"My bird doesn't play with toys..."

We hear this pretty frequently. There can be many reasons for this. Let's look at a few. 

It could be that your bird wasn't introduced to toys at a young age, and finds them frightening. Or maybe when you put the new toy in, your bird is still in the cage and is terrified that this unfamiliar object is moving towards him and is thrust into his safe space. I find that introducing toys slowly can help with this. Place a new toy  nearby so that the bird can observe it safely from a distance. Over a period of days, slowly bring it closer and closer to the cage until it is hanging on the OUTSIDE of the cage. When you  finally put the toy in the cage, do so when the bird is not in. This will help to decrease his anxiety.

Have you changed the toys lately? Or at all?

This is another major issue. Time and again, I find that people don't rotate their toys, so that they basically have the original ones that they got when they acquired their bird. Think: how quickly do you or your children become bored with a new toy of your own? Sure, it's fun at first, but when the newness runs out, it just isn't quite as interesting. Birds are no different. Some toys may always be a favorite, but others just become...boring. Change it up. Get new toys. Rotate out old ones. And guess what? After your bird hasn't seen some toys for a few weeks, they look new again in his eyes. 

"But no. He really doesn't like them. He just destroys them!"

Um. But that's what they do. They rip and tear and swing on them. They fling them around in seeming anger. They scream at them and stalk them, and pounce. This is play. They also cuddle up to them, murmur sweet nothings to them, and sleep with them draped over their bodies. This too is play. 

Let them play!

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