Wood is one of the materials, among the materials used in the manufacture of toys, preferred by parrots. Some soft species, such as pine, are easily and quickly destroyed. This is why this kind of wood is particularly appreciated by all parrots. Others, like manzanita or ironwood, are very strong and virtually indestructible. Toys made with these antlers are less attractive to the parrot, but they can very well serve as more durable perches inside the cage or as parrot trees.
Use only non-toxic species that have not undergone any chemical treatment ( including tree branches that you cut outside ): no pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, no varnish ( anything that shines must be avoided ), no preservatives or treatments of any kind, no glue ( presswood and plywood ) or any chemicals. Wood quite bare and… virgin!
If you are going to cut trees for your bird in a wooded area yourself, whether it is to make small toys, perches, or perch trees, it is important to choose the right tree species ( many are deadly for them. parrots ). See Safe Trees and Poisonous Trees.
Better to choose a wooded area far enough from the road. Even though gasoline is unleaded today, it wasn’t until the mid-1970s that this kind of fuel was banned, so if you chop down the branches of an old tree there might be still lead residue. In addition, the lead in fuels has been replaced by other heavy metals that are equally harmful to your parrot.
The salt that is used in winter to melt ice can also contaminate a tree. Another reason to avoid taking your branches in urbanized areas… this #% “& * # mania that humans want at all costs for green golf turf ( fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, etc. ). All of these products can contaminate a tree and reach your bird if it nibbles on it …
Long live the deep countryside!
Now that you have found your tree ( without chemicals, good gasoline ), it must be disinfected… Well yes… our small native birds ( sparrows, finches, starlings, etc. ), are not clean, clean, clean…! They have diseases, bacteria, fungi and other “viruses” for which our domestic parrots are not protected ( antibodies ) and these little birds walk on the branches of trees, feed there, and make small droppings. So, it is better to disinfect them before offering them to our darlings.
Recipe for disinfecting
Wash well and rub the branch or tree with mild soap. Then, we disinfect by rubbing with a solution of bleach and water 1/10 and we rinse more than not enough so that no bleach residue remains. Then, we put the branch in the oven ( if possible ) at 250 ° F or 120 ° C for one hour ( the wood must be dried to its core ). We turn off the oven and leave the branches for another two hours. The heat will destroy any parasites, fungi, germs, or bacteria.
It is important to thoroughly dry tree species that have a high creosote rate, such as pine and oak. In the case of a perch tree, the process is the same, except for drying. You must install the tree in a dry place… not outside…!
Often seen: the well-intentioned human who disinfects his tree and then places it outside in the full sun to dry it ( ???? )… available to all our charming wild birds… Caramba !!!! Everything has to be started over !!!!
Fireplace logs or woodstove logs are not parrot toys. It is unimaginable how many times I have met people who were very careful about the health of their parrot ( veterinary tests, choice of safe toys, total disinfection of the cage and perches once a week, etc. ), and … who let their parrot shred the logs installed near the fireplace … ???? These logs are also trees… and these trees are neither cleaned nor disinfected… !!!