Bird Safe Wood - Choosing Wood for Perches & Toys

As a bird owner, there are many considerations when it comes to setting up your birds environment. Choosing the appropriate wood for toys and perches is essential as some wood is actually not safe for parrots. 

Parrots love chewing on different types of woods. Each wood has a different hardness level and some are softer than others depending on the size of bird you have. Some birds will get discouraged if the wood is too hard for their beaks. This is what you don't want to happen. 

Soft woods such as balsa, yucca and cork bark are great for the smaller smaller beaks. It is also great for birds who you are trying to learn how to chew. It is quite soft and it is easier and more fun for them to destroy. Keep the broom handy if you are using this type of wood.

Harder woods such as manzanita and apple are great for birds who are more advanced with their chewing. African greys, macaws and similar sized birds love chewing on harder woods as it is great for beak maintenance. Small to medium sized birds do well with pine. You can increase the chewing difficulty by choosing woods that are thicker. 

If you are making your own bird toys, remember that NOT ALL WOODS ARE BIRD SAFE.

HOW HARD IS OUR WOOD?

In terms of the density of each of the woods, we have broken it down below for our most popular parrot safe woods.

*Please note that this is not a complete list but we will be keeping this updated*

Wood Type       Density (lbf) Wood Strength
Balsa and Yucca60Extremely soft wood
Cork Bark200Extremely soft wood
Pine380Moderately soft wood
Basswood410Moderately soft wood
Cottonwood430Moderately soft wood
Cholla430Moderately soft wood
Spruce510Moderately soft wood
Poplar 540Moderately soft wood
Willow570Moderately soft wood
Sassafras 630Moderately soft wood
Sycamore770Moderately soft wood
Elm830Moderately soft wood
Birch1260Moderately hard wood
GrapewoodTBDModerately hard wood
DragonwoodTBDModerately hard wood
Java WoodTBDExtremely hard wood
Maple1450Extremely hard wood
Manzanita1460Extremely hard wood
Pear1660Extremely hard wood
Apple1730Extremely hard wood


UNSAFE WOOD

Not all wood is safe for birds.  Some woods are very toxic to birds. Stay safe and choose woods from this list, especially if you want to make your own perches. 

NOT SAFE WOODS

- Cedar
- Plywood
- Red Cherry
- Oak


HOW TO MAKE PARROT PERCHES

STEP 1: First boil your wood to remove any unwanted pests. Cleaning your wood is super important

STEP 2: Then bake your wood in a 200 degree oven for a few hours. This will dry your wood to ensure there is no mold or bacteria

STEP 3: You will need 2 washers, 1 wingnut and 1 hanger bolt. Please ensure they are stainless steel. The Parrot Shop carries the hardware needed to make your own perches

STEP 4: Using your drill, you will need to pre-drill a hole before you insert the hanger bolt. This ensures your wood does not split. You will want to make sure your drill bit is smaller than 1/4"

STEP 5: Now you can insert the hanger bolt and drill into the wood. Once the hanger bolt is secured you can attach your washers and wing nut

STEP 6: Add the new perch into your parrots environment and admire your handy work!


Let us know in the comments below which wood your parrot prefers!

1 Comments

Barbara Miller

Date 12/29/2020

Sounds great! Maybe I can get my tenant to do it for me. LOL

Andy davidson

Date 6/17/2021

Are Acacia trees safe?

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