With Easter just a few days away, many of us find ourselves thinking of baskets filled with treats. Consider making a basket for your parrot. Choose a basket of willow, wicker, twig, sea grass, or other natural unfinished material. These can be purchased new from most craft stores or found at cheep prices at thrift stores or yard sales.
Smaller baskets can be cleaned by running them through the dish washer with a non toxic detergent such as Oxy-Clean. Or bigger baskets can be soaked in a large sink or bath tub with 3 parts water and one part white vinegar, with a few drops of non toxic soap or GSE (grapefruit seed extract). Set the cleaned baskets in the sun to dry.
You call fill the basket with shredded paper, foot toys, and/or treats, use it as a toy base by tying other toy parts to it, incorporate small baskets into the construction of foraging or destructible toys, or you can just give the basket as it is.
Baskets can be set on the floor of the cage (in a poop free zone please) or attached to the cages bars, either inside or outside, or attached to the top.
They can be added to existing play stands, or hung from the ceiling to expand play areas.
A basket with a sturdy handle can be used as a portable perch with its own built-in toy carrier!
Don’t let your imagination be limited to the round basket with a handle. Flatter serving tray type baskets, paper plate holders, or even tissue box covers provide additional creative opportunities.
Baskets make great containers for foraging activities, and most parrots cannot resist the temptation to chew and shred them.
And when they have been chewed down to scrappy remnants, the pieces can be used in making new toys.
You may find that your parrot enjoys these basket projects so much that you want to give them to her year round, not just for Easter.
Note of caution: Sometimes the presence of a basket positioned in such a way that a parrot can crawl into it can trigger or aggravate nesting behavior, if this is the case for your parrot, try hanging the basket sideways or upside down, or remove it from the cage area, and keep it only on a playstand.
Terrific ideas! I have forgotten about looking for them at the yard sales. You can find baskets for .25, but choose only those that are natural materials. (No dyes, coated protective polyurothanes, furniture polish or other stains that can be harmful.) I like the idea of recycling the used parts too. These are good for foraging, also.
Keep your ideas coming Laura!
Great article!!! Thanks for all the ideas. I need to get started on my birdy Easter:-)
Debbie, one of the nice things about parrots, even with as super smart as they are, they can’t read the calendar ;) so don’t worry about when you get your baskets done, whenever you give them to your parrots it will be a holiday for them! And Monday so many things will be on sale, like the paper Easter grass, I try to buy enough to last all year.
For those who use GSE…I would make very very sure it is the organic GSE and not the chemical GSE…because the chemical GSE sticks to objects! Which means the chemical would remain on the baskets or on food dishes, and which would not be good for birds. As I understand it, most GSE now is the chemical variety…so for the sake of your birds, be careful.
Thanks for the reminder Laurella!!! We should ONLY use organic GSE.
Great ideas. I just found a place online where you can buy the plate holders–4 for $2.99–a very good price for potential bird toys. I also have a great place for the finger traps at 6 cents each. They sell them by the gross and the shipping is free. And btw, you can find popsicle sticks at craft stores very cheap.
Thanks Marion! Feel free to share links here to any great sites for parrot toy supplies. Together we can make the lives of all parrots better :)