Hi! I'm Merlin! I'm the BirdSafe Toy Safety page mascot. On this page we'll talk about some of the problems with some of the toys that manufacturers make for us birds that really are not safe. We'll share some stories about toys and share some lessons learned.
Toys with any type of woven fabric can be potentially dangerous. Watch for loose threads that birds can get caught around toes, feet, or necks. This includes materials such as ribbons, tshirt material, etc.
Story Bird: Merlin, the Green-Cheek Conure
Split rings, also known as key rings, are used in making many bird toys as a means of hanging the toy from the cage. These rings are VERY DANGEROUS and have been the cause of many accidents with birds prying them open and getting their beaks, toes, or tongues caught in them. Also rings with an opening that has been closed can be opened by strong birds.
Story Bird: Marta Story Bird: Hotshot
There are many skewers out there that people use to make toys with and to place food on, especially fruits and veggies. A lot of them have plastic parts that can come off or be broken off, have parts that a bird can get their foot, claw, or beak caught in, or that can rust easily. The Hangin' Round skewers (most of which are now stainless steel) are a great safe way to make toys and hang food for your birds.
Rope toys tend to be controversial in the bird community. Frayed rope toys can get entangled in a bird's nails, around their feet, around the legs, and even around their necks. They can even ingest some of the rope material that might lead to crop impaction. Tightly wound rope in toys may be a little bit safer, but still might lead to a bird getting its nails caught, or may shred the rope material leading to some of the same problems as with frayed rope toys. Are we advocating "no rope toys"? Not entirely. We believe, though, that there are other alternatives to using rope for toys. Just like most toys, supervision and knowing your bird are musts. We encourage everyone to share their information and feedback on rope and other toys.
Story Bird Merlin Story Bird Chloe
Story Bird Minta Story Bird Clarence
Story Bird Molly Story Bird Bonito
Story Bird Tory Story Bird Abby
Plastic chain can be dangerous if not sized right for your bird.
Story Bird The Story of Sherri
Story Bird The Story of Stormy
The use of "baby toys" that are designed for human babies should be used with caution. These toys, while deemed safe for human babies, may not be safe for "our babies." Below is a story of one such incident. Also is a story using toy pacifiers for bird toys.
Story Bird The Story of Lemonade
While these are "common" bird toys, they can be dangerous. Please keep inspecting these toys. As in rope toys, if there is a leather strip that is of sufficient length for a bird to get around its neck (only about 1-1/2") because the bird has removed one or more wood blocks, the toy is now a HAZARD. Also, as in any new toy, watch your bird with it. It can also get wrapped around a foot or leg.
Quicklinks or "C" links are often used to fasten bird toys and other accessories to bird cages. We strongly recommend, firstly, that you use only stainless steel quicklinks and remove any zinc ones to reduce the zinc poisoning hazard. Secondly, you must watch your bird with quicklinks because some birds, especially larger birds, can undo them and possibly get hung up on the open hook. If you are at all concerned with this, you should replace quicklinks with safer alternatives, such as Toy Hangers (available on our online store).
Small chains can be dangerous as they can wrap around birds' necks, legs, feet, and also birds hanging from them could get toes caught between the links. If you are going to use toys with chains, please only let the birds play with them while they are being supervised.
Story Bird Haley Story Bird Chain Accident
While there are many toys that move, providing birds with some distraction and enjoyment, keep in mind that these can cause potential "traps" for legs, beaks, or entire bodies if the bird plays with the toy and gets wedged.
Toys with rings, hoops, even small parts that a bird can get their heads or feet through can cause problems.
We can all make lots of neat homemade toys. Please be careful when choosing materials to make toys. Birds are very sensitive creatures and their systems cannot tolerate many things.
Links Page Privacy/Info Page Send us Bird-E-Mail