Homemade toy ideas and treats for pet birds

Give your pet bird the royal treatment by crafting your own toys and whipping up your own treats.

Homemade toy ideas and treats for pet birds

Homemade toys for parakeets and parrots

Birds in the parrot family, including parakeets, love toys, but they can be pricey, and the bigger birds can destroy them quickly. Try these time-tested and inexpensive homemade toys.

• Parakeets love to preen in a mirror. So, instead of paying for a fancy and often fragile bird mirror, just remove the hinge from a sturdy old compact and fasten the mirror securely to the cage bars near a perch.

• Parrots love to climb. Satisfy this urge by tying knots along a sturdy cotton rope and hanging it from the top of the cage.

• Parrots also love to bite and chew, and a dog-chew toy is often less expensive and just as long lasting as a parrot chew toy. Try a rawhide "bone," or one made from nylon.• Both parakeets and parrots like colourful toys, so string big wooden beads onto cotton rope and hang it for them to bat around and chew.

Parrot pops

These chewy sweet treats will keep your parrot happily occupied for hours. Whip them up inexpensively, then sit back and watch the fun.

Makes six treats

  • 250 g (1 c) high-quality mixed commercial parrot treats
  • 125 g (1/2 c) round oat cereal pieces
  • 250 g (1 c) dried mixed fruit, unsweetened
  • 250 g (1 c) unsalted peanuts
  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 1 egg white
  • 6 craft sticks or sucker handles (available at craft or kitchen supply stores)
  • 125 g (1/2 c) honey

    1. Preheat oven to its lowest setting. In a medium bowl, mix together parrot t­reats, oat cereal, dried fruit and peanuts. Add banana and egg white and stir to coat.

    2. Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray, fill compartments with mixture, insert a stick or handle in each and press to compress. Bake for two hours, or until very hard. Remove pops from pan, coat each pop with honey, place on a greased cookie sheet, return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes or until honey is dry.

    3. Serve one treat at a time. Remove and discard uneaten parts after four hours. Store pops in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one month or in the freezer for up to three months.

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