Posted by Deb White on 9/9/2020 to Materials Safety
What bird doesn’t love to shred and destroy paper?
All the birds in my house get excited and start pacing anxiously when asked “who wants a treat cup?” This treat simply consists of a nut hidden within a crumpled dixie cup and most of the time they let the nut drop out and finish shredding the paper cup first. My African Greys also love to scratch and shred the paper covering their cage bottoms. Who isn’t delighted by watching videos of lovebirds carefully crafting small paper strands to tuck in their back feathers? Adding paper to your homemade bird toys can certainly add to the enjoyment and enrichment factors.
Paper can be used to add color, hide treats, and add shredding and preening dimensions to bird toys. Paper is easy to work with; you can roll it and fold it to work with your designs. It is easy to punch holes in paper products so they can be strung on wire or cordage. Best of all, it is an inexpensive way to provide enrichment for your bird.
There are so many paper-based options you can find around the house as well as on the MakeYourOwnBirdToys website that are safe to use. For example:
- Adding Tape Rolls
- Birdie Bagels
- Cereal Boxes
- Coffee Filters
- Crinkle Shred
- Copy Paper
- Construction Paper
- Cupcake Holders
- Egg Cartons
- Food Cups & Lids
- Gift Wrap
- Junk Mail (I personally love this one)
- Kraft Lunch Bags
- Paper Straws
- Paper Plates
- Phone Books
- Take-out Holders
As to the safety of paper items, there are a few points to mention:
- Only use non-metallic products (cupcake holders, gift wrap)
- Make sure to remove any staples
- As for any non-food item, if your bird appears to be ingesting paper, remove that component from their toy.