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cjy9375

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Courtney Ferrell
Hey everyone,

I have several houseplants - all of which are supposed to be safe for birds. Mostly ferns, Sansevieria and a couple of other random plants. My birds, of course, like to chomp on them from time to time which should be fine as I wash them and try to make sure they're as "clean" as I can make them before they get near the birds. But my both of my birds (BH caique and BF Amazon) have taken to eating the soil of my plants. The one even digs in it like a dog. I'm not sure if it's just entertaining to them and they're rummaging around for some bark or perlite that's mixed in the soil and that's why they're doing it? Or if possibly their diet is lacking in something that I should be adding in?

My caique is on high-potency Harrisons since he's under a year still and my Amazon is on regular Roudybush. They both get veggies and fruit sometimes as well - though maybe not a regularly as I should be if they're eating soil??

I've removed the plants as soon as I noticed them eating the soil and I'm sure that I can add stones or something around the tops of my plants to prevent them from accessing the soil in the future.

Has anyone dealt with this before and know why they're eating the soil?

Is it okay for them to eat the soil? I mean my instinct says that soil can't possibly be good for them and that perlite, fertilizer and other things in the soil could potentially be dangerous but maybe I'm overreacting?

Ideas, tips, and advice are appreciated!

Thanks in Advance :)
 

Hankmacaw

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Mary Lynn Skinner
Soil, especially potting soils that are rich, warm and damp) are full of Aspergillosis and Aspergillosis spores. Aspergillosis is a fungal infection that is very dangerous to birds and is about 90% fatal.

Your birds should never be allowed to eat dirt - there are a multitude of bacteria, molds and fungus in dirt that is dangerous to birds.
 

cjy9375

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Courtney Ferrell
Thanks for the heads up! Do you know is there also a concern with a particular type of bacteria in the soil or is it primarily fungal? Beyond chomping on leaves occasionally they've never paid any mind to the soil before and I stupidly assumed they wouldn't be interested. You would think I'd learn to stop assuming what they will and won't be interested in just because they ignore it a few times.
 

Hankmacaw

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There are hundreds of types of bacteria in soil, Antrax is one of the worst for our birds. You can look up what the others are on Google.
 

Zara

Try to be a rainbow in somebody else´s cloud ❤️
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Sansevieria are not bird safe. I keep most of my plants outside on the patio.

As for the other plants, you could add a few inches of stones/rocks on top of the soil.
 
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