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Post by freebird on 12th September 2015, 9:47 am

I was just going to post a pic of a little thing I made this morning, but didn't really know what thread to put it on. It's entirely made from things that would normally be thrown away/recycled, so I thought maybe others use 'bits and bobs' too, for all sorts of things. This is what I did with some of mine...

It's a 'destroy toy' for our parrot, Bella. Her greatest pleasure in life is to rip things apart, and it can be hard keeping up with her insatiable appetite for shredding. It's made from a takeout coffee cup, some Magnum sticks, pieces of cardboard tube, a fir cone and some cotton embroidery thread. All degradable stuff, so once she's finished with it, it will all go on the compost heap.

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She's already shredded the outside of the cup and destroyed two of the Magnum sticks.
Bits and bobs Bella_11

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Post by Chilli-head on 12th September 2015, 9:57 am

Lovely. I'm glad you explained what it was Freebird, or I would have been puzzling all day.

It reminded me of when C-H Jnr was a baby. In the morning he'd sit in my lap on the bed whilst I read the morning post, happily shredding any junk mail passed his way. The colourful CPC brochures were a favourite !

One question though - does your parrot know what is a "destroy toy", and what is really a precious thing that, through parrot eyes, just looks a bit like one ? Laughing
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Post by freebird on 12th September 2015, 11:06 am

Unfortunately, no she doesn't know the difference, as I found to my cost whilst decorating. Just finished a mammoth polyfilla job (used most of a trade-size pack), just prior to beginning painting. Bella managed to climb up onto the picture rail, and joyfully started shredding the wood. She wouldn't be distracted either, not even by her favourite food.

It ended up being another polyfilla job.

We have to be very careful where we let her out the cage - she can't fly (think previous owner/s maybe never let her out, so her muscles are weak), so stays on the cage. We just have to make sure she can't reach anything! Except her toys, of course.

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Post by Dandelion on 12th September 2015, 6:33 pm

Ingenious! We've never had a parrot, and the hens amuse themselves, but I can remember threading all sorts of things onto a length of elastic when the children were small, and stretching it across the front of my ancient treadle sewing machine base so that the baby could reach and play with them from the safety of their baby seat. I also threaded cotton reels and bells onto elastic and stretched it across the pram - my youngest used to play with this as a toy on its own later on, the elastic, bells and cottons reels scrumpled into a ball. It was called (for some reason) the Merrily!!

The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by FloBear on 12th September 2015, 9:37 pm

Nice bit of kit, Freebird! I'm a user of Bits and Bobs too.
I have a few old CDs hanging in the hen run to amuse the girls though the initial interest has now waned.

I have parrots but neither is too destructive. Esme, my previous bird, liked to shimmy up the curtains and nibble bits out of the wall above the curtain rail. However, she was a very sociable parrot and would obligingly step on to the Parrot Extraction Device (aka stick) when proffered then spend the rest of the evening sitting on my head. Unless she wanted to do some more wall-work in which case she'd flutter to the floor and scuttle across to the corner of the room and re-model the bit above the skirting board.

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Post by Ploshkin on 14th September 2015, 1:17 pm

I'm always diving down the recycling bag for something to use.  When we had a litter of puppies last year they had all manner of bits to play with, favourites were a knotted up bit of old rope, an old towel and squashed, plastic milk bottles.  All of the small animals have ex kitchen equipment to eat from - saucepans, frying pans and baking tins.  I use a lot of bits and bobs for bees too especially take away containers and correx signs. (Mr P works on the highways and removes illegally placed signs, election time is always good).  Toilet roll inners get stuffed with bits of egg box that have come to the end of their life and used to start the smoker.

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Post by freebird on 14th September 2015, 3:00 pm

Ah yes, plastic milk bottles. We used those as puppy toys too - put some treats inside and it would occupy Lola for hours, chewing at it. She got wise fairly quickly though, and worked out that if she threw the bottle about, the treats would tumble out.

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