Parakeets need toys and other distractions to stay entertained…and happy! You will need to buy several of them, and rotate them so they don’t grow bored of seeing the same one every day. Keep only 2 or 3 toys in the cage at a time, but change 1 every week so there’s always something new for it to play with.
Parakeets, like all birds, like shiny and colorful toys, and are attracted to sounds. They also need “exercise toys” which encourage them to hop around or test their acrobatic maneuvers.
Luckily, most parakeet toys are quite affordable, and come in a large variety. However, toys should be complemented with human interaction and generous “flying time” when it can freely explore the room for at least an hour a day.
Parakeets love sounds and will love playing with a simple bell toy. Avoid those that are made of metal and dotted with tiny holes, which can trap the toes of your pet! The metal can also cut your bird if it tries to chew it—and because of its curiosity, it will try to do this at least once. And of course, don’t get any bells that are small enough for it to swallow.
Your best option is a wooden bell attached to a rope. The wood is safe enough for chewing, though look for a rope that is not so long that it can entangle your pet. Another safe, and affordable, option is plastic bells made of bright colors.
You can also play music, from your own favorite songs to CD’s of bird calls. Some owners position their parakeet’s cage to give it a good view of the television. (You can use the TV timer to turn it on or off at certain times of the day.)
Rope rings and plastic ring sets encourage your parakeet to climb, hop or peek through one ring to another. Look for sets that are securely attached to strings or links, and use a nail file to smoothen out any sharp or rough edges.
Parakeets will also like crack-resistant mirrors, cranks, and beads (make sure they are too big to be swallowed). Try to introduce toys of different materials: plastic, wood, leather.
You can also buy full-scale play gyms—expensive, but a pet’s paradise. The swings and perches come with colorful attachments: cranks, rings, rope, and chain links. Gyms are not placed inside the cage, but are usually attached to a table.