Someone please tell me I am not the only one with this issue. I buy a bunch of foot toys for my birds that I think they will love, and then they sit, sad and forlorn in a foot toy basket, for months. Time to do something about it!
For this post, I will be covering the re-purpose of three foot toys that are awesome products, they just aren’t in a format that my birds prefer.
On top, we have the Things for Wings (T4W) Foraging Blocks. These are all pine, and have a hole drilled into them to make it easy to stuff almonds, nutriberries, etc, for some easy foraging and chewing fun.
On the left, are the I Got a Woody Bird Toys (IGAW) Teeny Tootsies. These are really small (about an inch in length) little pine blocks with a colored bead embedded on either side.
And last but not least, Parrot Enrichment (PE) Puzzler Foraging Foot Toys. Pine blocks with tantalizing chewing surface and a hole for foraging.
So the goal today is to make these into something I can slide onto a skewer. I’ll be using the Small Corkscrew Skewer from Mother Pluckin’ Bird Toys but the concept can be used for any skewer. If you are using a thicker one, you may need to use a different drill bit than the ones I used.
Part 1: Things for Wings Foraging Blocks.
Take a 5/16″ Brad Point drill bit and position it about a half inch from the back end of the block. You will want to use some pressure to make this work, but if you press too hard or go too fast, you will need to reverse the drill bit and go back in. I tend to be a hothead with the drill and locked mine up a couple of times before I learned my lesson. Continue drilling until you are through. Handy tip – if you don’t have a work bench (I don’t!) you can do your drilling on a phone book. This will keep you from drilling into things that you shouldn’t.
You should be left with a hole like so:
And that’s it! It’s ready to be put on a skewer or other toy.
Part 2: Parrot Enrichment Puzzler Foot Toy
I am drilling two of these, and I’m using a 7/32″ Brad Point drill bit. This is a good size for the spot I want my hole to go. I want it to go in one of the cut outs. These seem to be a softer wood than the T4W blocks, so its not as hard to drill through. Here is where I drilled mine:
Basically it is at the crossroads of the block, avoiding the large hole so that I can string it up and still be able to use the foraging hole. If you don’t want to worry about foraging, you could just string it up by the hole already provided.
I drilled my blocks at the same spot on different sides so it will give a little variety when strung up:
Part 3: I Got a Woody Teeny Tootsies
This one will be a little different. Since these are so small, my end goal is not to put them directly onto the skewer, but rather to string them up so they can be loaded onto a skewer as one unit.
Step 1: Start by drilled a 3/16″ hole through the block. I chose to do mine through the short side, between the embedded beads. When you are done, you should have something like this:
Step 2: Next, take a piece of stringing material (I used about 10″ of leather) and start by making a knot on one end. Add one of the foot toys.
Step 3: Make a knot above the foot toy and add a second one:
Step 4: Now, instead of making a knot, simply make a loop. This is where you will be able to slide it into a skewer or another toy later.
Step 5: Add another foot toy and make a knot after it.
Step 6: Finally, add the last foot toy and add a knot to close up your new toy part!
Now that we’ve readied all of our foot toys as new toy parts, it’s time to assemble a toy! Here is one made up of 2 Things for Wings blocks, 2 Parrot Enrichment blocks, and two sets of the I Got a Woody foot toy block strands:
This is just a small example of the things you can do with foot toys to give them a “new lease on life”! Not only do you get a fun new toy, but you also get to do something with those forgotten foot toys! Buying all of the parts for this toy I’ve made would run you about $10 (not including the skewer). Not too shabby!