Don't buy stuff at stores for birds

by Andrew

You don't know what kind of metal it is, you don't know what is in the paint or what chemicals are in the paper that is possibly recycled. Only purchase items made by bird toy companies or make the toys yourself from wood you have that you know is safe and untreated.

Too many birds are dying because people are too cheap to do what is right by their birds!

Comments for Don't buy stuff at stores for birds

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Oct 19, 2009
Bird toys and treats
by: Linda

Yes, I am STILL concerned about the food my dogs eat, so I buy Nature's Recipe dry and canned dog food neither of which was on the list of poisoned dog foods.We stay well away from all other dogs foods, and buy our birds only Harrisons as their products are made in the US, made using organic ingredients and are safe.

As for bird toys, we make our own using hard and soft woods with no finishes on them of any kind. I have found a safe paint and want to share that. I've used the CRAYOLA WASHABLE PAINTS for many years, and spent a lot of time with Crayola before using their product on our bird's toys. The paints are water-based, fully washable and non-toxic even for children to put in their mouths(NOT DRINK LIKE SODA POP!). I've used the paints with great success, and they add some colorto otherwise plain toys. When toys are washed, some, not all of the paint will wash off. You can always put another toy in cage and repaint old pieces again. My toy pieces are usually chewed up before they have to be repainted.

As for safe wood for toys, we use kiln dried pine--not pressure treated or any other kind of treated, just plain, rough, raw kiln dried pine--do not use plywood as that has glue between the layers. I'm talking about kiln dried pine wood. Hardwoods you can use are Birch, Maple, Apple and even kiln dried Oak is safe as we have used them for toy pieces. We also use Manzanita wood. You can find perch material out at, owner's name is Rich, and he sells Manzanita perch material by the foot. You can get it various diameters and we cut those into what we call "beads". You can also do this with raw, rough dowel rods you find in home service stores. These look good painted. We leave the Manzanita as it is with the pretty red bark on it.

We use 1/4" 100% cotton rope--undyed white, and your toy piece holes are 3/8" for the 1/4" rope. It is usually 2-3 ply. I use cellophane tape on the ends while stringing toy pieces because the rope starts coming undone as soon as ends are cut(don't forget to remove the tape later). We put at least one or two knots in between each toy piece and leave a little of the rope hanging down on the bottom so birds can have fun un-braiding the rope and making it fluff up. For toy bases, we use short Manzanita perch/branch pieces with 3/8" holes drilled about 3-4 across which makes a more substantial toy. Half coconut shells can also be used. You can find stainless up eye screws online for putting in the middle of the toy base so you can attach a ring to it then attach a quick link to that and your toy is ready to hang. If you or someone in your household is handy with a saw and drill press, all you need is the wood. Just make sure any wood is deemed safe and is rough with no clear coats or stains on it.


Oct 19, 2009
Safe bird stuff
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the excellent info. I am very leary of this too. Even some pet store stuff I won't touch. I read of a few deaths concerning poisoning from the parrot pinatas sold at all major petstores. Also, Greenies dog bones are known to cause bowel obstructions if chunks are swallowed. I prefer to make my own foraging toys. You are your birds and pets best advocate.

Editors note: The person that started the roomer about the Pinata posted a public apology. They discovered that it was not the toy, and I think they never said it was for sure the toy anyway. Bird toy companies test their toys before marketing them.

Oct 17, 2009
Grocery Store Bird Items May Be Dangerous to Birds
by: Jill C

I was exiting my grocery store several months ago when I overheard a man speaking on a cell phone near the exit door. He appeared to be the one who stocks the pet supplies aisle of the store and he was talking about the reported death of two birds that had died within 20 minutes of someone introducing a bird item into their cage. It made me want to be extra cautious not to purchase anything of lower quality for my birds. I will never purchase from any place unless I know I can trust what they are selling. I keep thinking of the dog food from China, that sort of thing, and it worries me.

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