The Chew

Written By: B.D. Butler - Apr• 05•12

A friend just recently asked me if my birds chew on things, and what I do about it.  Knowing I am “particular” about my household and the state of cleanliness in it, she asked me if my birds chew on furniture, and if i let them wander all over doing this.  I guess it was a valid question, since her mother-in-law owned several birds, and they apparently were a nightmare, because her mother let them do whatever their little hearts wanted.  Including ruin an antique china hutch, and several antique oriental rugs worth quite a bit of money.  Obviously this can prove to be detrimental to your furniture and personal belongings, along with it being a huge safety hazard.  Parrots are like toddlers, and they can’t be left unattended in dangerous zones, because it takes just a second for them to bite into an electrical chord, or something toxic, and bye bye birdie.


I know that there are parrot owners that have a different style about their birds than I do, I just don’ t think you should let your parrot chew up your cabinets and furniture, for the sake of their own entertainment.  My birds are two of the most spoiled greys I have ever met, and they are very happy with the designated “chewing areas” they have.  Don’t get me wrong, not all birds chew on “everything” and are destructive, in fact Cooper (of course) is my wrecking ball.  I have seen him attempt to de-stitch a chair with a single swoop of the beak.  However, all birds chew, and require things to chew on.

Click here for The Chew.

So the question:

Why does my parrot chew…?

Birds don’t have arms like we do, and they have different heightened senses, so what else are they going to explore with?  They taste and feel textures of everything that their beaks come in contact with.  They are naturally curious and want to know what is going on in their environments, talk about nosy.  Ever have a parrot try to follow you into the bathroom?  Then, yeah, you know what I am talking about.  Chewing also helps keep their beaks well maintained.



Sometimes, both birds will shred paper, toys, and even perches.  I have perches that Cooper has turned into a splinter, which is alarming sometimes and makes me realize how powerful these animals really are.  Do they both try to chew on walls and furniture?  Yeah, sometimes, and I watch them, and give them diversions to what they want to really chew on.  Providing a wide variety of toys is great, and being creative with your choices is important.  I just recently did a product review on Shredders  and the birds love them.  I also have a real like for coconut toys that they can chew on, and the birds don’t seem to mind either.

If left to their own devices, a parrot will become a problem chewer if they aren’t supervised, but with some diversion, and creative ideas, chewing can be a positive thing.

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