Subject: Why We Want to Sell You Less Bird Stuff

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Hi Friend

I recently received an e-mail from one of our suppliers asking why we post information on free in DIY bird toys (click here to read the free bird toy e-mail)? Fair enough question, if we're not selling bird toys, they're not selling bird toys to us which seems counterintuitive - at first.

It's a question well worth examining because it helps us focus your attention on our core mission which is to provide the best care possible for the birds. Anyone can provide the best of anything if there are no budget restrictions. Sadly many of us are financially constrained in these uncertain times. 

The amount of items available today for cats, dogs, small animals as well as other pets is breathtaking, but at the end of the day a tennis ball, two socks tied together and frisbee will keep the dog pretty happy. A laser pen, a ball of yarn and maybe a mouse on a string will entertain a cat for hours.

Bird toys are not essential for a parrots entertainment. Although they do entertain they're actually essential to maintain a high quality of life for caged birds. Thinking of the 60/40 rule - birds in the wild spend 40% of their time searching for food and 60% of their time trying not to be food. This puts (lots of) bird toys squarely in the sights of environmental necessities for keeping birds as pets.

Yes we use bird toys to entertain but really more for our entertainment because it is the birds that entertain us while actually performing essential tasks like forging. Foraging requires the bird to destroy the foraging object(s). Now let's circle back to why we're happy to provide information that will cause you to buy less from us. 

Something like one in five homes in America (perhaps one in six now since the recession) have a bird as a pet, so there's certainly no shortage of customers. Lets do the math. Say you have an Umbrella Cockatoo. Umbrella Cockatoos (we also call them U2's) can have a voracious appetite for chewing wood. Let's assume you want the very best for your Cockatoo. Set aside your initial investment in the bird cage, perches and toys you still have to provide an ongoing supply of items to forage.

Video - Two Corella Cockatoos Chewing Wood Window Frame
Thinking in getting a Cockatoo as a pet? Think twice!

Everyone wants the best for their pet, but a large bird toy can be $15 or $20 at the low-end, $50 is not uncommon especially when it's shipped across the country. Let's assume the average price for big bird toys today is $25. Let's also assume your Umbrella cockatoo is one happy parrot who can easily destroy three $25 toys a week. That my friend works out to be a $300 per month bird toy habit. So do you cut back on these big and juicy toys?  Do you say "I'll just buy the cheap parrot food the next time I go grocery shopping"

Now we're not saying there's anything inherently bad with the food that you get at the grocery store or a big-box retailer but as with anything in life you get what you pay for. The bird food we sell at Windy City Parrot has been time tested and we offer both mainstream and boutique bird food (15) manufacturers. Because of the complexity of a bird's metabolism the correct balance of nutritional components is essential to the quality of life for animals that live five, six and seven decades.

So what were saying is don't skimp on the bird toys. We're happy to present ideas for free and DIY bird toys so we can help you save a lot of money. We feel that your bird deserves a high-quality nutritional program and by learning how to save money in certain categories of bird care we hope you'll become a more confident bird care giver while focusing on the best way serve your bird's nutritional needs.

With more than 350 species of parrots and over 370 species of parakeets, you need a partner that helps you understand your bird's captive nutritional and environmental needs within an affordable budget. . 

We welcome your feedback 

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Mitch Rezman
Vice President
Windy City Parrot, Inc

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