Save those toilet paper tubes!!

NandyNando

Member
Jul 11, 2020
44
28
Virginia, USA
Parrots
Fernando: Greenwing Macaw
Edit: you probably shouldn't save those tubes

Yup you heard me right. Toilet paper or even paper towel tubes are a cheap and easy way to keep your bird brain entertained for hours, or until they chew up all the cardboard, whichever comes first.

One of Fernando's favorite toys is literally just toilet paper tubes on a thick shoelace. I cut holes through the center of the tubes and string them up on the shoelace. If I'm feeling really snazzy I'll use a hole puncher and punch designs in the cardboard. The shoelace can be reused once the cardboard is chewed off.

With a paper bag, cardboard tubes, and any other bird-safe toys you have laying around, you can make a very simple foraging toy. I will stuff the bags with tissue paper, corn cob toys, and crinkle paper.

You really don't even have to do anything fancy with the tubes: just stick them in between the bars of the cage and watch your bird go crazy trying to tear it up!

Got any other cheap, fun, and safe ideas for toys? Let me know!!

MAKE SURE THE TUBES YOU USE DO NOT HAVE ANY GLUE RESIDUE LEFT ON THEM, IT CAN BE TOXIC TO YOUR PET
 
Last edited:

SailBoat

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Jul 10, 2015
15,157
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Western, Michigan
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DYH Amazon
Toilet paper tubes are not a safe toy for Parrots. The tube is fine, it's the glue that is used to hold it together that is the issue.

Paper towels are a bit of a headache, but can be used. The problem is not the structural glue, but the contact like glue used to hold the paper towel to the roll. If the glue is applied across the tube, trash it. If the glue is used in stripes, simply cut so that you end up with short segments between the glue stripes. Our Amazon loves to carry them around and then trashes them into tiny pieces.
 
OP
NandyNando

NandyNando

Member
Jul 11, 2020
44
28
Virginia, USA
Parrots
Fernando: Greenwing Macaw
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
Toilet paper tubes are not a safe toy for Parrots. The tube is fine, it's the glue that is used to hold it together that is the issue.

Paper towels are a bit of a headache, but can be used. The problem is not the structural glue, but the contact like glue used to hold the paper towel to the roll. If the glue is applied across the tube, trash it. If the glue is used in stripes, simply cut so that you end up with short segments between the glue stripes. Our Amazon loves to carry them around and then trashes them into tiny pieces.

Curious, what makes paper towel tubes safer? Is it a different glue or how the glue is applied?
 

noodles123

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
8,141
362
Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
There is often zinc in the adhesive, among other things. I am sure there are some that do not contain this type of glue, but that is why they can be dangerous...I have not heard that one is safer than the other. In fact, I find that a lot of my towel tubes actually contain more adhesive...so I don't use them unless I get a batch without any apparent glue (which does sometimes occur)

They would be great minus that issue-- birds love them. I just worry about the glue. You can try making origami boxes etc out of un-glazed printer paper-- it has a similar texture by the time you get done folding all the layers etc.
 
Last edited:

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
15,157
2,968
Western, Michigan
Parrots
DYH Amazon
Toilet paper tubes are not a safe toy for Parrots. The tube is fine, it's the glue that is used to hold it together that is the issue.

Paper towels are a bit of a headache, but can be used. The problem is not the structural glue, but the contact like glue used to hold the paper towel to the roll. If the glue is applied across the tube, trash it. If the glue is used in stripes, simply cut so that you end up with short segments between the glue stripes. Our Amazon loves to carry them around and then trashes them into tiny pieces.

Curious, what makes paper towel tubes safer? Is it a different glue or how the glue is applied?

How the glue is applied! At one point they simply dampened the tube, but that 'could' result in mold... No confirmed cases...

With TP, they just mist the glue over the tube as it is faster applying it in high-speed TP manufacturing..
 
OP
NandyNando

NandyNando

Member
Jul 11, 2020
44
28
Virginia, USA
Parrots
Fernando: Greenwing Macaw
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #6
Toilet paper tubes are not a safe toy for Parrots. The tube is fine, it's the glue that is used to hold it together that is the issue.

Paper towels are a bit of a headache, but can be used. The problem is not the structural glue, but the contact like glue used to hold the paper towel to the roll. If the glue is applied across the tube, trash it. If the glue is used in stripes, simply cut so that you end up with short segments between the glue stripes. Our Amazon loves to carry them around and then trashes them into tiny pieces.

Curious, what makes paper towel tubes safer? Is it a different glue or how the glue is applied?

How the glue is applied! At one point they simply dampened the tube, but that 'could' result in mold... No confirmed cases...

With TP, they just mist the glue over the tube as it is faster applying it in high-speed TP manufacturing..

Aw shucks, guess I better change the title then
 

henry0reilly

Member
Mar 2, 2017
85
5
Parrots
YNA (Mad) Max aka Mean Max Green ~2002
Sulfur Crested ‘too Babybird 2015
Our avian vet specifically recommended using tubes to hide pellets inside when trying to get them to transition from seed food to pellets.....
 

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
15,157
2,968
Western, Michigan
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DYH Amazon
Our avian vet specifically recommended using tubes to hide pellets inside when trying to get them to transition from seed food to pellets.....

It was not that long ago that adhesive was not used with TP rolls. Most Avian Professionals are under the belief that is still true.

Point being, they switched over too quick dry, full surface glue and it is not Avian Safe.
 

GaleriaGila

Supporting Member
May 14, 2016
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Cleveland area
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The Rickeybird, 37-year-old Patagonian Conure
I just always figured that paper towels are food-related products and therefore regulated accordingly for safety as far as materials and all that. I have a small army of family/friends who save 'em... also, pop-bottle caps, prescription caps 'n' bottles, those little plastic produce baskets, straws... good stuff! Fortunately, the Rb doesn't ingest... just makes little pieces and throws them hither, thither and yon. Everyone enjoys stepping on the remains, especially bare-foot, at night.
 

noodles123

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
8,141
362
Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
I just always figured that paper towels are food-related products and therefore regulated accordingly for safety as far as materials and all that. I have a small army of family/friends who save 'em... also, pop-bottle caps, prescription caps 'n' bottles, those little plastic produce baskets, straws... good stuff! Fortunately, the Rb doesn't ingest... just makes little pieces and throws them hither, thither and yon. Everyone enjoys stepping on the remains, especially bare-foot, at night.

Hey stranger!
The thing is, zinc is really safe for humans, just not birds, just like chocolate, coffee, avocado etc--- safe for people doesn't mean safe for parrots (even if food-grade).
 

wrench13

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Nov 22, 2015
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Isle of Long, NY
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Yellow Shoulder Amazon, Salty
I just always figured that paper towels are food-related products and therefore regulated accordingly for safety as far as materials and all that. I have a small army of family/friends who save 'em... also, pop-bottle caps, prescription caps 'n' bottles, those little plastic produce baskets, straws... good stuff! Fortunately, the Rb doesn't ingest... just makes little pieces and throws them hither, thither and yon. Everyone enjoys stepping on the remains, especially bare-foot, at night.

Hi Gale! SO good to see you active. Re above - Yeouch, like stepping on a lego piece!!
 

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