Please Check Your Toys

Yesterday, I lost my Hahns Macaw, Gizmo, to an extremely unfortunate toy accident.

toy

Gizmo chewed away the vine ball and wedged her head between the poly rope and bagel and couldn’t get out. I assumed her head was too big to fit. It wasn’t. If I had been there I could have cut the rope and got her out easily. But I wasn’t.

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Buy or Make: IGAW’s Wacky Woody

Do you ever look at a toy somewhere and think, “Geez, I could make that for a lot cheaper?” I certainly do! Sometimes the sticker shock makes me think I might be overpaying for an item if I buy it from a vendor.

Recently I decided to take on the challenge of making a version of the I Got a Woody Bird Toys’ “Wacky Woody” , specifically the Barrel Bead version. The toys look awesome; they are full of the chippable barrel beads that my Hahn’s covets so much. I tend to be a cheapskate, and the $35 to $40 price tag made me a bit dizzy. I happened to have the materials on hand, and set out today to see what really goes into this toy.

My results:

homemadewacky

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My Seed Mix

When I brought my Quaker home over two years ago, I was annoyed that he was on an all seed diet, especially since the species is prone to fatty liver disease. While I didn’t want to completely exclude seeds from his diet, I wanted to be sure that the ones I did offer him were nutritious. It was a little shocking to me to see how little variety between commercial seed mixes were, and how sunflower and safflower laden they all were!

After comparing seed mixes, pellet mixes, and more, and using my local co-op and Nuts.com, I managed to create my own seed mix that I was quite pleased with. Now, I didn’t add a bunch of other things like flowers, herbs, dried fruit, etc, because I wanted this to be solely a seed mix that I could soak and sprout. However, back then I was unaware of the fact that flax and chia seeds are mucilaginous, meaning they gel up when they are wet. They require a different method for sprouting and will suffocate the other seeds if you attempt to do them together. My “sage advice” is that if you want to be able to sprout this mix, leave those seeds out.

seeds

 

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Skewer Fillers: Introduction

What’s a skewer filler, exactly? The first time I remember hearing about them was on Avian Avenue when a member there, saroj12, brought the idea up to the vendors there. The idea is that it’s a small part of a toy that is made to be strung up onto a stainless steel skewer. It is a safer option that eliminates things that can pose potential threats to our birds such as loose ropes or chains. It also can be a good alternative for birds that quickly undo or snip through other toys. Aside from that, it’s a fun way to make toys that are easy to make and refill! Here are some examples of skewer fillers that Crystal over at Crystal’s Bird Toys makes:

Skewer Fillers

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Forage/Foot Toy Basket

On my (admittedly long) list of things I could not imagine keeping parrots without, a good basket full of foot toys and some treats is high up. It’s so simple, so easy, so cheap, and it keeps them happy and blissfully quiet. It’s also a fantastic way to use those toy parts that have been skillfully removed from their hanging counterparts. What’s not to love?

Forage/Foot Toy Basket

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