At Pieces of 8 Toys we are committed to using materials that pose the least risk of injury to parrots. For that reason we do not use some common materials because of the risks they present to our feathered friends. The following are some common materials used in parrot toys and the different risks they present but it is not an exhaustive list.
- Risks include: Frayed strings wrapping around toes, feet, wings or neck causing permanent or fatal injury. Birds may ingest the cotton fibers causing crop impaction.
- What to do to mitigate risk: Trim loose threads and strings every day. Watch your bird to see if they are ingesting any of the fibers. Throw away toys that have unraveled rope or large gaps in the twist of the rope. Avoid using cotton rope or fabric at all if your bird is prone to tearing it up.
- Risks include: Lead and zinc poisoning from galvanized wire, twist ties, or poor quality toys. Sharp edges on chain or metal pieces can cut skin. Toes or feet can get caught in chain links that are too large.
- How to mitigate risk: Avoid buying toys with metal parts that are not designed for parrots. Use only stainless steel pieces. Only use metal chain links that are appropriately sized for your bird.
- Risks include: Poisoning due to chemical pesticides or herbicides used on the wood or the natural chemicals created by the plant. For example oak wood has tannins in it that are harmful to parrots if ingested. Wooden rings can become a strangulation risk if they are not the right size.
- How to mitigate risk: Buy toys or toys parts that have wood that you can identify or is clearly labeled. If your bird can fit their head through any piece of a toy they should also be able to fit the rest of their body to avoid the risk of getting caught and hurting themselves.
Be sure to inspect your toys daily for any broken or frayed areas. Always supervise play with new toys. Be sure to keep toys clean to avoid attracting bugs or the buildup of harmful bacteria from perches or toys covered in droppings.