Archive for the ‘Bird Toys n’ Stuff’ Category

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Discount on DIY Bird Toy Parts

November 19, 2013

Earlier this month, Deb White the founder of Super Bird Creations (a line of high-quality bird toys available for wholesale to retailers) as well as a number of other sites dedicated to enriching the lives of parrots, came to Phoenix Landing for a special lecture on the important role that “play” serves in the lives of companion birds. (If you follow this blog, you already know how important we think avian enrichment is!)

In addition to her generosity of time and knowledge, sharing an amazing amount of info to a packed house of PL fans, Deb went even further and offered a 10% discount off any order of toy parts on her site MakeYourOwnBirdToys.com, plus a matching 10% in-kind donation to Phoenix Landing, if you use the discount code: PHXCLASS before the end of the year. 

MakeYourOwnBirdToys.com Discount

Her company is U.S.-based and focuses on providing bird-safe toys, especially designed with safety and fun in mind. Buying toy parts in bulk is a great way to save money (and when you buy from MakeYourOwnBirdToys.com, you can rest assured these are high-quality parts); plus this offer helps the birds of Phoenix Landing as well.

I already ordered a ton of colored wooden slats, vegetable-tanned leather string, wooden beads and vine balls for Stewie and Mika, and my order arrived very fast. Please go check out the wonderful selection.

Remember to use the coupon code for a discount and to ensure Phoenix Landing gets credit.

A big thanks to Deb for her generosity!

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Just say NO! to Candy-Covered Millet Treats for Birds. Gross.

July 17, 2013

So this was just brought to my attention: A brand called FM Brown’s is selling bird “food” called Extreme! Candy-Covered Millet Treats. Hat tip to “Amanda’s Tweeties” for posting this picture:

 

Screen shot 2013-07-17 at 6.35.04 PM

candy-millet_n

 

Someone at a company that makes bird food thought it was a good idea to cover natural millet sprays with a candy coating. That’s basically sugar and carnauba wax, beeswax, shellac  (I’m not making this up! That’s from the ingredients list!) and a bunch of unpronounceable things.

Birds already love eating fresh millet… why in the world would anyone think covering it in edible wax is a good idea? This is beyond just a silly idea; I find it irresponsible and terrible corporate citizenship to push this product as “food” for animals as sensitive and small as birds — it’s hard enough getting them to eat real, healthy food. We should demand a much higher standard of excellence from any company that claims to “understand that your companion animal isn’t just a pet; they’re a part of your family. That’s why for six generations we’ve devoted ourselves to creating tasty, healthy, nutritious animal food and treats.” (emphasis mine)

A little googling shows that Brown’s isn’t the only company offering this. This isn’t just about FM Brown, but about any company that would sell this type of thing to unsuspecting pet owners who just don’t know any better just because it’s attractive on a shelf (I bet it’s super cheap to make and stays shelf-stable forever! Just want you want in a food product, right?). Pet owners, please educate yourself on your animals nutrition needs and give this type of thing a wide berth.

Please, please, please to not feed this crap to your birds. And you may want to consider not giving companies who make this type of product any of your pet-related business. If they think this is “food”, what other terrible decisions are they making about your animals’ health?

If you’re looking for healthy ideas for treats, try the Phoenix Landing cookbook for some inspiration: Nourish to Flourish: A Healthy Cookbook for Parrots.

 

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More Foraging Toys: Introducing the Puzzler

January 18, 2012

Inspired by a request from Saemma and Coco, Kris Porter has released a modified design of her Fantastic Foraging Blocks.

The new design, called The Puzzler, has an additional cut along each long side, which gives small beaks more nooks and crannies to explore and exploit. It also comes in smaller sizes.

This small modification was a huge hit with both Stewie and Mika. I unpacked the new blocks and put them on a table for a quick photo shoot, and Mika came right over and started chipping away at all the delicious corners right away. I put a small one in a dish on Stewie’s bottlebrush gym and he spent about 2 hours (nearly uninterrupted) breaking off piece after piece (and then flinging the bits that collected in the bowl across the room).

Here’s what the new blocks look like:

Puzzler Foraging Block

Mika came right over to get started:

Puzzler Foraging Block

…and made quick work of that corner:

Puzzler Foraging Block

Everything I (and the birds) liked about the original Foraging Blocks are included in this new design, but that extra cut for some reason ratchets up the appeal to my birds even more.

These fir blocks with super appealing texture, slats and peek-a-boo holes — perfectly sized for a Nutriberry or almond treat (or a variety of veggies) — can be strung up with the reusable stainless steel hook that Kris offers with this toy. The Puzzler also comes in a smaller “foot toy” size that doesn’t have a hook.

You can find the “Puzzler” as well as the original Fantastic Foraging Block design on Kris Porter’s website.

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Review: “Fantastic Foraging Blocks”

November 19, 2011

In our last post, we just had some fun posting pictures of us opening a box of Kris Porter’s “Fantastic Foraging Blocks.” But what do the birds actually think of their new wooden toys?

It turns out that they love ’em!

Mika likes the little wicker accents. She’s big into textures and accents. I appreciate that the blocks offer nice flexibility to customize and add details your bird might like, and I’ll experiment with stuffing the peek-a-boo holes with paper and cardboard for her to shred. As a pionus, she has a softer, more delicate beak, so she tends not to be much of a wood chewer, although she’s taken some bites out of the foraging block to try to get at an almond.

Stewie, on the other hand, really loves pine and other soft woods. There’s something about the design of the cuts that really appeals to him. Pine slats have always been a favorite of his, so the cuts offer the same sort of appealing shapes and textures that entice him to start trying to break them off.

Review of Kris Porter's Fantastic Foraging Blocks
Review of Kris Porter's Fantastic Foraging Blocks
Review of Kris Porter's Fantastic Foraging Blocks
And this is the one I left in Stewie’s cage after 24 hours: Foraging Block

Two big talons up for these wooden blocks. There’s a lot of visual and texture-based interest in the design that I think will keep both my birds’ attention for a long time (or until they are destroyed, whichever comes first).

Updated: Here is a before and after shot (one week later):

Fantastic Foraging Blocks - Before/After

Kris plans on making these available for purchase on her website sometime before the end of the year, These wonderful toys are now available for purchase on the ParrotEnrichment.com website and they’re available to purchase at Phoenix Landing events as well.

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Kris Porter’s Fantastic Foraging Blocks Are Here!

November 19, 2011

Last week, Kris Porter of ParrotEnrichment.com asked if we’d give some feedback on a new foraging toy she has developed. Of course we jumped at the chance! (Are you kidding? A foraging toy developed by the guru of parrot enrichment? Yes, please!)

The box arrived Thursday night and we couldn’t wait to open it. Check out the “unboxing”.

Look, ma! A new box. Let me help you open it!
Unboxing Kris Porter's Fantastic Foraging Blocks

Yay! It’s full of paper! Paper is my favorite!

Unboxing Kris Porter's Fantastic Foraging Blocks

Ooh! A wooden toy?

Unboxing Kris Porter's Fantastic Foraging Blocks

It’s a 2″x 2″ column of untreated pine with peek-a-boo holes drilled through, as well as cuts in different directions creating little ledges to interest busy beaks and wedge treats into. 

Another one!

Unboxing Kris Porter's Fantastic Foraging Blocks

And more!

Unboxing Kris Porter's Fantastic Foraging Blocks

Some of the blocks came “plain” and some were decorated with vine stars and colored buttons (that hid pre-inserted treats behind them).

Let me dig through that box. I think there may be more!

Unboxing Kris Porter's Fantastic Foraging Blocks

Wow! Look at these toys. It’s like an early Christmas!

Unboxing Kris Porter's Fantastic Foraging Blocks

The toys came in two sizes. The small blocks were 2″x 2″. The medium blocks were 2″x 4″.

Let’s check it out!

Unboxing Kris Porter's Fantastic Foraging Blocks

Ahem, ma, I’m out of focus!

I think I spot something!

Unboxing Kris Porter's Fantastic Foraging Blocks

Bingo! It’s an almond! My favorite!

Unboxing Kris Porter's Fantastic Foraging Blocks

Nom nom nom…

Trying out Unboxing Kris Porter's Fantastic Foraging Blocks

So that was our unboxing event. For more about these “Fantastic Foraging Blocks”, and what Stewie thought of them, check out our review.

Update: The Fantastic Foraging blocks, in three sizes, are now available for purchase on Kris Porter’s site.

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Talk N’ Play Cell Phone Toy Review – One Upset Pionus

November 24, 2010

Talk N' Play Cell Phone Have you ever seen those little toy cell phones designed for birds? The ones with the buttons that make noise when you push them? They are advertised as interactive fun that can keep your bird entertained and engaged when you’re away. Your bird will LOVE playing with this toy and making it talk back, the website says.

Uh-huh.

Both my birds HATE. HATE. HATE this thing. According to them, it’s the most EVIL thing ever.

Even after I took it away, Mika continued yelling (and she’s usually a really laid back girl) and even flew around the room looking for it so she could continue to give it a piece of her mind. She made a pretty tricky landing on the bookshelf (remember: she’s not a skilled flyer) and started kicking this toy around.

It is now safely hidden out of sight.

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Happy Conure Noises

July 22, 2010

Stewie has been on a shredding kick. He can pull apart a conure-sized parrot pinata in a few hours. Here’s a quick video clip of him making very satisfied conure noises. (Don’t mind Mika squeaking in the background.) He doesn’t quite get into “eeeeh of glee” mode, but he’s still quite happy.  Contrast this to his “I’m a sun conure” scream.

I, of course, love any toy that’ll keep him occupied for any length of time.

And here’s what the bottom of the cage looks like covered in pinata guts and debris.