Toy Making May Mondays!

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So this was the end result of the original toy, it had foam pieces between the plastic toy and the bell. Purrain loved the foam pieces, so I re-made it in my version of course.

I took these butterfly foam pieces and pierced a hole through them. Then I added the wooden bead in the middle, folded the butterfly foam piece and put another hole on the other side and slide it on this toy. I wanted to make sure there was lots of different textures for Purrain to explore with so I added the loofah piece from a different worned out toy on top. Purrain went after this right away! I was so happy but she didn’t care for the loofah piece, only the foam and the wooden bead appealed to her.

These are great observations because now I know don’t bother giving her loofah toys. She is more of a foam and wood toy bird for now…. I will continue experimenting with her to see which items she truly enjoys so I can make sure my “making toys” are always appealing to her even though they might not actually be appealing to our eyes. HAHAHA

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Parrotenrichment.com

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I can not recommend this site enough. Go to www.parrotenrichment.com for your creative DO-IT-YOURSELF toys! I love Kris Porter’s ideas! I have just recently started paying attention to her e-books and her website but it opens you to all these ideas and definitely has gotten my own creative juices working. You can see this in my Toys, toys, and more toys section.

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Kris’s picture

What I have learned over the last decade of interacting with parrots is that you NEVER stop learning and this is one of the many things that draws me to them. Their personalities, responses, beauty, intelligence and talent. No two birds will ever be the same despite how you interact with them. Kris Porter has turned my little apartment into a hide and seek playhouse for my birdies. She has made me feel better about leaving them at home and has definitely helped keep my toys cost low! I can’t recommend checking out her site enough! She also took the same program as me with Susan so I know her desire and heart strings are in the right place. Her activity books are free so there is no excuse not to get them.

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Kris’s Picture

All this time, I assumed Kris was a boy but I just found out that Kris is actually a girl and I found that out by going on her website. It really didn’t matter but I guess because I seen “Kris” I just assumed, this just goes to show even names can be misleading at times. What I hate is seeing a “still” parrot. Kris promotes Parrot movement, activity and fun. She is all about parrot enrichment, which makes me feel connected to her. She may never know who I am but I will always be a fan!

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Kris Porter

I also just found this site http://blog.parrotenrichment.com/ which is apparently her blog so I haven’t checked it out as yet but I definitely will because I’m a HUGE admirer. I have never met her but I feel like we share a bond. She is my “unknown” best friend. If your desire is to enrich your parrots more, I would recommend – following me of course hahaha but I would also recommend following Kris Porter and getting her activity book. If you go to her website and scroll to the bottom she has volume 1 and 2 right there to be downloaded. I haven’t checked out volume 2 as yet as I’m still working on volume 1 but I say GO GET IT NOW!!!

Parenting Parrots

 

Toy Making May Mondays!! – The Cutlery

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Toys! GRRRR… The birds go through them so fast, I’m actually happy for out of the cage time as they can explore and do other things then damage their toys. When buying toys for parrots, this is what you expect them to do and what you WANT them to do because at least you know they are being stimulated and are taking out any type of energy out on their toys but it doesn’t make the facts any less true! I just spent 30 bucks on that toy and it lasted a day IF I’m lucky (this is especially true for Grayson) so now that I’m following Kris Porter’s Parrot Enrichment vol 1 – I’m a bit more happy because it’s not breaking my pocket to stimulate my parrids (parrot kids).

So today, I focused on reconstructing an old toy. I don’t remember what this toy originally looked like however, this was the end result.

I’m really not creative so I wasn’t sure what to do, anyhow I went to my pile of items and said let’s try these wooden cutlery pieces. I punctured a hole in them and made a tiny slit and slid 6 pieces onto it and BAM! I was done, totally new toy! I gave this toy to Purrain, my violet Indian Ringneck.

FYI – It lasted 2 days!

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Broke but Birdies still needs Toys!

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After taking all the birds to the vet to do physical checkups plus bloodwork and fecal tests while being on maternity leave, you can imagine my pockets are quite deficient right now. What am I going to do? I also went to Bulk Barn and bought 15 dollars worth of training seeds, this was a combination of Pine nuts (the most expensive, spent $12.16CAD), sunflower seeds raw in-shell and out and walnut pieces. In March, I spent $327.00CAD at the bird store that covered nectar, Harrison’s Adult lifetime fine 5lb bag, Harrison High Potency 5lb bag and Harrison Pepper 1lb bag plus some toys and perches. Those toys are over a month old now so my birdies need more stimulation. So again, I asked what am I going to do? I definitely do believe in rotating toys but eventually, the toys just get mashed up and either become garbage or need some serious reconstruction.

I’m going to devote May to be my toy making month. Oh, I can call it “Toy Making May“, hahaha. Over the years I bought so much toy making stuff from the parrot shop but never used them so I definitely have items here that I can play around with. Also, I’m learning how to turn household items such as cereal boxes like I did in this post to make toys. I have cereal boxes, egg cartons, pop bottle caps, etc so I’m sure I have a lot of items to turn into toys that the parrids can love and enjoy.

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I definitely lack the creative gene so I have to research and research to find ideas, talk to other parrot owners etc. I found Kris Porter, who has now become a MAJOR influence in how I care for my birds. Simple ideas like getting a bin and putting plastic lids and containers in it and placing it on the counter or somewhere so the birds can throw the items on the floor were excellent for me. Not only was the idea cheap but it was with items I already had!!!  Parrots are just like kids I tell you! You know when the baby throws the toy on the floor and says “UH OH”, you pick it up and give it back to them and then they do it, again and again, making it into a game? Yup, this is the exact same concept. Kris also recommends making food items and leaving it out for them to find and enjoy, just like they would in the wild, I fell in love with that idea because it definitely stimulates foraging at it’s finest. I’m impressed!

Why didn’t I consider these options before? Who knows, but I am now so that’s all that matters.

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DIY Foraging Toy

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I wish I could take all the credit here but I can’t. I stole this idea off of Facebook from Patricia Anderson who has a few Quakers and a Blue headed Pionus (They are perfectly trained and so gorgeous to look at). Anyhow I have always been one to believe in foraging as an important aspect for any parrot and recently I realized I spend a lot of money on toys – even more than I thought. Sometimes my toy bills (most of the time) are running me 2 to 300 dollars a shop. So I really wanted to find things I could make myself and wouldn’t break my pocket. So when Patricia posted the foraging cereal box I was all excited because being a family of 5 we go through cereal boxes as often as we change our underwear, hahaha daily.

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You see the red thing? It’s the Zip tie I used to attach this to the cage

I have a whole bunch of stuff I bought for foraging but if you are anything like me then you don’t have the creativity behind your belt to do it yourself so I have to steal ideas from others but that’s why they post them online right? To share? Once I get their basic ideas then sometimes ways to “fancy” it up comes to me… Only sometimes though.

So why do I find foraging to be important or why is it very high on my list? BECAUSE in the while food is not just handed to your parrot. They search for their food causing them to release energy and stimulate their brain cells. Now by no means does this mean starve them. I still use my food bowls but I do cover my food bowls with paper every now and then and have them rip through the paper to get to the food. I find the days I do that my house is quiet as a mouse because everyone is busy ripping through the paper for their pellets. Otherwise some mornings I’m crying about wanting more sleep. IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE! I/We can’t provide the wild environment for our parrots but we still need to find ways to keep them stimulated, motivated, entertained and I find that foraging toys do that….

It’s really simple, all I did (Now Patricia may have used different items inside of hers, I didn’t look into all of that) was take my cereal box put some timothy hay at the bottom, wrap up a few almonds into newspaper balls, put a few sheets of regular newspaper over, come nice crinkled purple (my favorite color) paper sticking out at the top and the inside was done. Then I pierced a few holes into a face and had treats sticking out. 2 Sunflower seeds for eyes, an almond for a nose and baby carrots going across to make a smile.

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I used a big cereal box but it was for my Indian Ringneck so I should have bought those cereals that are small that come in those packs of 10 and use that size. I think the big cereal boxes are too overwhelming for Ringo, that size is PERFECT for Grayson, my african grey.  So far Ringo hasn’t teared apart the box hence why I say the size is too big. But he has removed the carrots, almonds, sunflower seeds and some of the crinkled paper at the top…. Slowly but surely he is getting there.

Oh I attached it to the cage using a zip tie. My parrot shop sells them. I will be doing another one of these for Grayson and I think at the bottom of it I will make a small hole on each side and have a rope going from one end of the bottom to the next and tie a “Top toy” out of each side to make it more pretty with more accessories. I want to make lots of foraging toys and you can find GREAT ideas on Facebook DIY bird toy groups or by going on Pinterest or of course by following me! All you have to do is sign up where it says follow Parenting Parrots and you can go through this journey of toy making with me! I’ll post a YouTube video on making this toy next weekend and I’ll add it here but if you want to make sure you don’t miss that then go to my YouTube channel and Subscribe so you can see all the important videos we post there.

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Some people are visual learners vs. being a reader so that’s why I like to cover a video on what I write about here too.

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It’s my Parrots’ Paradise!!

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Or should I say Paradise for my parrots? Either way it is a parrot’s dream! A place to go to find all that is needed. A place that I know has safe toys, tools, carriers, food, everything for my feathered friends. It is:

http://parrotdiseperch.com/east/

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I have been a long time customer of Parrotdise Perch. I get my Harrison’s from there along with my bird bread mixes, toys, toy parts, training material, playstands and cages. Grayson, my African Grey parrot has been enjoying his A & E Victorian cage for 4 years now with no issues. I also got our bird carriers from there, our java playstand and all of my training perches. Definitely an ONE STOP SHOP! GO THERE!

I have been to many pet stores such as P.J Pets, Petsmart and Pet Valu however none of them have even come close to the product selections at Parrotdise Perch. Even the customer service you will receive from the owner can not compare to any of those main pet stores.

When in need, I can get advice. The owner Kathleen is an amazing owner, who loves to engage her customers and makes sure they are getting the right information. So when I shop there I know I can bring true questions for her to answer. It’s great going to a store knowing the owner has her own birds so therefore she can really help with suggestions and give sound advice.

She doesn’t allow birds in her store which as a bird owner you have to respect as toys can get contaminated. I’m happy to know that my toys are fresh and not being exposed to any other birds. Shopping at those other pet stores, can put your birds at risk and I’m sure none of us have really taken in the fact that some illness that  birds can catch can be airborne.

I wish I had a negative thing to say but I really don’t except that  I have only clicked with one other person that has worked for her and all the rest I can do without. As long as your interacting with her though, you know you are getting genuine customer service. Sometimes her prices can seem a bit pricey but that’s what I have to deal with for being lazy and not making my own toys hahaha…. I have shopped around for harrison’s and she is right in the same price range as the other places that carry it.

So overall I say PARROTDISE PERCH is a place to check out!!! 5 out 5!!

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a pic of parrotdise perch’s old store.

FYI a lot of her toys are unique, so that makes it another reason to go there!

Parenting Parrots!