How to Entertain a Bored Bird

Rosie 3

Quick ideas for pet toys that you can make with a minimum of fuss.

I have been looking for ways to keep Rosie the African Grey entertained. I’ve asked fellow bird owners and scoured the internet, and I am still looking. I want something that is easy to make (it’s going to be torn up in a day), and something I can recreate if she likes it.

Here are a couple of ideas for us all to try – if you have a favorite, or a tip please let me know and I will include it in a future post.

1. Pine Cones

Pine cones are pretty easy to come by in most places. For me, a pine cone found off the beaten path is the best. Even so they have to be prepared before being put in your bird’s flight.

Pick up pine cones that haven’t been on the ground long and soak them in a COLD vinegar water bath (1 cup of vinegar to 1 gallon of water). This will clean the dirt and bugs out. Air dry for a day. Now it’s time to bake – place the pinecones on a foil covered cookie sheet and bake at 175 for 20-30 minutes. This is kill mold and bacteria. Cool – duh – and add them to your pet’s flight. You can hang them from the top or incorporate it into a forage basket and stuff appropriate treats  in the pine cone.

Time to forage

Birds love to dig through things and shred. Use undecorated and unvarnished wicker or fiber baskets, the brown paper (lunch-size) bags, or cardboard boxes. Do not use Styrofoam!

Fill with shredded paper, and tuck in treats, things they can pick up with their talons, pine cones, whatever is safe. This can be put attached to the cage or put on the floor of the cage. You may have to weigh it down with a stone.

If your bird doesn’t go for it immediately don’t despair. New things may take time to get used to. I would recommend switching it out every day, just as you would their food and water. Unstuffed pinecones can be left longer.


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