Last Updated on January 29, 2024 by Carrie Stephens
As pet parrots spend countless hours locked securely in their cages, they need fun things to do. Swings are a favorite way to pass the time, offering birds health benefits and stimulation.
Parrot swings can be made from rope, wood, or plastic. Wood is recommended because it reminds parrots of tree branches in their natural terrain and has aerodynamic qualities.
Ensure the swing is firmly attached to the top of the cage. Position it appropriately so the parrot won’t bump into obstacles during use, and regularly check for damage to the cords.
Consider adding bells or small, colorful toys like building blocks or beads to make a swing even more appealing to a parrot, which will encourage regular use. Also, regularly interact with the parrot.
Introducing a swing to a young and playful parrot will promote an active and healthy lifestyle, enabling it to exercise and develop strong foot, leg, and chest muscles.
This reduces the risk of arthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders as the bird ages.
Swings for Parrots
Parrots have a natural inclination to move whenever possible. Providing a swing in a cage will prevent a bird from growing frustrated and stave off boredom, stereotypies, and unwelcome aggression.
Swings also offer benefits that enrich the life of a captive bird. In addition to simulating the experience of flight within the safe confines of a cage, swings can help parrots exercise and develop strong muscles.
Smaller members of the psittacine family, like budgies, lovebirds, and parrotlets, will most enjoy this addition. Larger parrots may enjoy swings, but additional safety measures must be introduced.
A swing is recommended if a parrot has never learned to fly or has clipped wings.
A swing can also allow parrots to access higher vantage points by leaping from a swing to a perch. Playful and agile parrots may use their swings to learn gymnastic tricks and feats to entertain their owners.
Types of Swings
The ideal swing for a pet parrot depends on the bird’s size and play style.
A simple swing involves hanging a perch from the top of a cage by two cords. This enables the bird to build momentum and swing back and forth. Small parrots will likely find this entertaining for hours.
Consider a cave swing, as this provides a parrot with a hiding place while it swings in a plush hammock or bed. This swing is ideal for cages with several birds, as a single occupant can seek some alone time.
An oversized ring can be used as a swing to entertain a curious parrot. Your bird will enjoy perching on such a swing and can learn tricks like flying through the ring.
What Parrot Swings Are Made From
Basic parrot swings can be made from various materials, but wood, rope, and plastic are the most common. Each material has advantages and disadvantages.
Wooden swings are arguably the most durable and will appeal to your parrot’s instincts.
You can also make your wooden swing with appropriate materials and are confident that your DIY playset will be safe for a pet bird.
Only use non-toxic wood, as a parrot will likely nibble on a wooden swing.
Palm wood is the best choice, as this will be light enough to propel the parrot through the air but able to resist attention from a beak, at least for a while.
Plastic or PVC swings can be appealing to parrots as they are often brightly colored and are easy to clean.
Be mindful of damage to plastic. If your parrot chews on its swing, the bird may consume small, indigestible pieces of plastic that lead to an intestinal blockage or impaction.
Rope swings are usually tough and durable, appealing to a parrot’s wild nature. They also offer more opportunities to fashion different shapes in the base, like netting.
The rope can erode over time, especially if a parrot nibbles at the material, so check the swing daily to ensure it remains safe. A rope can also be hard to clean if a bird urinates or defecates on the swing.
Parrot Swing Safety
Buying a parrot swing from a pet shop should ensure the bird’s swing is safe. All the same, there are safety precautions to take under advisement, including the following:
- Only provide a swing of an appropriate size for the parrot. Allowing a large bird onto a small swing won’t end well, while a small bird attempting to play on an oversized swing will lose motion.
- Always check that a swing is firmly secured to the top of a cage. Review these fixtures daily and tighten them if the swing becomes loose after long-term usage.
- Supervise the parrot on a swing during play, ensuring it doesn’t get tangled up in the ropes.
- If a parrot regularly chews and nibbles at the ropes on a swing, check for damage and replace if the cords are growing frayed or damaged.
- Check a wooden swing for sharp edges or protruding components.
- Never use cotton or yarn to hang a swing in a parrot cage. A bird will likely chew these materials, causing the swing to weaken, and they’re undigestible if swallowed.
Consider laying soft bedding or a cushion on the floor of your cage, but it will get coated in poop.
Parrot Swings with Toys Attached
Adding toys to a swing is optional, but many bird owners find that their parrots engage more with swings with extra features. Parrots can’t resist exploring a toy that stimulates their senses.
Bells are an ever-popular addition to simple swings. The motion caused by a parrot’s swinging will inspire the bells to ring, delighting the bird.
This swing may be noisy, especially if a parrot imitates the chimes of the bells, but it’ll be fun.
Many owners also decorate swings with wooden blocks and beads, using vibrant colors to attract their bird’s attention. Avoid the color red, as this may alarm and frighten your parrot.
Best And Worst Swings for Birdcages
The best swings for parrots have the following features:
- Ability to swing and gain momentum without excessive force or effort.
- A base of a different size encourages the parrot to exercise its leg and foot muscles.
- Enough color or other stimulation to attract and maintain a parrot’s interest.
- Thick, sturdy ropes or chains spaced far apart enough to avoid crossing over and tangling the parrot.
- Sufficient size and weight-bearing capacity to support two small, bonded parrots.
The worst swings for a parrot’s cage provoke anxiety surrounding safety.
Where To Put A Swing in a Birdcage
A swing should be hung in the middle of a parrot’s cage, allowing freedom of movement without bumping into the cage bars, perches, or any toys, decorations, water bottles, or food dishes.
Position the swing at a height level with at least one perch or just above or below. This will enable the parrot to leap directly from a perch to its swing and vice versa.
Parrot Won’t Use Its Swing
While most parrots like swings in their cages, every bird is unique. There’s no guarantee that a parrot will be interested in swinging, whether in or out of its cage.
Give the bird time to adjust to a swing. Parrots are neophobic, meaning they fear new objects or people.
If a swing unexpectedly appears in a parrot’s cage while it exercises and explores the home, it may instantly grow fearful and suspicious of this new addition.
Involve the swing in interactive play with the parrot. Encourage the bird to fetch items tossed through a ring swing or push the parrot if it clambers onto a simple swing.
Offer praise as it plays so the parrot realizes the swing is a source of fun and pleasure.
It’s not a problem if a parrot doesn’t take to swings. There are alternative ways to entertain and stimulate a companion bird. However, swings are among the best ways for parrots to exercise and enjoy life.