If you own a parrot, you already know the importance of enrichment in your bird’s life. And while your bird probably has plenty of in-cage toys, a parrot play gym offers some variety and is a great option for entertaining your pet when they’re out of the cage.
But what exactly is a play gym for parrots? This term covers a range of different products, but we’re using it to describe any out-of-cage activity station for birds. We’ve gathered together a list of five options for you to choose from. It’s important to note that we made this list with smaller parrots in mind, but many options we’ve included are suitable for larger birds too. But before we get to our list, let’s look at some of the things you should consider before purchasing a gym for your parrot.
What Should You Look for When Choosing a Parrot Play Gym?
Anything you buy for your bird–whether it’s food, toys, treats, or a cage–is an investment. You’re investing in your feathered friend’s well-being, so you likely want to get a play stand your birds will enjoy for months or years. And if cost is a concern, rest assured–there are plenty of options on our list (and elsewhere) that are surprisingly affordable. Some handy bird owners even make their own gyms.
Before buying any play gym for your parrot, it’s important to do your research. Here are a few things to look for before making a purchase.
Toys and Parrot Play Gym
Birds are highly intelligent animals, and they need plenty of enrichment to prevent boredom. There are many types of bird toys to keep your pet occupied in the cage or out of it, and any decent play gym will need to have a few toys.
Some gyms come with included toys. These options are easy to use right out of the box, and they save you a trip to the pet store to pick up more toys. However, it’s a good idea to make sure any included toys can be easily replaced once they’ve been worn down. Some play gyms simply come with toy hangers. This makes it easier to choose the types of toys your bird likes (and replace them once they’ve been used up).
Play gyms can be made out of all sorts of materials. When choosing one, it’s wise to consider how long the stand itself will last. Wooden play stands often have an appealing aesthetic, but parrots love to chew on wood. These stands will likely need to be replaced within a few months.
Metal stands tend to be a little on the pricey side, but they are longer lasting. And because metal usually comes in neutral colors, it’s easy to integrate into almost any kind of decor.
When choosing your gym, make sure you choose one that will fit comfortably in your living space. You’ll also want to see what size parrot a stand is geared toward. If in doubt, go slightly larger–a conure will be able to use a play stand designed for a macaw, but larger birds will often make short work of a gym made for smaller-size parrots.
Ease of Cleaning
Birds can certainly be messy. Whether it’s sweeping seed hulls off the floor, vacuuming up stray feathers, or cleaning droppings out of a cage tray, there’s almost always something to be cleaned.
When purchasing a play gym, it’s a good idea to evaluate how easy it will be to clean. Higher-end play stands often have a dropping tray that can be removed. You can line the tray with newspaper or pine shavings for easier cleanup.
If there isn’t a removable tray, you can always line the bottom of the gym to simplify cleanup. If you have a garden hose and a backyard, you also can take the stand outside and hose it down as needed.
Every play stand is different, and some have bonus features to make your life a little easier. One such feature is lockable wheels. Larger stands can be difficult to move around, but stands on casters can be rolled through your home with ease. Some play gyms have flat bottoms for tabletop use, and others can be mounted on top of your bird’s cage to save space.
Swings and ladders are usually built into the structure of the gym itself. These features add variety, and they’re great for active birds who like to climb. If they’re made of wood, the swings and ladders may eventually become too chewed down to use. If they’re made of metal, they can last indefinitely.
For some bird owners, money is no object. But no need to worry–you can still find plenty of excellent gym options on a budget. If you are able to set aside some money each month, it may be wise to purchase a metal stand. These stands cost more upfront, but they won’t be worn down over time like wood. All wood stands tend to be a bit less expensive. While they don’t usually last as long as metal stands, wooden stands can be great outlets for birds who love to chew.
Our Picks for Best Parrot Play Gym
Lots of play gyms for birds are designed for conures and larger parrots, but smaller birds like their playtime too. The bird-window play center is ideal for finches, parakeets, and other smaller birds. It’s made of clear plastic and attaches to your window via suction cups. While you can add your own bird toys, this play center also comes with a wooden toy and two feed cups. If you have a larger parrot, you might want to look elsewhere–bigger birds are likely to be too cramped in this smaller enclosure.
With this one, it may also be wise to make sure there’s a windowsill or table right beneath it. On the off chance, a suction cup comes undone, you’ll want to protect your bird from a fall. This gym has its limitations, but it’s a good choice for the owners of smaller birds.
- Clear design lets your birds enjoy the view
- Included toy and food/water cups make it easy to use right out of the box
- It’s very affordable
- Suction cups could potentially detach from the window and cause an injury
- Plastic build means that it’s more difficult to hang additional toys in the enclosure
When choosing a play gym for their birds, some owners prefer getting a stand-alone option. If that’s you, the Hepner play stand might be just right. This stand is for parrots of all sizes, but it’s geared a little more toward smaller parrots. It’s made of sturdy and elegant metal and has a plastic pull-out tray for easy cleaning. Your parrots will have two ladders and a swing, and there are eight toy hangers to let you design your bird’s playpen paradise.
This stand is made of metal, so it won’t be chewed down like a wood stand would be. This is one of the pricier options on the list, but we think it’s well worth the expense–the Hepner is built to last, and your bird will appreciate the swings and ladders.
- Stately design fits in well with many types of decor
- Easy-clean tray makes dealing with messes easier
- Toy attachments make it easier to change and replace toys
- Maybe a little expensive for some bird owners
- If you have a larger parrot, you might prefer a larger stand
If you like to play gyms that double as conversation pieces, you might like this one. The Hendryx has a stately wooden box base that houses a real branch from a java tree. Since these are branches from actual trees, each one is unique. You can hang toys from the branches or leave them plain. It’s important to note that the Hendryx doesn’t have toy hangers, so you may need to get creative if you do choose to attach toys.
This stand has a single cup for food, water, or treats. The wooden box base doesn’t have a tray, but it’s easy enough to line with pine shavings, newspaper, or paper towels. While it doesn’t have the variety of some of the gyms on the list, this one has a distinctive artistic appeal.
- Unique design adds an elegant touch to your home
- Natural wood is great for birds to gnaw on
- All-wood design offers a pleasing aesthetic
- This gym doesn’t offer as much variety as some of the others on the list
- It’s a bit more expensive than some of the other options
This set isn’t necessarily geared toward birds, but if you’re looking for something different (or if you have children who need a play gym), it might be a good option. This gym is designed for children from three to eight years old, and it comes with a slide and a ball pit. Adventurous parrots might enjoy climbing in the ball pit or chasing treats down a slide.
This set has a lightweight frame that doubles as a climbing gym for your feathered friend. Plenty of DIY play gyms are made out of PVC, so the plastic frame isn’t necessarily a drawback. Most birds probably won’t try to chew on the PVC, but chewing plastic isn’t quite as beneficial as chewing on wood.
- Given what you get, this one is an excellent value
- Unusual toy options might be good for adventurous birds
- There’s plenty of perching space
- This one wasn’t originally designed with birds in mind
- If you have limited space, it might be too large
If you’ve been looking for a colorful and engaging treat for your bird (or birds), then this one might be just right. It’s made entirely of colored wood, and it comes with a swing, a ladder, and three toys. There’s a food cup to use for food or treats. While this is an affordable option with plenty of space for smaller parrots, this one may not last as long as some other options on the list. Because it’s made entirely of wood, this play gym can be gradually worn down by birds chewing it. Still, it’s worth considering, especially if you’re looking for something more affordable.
- Colorful design with various activities is likely to appeal to many parrots
- Wooden base is designed to be easy to clean
- Swings, ladders, and toys encourage your birds to be more active
- All-wood design will degrade with use
- If you have a larger parrot, this play gym may wear down faster
While we think this list has plenty of great options for purchasing a parrot play gym, we think that the Archie & Oscar Hepner stand is the best option on the list. While it is somewhat expensive, it’s the most durable gym. The included toy hangers make it easy to add variety to your bird’s life. Once the toys have been chewed down, they can simply be replaced. While every gym on our list has its merits, we think the Hepner offers the best value for the money. Whether you choose a gym from this list or elsewhere, make sure to do your research and take your bird’s preferences into account. Your feathered friend will love their new gym!