Can Parrots Play With Straws?

Yes, parrots can play with straws. However, one has to take precautionary measures because there has been an alarming rise in sea birds’ deaths due to plastic ingestion.

But plastic straws are cheap. It can be homemade, and so you need not have to spend money on expensive bird toys. Parrots can go on for hours picking on straws. Therefore, you save time instead of finding ways to entertain them.

The above reasons owe to why plastic straws are a go-to toy for parrots or birds.

Why is it important for parrots to play with straws?

Plastic straws are inexpensive and are being used as bird toys. They are common among pet parrots because straws act both as shredding, puzzles, and foraging toys. 

Parrots enjoy biting and chewing straws. Straws are a great source of entertainment, and parrots can spend hours picking on plastic straws.

Here are some advantages for parrots playing with straws:

  • ·      Foraging

Parrots enjoy tearing, chewing, and shredding bird toys like plastic straws. It thus exercises your parrot’s instincts like foraging.

Foraging toys are based on the ability of parrots to rummage and seek their food. So, when you place straw toys, one tends to create a suitable environment that challenges their instincts. 

The process of foraging helps your parrot to burn up energy throughout the day as it gives them physical exercise and enriches their mental well-being.

  • Mental and Physical Well-Being

Straws can help in exercising a parrot’s problem-solving skills. It also enhances stimulation towards colors, sizes, textures, etc. 

Furthermore, straw toys can avoid boredom and curb abnormal and reckless behavior.

Those parrots that grow in a challenging environment (within their habitat) tend to be fearless, confident, and free. These traits are what your pet parrots need to emanate, even if they are domesticated. An idle parrot will only grow to be obese.

Lastly, chewing on straws maintains the shape of a parrot’s beak. 

What are the risks if parrots play with straws?

As pet owners, it becomes our responsibility to supervise our pets. Below are some possible dangers that can come about with plastic straws:

  • First of all, plastics are non-biodegradable. According to World Wide Fund, plastics such as straws already take a toll on one million seabirds ingesting plastics. Stagnant small chunks of plastics can create holes in their tender intestines or even cause respiratory infections.
  • Parrots may be vulnerable to perils such as choking and indigestion. Studies find that parrots do not digest plastics. Because of indigestion, your parrots will not excrete the required waste.
  • Straw toys make use of chains, rings, clips with sharp edges, pins, and minor components like clappers. These mechanical parts make your parrots prone to choking. 
  • If you use frayed ropes to hang the straws, it will increase the risk of getting your parrot entangled either from the toe or the neck.

Ultimately, the veterinary treatment for these issues, as enlisted above, is expensive. It can even cause death.

What are the precautions to take before giving a plastic straw to a parrot?

  • Observe

Before you get straws for your parrot, you must observe your parrot’s play activities. Supervising the pattern of shredding, tearing, or picking habits of your parrot can help one narrow down one’s parrot’s play behaviors.

  • Observe the beak of the parrot

 If your parrot has an enormous beak, it is advisable to assemble the straws that are either equal or bigger than their beak. The same advice goes for the smaller-sized parrots; to choose the straw size according to their beak size or slightly smaller. In this way, you can avoid any choking hazards.

  • Monitoring and cleaning the surrounding 

Monitoring the toy beforehand is essential.

Check for holes and fastening gaps that may pose a risk to your parrot’s toe, tongue, beak, neck, or wing. Ensure that any opening in toys or the straws is a little spacious than the size of your parrot’s body parts. 

You can also Read : Can Parrots Play With Cork?

Cleaning out your pet’s surroundings is essential as it will allow one to dispose of shredded plastic straws. Once you discard these shredded plastic straws, there is no way your pet will swallow these bits of straws that are hazardous to health. 

  • Get Creative

Plastic straws are inexpensive. Therefore, you can revamp your parrot’s toys with DIYs that show how to make toys with straws. For easier handling, avoiding choking and swallowing, or even poking the eyes, straws can be cut short. 

What are the safest materials for parrot toys?

Parrots can be sensitive to various types of food and chemicals present in different materials. Here are some pointers you can look out for before buying or creating straws as toys for parrots:

  • FDA approves materials with “human food grade” labels. Opting for such materials used during manufacturing toys for parrots is safe. 
  • Materials that do not contain toxins, pesticides, paint, and adhesives are among the best ways to avoid possible reactions. 
  • Assembling straws for parrots may require cable wires, hooks, chains, and clips. One needs to make sure that it is blunt not to harm their beaks and tangle them.
  • There have been numerous cases of metal poisoning. Therefore, natural wood, plastic, and acrylic are safe to use in toys.


Q. Can you use plastic straws in homemade toys? 

A. Yes. Plastic straws are the cheapest toys you can get for your bird. There are variants of plastic straws. One can also make such plastic straw toys. However, taking precautionary steps should be a priority.

Q. Are plastic straw toys harmful to birds?

A. No. As long as your parrot does not swallow random things, it will not harm the bird. To make straws safer, one can sterilize the plastic straws in the oven for a brief while to avoid burning. 

Q. Are there any alternatives for plastic straws?

A. Yes, paper straws are a great alternative to plastic straws. Also, it depends on the preference of your birds. For safety, you can research before getting paper straws as some papers may be bleached. 


Toy straws are safe only with the precautions you can take before placing them in front of your parrot. Parrots love straws, as plastic straws are something to chew on and shred off.

However, one needs to emphasize supervision when your parrot plays with the straw toys. Routine checks can bring out a healthy environment for your pet parrot. Remember, different parrots have different reactions to toys. All you need to do is observe and study what is best and what is not.