Newspaper + sunfower seeds are all you need. You don’t even have to buy newspaper if you don’t want to. Just go to your local newspaper publisher and ask them for unused newsprint roll ends.
The benefits of having bird toys available are immense. It will teach your parrot to be more independent, and for african greys, it will teach them to explore and not be afraid of new things. Read other example toys below and try to implement as many to your african grey’s daily life. Another thing people say is that African greys are scared of everything. Well, if you were not introduced to new things by your parents when you were a child and had a developing brain, wouldn’t you also be afraid of the unknown? Of course you would, you’re a smart thinking being, just like the african grey (crowned as the smartest parrot of them all).
Safe African Grey Bird toys
The newspaper and sunflower foraging toy described above is completely safe. Just notice whether or not your bird EATS the newspaper. They are highly intelligent animals so you could first introduce they toy to them and teach them how to play with it.
How I did that with Morgan, my africna grey, is I put her on a table showed her that I was wrapping the seeds in the newspaper and that was it. She immediately understood that balled up newspaper = sunflower seeds inside. I keep an air tight tupperware full of pre-made newspaper balls with sunflower seeds in them for easy daily replacement.
Another cheap african grey toy, which is a good toy for any larger parrot too, are wooden chopsticks. Just remember when introducing new toys to your birds, see how they react to it and what they do with it. My parrot often tries to build nests with her chopsticks, but never tries to eat it. If she did, I would not let her play with chopsticks at all.
Another parrot toy, not exactly the cheapest but cheapER than it’s commercial counterpart is, a PVC pipe wrapped with rope. You can think of different types of shapes for the PVC frame, then you wrap it with rope. It’s up to you what sort of things you attached to the “play pen” you created, but just the actual play pen is fun in itself for the bird. I even have one permanently installed in her cage, with some (thicker)rope dropping down from the tops of her cage that she likes to climb on and chew on from time to time.
Another bird toy would be some cheap wooden(uncolored) blocks. African greys can tell colors, and I believe even prefer some colors over others, mine loves red. If you want colored blocks, spend a few on getting food dye, that is edible and use it to color your blocks. If you have a drill, drill a hole that you can insert sunflower seeds in but make sure it’s not too small that they can’t get the seed out. The hole should be big enough that when your parrot tips the block facing down, the seeds falls out.
I almost forgot, the cheapest toy you could possibly make. Used toilet paper rolls! They LOVE tearing this up. I sometimes stuff the balled up newspaper toys inside these to give them more of a challenge. You can also hang some rope with toilet paper rolls wrapped around them to give them something to chew on while they are up on their perch.
That’s all for now, happy bird toy creating