Help your birds get the most out of their new musical toy with these tips and tricks. In order to use their BeakBox, your birds must first understand what it does and how it works, which may require some patience and teaching from their human. With this in mind, please remember that this toy is intended to be a challenge to pets interacting with it - the learning curve is part of the fun!
1. Be patient and mindful
BeakBox is a fun source of cognitive stimulation for your bird so learning how to play with a new toy might take some time. Please, be patient and let your bird get used to the BeakBox.
2. Show how it is done
Let your bird see you setting up the BeakBox and testing it. Reach into the cage and press the lever multiple times to help your bird associate toy interaction with music. Remember that you are not trying to teach them how to skip and play songs, this is something they will pick up as they use the toy themselves. You are simply showing them that this new hunk of metal is worth investigating, experimenting, and playing with!
3. Customise your tunes
Load your birds' favourite tunes, whistles, or bird calls onto the BeakBox to catch their attention. Don’t play loud, low-pitched, or booming sounds as they might distress your birds, and always check that your birds enjoy the tunes before leaving them alone with the BeakBox. If you are unsure what music your birds might be interested in, we recommend playing tracks from different genres and paying attention to your bird’s body language. If your birds are enjoying the music, they will be quiet or will be singing or chatting along with the sing, tilting their heads, or preening.
4. Spruce it up!
Customise your BeakBox by attaching bird-safe ropes or toys to the small hole on the BeakBox lever so your birds can grab, pull it, and have more fun. You can take an extra step and attach some yummy treats like fruits and veggies to make your bird’s interaction with BeakBox even more enjoyable. If your birds love peanut butter, you can put a little bit of it to the lever - it works like a charm!
5. Find a perfect location
Place your BeakBox somewhere your bird can easily access - choose a spot that is high up enough and has a perch or a landing nearby so your birds can easily reach the lever. If you install your BeakBox in a corner of the cage they rarely visit then they will forget that it exists.
6. Rewards aka positive reinforcement
When your birds interact with the BeakBox by pressing the lever or nibbling at the metal through the bars, reward them with positive verbal reinforcement or some treats. If you are using any established methods of training like clicker training, use it to encourage your birds to use the BeakBox. One of our customers, Hannah, posted a series of amazing and very informative videos on how she trained her parrot Saro to use the BeakBox, and we definitely recommend watching them to learn all the tricks and tips.
We hope these tips and tricks will help you get the most out of your BeakBoxes and will encourage your feathered friends to use them. It is worth saying that the BeakBox is a boredom-busting toy that is designed as a cage companion for birds who experience periods of time without social stimulation. Your bird will most likely be distracted by their favourite toy (you) when you're present and use their BeakBox when you are not around to see it.
Happy chirping, flock!