Parrots are active little guys, always looking for something to do. There's a wide selection of parrot gyms you could buy from a pet supply store, but you know your feathered friend best. Put together a homemade parrot gym for her using toys and materials you know she'll enjoy.
Parrots in the wild spend their days chewing and climbing, and that's most likely the hobbies your bird indulges in. When assembling a homemade parrot gym, use thick branches from parrot-safe trees like apple, manzanita or hickory. Before using any wood you harvested from outdoors, clean all surfaces with a scrub brush and a non-toxic disinfectant to remove insecticides or any other contaminant that might make your parrot ill. Thoroughly rinse the wood and dry it completely before using it. Allowing wood to dry in the sun is preferred.
PVC pipe, about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch in diameter, is a sturdy material you can use to make perches and ladders for your parrot's play-gym. She will enjoy climbing on it and might attempt to chew it, but PVC can withstand assaults from your bird, regardless of her size.
Rope and Chain
Thick rope with knots placed every 6 to 12 inches makes a fun climbing toy for parrots. Buy the type that is natural sisal and is oil and pesticide free. Chains are another fun toy for parrots that they can fiddle with and even climb on. Avian web cautions you should take care when including chains in your parrot's gym, as chains shouldn't have link openings large enough for your bird to put her foot or head through, but shouldn't be so small that her toes could get caught in them, either.
Bells and Whistles
Well, maybe not whistles, but parrots certainly do enjoy the ringing and clatter that a bell makes. Many parrot toys that are made of acrylic or natural wood include a bell on the bottom that tinkles as birds chew on or play with them. Attach a bird-safe bell to a thick rope or chain that your bird can ring for fun. A bird-safe bell would be one purchased at a pet supply made especially for birds, as they will not have lead or zinc clappers and the clappers will be well attached. Bells that are appropriate for birds are usually molded out of a solid sheet of lightweight metal and don't have folds that can trap beaks.
Swings and Bungees
Besides keeping your parrot entertained, the point of a parrot play gym is to encourage your bird to get a little exercise. Avian Web lists bungees and swings as ideal toys that encourage movement and promote healthy exercise. Watching your parrot swing and bounce will be an amusing pastime for you, too.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.