What you should look for in terms of safety in bird toys.
First of all please understand that there is no 100% safe bird toy. Somewhere there is a bird that will find a way to get into trouble, you need to take control. You need to learn what your bird likes and watch what they do with their toys. At first this is basicly monitoring your bird with all his toys. When you know their likes and dislikes, do a quick scan of the toys etc in their cage in the morning when you get their breakfast and again at night when preparing their evening meal. This only takes seconds. We strongly recommend avoiding the following dangerous materials: Split key rings as they can get their beaks and toe nails caught in them. Spring lock clips to hang a toy are not safe. These are the clips that spring back to close, and they can hurt the bird if they try to open them. LONG 100% cotton rope and cotton blended rope. The threads in cotton rope are very long and not broken up. Cotton rope is fine when kept short and checked every day. If you find the rope all chewed and bunched up, cut it to get the tangles out so the bird does not get caught. Never buy a toy made of nylon rope. If a bird gets tangled in this it does not break easily. The bird could hang itself or loose a limb if nylon rope gets caught around a leg or the birds neck. When buying a toy with leather on it make sure it is vegetable tanned leather. Leather that is tanned normally can contain lead, other chemicals or formaldehyde. If it comes from a third world country it can be tanned by having animals urinate on it. If you slightly wet the leather and it smells of urine you know it is not for your bird. Stay away from toys made of jack chain (a chain that looks like a lot of figure eights joined together and not welded). Birds can get their nails and beaks caught in this chain. Make sure that the toys you buy are made with nickel plated or stainless steel chain, pear links, bells, and rings. Some people prefer stainless but after dealing with birds for over 40 years anything nickel plated is definately safe unless your bird has a metal problem and needs stainless steel.
Frequently asked questions:
Is sisal rope safe for birds?
Yes it is, but beware, it cannot be oiled sisal. You can usually tell by the smell. It is made up of small natural fibres and the birds can chew it if they get caught in it (which has never happened to any of my birds in 15 years of using sisal toys). We sell this product in our Bird Toy Parts section of the site.
Is there a safer rope than 100% normal cotton rope?
Yes and if is called Supreme cotton rope. If is made on the old cotton looms and is made up of small, short cotton fibres that will pull apart and is easily chewed if the bird gets caught in it. We sell this product in our Bird Toy Parts section of the site.
What is polly rope and is it safe for bird toys?
Polly rope is definately safe for bird toys. It is a plastic rope that comes in lots of fun colors and is designed to break apart when a bird bites it hard. We sell this product in our Bird Toy Parts section of the site.