Why Won’t This African Grey Play With His Toys?

Why Won’t This African Grey Play With His Toys?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Barbara G. is concerned about her African grey’s lack of interest in bird toys:

Hi Mitch, I really enjoy your Sunday bird info.

My male Timneh suddenly has become frightened of his toys.

Even a piñata shredding toy.

A few months ago, I purchased a bag of beautiful handmade all-natural bird toys.

The toys were beautiful, plus a lovely tote with parrots on it.


Right from the start, my Stormy Boy was terrified of them.


I had to take them out or he would not eat or drink.


So I decided to get him his favorite piñata shredding toy.


Now I put that one in and he’s petrified of a toy he used to love. Now, he’s almost toyless and I feel so badly.


Is there anything I can do to help him with his new fear?


I feel he transferred his fear from the beautiful hand made toys to his favorite toy now.


Thanks again for sharing all your knowledge.


Hi Barbara,

Have a seat, please.

My Spidey sense is telling me, Stormy is not necessarily scared by the new toy but from a lack of privacy, he was subjected to when all the other toys were pulled from the cage.

Start with putting all the toys (the more the better) mainly in the upper one-third of the cage hung primarily around the perimeter.


We call this the canopy concept which can learn more about here.

One of the most cherished segments of a parrot’s life is security.


It’s why we recommend putting a cage in a corner so at least one side and the back of the birdcage provides only 50% visibility which parrots enjoy.


Stormy will eat his food.

Birds will not starve themselves.

Start with filling your food dish to about one-quarter capacity.


Birds are smart enough to know that if their food source is limited they will take advantage of it and be less selective.


Foods like strawberries, apples, peanuts, cashews, and walnuts can be introduced in a treat dish to provide entertaining and alternative food sources.


As always we pontificate on the use of full-spectrum lighting over birds cage (no higher than 6 inches) on a timer which provides 12 hours of light in 12 hours of darkness.



The light cycle will be instrumental in keeping Stormy’s circadian rhythms on an even keel.

Please circle back in 30 days and let us know how Stormy is doing.


Stay safe



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