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-   -   Why does Birdie eat my shirt ??? (https://www.talkbudgies.com/budgie-behavior/406086-why-does-birdie-eat-my-shirt.html)

init4fun 07-22-2019 02:11 PM

Why does Birdie eat my shirt ???
 
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Hi everyone , now that I've got the strange question out in the thread title , I'm being serious here , and help would be appreciated .

The backstory ;

Birdie's training has been going very well . She has the step up onto my finger thing totally mastered and likes walking up my arm to perch on my shoulder . She is totally comfortable with all this and all is well except , once comfortably perched on my shoulder she begins biting at and pulling what appears to be little fibers out of my shirt and eats them . If I don't stop her she eats so much of it that it affects her poop , so we're back to hand training only with occasional forearm forays if I happen to be wearing a short sleeve shirt so that she won't become sick . She has plenty of food so hunger isn't an issue , and of course she doesn't seem to get it that it's bad for her to eat the shirt , so how do I train her to chill out on my arm/shoulder while wearing a shirt and not want to eat it ?

PS , she doesn't bite me at all but sometimes tries to eat my hair , and here she is whispering in my ear telling me how good my shirt tastes :rolleyes: (She's actually eating my hair there , and not biting my ear as it looks in the picture)

Cody 07-22-2019 08:14 PM

Don't allow her to eat your shirt, if she ingests too much of the fibers there is a chance that it will not pass completely through the digestive tract, if it builds up in her crop it could cause a bacterial buildup and then she would be ill and need vet attention, same applies to the lower GI tract. Maybe she is looking for something to shred, do you provide her with toys to shred?

init4fun 07-22-2019 11:30 PM

Hi Cody , Thank You for the response . I have read plenty here about not letting our Budgies eat anything fiberous like cloth or rope and in fact back when I first got Birdie the people here told me to take out a rope swing because she was chewing on that . So because of that she hasn't been allowed on my shoulder and won't be till I can somehow mitigate the chewing . Perhaps a shirt made of some other material than cotton ? I did not know there are safe toys that Birdie can shred , can you tell me what kind of toys and where to get them ? I guess my underlying question would be ; Should I be allowing/enabling her shredding compulsion or should I be trying to train it out of her (if that's even possible) ?

iHeartPieds 07-23-2019 09:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by init4fun (Post 4113896)
Hi Cody , Thank You for the response . I have read plenty here about not letting our Budgies eat anything fiberous like cloth or rope and in fact back when I first got Birdie the people here told me to take out a rope swing because she was chewing on that . So because of that she hasn't been allowed on my shoulder and won't be till I can somehow mitigate the chewing . Perhaps a shirt made of some other material than cotton ? I did not know there are safe toys that Birdie can shred , can you tell me what kind of toys and where to get them ? I guess my underlying question would be ; Should I be allowing/enabling her shredding compulsion or should I be trying to train it out of her (if that's even possible) ?

Shredding and chewing is a very natural activity for budgies. It helps trim down their beak. She should already have a cuttle bone for calcium. But things like paddle pop sticks, toys with soft wood are good. Balsa is great for shredding, so is yucca. Have a look in the bird toy section of a pet store for some wooden shredding toys as well as online. Even paper can be fun for budgies to shred.

FaeryBee 07-23-2019 10:03 AM

Read through the stickies and you'll find information about shredding toys...

Essentials for a Great Cage

Resource Directory

You can also look through the various threads in the DIY section of the forum for some shredding toys you can make for your budgie.

init4fun 07-23-2019 12:15 PM

In reading the DIY section I saw that Balsa wood is ok , and saw things like twigs wrapped with dried grass and even plain paper towels are said to be ok . My fear is that , like the threads from my shirt , that she would eat the stuff she shreds off of any of the suggested items ? I have lots of Balsa wood available to me in all shapes and sizes so I may try some of that first .

RavensGryf 07-23-2019 12:25 PM

Balsa wood is very appropriate for budgies, as are all the items listed on this site as safe. It’s still up to the owner to watch how their individual budgie plays with toys. It might look like they’re “eating” it, but it’s truly unusual for them to ingest on purpose. It’s more likely that threads and fabric fibers can get ingested accidentally though. If you see them try the balsa wood and see little shreddings, you can be assured they are shredding the toy properly.

init4fun 07-28-2019 09:42 PM

No luck on the Balsa , it's been 4 days and she's totally ignored it . Something I've noticed is that when I clean her house she loves to try to bite the paper towel . I've read that paper is ok to let her shred , does that include paper towels ?

iHeartPieds 07-29-2019 02:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by init4fun (Post 4114190)
No luck on the Balsa , it's been 4 days and she's totally ignored it . Something I've noticed is that when I clean her house she loves to try to bite the paper towel . I've read that paper is ok to let her shred , does that include paper towels ?

Yes paper towel is fine. 4 days isn't a very long time, I would leave the balsa wood in her cage. You can encourage her to explore new toys by putting some millet in or near them. With balsa wood being so soft you could poke a hole in it and put some millet seeds into it to turn it into a cool foraging toy. Most birds just chew the pieces and throw them onto the floor. Even if a bird were to ingest a small amount, it's much easier for them to digest than plastic or cotton.

Krazybirdlady19 08-10-2019 09:49 PM

yep leave the balsa wood. it took my girl Sam a couple of weeks to actually start shredding her balsa wood toys. Yes, they seem to love paper towel. If she takes to that then great!


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