Cockatiels are intelligent and social birds needing physical activity and mental stimulation to maintain their health and well-being. And the best way to ensure their need is to provide the right toys for a cockatiel in captivity.
They have a natural habit of chewing and tearing things apart through their beaks. An appropriate toy can help them soothe their instinct, get their beak in good shape, and improve overall health.
Read along for comprehensive guidance on selecting, cleaning, and maintaining toys for your cockatiel with the significance of rotating toys. We’ll also provide you with five cockatiel toy recommendations.
What Types of Toys are Suitable for Cockatiels?
Cockatiels are playful and active birds. You can keep them engaged and mentally stimulated by providing toys. However, cockatiels toys can be categorized into four categories, such as:
- Exercise toys encourage physical activities.
- Foraging toys enhance natural instinct.
- Chew toys are necessary for beak health and conditioning.
- Interactive toys aid in bonding.
Exercise toys promote agility, coordination, and balance in your bird while engaging in physical activities such as climbing, swinging, and flying. Birds need to have enough space and facility to exercise in captivity.
Such toys can also help maintain the cockatiel’s weight and other health issues that may arise from a sitting lifestyle. Start with simple exercise toys, such as:
- Bird Swing: A bird swing provides a branch for your cockatiel to sit on and swing back and forth. It promotes balance and coordination in them.
- Climbing Rope and Ladder: These toys encourage your bird to climb up and down. Consequently, your bird can boost its agility, strength, and balance ability.
These toys encourage your cockatiel to search for food in captivity. Foraging toys offer mental stimulation and prevent boredom and destructive behavior like excessive screaming or feather plucking.
Again, start with simple foraging toys and gradually add difficulty levels. Some foraging toys are:
- Treat Dispenser: A treat dispenser hides treats when your cockatiel interacts with it, which encourages them to search for food.
- Puzzle Toys: These toys require your cockatiel to solve a puzzle to access the food inside. It increases the thinking power of your bird.
- Shredding Toys: It is designed to be torn apart by your bird and access hidden treats inside the toy. They provide mental stimulation and encourage your cockatiel to search for food.
Cockatiels love to chew, and chew toys are designed to satisfy this habit. Chew toys are generally made from safe and non-toxic materials.
These toys provide benefits for their beak health and conditioning. Chewing toys can prevent your bird from damaging its beaks on items like cage bars.
Regularly inspect these toys for wear and replace them whenever needed. Here are some examples of chew toys:
- Wooden Blocks: This popular toy is made from safe and non-toxic wood and provides a satisfying texture for your bird to chew.
- Mineral Block: A mineral block offers essential minerals your cockatiel needs to keep its beak healthy.
Interactive toys give mental stimulation, which is essential for your cockatiel’s overall health and well-being. These toys also encourage socialization and strengthen the bond between you and your bird.
You can use interactive toys as a tool for training your cockatiel. For example, using interactive toys, you can teach your bird to come to you on command or new tricks.
Moreover, when your bird successfully interacts with the toy, they feel satisfaction and accomplishment. Some interactive toys are:
- Talking Toy and Bell Toy: These toys provide entertainment and encourage your bird to mimic sounds and words it hears.
- Mirror: It provides entertainment and encourages your bird to interact with its own reflection.
How to Select Safe and Appropriate Toys for Your Cockatiel?
When selecting toys for your cockatiel, choose safe and non-toxic materials that are appropriate for cockatiels’ size and age. Here are some factors you should consider while picking a toy:
Toys that are too small can cause a choking hazard. Similarly, too large toys will eat up cage space for cockatiels and may injure your bird. Therefore, opt for toys that are close to the size of your cockatiel’s head or slightly larger.
Toys for a cockatiel should be made of safe, non-toxic materials such as wood, stainless steel, and metal. Ignore toys made of plastic or painted with toxic substances, as these can harm your cockatiel’s health.
When buying toys for your cockatiel, ensure they are made of durable materials such as wood or hard plastic. The toy’s material should be rigid to withstand the cockatiel’s beak attacks.
Avoid toys with small parts that can be easily chewed off and swallowed. You should also avoid toys made of glass material. Check for any sharp edges or loose parts that can cause harm to your bird.
Which Toys Are Highly Recommended for Cockatiels?
Here are the top 5 recommendations for cockatiels toys:
This wooden ladder can be a great pick if you’re looking for an exercise toy for your pet bird. It also includes a swing with colorful strands to attract your cockatiel.
This 2 in 1 exercise toy’s main benefit is it’s made from natural acrylic wood, which is non-irritating, non-toxic, and skin-friendly for your pet bird. Using this climbing ladder, your cockatiel can exercise and strengthen its pecking, chewing, balance, and muscles.
This multi-function swing toy offers entertainment and exercise facilities, making it a must-have for your feather friend. You’ll find 9 different toys to meet the needs of your bird.
Cockatiels can climb, play, chew, stand, and rest on this versatile toy. It even makes a bell noise to attract attention and encourage your bird to play with it.
If you’re looking for a chew toy that will soothe their chewing habit and ensure healthy beak maintenance, then this toy is for your bird. The material is the primary concern for chewing toys, and you can trust the manufacturer of this toy.
This chewing toy is made with food and chew-safe material like luffa flesh, rattan, palmar bark, and natural wood. Your bird can also shred the bright crinkly papers, which will promote their foraging skills.
Cockatiels are a friendly bird who loves to interact. This compact mirror is a perfect interactive toy that will provide stimulation and entertainment.
The perch rope will help your feather friend to stand in front of the mirror while promoting foot health. Moreover, the compact size is also a contemplate feature as it’ll fit your bird’s cage perfectly.
This is another chewing toy on our list that is an ideal choice for your cockatiel. But why? It promotes healthy teeth and gums while providing your pet bird with a fun and interactive experience.
The porous mineral stone of this bird is designed to enhance the cleanliness of your bird’s mouth. Besides, your pet can also rest over the toy while playing with it.
How Often Should Toys Be Rotated for Cockatiels?
To keep your cockatiel engaged with toys, rotate their toys every two weeks. It’ll remove boredom and destructive habits of your cockatiel.
Besides, changing toys is also necessary to keep things interesting for your pet bird inside the cage. Add new textures, colors, shapes, and new types of toys to help your cockatiel prevent losing interest and stay active.
How to Clean and Maintain Your Cockatiel’s Toys?
Dirty toys can spread harmful bacteria and germs that can make your cockatiel sick. That’s why you need to clean the toys frequently to prevent the spread of bacteria or disease.
Here’s a seamless process for cleaning and maintaining your cockatiel’s toys.
- Remove all toys from your cockatiel cage.
- Inspect all toys and remove any broken, frayed, or damaged toys.
- Fill a bucket with hot water and mix a small amount of dish soap.
- Soak the toys in the water and wait for at least 15 minutes to remove dirt and debris.
- Scrub the toys using a soft-bristled brush. It’ll help you to clean the remaining debris from the toy. Make sure you also pay attention to areas where it’s a bit tricky to reach.
- Rinse the toys thoroughly with clean water in order to wash off soap residue.
- Before the cockatiel cage setups again after cleaning, air-dry the toys.
How to Manage Toys in a Multi-Cockatiel Environment?
If you have multiple cockatiel pet birds, you need to ensure some simple factors, such as:
- Ensure that your birds’ cage is filled with enough toys so that they don’t fight over toys.
- Bring variation to the toys by adding different textures, sizes, and colors.
- Monitor their playtime and behavior toward the toys to ensure they’re not getting hurt by the toy.
- Through monitoring, you’ll learn which bird likes which toy. Rotate toys according to your cockatiels’ preferences.
What Toy Considerations Should Be Made for Different Life Stages of Your Cockatiel?
You should consider toys depending on the life stage of your cockatiel: young, adult, and older. Otherwise, your pet bird may not engage with the toy.
Young cockatiels are small and soft-bodied. Therefore, consider soft and small toys so that they can handle them with their strength and fragile beaks. Also, young cockatiels are attracted to bright colors, so you should choose colorful toys.
At this age, they need mental stimulation and something to chew. Hence, you should consider chewing and interactive toys for adult cockatiels. You can also add a perch in their cage to keep your adult bird’s feet healthy.
The right toys for a cockatiel can enrich your cockatiel’s life by giving them the needed mental and physical stimulation to stay healthy and happy. If you can pick the appropriate toys for the cockatiel’s age, size, and needs, you can give your bird a fulfilling life.
Make sure the toys are made of safe materials free from harmful chemicals and substances.