Materials used to construct toys should be devoid of any potentially harmful chemicals. Poisoning can occur when toxic materials are used in the manufacture or curing of certain items, such as leather. Leather used in toys should be vegetable tanned, not chemical tanned. Any wood that been treated with any chemicals should not be used. Wood painted with no-toxic paint, such as craft paint, is generally acceptable unless your Quaker has a tendency to actually ingest the painted wood, in which case the paint can be toxic in large amounts.
Small, removable, pointed parts of plastic toys can be dangerous. The small, plastic Ferris wheels that seem to be popular are not recommended because the birds’ weight can tip the lightweight wheels over, resulting in broken legs or other injuries. Those little plastic penguins that have long been a staple of small bird accessories may contain lead weights. Beware of toys that contain tiny, removable parts that your Quaker may be able to swallow or beak into pieces.
When you attach toys strung on a rope or leather to the cage bars, be sure to tie your knots tightly to avoid forming little nooses. You may moisten leather with water to effect a tighter knot, but be sure to dry it completely. Moist leather will harbor bacteria after a time, and should be discarded when soiled. Rope toys should be used with supervision and trimmed immediately when they become frayed to prevent entanglement.
If you travel with your feathered friend, remove any toys and swings from cages. The motion of an automobile may send the toys crashing into your beloved Quaker with deadly results. Keeps your bird’s nails and beak trimmed to further reduce the possibility of injury, and supervise your bird with any new toy until you are convinced of its safety.
Choosing a safe, interesting toy for your Quaker can be a relatively simple process if you follow several important rules: