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Ways to Give Your Bird More Exercise

In the wild, parrots and other pet birds fly hundreds of miles per day, forage for food, and participate in countless other survival-related activities that help give them intense physical workouts. Placing birds in captivity inadvertently limits their opportunities to provide themselves with adequate exercise to maintain their physical conditions, so bird owners must do what they can to maximize their pets’ opportunities to move around and exercise more. Follow the tips in this article to help your feathered friend become more healthy, happy, and active!

 

Try Some Physically Challenging Toys.

A Blue-and-yellow Macaw pet parrot walking along a piece of rope.
John Dickson/Moment Open/Getty Images
Bird toys can be more than just playthings — with a little imagination, they can also make great exercise equipment for your feathered friend. Buying things like ropes and ladders for your pet to climb on can encourage movement and working of major muscle groups in your bird. Finding fun “foot toys” for your bird to toss around and play with outside of his or her cage can promote good exercise habits as well. Whatever toys you choose, make sure to secure as much of a variety as possible and rotate them in and out of use so that your bird doesn’t get bored with them too quickly
 

Play Games with Your Bird.

Woman with two Green-cheeked Parakeets
Sean Murphy / Getty Images

Inventing some physically involved games to play with your bird is another great way to get your pet moving and on his or her way to optimum physical health. Does your bird have a favorite toy, such as a small ball, that he likes to play with? If so, try a simple game of fetch to get your feathered friend on his feet. Some birds may like to chase things, which can offer a great way to get your pet’s heart pumping. Try tying a toy to a string and pulling it around for your bird to try and catch. Just be sure to only allow your bird to play with this toy while you are supervising. Loose strings can be dangerous to pet birds if owners aren’t careful

 

Teach Your Bird Some Fun Tricks.

Magician with white dove
RapidEye / Getty Images

A great way to help your bird become more active is to get involved with trick training your pet. Not only can learning tricks provide lots of exercise for your pet, but it can help prevent boredom in birds and offer a wonderful bonding experience as well. Start off with a few fun and easy bird tricks to build your bird’s repertoire and start getting him used to training, and then move on to more advanced commands that will wow your friends and family

 

Make Time for Out-of-Cage Play

Bird in Flightsuit in NYC
Flightquarters/Flickr/CC by 2.0

Perhaps the single most important thing that you can do to help give your bird more opportunities for exercise is to make sure your bird gets to come out of his or her cage for supervised playtime every day. Birds in the wild are able to walk around and stretch their wings and legs whenever they need to, but pet birds can feel cramped in a cage, no matter how spacious. Allowing your bird to have supervised playtime in a bird-safe area of your home each day will help make sure that all your pet’s muscle groups get the exercise that is so vital to their maintenance.

Try Dancing

Woman with yellow-crowned parrot on shoulder
Simone Mueller / Getty Images
If all else fails, most pet bird owners are able to get their pets to exercise with the help of a little music. Birds are naturals at dancing and seem to just love shaking their tailfeathers to an upbeat tune. Try setting aside a few minutes each day to listen to the radio with your bird, and pay attention to the kinds of music that he or she seems to respond to the most. Once you have figured out the type of music that gets your pet moving, you can make a customized playlist for your pet to dance its heart out to. Not only will this offer your pet some much-needed exercise, it’s pretty entertaining to watch, as well!

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