Toys & Employment

Toys & Employment
Entangled with the neck

Not all toys are safe for budgies, so it is important to know what to look out for when buying or making them.

Especially in the trade, there are often “cheap” products made of unsuitable materials or there is no indication of which bird species they are intended for.

Plastic toys or small parts

Great care should be taken with toys made of or containing plastic, as budgies are known to chew on everything and can easily swallow small parts.

Potential risks:

  • Ingestion of chewed off pieces or small parts
  • Poisoning due to plasticizers contained

An exception is polycarbonate, which can withstand even the beaks of parrots.


  • Natural materials (e.g. cork, willow, etc.)
  • Polycarbonate
Plastic grid balls

Colored toys or natural materials

The more bright and shiny the colors are, the more caution is required.

Most paints and varnishes are more or less toxic. Even the so-called (saliva-resistant) toy paint is not suitable for budgies, as they can swallow paint residues when nibbling.

Potential risks:

  • Absorption of harmful ingredients or toxins via saliva during nibbling
  • Ingestion of paint splinters in the case of saliva-resistant paint and absorption of the harmful substances via the digestive tract


Paints & Lacquers

Coated toy

Various products, such as feed balls, are coated with plastic or even galvanized.

Potential risks:

  • Ingestion of plastic particles
  • Zinc poisoning


  • Stainless steel (without any coating)
  • suitable natural materials (e.g. willow)

Ropes, tapes and chains

Thin threads and fringes

Any kind of thin thread, whether it is wool thread, raffia or broken cotton rope, poses a great danger to budgies.

Potential risks:

  • Tangle in the threads with the feet
  • Strangulation by threads wrapped around the neck


  • Shorten fringes accordingly
  • leather cords (naturally tanned) if necessary
frayed cotton seat rope

Ropes or tapes

Store-bought toys in particular often use rather unsuitable ropes, which it is best to replace quickly with suitable materials.

Potential risks:

  • Nibbling off and swallowing fibers. ( ⇒ Fiber balls in the crop )
  • Rope defibering into thin threads (see above)
  • Poisoning due to chemical additives (industrially produced ropes)


  • Leather cords (natural tanned)
  • braided (!) cotton cords

Ropes and tapes

Faserknäuel aus dem Kropf
Fiber balls


The right choice of the size of the chain links and the material are significant in these.

Potential risks:

  • Poisoning from galvanized chains
  • Slipping through with the foot when the chain links are too large
  • Getting caught with the claw in chain links that are too small
  • Not completely closed or welded chain links (injury at burrs).


  • Stainless steel chains with the right size of the chain links

Craft materials

Care should also be taken when choosing craft materials. For example, you should always clean (e.g. bird droppings) or even sterilize self-collected natural materials.

Potential risks:

  • Contamination and germs in natural materials (e.g. bird droppings) or also in toilet rolls
  • Coatings, adhesive residues or staples on paper or cardboard
  • Bale ulcers due to turned hardwood poles ( ⇒ natural branches).
  • Getting stuck in tubes with too small a diameter (e.g. kitchen rolls)


  • Thoroughly clean collected natural materials
  • Use uncoated paper or cardboard and remove staples if necessary.
  • Use natural branches instead of hardwood poles
  • For tubes, ensure that the diameter is sufficient. Do not use toilet or kitchen rolls.
  • J. Gekeler: “Kreative Beschäftigung für Papageien, Sittiche & Co”, p. 9ff.