P is for pine cones!

I try to offer as many natural toys as I can. Pine cones are shredable, so they make wonderful edition to any toy.

This time around I decided to attach pine cones to a basket and wave through the basket some lavender flowers.

I’ve attached my little basket to cage bars and let them have fun! Pine cones make great foot toys, too. If you have a pine tree, after you collect pine cones, you should boil them for 20 min, sun dry them and than give to your parrots. There are also few sites that sell them and have wonderful variety of different sizes of pine cones.


DIY Willow wreath

I had a bunch of fresh curly willow branches, so I decided to make a fun toy for my two parrots- a simple willow wreath.

You need an even number of twigs, so you can separate them into 2 groups and all you do is twist around each other. When you twist it till the end, form it into a circle, so you get a wreath. After that just keep adding branches until you are completely satisfied with the thickness of your wreath.

A closer look of the wreath

 To make two wreaths it took me 10 minutes all together, so it’s not that difficult- you just twist branches until you’re satisfied how it looks.

My IRN Ringo enjoying hers

Hazelnut party!

Last Friday I went a bit saw-happy and took down a few hazelnut branches. My plan was to turn them into branches and toy parts for my parrots and the plan worked out pretty well in the end.

One of many reasons why I love hazelnut for toy parts is because it’s a soft wood like willow and cottonwood, so during those  hormonal times, it helps a lot by keeping my parrots happy and not screaming.  Also, I know that willow coins are difficult to come by, so hazelnut makes a nice substitute for it, if your parrot is an avid willow chewer.

Making branches is quite easy if you use some common sense; use only branches that you KNOW weren’t treated with anything. If you don’t have a garden, maybe some of your friends do? Clean your branches with a pressure cleaner like Kercher or Mini-wash and after that bake them. It’s an easy procedure and relatively quick to do.

I thoroughly inspect every branch BEFORE I cut it and that’s my advice for everyone making their own perches. If something looks a bit odd, it’s better to avoid the hole thing than to be sorry later on.

From my endeavor I got 18 branches for their cages. One of the reason I like softwood branches is, from my experience at least, that softer woods take wonderful care of parrots nails. In the five years I have had parrots, not once did I had to take them to the vet to get their nails groomed, nor did they ever had a nail grooming perch.

Yesterday I rearranged their cages and decorated them with new perches 🙂

Looking at the pictures it’s really hard to believe that in each cage there are 13 or so perches and in Lino’s cage an 12″ Oddball.

When it comes to perches, I believe that the bigger the diversity the better. I only have one rule though; just one cotton item per cage at a time. Ringo has a  8″ Ring swing from Oliver’s Garden and Lino has an 12″ Oddball, also from Oliver’s Garden. I try to keep their cages on a more woodsy level and to be honest, I like it that way and it seems to me that they like it also.  I will take better pictures of their cages once I have better lighting.

From the odds and ends I had left from perch making, I made wood sticks and made a few toys. Here’s one of them:

This toy is made out of soft pine and lots of hazelnut sticks. I think Lino will go nuts for this one.

Toy making day

I had two very busy weeks, so my entire toy “stash” was turned into splinters. I have a few more extremely busy weeks ahead of me, so it was time to replenish my bird toy box.

I dug into my toy parts and this is what I came up with :

Ringo’s toys

Ringo, my IRN is affraid of larger toys, anything larger than her will send her flying away. Budgie sized toys are perfect for her. I made her a couple of toys using cork (you can read about cork here) , balsa, pine, various shredders, paper cups and some palm bags.

Another toy I made for her, that is already in her cage being chewed up. It’s a palm bag filled with paper, some natural shredders, paper cups and balsa. I really like it and best of all, she likes it. She’s really nesty at the moment, so lots and LOTS of shreddables does a wonderful job at keeping her mind and beak occupied.

Lino’s   toys

Lino loves wood more than anything. Any type of wood will do, he really isn’t picky. For his toys I used willow, white pine, fir, balsa and cork. All of the toy parts are untreated. I buy white pine and fir at a local lumber mill, so I know where does it come from and what has it been treated with, i.e what it hasn’t been treated with.

Next two toys are already in his cage, being chewed up.

I really like this horizontal toy because it has a lot of wood to chew and I think it turned out pretty nice, if I may say so.

Hopefully, this will hold us until the end of the week.