There are a lot of great bird toys available to buy for our feathered friends. But when your bird goes through toys quickly, your budget can take a beating. Not giving toys is not an option. Birds need the enrichment they get from having a variety of toys to play with. Because of this bird parents get very crafty at making their own toys to keep their bird in supply.
I started out making simple toys for my fids(feathered kids :)) then I found a couple of Facebook groups that inspired me to step up my toymaking. Now I have toy parts, tools for making bird toys and storage for all of it!
You don’t have to go all-in though to make bird toy. In fact, you can make bird toys with just a few household items you probably already have. I dug up some items to make a toy your bird will love.
Plastic bottle caps (remove any plastic lining)
Cardboard Paper Towel or Toilet Paper Roll (use one with no glue lines)
A bird safe twine(I use hemp. You want a twine that doesn’t smell oily and that won’t fray or break into threads that can tangle around your bird) or treat skewer(I like the skewers as they can be used over and over again. The Scooter Z Bird Skewer for Parrots is the one I am using for this toy.)
Stainless Steel Quicklink(if using the twine)
You will also scissors, long nose pliers, a wooden skewer, something to poke a hole in the bottle caps and straws.
- If not using a skewer, cut your twine to about 14 inches long. Tie the Quick link to 1 end. This is your base.
- Poke Holes in all your plastic caps. I used 2 caps on the skewer and 8 for the wiffle ball. If you have a drill you can use that. I found the caps easy to put a hole through using the tip of a pair of scissors tips. A clean nail may also work. Be sure to take appropriate precautions so as not to hurt yourself.
- Slide a cap onto your base.
- Take your cardboard paper towel roll and cut 4 rings about 1/2 inch wide. Slide the rings over each other to make a ball (check here for a photo of what it looks like). Slide onto your base. Add paper shred and a treat for some foraging fun.
- Slide another bottle cap onto your base.
- Cut your drinking straws about 3-4 inches long. Punch a hole into the center of each straw and slide onto base.
- Take your wiffle ball and slide onto your base. You can add bottle caps to some of the holes or stuff paper shred in all the holes
- To add the bottle caps-
- I used 2 zip ties, 2 bottle caps , and 2 pony beads to add beads to opposite holes.
- Thread a pony bead then a bottle cap onto a zip tie. Insert the zip tie through the wiffle ball and thread a bottle cap then pony bead onto to part of the zip tie that emerges from the opposite hole.
- Take the second zip tie and insert through the bottle caps and pony from the opposite direction.
- Put the end of the second zip tie into the latch of the first zip tie and repeat on the other side.
- Tighten the zip ties and cut close to the latch.
- To add paper shred-
- Take the paper shred and straighten out the pieces.
- Lay the straightened out pieces together until you have a bundle that is about 1/2 inch wide(adjust amount as needed). Fold the bundle in half and insert the folded end into a hole in the wiffle ball.
- Using the long nose pliers or wooden skewer push the fold into the hole.
- Repeat with the other holes.
This video from cheepparrottoysntips shows how to add the paper shred.
- To add the bottle caps-
- Take a section of about 50 coffee filters. Poke a hole in the center of them. Slide onto base.
- You may need to add a bottle cap as the last piece to add some stability.
- If using a Toy skewer, screw on the locking piece. If using twine, push the items up toward the top so they are tight against each other and tie a knot.
- Start separating the coffee filters, pulling them apart so the filters form a puff.
- Give to your parrot to enjoy!