Macaws are highly intelligent birds and need a lot of stimulation. If they are locked into a cage with no toys, they will grow restless and even destructive—you can’t blame them for chewing apart the door lock when there’s nothing else for them to do!
Buy several toys, but don’t keep them all in the cage at the same time. It’s much too crowded, and you’ll only end up confusing the birds! Instead, divide the toys into “batches”. Pick 2 or 3 toys with different functions: one for climbing, one for chewing, etc. Then, replace the toys at the end of the week, before the macaws grow tired of them.
macaws Toys-Toy Safety
The size of the toy depends on the size of the macaw. You can always ask the pet store keeper (or the customer service of the online pet store) which of their stock is appropriate for your macaw variety. Just remember—thanks to their seed diet, these birds are used to cracking things open! The material and the construction have to be very, very sturdy. Otherwise, the toy will break, and worse the birds can choke on the parts or cut themselves on the jagged edges.
Also watch out for loose parts and sharp edges, as well as any material that can be shredded and turned into “cloth coleslaw”. Long strings can also strangle or entangle birds.
macaws Toys-Favorite toys
Macaws will definitely enjoy bird gyms. These are stand-alone play sets that have see saws, tunnels, and various toy attachments. These are great for exercise and can be a bonding activity between you and your pet. You can also teach them tricks here, like how to hang upside down on the swing, free a treat from a pulley, or hop from one rung of the ladder to the other.
You can also get squeaky toys, bells (just avoid those which have holes that can trap claws or beaks), and horns. Rings and hoops will always be a hit, since macaws love to climb. And of course, get plenty of chew toys.
macaws Toys-Cleaning the toys
Since you rotate toys at the end of the week, just clean them thoroughly before putting them back into storage. You need a clean, damp cloth, soaked in a mild bleach solution. Then, leave the toys in direct sunlight for a day (the heat will prevent water from collecting into cracks, which can lead to mold).
Inspect the toys for any wear and tear, and throw away any that are cracked, frayed or look like they’re ready to give way.
macaws Toys-Other play activities
Toys should never substitute for companionship. Macaws are not just “display animals.” They need affection, attention, and interaction. Set aside at least 2 hours a day for playing, during which you can set them free for the cage in a bird-safe room. They need this time to stretch their wings, explore, and of course, to have fun with you.
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