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Parakeets, also known as the budgerigar or “budgie” for short, are highly intelligent and active pet birds belonging to the same family as parrots. Due to their outgoing nature and high activity levels, providing parakeet toys is important to their development. A pet parakeet that does not have regular stimulation will become bored, which may lead to unwanted behaviors. There are various types of parakeet toys available, including stationary toys, those that make noise, and parakeet toys that can be handmade.
Parakeet toys range from stationary pieces to the more advanced activity centers. Stationary toys include items such as ladders and perches. Well-placed perches that are positioned at various heights within the bird cage provide a space for resting and moving about the cage. Perches and ladders also offer a pet parakeet with a place to perform their acrobatics.
Many parakeet toys are designed for hanging from the top of the bird cage or they may attach to the cage’s bars. Swings, ropes, and colorful rings can be hung in the cage. A favorite for a pet parakeet is a bird mirror, available in hanging and attachable styles.
Hanging parakeet toys that make sounds are an ideal option for these small pets. Bells and rattles specifically designed for pet birds provide hours of entertainment. These exotic pets are stimulated by sounds in their environment, and simply playing music can offer a change of pace in the bird’s daily routine.
Parakeet gyms or activity centers provide a pet parakeet with a variety of choices. These all-in-one play gyms generally offer a pet bird with several perching stations positioned at different levels, toys that provide sound, and items to gnaw. Rope or plastic rings can hang from the upper section of the center for the parakeet to climb through. A gym placed in front of a window allows for even more stimulation.
One of the more popular types of parakeet toys is homemade toys. Homemade playthings can be constructed from various natural materials such as wood, sisal, and cotton. Large beads strung on sisal rope and natural rawhide are safe alternatives to store-bought toys. Leather is a common material used in making homemade parakeet toys; however, any leather used should be all-natural and not treated with chemicals.
Precautions should be taken when choosing parakeet toys. They should be large enough to avoid becoming a choking hazard and only constructed of non-toxic materials. Avoid parakeet toys that have tiny holes, as these may lead to beaks, tongues, and toes getting caught in the toys. Loose or hanging threads need to be trimmed regularly and broken toys should be discarded. Exchange toys out periodically to keep the parakeet’s interest and to avoid boredom that can occur when playing with the same items day after day.