The Congo African Grey, CAG, is an expensive pet to have in the home. The toys for an African Grey Parrot are expensive, twenty to thirty dollars a shot. The parrot owner can substitute and supplement the African Greys toys with inexpensive playthings found in and around the home. There are everyday items in the home waiting to be creatively recycled as a toy for your African Grey items like cardboard, whiskbrooms, and phonebooks.
Cardboard, not just for breakfast
Cardboard boxes are an excellent source of chewing material for African Grey Parrots. By taking one of the flaps off and creasing it in the center, it makes a nice shelter to fold and fit through the bars at the top of the parrot cage. The Grey loves to sit under the overhang and nibble on the cardboard at intervals. This flap seems to give a feeling of protection. Smaller versions of the V shaped flap placed on the sides of the cage work well also.
Plastic baby links versus metal links
Some people use metal links to hang the African Grey’s toys to the top of cages. More efficient and cost-effective are the brightly colored plastic oval baby links. These are easy to use, one simply twists the plastic link near the side where the opening is and then slides the opening over the bar of the cage or onto the toy. These links are not safe for birds smaller than African Greys for fear the bird might get a head wedged inside the link.
Cornhusk whiskbrooms are two dollars or less at local super discount stores. Each whiskbroom has a metal ring on its handle allowing it to hang easily in the African Grey’s cage using the plastic oval links. The brooms are a wonderful destruction chew toy for African Grey Parrot, especially Greys that are feather pickers.
Recycle that newspaper
Newspaper, plain white paper, colorful construction paper all make wonderful mediums for cutting long strips to weave through the Congo African Greys cage bars. This can be a tedious process at first but once one discovers the way to slip it in and out, it moves along quickly. The more paper weaved into the cage the more fun the Grey will have chewing the paper out of his cage. Several strands of paper are weaved in one area at once, never just one at a time.
I just called to say “I love you!”
Every year homeowners receive multiple phone books on their doorstep, where one would suffice. Take the extra phone books and let your Grey rip them apart. The best way is to lay the book open on top of the cage and let them have a blast. If your parrot has a dome top cage then place the book on the floor of the African Grey Parrots cage allowing him to climb down and destroy the book at leisure.
Recycling, easier with a Parrot
African Grey Parrots toys, inexpensively made from items around the home like cardboard boxes, plastic oval baby links, cornhusk brooms, newspaper, or phone books, all meet the need for the Grey to chew or destroy things. No one says an African Grey owner has to spend a lot of money on the toys for their pet parrot in order to qualify as a good owner. The quality is better then quantity. Think, think, think, and see what you can come up with in you home as a safe, inexpensive toy for your Congo African Grey Parrot!