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Considering trying a completely natural enrichment set-up

AussieBird

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Some of you know I give leaves to my birds on a regular basis. I do this as an addition to toys and such.
Now I am playing with the idea of doing a completely natural, as in native leaves, seeds and flowers only, enrichment setup for the budgies' cage. Not permanent but something I want to try.
I've still got to do some research and plant Id to make sure it's all 100% safe. Just thought I'd make this thread so others can follow along and give advice if you've got any.
Trees I have access to that I definitely will be using.
Bottlebrush, Eucalyptus, and Lilly Pilly.

Ones I need to properly Id/check.
A couple different Melaleuca/tea trees, and Saltbush.
 

Spearmint

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I though eucalyptus was toxic?
But sounds loud a great idea, let us know how it goes! :)
 

Shezbug

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Some of you know I give leaves to my birds on a regular basis. I do this as an addition to toys and such.
Now I am playing with the idea of doing a completely natural, as in native leaves, seeds and flowers only, enrichment setup for the budgies' cage. Not permanent but something I want to try.
I've still got to do some research and plant Id to make sure it's all 100% safe. Just thought I'd make this thread so others can follow along and give advice if you've got any.
Trees I have access to that I definitely will be using.
Bottlebrush, Eucalyptus, and Lilly Pilly.

Ones I need to properly Id/check.
A couple different Melaleuca/tea trees, and Saltbush.
Eucalyptus trees (branches, flowers, leaves) are fine to use and is safe- eucalyptus oil is NOT safe.
I’ve always been hesitant to use Melaleuca and tea tree as I know they can be a problem for many animals and I have access to other safe branches so I’ve never researched how safe they are for birds.
I’ve not had access to large amounts of saltbush so this is another plant I have not researched anything about its safety for our caged birds.
I was growing saltbush in a small pot but sparrows dug around the roots to steal worms and bugs and the roots cooked so I have to start again, I do have a heap of seeds thankfully - I know you can eat saltbush and I hear animals in the wild will eat it at times too.
 

AussieBird

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Eucalyptus trees (branches, flowers, leaves) are fine to use and is safe- eucalyptus oil is NOT safe.
I’ve always been hesitant to use Melaleuca and tea tree as I know they can be a problem for many animals and I have access to other safe branches so I’ve never researched how safe they are for birds.
I’ve not had access to large amounts of saltbush so this is another plant I have not researched anything about its safety for our caged birds.
I was growing saltbush in a small pot but sparrows dug around the roots to steal worms and bugs and the roots cooked so I have to start again, I do have a heap of seeds thankfully - I know you can eat saltbush and I hear animals in the wild will eat it at times too.
That's why I've been researching those two. I've found posts in various places about people using both fine. Basically all the melaleuca are coming up safe on that big bird safe plant list too. I've found posts about some budgie breeders using the saltbush. I am going to look into them a bit more first though.

Other native we have, but I doubt I will use as their safety is questionable, are Silky oak, Kurrajong, and Queensland iron bark.
 

FiatLux

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That's why I've been researching those two. I've found posts in various places about people using both fine. Basically all the melaleuca are coming up safe on that big bird safe plant list too. I've found posts about some budgie breeders using the saltbush. I am going to look into them a bit more first though.

Other native we have, but I doubt I will use as their safety is questionable, are Silky oak, Kurrajong, and Queensland iron bark.
I’m really excited to see photos of how this turns out. It’s a great idea!
 

AussieBird

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Via the above website both Melaleuca and Saltbush (Old Man Saltbush) are listed as safe. The name links take you here
Saltbush (Btw the picture at the top of this page is partly what inspired this)
Melaleuca

So with them being listed as safe and me being able to find Forum posts (on various forums) about people using them, I think I will add them, but Saltbush will be limited just to be cautious (potentially excessive salt).
 

Parutti

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Super excited to see how this turns out! I started using more (safe) branches from my yard last summer and it was a huge hit! None of my local trees are ones in to my birds' native areas so I tried putting lettuce leaves on little branches. Cotton did not find it very clever but I bet this year Opie will!
 

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Interesting idea! Let us know if they like it or how it impacts behaviour!
 

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Love it let us know how it works out :strhng:
 

AussieBird

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I am thinking I'll do it sometime this weekend. I am curious as to how much/if any difference it may to their diet.
I am also considering practicing on a family members bird cage. They bought a new flight cage but haven't had the time to build it, and now they're sick so maybe I could build the cage and set it up with foliage, perches etc.
 

Wardy

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Following along with interest :)

Can you offer any native foliage and the budgies would know what was ok or not to eat instinctively ?
 

AussieBird

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Can you offer any native foliage and the budgies would know what was ok or not to eat instinctively ?
I truely don't know, that's why for now I am sticking with plants I find listed as safe.
I have access to more natives but I dont trust they are safe, for example Kurrajong. I know wild 'toos eat the seeds and I've used the wood for perches, but I won't give foliage or seed pods to my birds because it is related to the Flame tree which is quite Toxic to birds and other animals. Some reason for Queenland Lacebark (which I now realise I called an ironbark above :facepalm:)
 

Lady Jane

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I saw a photo of a multi branched tree with the leaves removed inside a budgie large cage. It looked so good with each budgie occupying a section to perch on. Just an idea.
 

AussieBird

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I did end up building the flight cage for my family member, but I am waiting to ask if I set it up cause I don't actually know when they plan to move their bird in. No point in the plants having dried and died before it get used! I did pull some branches from my collection to go in there though.

And I think I am going to try doing the set up today. The sickness going around my family right now is nasty, and I fully expect to be sick tonight or in the morning. I would like the budgies to have nice clean cages with things to occupy them.
 

AussieBird

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Flight cage done. Lacks a bit of colour but lilly pilly is the only thing flowering at the moment.
Along with the leaves there's small gum nut buds, lilly Lilly flowers/buds, bottle brush nuts, and of course they can strip the various barks.
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I'm thinking a foraging tray of leaves also might be a good idea.
Still to do Sunbeam and Winston's.
 

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AussieBird

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Winston actually tried eating some, considering he has several bites of saltbush I'd say he likes it. And he had some eucalyptus too.
20230324_173733.jpg
 

Wardy

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I truely don't know, that's why for now I am sticking with plants I find listed as safe.
I have access to more natives but I dont trust they are safe, for example Kurrajong. I know wild 'toos eat the seeds and I've used the wood for perches, but I won't give foliage or seed pods to my birds because it is related to the Flame tree which is quite Toxic to birds and other animals. Some reason for Queenland Lacebark (which I now realise I called an ironbark above :facepalm:)
I understand your caution, i have always wondered about this.
I did watch a Jason Crean video and he discussed avacado ( Toxic to parrots as we know ) he said and i dont doubt him in the wild parrots eat them.
Now what he said was they are picked before they are ripe so they can be shipped across the world so they cant be eaten by parrots however one that has ripened on the plant/tree can be eaten and is.
Always wondered if this is instinctive or a learned behavior.

Setups look class by the way
 

April

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I understand your caution, i have always wondered about this.
I did watch a Jason Crean video and he discussed avacado ( Toxic to parrots as we know ) he said and i dont doubt him in the wild parrots eat them.
Now what he said was they are picked before they are ripe so they can be shipped across the world so they cant be eaten by parrots however one that has ripened on the plant/tree can be eaten and is.
Always wondered if this is instinctive or a learned behavior.

Setups look class by the way
I've actually see a pic someone posted of a Cockatoo in the wild eating one and it shocked me so much because I've always read how they are deadly to parrots.
 
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