Bird Toys – Close Calls
by Gaye Thomasson
I was changing papers in one of my macaws’ cages the other day and noticed something shiny in the bottom of the cage. And there it was: a nearly new, stainless steel quick link, bent and definitely busted. Lying next to it was the small screw closure. As you can see from the picture, this small piece is less than 1/2″ in length. I almost missed it. I almost made a potentially fatal error.
It’s obvious I had hung a toy in the cage using the pear-shaped link. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great little connector, but I broke a rule I have preached to anyone and everyone for years regarding parrot toys: Make sure that it is safe and size appropriate.
You can see the damage she did to the link. It is bent. I’m sure when she gave it a good crunch with her beak, it popped the closure screw off, sending it flying to the cage floor. At least that’s what I would like to think happened, and not that she sat, bent the link, and then worked the little closure loose with her tongue, got bored, and dropped it.
Lucky? I think so. That little piece of metal could have just as easily become lodged in her throat or swallowed, with horrific consequences.
So, lesson learned and reinforced (again) to be constantly cognizant of what our birds like to play with, how they play, and most importantly, don’t give them anything that might result in a potentially fatal experience. There is no such thing as a parrot toy that is 100% safe, and we need to do our absolute best to not set our birds up for injury by making thoughtless decisions, like choosing an inappropriately-sized link to attach a toy.
I dodged a bullet. Now go check your bird’s cage!