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Chewing wood: any risk a parrot can eat it?

SunTruth

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Hello everyone!

I have a question related to wood toys. The parrot of my family (a senegal) for like 1 year did not care about his toys. Recently he started to get interested in them and while we are happy he does, we also wonder if there could be a risk he could eat wood instead of just chewing.
The thing that giving us doubt is that sometime he cuts a part of wood with his beak, then hold it in hand and chew on it (as if it was an almond or something), and it is hard to say if he is not eating it also.
Forbidding him toys just because we are afraid he might eat it is not ok but we do not know what he is doing.

Thank you for any help!
 

Matto

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It's highly unlikely for adult parrots to ingest wood. They are natural wood chewers, having to make or enlarge their own cavities in trees for their nests.
 

Mizzely

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I agree, it is unlikely. Not impossible; some birds do develop pica (eating non-food items), but this is not at all common. Chewing wood is a very natural behavior that is ingrained into them.
 

SunTruth

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OK thank you! And have any of you noticed your bird breaking some piece of wood with his beak and then holding it in his hand while chewing on it? I guess it is the behavior I found odd because he is doing the same when he eats some things (almonds…).
 

owlsthetic

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OK thank you! And have any of you noticed your bird breaking some piece of wood with his beak and then holding it in his hand while chewing on it? I guess it is the behavior I found odd because he is doing the same when he eats some things (almonds…).
1000007569.jpg

Yup I've found my birds do it quite a lot! Here's a pic I found of Pico chewing on a piece of cork that he's holding :)
 

Shezbug

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My birds also sometimes explore or play with bits of the wood they have broken off their toys but they always drop it once they are finished fiddling with it as far as I can tell, my macaw also fiddles with the bits of plastic he removes from toys, my hair ties if he manages to steal them and a few other things too, I think he just enjoys fiddling.
 

Mizzely

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Absolutely. All of my birds have played with stuff in their feet and chewed it without eating it. I mean, I do a lot of things with my hands that aren't food related!


Ripley cracks open almonds, drops the shell, and eats the kernel. He also chews pieces of wood, plastic, and feathers before dropping them.

One from Bosco before he lived with me:

IMG_20221011_191122.jpg


Some customer photos:

TTT7.jpg

Leota.jpg
 
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expressmailtome

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Pica is rare in parrots but does happen. One member, @Macawnutz , had an older macaw with this condition. It was developed later in life if I recall correctly.
 

Macawnutz

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Chewing small pieces of wood is so common that stores developed a toy to appeal to the habit, foot toys! ;)

While your sweetie sounds completely normal it's always advisable to watch your parrot play with new things. I have a few birds that swallow foam type toys, so much so that I don't sell them in my store.

My Gw macaw developed Pica after her first stroke. She forgot how to eat corn and started eating the cob. After some time I realized she was consuming newspaper and softwood. I only noticed those when she regurgitated in bright blue like the wood dye which prompted me to investigate.
 

Emma&pico

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I think parrots who use their feet use them a lot more than I expected too I thought they just ate like that but they play like that too

even my lovebirds use their feet to throw balls about which shocked me at first

hopefully he’s not eating it so you notice little pieces being dropped ?
 

Emma&pico

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Love all these parrot feet playing photos
 

SunTruth

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Hello!

Thank you everyone for the advices and also for the pictures. Your parrots look very good!
OK I will let him play with his toys the way he likes, while asking my family to check from time to time if he does not eat the wood.

Thank you again!
 
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