Celebrating big birds, renewable resources and toys that keep brains busy.
A green, yellow and pink conure hangs upside down and bobs like a loon, joking “New feathers, who this?” on his adoption sheet. Loops is waiting for a forever home, and passes the days in Chicago with some of his pet store’s best toys: shells to nibble, tassels to play with and paper to shred. See what Loops is up to and use it to inspire the kinds of toys you stock for goofy, athletic birds and those who are more sedate but up for a good time.
Loops loves sustainable ingredients. Palm, bamboo and coconut grow like weeds and have all the stringy, natural textures birds like to pick through. These renewable materials are showing up in handmade and all-natural bird toys across the industry, giving you plenty of options when you stock up on green products.
Hari by Hagen
KEY FEATURES: A handmade, fair-trade craft for medium and large hookbills, made with abaca leaves and palm leaves, plus coconut and bamboo.
SALES TIP: Point out how much macaws dig the zig-zag pattern.
usa.hagen.com, (800) 724-2436
KEY FEATURES: Made from fallen palm fronds, this vibrant rope keeps super shredders happy.
SALES TIP: Give to a bird in your store so customers can watch the fun unravel.
planetpleasures.com, (310) 965-0550
Avian Antler Toy
Scout & Zoe’s
KEY FEATURES: A busy mobile of bright colors, interesting textures and antler chunks, packed full with calcium and phosphorous.
SALES TIP: Mention that the antlers are organic, natural and harvested using harm-free methods.
scoutandzoes.com, (317) 457-7722
An African grey called Marble hangs out in the cage above Loops, her toys attached with heavy-duty safety clasps to sustain lots of weight. The toys are oversized, some nearly 2 feet tall, if you include the chain, and designed for extra-large birds like African greys and large parrots. Keep your big-bird owners supplied with toys designed for their pets’ big brains and even bigger bodies.
Rope and Dowel Platform Hanging Toy
Bird Life by Penn-Plax
KEY FEATURES: At more than a foot wide, this sturdy platform gives large birds a chance to swing and play.
SALES TIP: Also note the green factor: Each colorful wood platform is dyed with food coloring, not chemicals.
penn-plax.com, (866) 625-2385
KEY FEATURES: A ringing, jingling pile of climbing, chewing and pulling games built for extra-large birds.
SALES TIP: Display with an outgoing cockatiel to emphasize it as a life-sized pal.
caitec.com, (888) 338-2473
KEY FEATURES: Big bird toys can be sustainable too. This one is made with banana stem rope, sisal, coconut shells, bamboo and mangrove wood.
SALES TIP: Explain that mangrove wood is rugged, textured and durable enough for large birds.
prevuepet.com, (312) 243-3624
High-energy birds like Loops need new toys to play with to prevent over-preening. Tiny bells offer a light distraction without driving people crazy, and blocks, ropes and beads keep birds busy on that foraging tip. Stock toys built to be indestructible and toys affordable enough to be destroyed.
Super Bird Creations
KEY FEATURES: It’s a game of discovery when birds find the hiding spot in this toy, cleverly masked by fringed corn husks.
SALES TIP: Point out that it doubles as a secluded spot for privacy and preening.
superbirdtoystore.com, (970) 263-8381
Pizza Party and Picaroni Pizza Toys
Sweet Feet and Beak
KEY FEATURES: Cardboard and cotton make a fun slice for small parrots, with a 2-foot pizza party for Amazons and macaws.
SALES TIP: Position as a gift for bird lovers, as the shreddable snacks come in actual pizza delivery boxes.
$19.95 - $29.95
BTC Model 1237
Bird Toy Creations
KEY FEATURES: This 7-inch foam stack has hiding spots for days, accented by pony beads and colorful foam blocks.
SALES TIP: Display with treats that will turn it into a foraging toy.
This article originally appeared in the January 2018 edition of PETS+.