What about zinc?
Parrot Toy Unsafe MaterialBefore offering a toy with metal parts to your parrot, make sure that these do not contain zinc ( zinc plated or galvanized ). This metal is highly toxic to parrots. Although rumor has it that we can “clean” these metals with vinegar to make them safe, it is not. VINEGAR CLEANING DOES NOT NEUTRALIZE ZINC! Whether it is the metal pins of a cage or in certain pieces of hardware.
Galvanizing is a very economical method of protecting metal from rust by dipping it in molten zinc ( zinc-plated steel is the cheapest of the steels ). Vinegar cleaning only serves to remove the fine powder that forms on the surface ( excessively toxic ) without damaging the layer of zinc which acts as a protection for the metal. In any case, acidic environments such as vinegar neutralize zinc.
So which metals to use?
Stainless steel is the best choice when metal parts must be used in the making of a parrot toy, but it is very expensive ( it is the most expensive of the steels ). To check if the part is really stainless steel, pass a magnet over it, if the part does not adhere to it, it is stainless steel. You can also use nickel-plated hardware ( steel less expensive than stainless steel, but much more expensive than zinc plated, a good compromise, it is safe ). Nickel-plated steels are generally NP ( nickel-plated ) stamped.
Most of the time, a manufacturer who uses stainless steel or nickel-plated parts will indicate this on their packaging or advertise it. These are much more expensive materials than zinc plated ones; therefore, the price of toys to the consumer is necessarily affected. As the parrot toy industry is booming and very competitive, it is often the price displayed on pet store displays that will weigh in on the customer’s choices… This is a big mistake… more c inexpensive, the lower the quality of the materials… the same equation in many areas, the pet accessories market is no exception to the rule …To be completely avoided
There is also a multitude of copies and/or counterfeits that are manufactured on the Asian continent (even for North American brands) at this time. Better to prefer the original, even if it is a little more expensive.
Also avoid chains or carabiners plated with anything ( copper, brass, etc. ) when it comes to toys for your parrot.
Don’t even think about it
Avoid metal chains that bend a bit too easily in your hands. Often they contain lead in the composition of the metal. The chains that go into the manufacture of toys for parrots must absolutely have welded links so that the parrot does not manage to open them and thus transform them into hooks for careless beaks. Jack chain-style chains are terribly dangerous for parrots.
Metal chains are preferably stainless steel or if your budget is tight, nickel-plated. You should absolutely avoid chains plated with zinc ( highly toxic to parrots ).
Very small or very large links
Prevent toe traps: the links of metal or plastic chains should be either very large so that the parrot can pass through them and easily remove a toe, or be very small so that the parrot does not pass its toe. If you live with a very energetic, wiggly parrot, you should definitely avoid toys that have very long hanging chains without any other material on them ( wood, beads, rope, etc. ). Some spirited parrots are likely to wrap the chain around the body or worse, around the neck and hang or strangle themselves. The chains must be removed or re-threaded as soon as they begin to uncover their fittings
To avoid absolutely: the long, very thin ( delicate ) chains which are formidable for both small and large parrots.
+ non-welded paints or veneers
It is important that the fastener is not used to impale the parrot’s beak and that it is large enough that no small part will come loose ( and risk being swallowed by the bird ). The parrot is really a “digger”. If he feels a small weakness in an object, he will immediately try to open it, move it away, or separate it; which often will transform the attachment or ironwork into a hook for the parrot’s beak.
( quick link or Clink )
This is about the only fastener ( tether ) that is roughly safe for the large inquisitive beaks of parrots. For smaller parrots such as the lovebird, budgerigar, small conure, or cockatiel, the pear-shaped carabiner ( pear link ) is also safe but it remains very dangerous for larger birds.
Keyring rings =
Beaks impaled, toes caught, twisted or broken, are the consequences of this type of attachment. Parrots like to explore anything that comes under their beak. They will therefore automatically try to open and remove the ring in question and risk injuring it very seriously. At this point, this kind of ring looks like a hook with a parrot’s beak. It is the most dangerous of the parrot toy fasteners and unfortunately one of the most used.
Too often responsible for impaled beaks or stuck, twisted, or broken toes in parrots. Avoid any toy company that uses these kinds of ties. They are not serious companies.
To be completely banned: all carabiners designed for dog leashes ( snap hooks ), boats, ropes, etc., as well as all other pressure “fasteners” which close or become wedged by themselves. Always think in terms of the bird’s safety and always ask yourself if it is possible for it to insert its beak or toe into it. Prevention is better than cure.
It is important to measure the dangerous content of the hardware stores that you spot on a commercial toy or on a toy that you want to make yourself. Screws, nails, studs, staples, welded or non-welded eyelets, etc. are to be completely prohibited in a toy, playpen, or parrot swing. These are materials that easily break down and are therefore dangerous.
Rings and loops should be large enough for the parrot to fit its entire body through, or small enough so that the bird cannot stick its head or get a toe or paw through it. Either way, the less hardware on a toy, the better!
Toxic and dangerous
If you need to hang a perch or toy from the ceiling, do not use decorative hanging lamp hooks. First, they often contain lead or other toxic metals and paints; of two, a medium or a large parrot will inevitably succeed in unhooking the suspended toy and will be taken in the position of the separation, that is to say, one paw hanging from the ceiling on the hook and the other holding the perch or the toy in a vacuum. Very uncomfortable and insecure as a posture.
Better to use a welded eyelet ( nickel-plated ) that you will fix to the ceiling. Thus, the parrot will not be able to unhook anything and its toy or perch will remain securely in place, where it should be.
The bells of parrot toys must be welded together or inaccessible ( except in the case of very small parrots ). The parrot being curious by nature will inevitably attack the clapper and risk ingesting it if it succeeds in unhooking it and/or impaling its beak on the small hook inside which is used to fix the clapper. There are no bells on the market designed specifically for parrots. They are also noisy, but less dangerous.
Finger traps + toxic
Round bells ( bells ) are to be totally avoided ( for all sizes of parrots ). These are toe and beak traps for parrots. Due to the shape of the slits, it is easy for a parrot to insert a toe in the wide part and slide it towards the thin part, which causes constriction of the toe. In addition, most of these bells are designed for garnishes or decorations with very cheap materials, of more than questionable quality. Excessively dangerous!