Using your BeakBox
Help your bird get the most out of their new toy with these tips straight from the people who made it. In order to operate their BeakBox, your pet 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 present a challenge to pets interacting with it - the learning curve is part of the fun!
How to install BeakBox
- You will need your BeakBox and the cable that came with it, a power source, and some music!
- Unscrew both wingnuts from the BeakBox by rotating them anti-clockwise. Then remove the two bolts, each with an oval washers attached.
- Press the metal plate against the outside of the cage with the lever poking inside between the bars. Ensure the lever is free to move.
- Hold the BeakBox in place and reach into the cage to place the bolts, with washers attached, into the top and bottom mounting holes.
- Screw wingnuts onto the bolts. Ensure the oval washer is horizontal and firmly tighten.
- Insert a micro-SD card with tunes into the slot and plug it into a USB port. Indicator LED should turn green. Press the lever and enjoy the music!
How to connect to the web
You will need:
- A powered-on BeakBox;
- A device capable of connecting to Wi-Fi and browsing the internet (computer, tablet, mobile phone, etc.)
Follow these steps to connect your BeakBox to the web
- Connect your device to the BeakBox Wi-Fi network - look for a network with a similar to 'MyBeakBox-NNNNNN' name using the password: boxflock
- Once connected, open an internet browser on your device and navigate to https://mybeakbox.local or http://192.168.4.1 on older devices.
- Select your home Wi-Fi access point from the list available and connect to it using your Wi-Fi password
That’s all! Your BeakBox is now connected to your network and able to update when needed.
Make sure that your pet is present when you are setting up and testing your BeakBox - you can also reach into your cage and press the lever at any time to play music for your pet. It is important that your bird sees you press the lever and associates interactions with the toy with hearing their favourite music and receiving positive reinforcement.
Incentivise BeakBox Interactions
Your pet will be a lot more likely to use this toy if it is placed somewhere they can access it easily. If you install your BeakBox in a corner of the cage they rarely visit then they will not be reminded to use it. Choose a spot which is high up in order to make your bird feel safe, with a perch or landing nearby so they don't have to cling from the cage bars to reach the lever.
Never underestimate the power of treats! The lever on your BeakBox has a small hole which can be used to attach tempting snacks. Alternatively, soft treat foods like peanut butter, liquid nectar or porridge can be placed directly on the lever, encouraging your bird to lick and bite their way to playing music!
Customize your toy! Use pet-safe string or rope to make a 'pull-chain' or attach your favourite hanging toys from the lever. This will give your bird more to grab, pull, and experiment with.
Reward, reward, reward!
When your pet interacts with their BeakBox (whether they press the lever and music plays or they just nibble at the metal), present them with a favourite treat and tell them they have done an awesome job. If your pet has an established method of training (for example clicker training) use this method to help them understand what you are asking them to do. 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!
You might not see everything...
This 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.
Is BeakBox a good fit for my bird?
Our stainless steel lever has been designed to work with any kind of beak or claws that have enough strength to pull or push it. The BeakBox will perfectly fit medium-sized birds like:
- Indian Ringnecks
- Amazon Parrots
- Conures, Caiques and Green-Cheeked Parakeets
- Small Cockatoos (eg. Galahs)
- Rainbow Lorikeets
- Alexandrines, etc.
If you have small-sized birds like Budgies, Finches, or Canaries, you can use the BeakBox as a musical perch or attach bird-safe ropes or toys to the lever so your bird can grab or pull it. We recommend using a Big Bird Beak Blocker with your BeakBox for big birds like:
- Large Cockatoos (eg. Sulfur Crested)
- African Grey, etc.
How safe is my BeakBox?
Safety is our top priority and we work hard to ensure our toys are safe for both birds and humans. BeakBoxes are designed to keep all wires and electrical components out of your bird’s reach behind strong stainless steel plating, and all bird-operated components are designed to withstand the strongest bites from large beaks.
Does BeakBox need to be plugged in?
Yes. BeakBox doesn’t hold a charge and is powered by a Micro-USB cable that needs to be plugged into a USB port (like your phone charger brick, USB power bank, or computer) to work.
Why not use batteries?
Shipping batteries or battery-related components is subject to strict reregulations in many countries - it's dangerous, expensive and requires a lot of paperwork and workaround. To keep the price down and bring the BeakBox into the hands and claws of our lovely customers as quickly as possible, we’ve built it with a USB power input for now. You can still make your BeakBox wireless with a USB power bank. Learn more here.
How much power does my BeakBox use?
The voltage used is very low and all toys undergo thorough testing, while sleep functionality ensures that power is consumed safely and only when needed.
How safe are the materials?
The only material your bird will have contact with while using their BeakBox is stainless steel, and all electronics are hidden behind non-toxic New Zealand Grown Pinus radiata plywood.
Does BeakBox contain any glue?
BeakBoxes only contain inert, cured glues and thermoplastic adhesives which are non-toxic to birds and humans.
Do I have to connect to the web?
Your BeakBox will still work fine without a web connection. Connecting keeps your BeakBox up-to-date with our latest software. It will also let you better manage your bird’s experience through a web interface and give you access to future features.
I'm having trouble connecting
- Be patient with the BeakBox it is running a very small computer and serving a web page puts a lot of load on it.
- Don’t try to connect from multiple devices to the beak box at the same time. Each connection uses some memory on the BeakBox and so the number of connections is limited.
- Don’t leave the local BeakBox web page open on your browser. While the page is open it refreshes the connection status putting additional load on the beak box and consuming connections.
- If you are lucky enough to own two or more BeakBoxes, only have one powered up and connected to your network when you want to visit its web page. We do not support changing the BeakBox name yet so if two are connected and you visit https://mybeakbox.local it is lottery as to which one you will connect to.