Join Date: Dec 2020
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Plastic Beads: Fun or Dangerous?
I have a rescue blue and gold macaw, probably around 20 though no one knows for sure. Since I've brought her home, I've been trying all kinds of things to keep her engaged (and to distract her from barbering her feathers or screaming her head off). I gave her a toy that contained about 6 hard plastic beads, bigger and hardier than most craft beads and about the size of the pad of my thumb. She pulled them off the toy and plays with each one for hours, grinding them in her beak until she drops them. At which point I've been tying them to old shoelaces and letting her pull them off again and chew on them all over again. She hasn't damaged any of them beyond scratching them up.
I've bought her other toys, but her favorites are those beads. I was looking in to buying her more large beads, from a bird toy supply company, that I could make toys out of using things I already have. Parrot toys are expensive and these are the only ones she has both liked and has not destroyed in seconds. But then I met a guy at the rescue where I got her who says he never uses anything plastic with his parrots because they can swallow them, or pieces of them, and that's dangerous.
Is plastic really that much more dangerous than wood? Should I take away her beads? Or did I just meet a particularly wacky animal shelter guy? I mean he was wacky, but was he also wrong?