2m. GCC toy situation

ILOVEKIWI

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Dec 15, 2020
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somewhere you'll never find me
Parrots
Kiwi GCC
Hey everyone, I adopted my 2 month old GCC Kiwi, a couple weeks ago, and he's doing pretty good. The first few days having him all he wanted was cuddles and food, he would slowly warm up to us (he was always friendly to us, I'm just noticing that he trusts us more and more and gets excited when he sees us, and stuff), now though he's active and loves to play, and just learned how to fly, he's hilarious.

His favorite "toys" he likes to play with/things he likes to do is sitting under our coffee table, and sitting and climbing on these fuzzy bunny slippers that I don't use, he loves it, so it's his now. He also likes this kind of bus thing that I got when I was younger and didn't get rid of, now that he's flying he likes to fly up to the top deck, and if he wants a little privacy he goes inside the bus, he nibbles on the wheels (it's bird proof, no small pieces, and it's strong plastic toy in great shape) and climbs, he likes that too so now it's also his.

When we're cuddling, he likes to nibble on things sometimes, not in an aggressive way and it doesn't hurt at all, he likes to nibble on my lips (I don't let him do that) lick me, and bite and hold on to my headphones with his talons. I don't let him do that TOO much either and I try to hide them from him. I have an extra pair of head phones that don't work do any of you think it's ok to give him that to play with, only with supervision, and I'll make sure he doesn't chew through it? I read an article about bird toys and it was saying somethin about how she tries to imitate the the things her bird can't play with (like her books, she can't let them tare them up so she gives them old books to have fun with). But I'm not giving him those until I know it's 100% safe.

I'm also thinking about getting him his own toys, maybe not to many to start off with but I know birds get bored easily and my goal is to keep him healthy and happy. Any advice on what to get him is welcome and appreciated, I know I need to figure it out as I go but a starting point would be nice, in the meantime I'll do my own research, he doesn't seem bored right now, but do you think I should still buy him a toy or two?
 
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noodles123

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Jul 11, 2018
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Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
Try to pet on the head and neck mostly--pets elsewhere (cuddles) are sexual in adult birds. You need to keep touching your bird, but don't "cuddle" him where you are stroking him all over etc, as this will impact his behavior eventually and it also sets a precedent that will be inappropriate as he matures (causing him to view you as a mate etc)



He should absolutely have his own toys...That's essential. DO NO get him a snuggle hut or tent, avoid mirrors and use caution with bells, as they can be toxic in terms of zinc, and the clapper can be a choking hazard. If the size is appropriate and they are stainless, that is okay. I often remove bells from toys, but my bird shows little interest in them, so it is less of an issue for me.


You do not want to allow him in shadowy spaces (like the bus) as this cavity-seeking behavior can cause hormonal issues at puberty/in adults (nothing shadowy or nest like). A hormonal bird will often scream a lot more than they would, pluck, or show higher levels of aggression..They can also get egg-bound if they are female, so again, as he matures, keep in mind that they will expect their routines to continue, so I'd avoid doing things that WILL become sexual in the future--hence my suggestion to pet mostly on the head and neck and avoid dark areas (like under furniture, in boxes, drawers etc). Furthermore, there are a lot of risks for birds running on the floor--- I know that people let their birds do this, but quite a few have also been stepped on or shut in doors in moments of obliviousness...so I'd do my best to keep him off the floor.



Think wooden choew-types of toys (bird safe), maybe a few shredding types, a wide variety. Keep in mind, that a new toy can be scary if you just shove it in their cage without them having time to adjust first-- they also need to be taught to play with them in many cases-- you can model this behavior and reward interest that is shown in toys (including just touching one etc).


Allowing them to play with random stuff can be dangerous because things like jewelry etc contains zinc often. Fibers from fabrics etc can also cause blockages...plastics can leech stuff out of them and can also contain lead etc..plus, headphones etc are wires and it sets a dangerous precedent (imagine if he got out and got a wire when you weren't watching...not only could it electrocute your bird, but the contents are often toxic--even the outsides can be, as they are not intended for food use and even things that are safe for human babies can harm birds due to the fact that they have beaks and due to the fact that humans can safely consume certain things that would kill birds). There are SOME baby toys that are safe for birds, but don't just assume they all are--even things like blocks can contain things like screws inside of them for structural stability, and that isn't something most ppl would even think about.


If you don't have one, I'd strongly suggest a play-stand that you can move around the house (a place that your bird knows is "his" other than his cage top). This will help you interact with him without constantly having to be touching him (because you also want to teach independence-- do not do things that cannot be sustained long-term when you have to be at work etc). You don't want your bird to feel that it must be on you at all times, although you do still need to handle your bird etc-- sorry if that was confusing.


The glues, dyes and inks in books can also be toxic. Plain paper towels can be shredded if you want (but don't let them get under them or hang out in a pile, as that is nesting behavior). Either way, your bird needs to have wooden stuff that is safe to chew in order to help with behaviors and beak maintenance.
 
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noodles123

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
8,141
173
Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
Here is a girl who is very knowledgeable- her subscribers post pictures of their setups and she gives feedbacks (cage size and bar spacing will vary by bird) but they can give you a good idea of what to do and what NOT to do. She actually is nicer than I would be about some of the smaller cages, but she always tries to find a positive spin. Good advice on toys too:


[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNDyy3B-34c"]Reacting to My Subscribers’ Bird Cages! | Pt. 2 - YouTube[/ame]



[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aDicZLr5gU"]Reacting to My Subscribers’ Bird Cages! | Pt. 3 - YouTube[/ame]


[ame="https://youtu.be/LBWuV8Emwko"]Reacting to My Subscribers’ Bird Cages! | Part 4 - YouTube[/ame]
 
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ILOVEKIWI

ILOVEKIWI

Member
Dec 15, 2020
52
0
somewhere you'll never find me
Parrots
Kiwi GCC
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Try to pet on the head and neck mostly--pets elsewhere (cuddles) are sexual in adult birds. You need to keep touching your bird, but don't "cuddle" him where you are stroking him all over etc, as this will impact his behavior eventually and it also sets a precedent that will be inappropriate as he matures (causing him to view you as a mate etc)

Thank you for telling me this! Also what I mean by cuddles is him near my shoulder, and me stroking his neck, head and cheeks. He flies up to me and I stroke his face. Sorry if I wasn't clear about this, I'm pretty sure this is fine, right?

He should absolutely have his own toys...That's essential. DO NO get him a snuggle hut or tent, avoid mirrors and use caution with bells, as they can be toxic in terms of zinc, and the clapper can be a choking hazard. If the size is appropriate and they are stainless, that is okay. I often remove bells from toys, but my bird shows little interest in them, so it is less of an issue for me.


About the toys I did a ton of research after I posted this, I was just kind of looking for suggestions on what to get him, and if any of the things I was doing was wrong. Thank you still on the tips though.

You do not want to allow him in shadowy spaces (like the bus) as this cavity-seeking behavior can cause hormonal issues at puberty/in adults (nothing shadowy or nest like).

I won't anymore thank you so much again. EDIT: I forgot to add that he only sits in the bus when the roof is lifted so it isn't a shadowy space. But honestly the bus doesn't move and he just enjoys climbing and sitting on top of it mostly.

Furthermore, there are a lot of risks for birds running on the floor--- I know that people let their birds do this, but quite a few have also been stepped on or shut in doors in moments of obliviousness...so I'd do my best to keep him off the floor.
I don't personally think there is a problem with Kiwi walking around on the floor, it isn't a busy area, not too crowded by furniture so I can easily see him and he kind of has his own area and he likes to stay there. Or he flies on to my shoulder. I won't step on him and I think on that aspect he's fine. Also I just want to add he just started flying.

If you don't have one, I'd strongly suggest a play-stand that you can move around the house
Yeah actually, I've been thinking about that a lot and I'm definitely getting it for him.

Thank you so much for everything you took the time to tell me, You don't even know how grateful I am. :heart:
 
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noodles123

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
8,141
173
Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
You don't want to touch him on the chest and for many birds, the beak can also be a bit of a trigger.


With birds and nesty spaces, the roof doesn't have to be closed to make it "shadowy"--like, an open drawer would still be shadowy in many cases because of the enclosed walls..same with an open box etc. You won't "ruin" your bird if it happens occasionally, but the fewer closed/shadowy nooks etc, the better in the long run . Mine is always looking for them--for example, while visiting my parents, by dad brought home 12 12-packs of beer and set them on the table. Even though they were just 2 boxes sitting next to eachother, Noodles went over and started inspecting the space in between them, like, "oh, this could be a good place for a nest". She also was obsessed with a really shallow, open peach-box.

It's your call if you let him on the floor, for sure. I just know that there are lots of things to crawl under on the floor etc. I also find that the floor is filled with more dangerous things that I would rather not have mine picking up-- but again, I am not saying its inherently bad--Lots of people do. Just think about the fact that everything you do now sets a precedent, so if you are letting him on the floor, I'd maybe try to work it into his training routine so that he isn't going there whenever he feels like it (maybe, only when you say a certain phrase, or if you place him there yourself)--- otherwise, if you ever have kids or another pet etc, you could have trouble keeping him safe if he just goes there whenever.

Amazon has a lot of good bird toys. I will look and see what I find, but there is a lot of trial and error and they do take time to get used to them. I had one toy in my bird's cage for 2 YEARS (along with others...) but it took 2 years for her to even investigate it. They have really individual preferences as far as the types of toys they like, so variety is good but be careful with mirrors, bells and anything with cotton/cloth. I'll look around in a bit.


You are going to do great if you keep researching and caring like you do. It's important to over-think things with parrots, and it sounds like you are on the right track ;)
 
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