Parrots are one of the most intelligent fauna species and Quaker parrots aren’t much behind their cousin African Grey. Known to be the only architect among the whole species, they surely have brains-at-work all the time. And just like any other active brain, Quaker’s brain also demands stimulation for proper functioning.
When in the wild, they get that stimulation daily by various activities like searching for food and water at farther places, protecting themselves from predators and interacting with their flock.
But when kept at home as pets, humans make their lives easier by taking care of the majority of their daily needs. With less activity, physical as well as mental, they are bound to fall into a deep well of depression and loneliness. So, there is a need to keep a pet Quaker mentally stimulated all the time. The first thing that comes to mind to keep a Quaker busy is the one which is quite famous among Quaker owners too and that is Quaker parrot toys.
How to choose the best toys for Quaker Parrots?
A Quaker toy is an object which is designed in a way to simulate a similar-looking object from parrots’ natural habitat and thus, provide similar stimulation to his mind and body alike as in the wild.
They can take the form of Quaker parrot accessories as they are a necessity to train, teach and keep the Quaker entertained. And with an ever-increasing demand for quaker toys, the pet stores have more options than ever. To select the best Quaker parrot toys, the following points should be kept in mind:
- Prefer toys with simple designs over the ones with an extremely complicated layout. A playful Quaker is better than a puzzled Quaker thinking ‘how-to-play-with-this-toy’ all the time and ultimately getting bored. Remember, engagement is the key.
- When it comes to toys, Quakers are infamous for dismantling them more than playing with them. So, toys made from non-toxic or more so, natural material should be preferred over the non-biodegradables.
- The size of the toy should be appropriate for the Quaker. Too big or too small a toy would make Quaker disinterested in it. The toys which are generally used to entertain a Cockatiel or small Conure happens to be apt in size for a Quaker too.
- Lastly, while selecting an array of toys for a Quaker, one should be as varied as possible. The reason being, Quakers grow out, really quick, of the similar-looking toys and fall back into boredom and loneliness.
Types of toys for Quaker parrots
When choosing the perfect toy for a Quaker, the simplest rule is how it’ll stimulate the bird mentally or physically. Also, taking the color, sound, and texture of the toy into account would help select the best toy out of the endless options out there.
Quakers have got feet of an acrobat and they are best put to use when in the wild. They simply grasp the branches, push and pull the leaves or twigs and move and shake the trees to find their food. This stimulates them physically and keeps them fit. But while at home, they are served everything on a platter.
The lack of stimulation could be harmful to them. There is a need to meet their genetic demand for physical stimulation by providing him similar objects which serve the purpose well.
The push and pull toys are extremely famous in this category. It is more like a puzzle where pieces are fit at their perfect place by sliding in and out. Ladders, swings, knotted ropes, perches with fitted toys, spiral perches, or abacus-like toys that will need the Quaker to move the blocks back and forth.
All these toys are known to provide enough physical stimulation. Remember to select toys made only with bird-safe material like wood or acrylic.
Foraging in its simplest sense means searching for something. As discussed earlier, when in the wild, Quakers go out in search of food and water which keeps them stimulated. This is the rationale behind having Quaker parrot foraging toys.
The process of earning his food gives him enough mental stimulation and keeps him busy throughout the day. The most famous one in this category is the skewers with threads to hang Quakers’ favorite fruits and vegetables. There are other options also like small box-like toys with food items hidden in them. It acts as a reward for Quaker when he completes the search.
When in the wild, Quakers always have a company of their favorite flock members to spend time with and cuddle. But they miss this when in captivity. This is where cuddling toys serve the purpose of a Quaker’s desire to have something to cuddle with. There are numerous options in this category. Small feathery soft toys tied to the corners of the cage is the most common practice for most Quaker owners. This gives the Quaker his long-desired feathery thing to cuddle and sleep against.
When someone thinks of a parrot, one of their most common habits comes to mind and that is Noise. Parrots just love sounds, practically, of all kinds. And this is what these toys also do for them. When in the wild, they are known to produce various sounds with their beaks or beating hollow woods, to call their flock members or to entertain themselves.
While in the cage, this has been compensated by many Quaker owners by giving them similar sounding toys. Small logs of hollow wood with little bells give Quakers enough entertainment. Toys made of bamboo sticks with balls hanging on them with the help of chains clatter well to produce an enchanting sound for a bored Quaker.
Quakers are famous for being curious and inquisitive about everything around them. They love to uncover mysteries. And puzzles are their favorite kind-of mystery. The puzzle toys are known to keep the Quakers on their toes all day. There are enough puzzle toys out there to choose from. One such famous toy is an acrylic holder that hides treats like toys, bells or food items inside. Another such toy is undoing that toy itself and the effort gets automatically rewarded with a treat inside. Such toys keep the Quakers entertained for hours at a stretch.
When in the wild, it’s natural for a Quaker to tear up branches and chew up all the leaves and twigs while searching for their favorite food. They don’t get this opportunity inside the cage though. They need something to destruct and satisfy their inherent wilderness.
Destructible parrot-toys are in abundance in various pet shops. Choosing the type of wood the toy is made up of should be the deciding factor to buy it. For the size of a Quaker, toys made from hard-wood like arbutus, bamboo or manzanita should be steered clear.
Quaker’s crunch potential is limited to soft-wood like cholla or pine, otherwise, the toy could be harmful to the bird. To tempt the Quaker to chew the toy, select the destructible which is brightly colored.
Teach and Learn toys
This category encompasses an array of toys that challenges a Quaker physically or mentally. Toys with fun games, musical toys which have built-in poems or jingles to teach speech to the bird, stick toys with fitted bells which are used to train the bird or step-up technique, educative toys with identifying colors or numbers, skateboard toy, basketball toy or abacus-like toys are just a few options to keep the super active brain of a Quaker busy in a typical day.
Homemade Quaker parrot toys
This world is an expensive place to live in and with ever-increasing prices, it gets expensive to get many new toys every few days for your Quaker. In such a situation, it is best to get back to the basics, a trick used by current generation’s parents and grandparents to keep their kids entertained while saving those hard-earned bucks too. And the trick is to make the toys at home with as many twists and turns one’s Quaker may like. Some of the easy and popular toys are discussed here:
One of the best things which could be used to make at-home toys is a humble yet interesting rope. It can be tied in a way in the cage to make interesting structures like swings, zig-zag ladders which serve well as a toy for any playful Quaker.
Quaker parrot foraging toys
The foraging toys can also be made at home with simple material like wood. Don’t go overboard with an expensive wood like balsa. One can make a small box-like toy and hide a treat for parrot inside. The use of natural leaves and twigs and making a mat-like toy ball is also a good option to hide Quaker’s favorite things inside as a surprise.
Frame made out of coat hangers
Tie one coat hanger below the other and make it like a trail of 4-5 hangers back to back. Hang his favorite fruits and vegetables at the different and challenging places to keep him busy chewing.
When it comes to picking Quaker parrot favorite toys, the options are endless. There is just a need to explore and find the best toy which entices and entertains the Quaker, all at the same time.