It’s important to provide your bird with plenty to do to occupy their brains and beaks. Toys of different types are popular to place inside a cage, but you can also attach them on the outside of a cage or anywhere your bird likes to hang out.
It also helps immensely to rotate items around and introduce new ones frequently. But hanging toys can be a pain for many reasons. It’s awkward to reach inside a cage, especially if it is large, or there are already a lot of toys. Also, it’s often very cumbersome to attach the toy, even with two hands.
Here are some typical hooks used to attach toys, with common ones in the top row.
These hooks have one thing in common: they are infuriating. Among the problems:
- They often take two hands to manipulate, which means two hands jammed in a cage or one inside and one outside
- The opening is too narrow for either the toy or the cage bars
- When unscrewing them, it’s hard to remember which way to turn them
- It takes a long time to screw/unscrew them and often it’s hard to figure out which way to turn it to screw/unscrew
- For an aviary, it’s especially difficult because you only have access to one side of the wire at a time (without an assistant)
I give a special hatred award to the one in the top right, which is not only impossible to use with two hands, it’s also spring loaded for no good reason, adding to the complexity.
So, like many of you I imagine, I have a bin of hooks of all different shapes and sizes and I keep trying one in my stash until one works. I’ve had this dream to find one clasp that would cover all or nearly all situations.
I have an assortment of cages with all different bar thicknesses and widths, travel cages, and an aviary (1/2″ x 1/2″). Others have 1″ x 1/2″ for their aviary wires
My new clasp
Technically it’s a carabiner, and this is what it looks like.
As I’ll show in a series of videos below, I can use one handed operation on a variety of cages for small/medium birds (and large bird cages should be easier), as well as a travel cage and two different dimensions of aviary wire.
If you’re unfamiliar with this clasp/connector, here’s a video that shows how it works. In this video, I’m holding it with two hands here to show it off, but it’s quite easy to operate with one hand as the videos in the next section will show.
Using the carabiner
Here’s me just attaching it to a toy and then detaching it, with one hand.
And here’s how the toy would hang where you attach it.
Cage bars and toys come in all shapes and sizes and this is where this carabiner shines. In this photo, note how the width of the opening for the carabiner is vastly wider than the commonly used hooks.
Attaching to various cages and wire
Now, a series of videos showing me attaching the carabiner, with or without a toy, to the following:
- Medium-sized cage (cockatiel, conure)
- Small travel cage
- 1″ x 1/2″ aviary wire
- 1/2″ x 1/2″ aviary wire
One thing to note is how easy, sometimes in one step, to attach to a point where two bars meet. This is great if you want a toy to stay put and not slide around. Some of the hooks are two small to do this, especially on larger cages.
Where to get it
I ordered mine from Amazon here (I am not an affiliate):
Despite my bold headline, it’s not always perfect. Sometimes you need two hands, sometimes it’s too big or too small, but I find it works in 95% of the cases, whereas other hooks I keep having to dig around in my drawer to find one that will work at all.
Try it out and see what you think. They do take some getting used to. Practice!