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  #1  
Old 10-24-2016, 06:26 PM
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Default My budgie seems to be eating bark? Is this dangerous?

I have a mix of natural perches --- the multi-branch manzanita type, the "hardwood" straight type from petco (kind of red brown, no bark on it) ... and the natural fir branches from PetCo (also at PetSmart) that have more of a layer of bark on it.

I picked up one that seems to be a bit more flaky than than the other Fir tree perches (more textured bark, not smooth) ... and my bird seems to be eating the bark. I was watching to see if maybe he was just shredding or chewing it, but looks like he's eating it.

I took that branch out for now just to be safe. ... Is this an issue? He picks at the other fir branches as well, but not as much so I left those in the cage.

On the one hand I thought this might be ok, because budgies chew on wooden toys... but then on the other I was concerned because I thought his eating a bunch of tiny pieces of bark could cause impaction?

If this is safe, I'd just put the perch back, but if it's an issue maybe I could sand it or whittle off the bark...?

Thx....!

It's like this:
Petco All Natural 10" Fir Perch | Petco Store

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Old 10-24-2016, 06:36 PM
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Because the wood is a natural fiber, a tiny bit ingested won't hurt him

My girl chews on her perches all the time, and loves peeling the bark off of hers. She hardly, if ever, eats it, she mostly just shreds the bark and plays with it in her mouth and then drops it. I believe he will be just fine if you put the perch back in
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Old 10-24-2016, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by StarlingWings View Post
Because the wood is a natural fiber, a tiny bit ingested won't hurt him

My girl chews on her perches all the time, and loves peeling the bark off of hers. She hardly, ever, eats it, she mostly just shreds the bark and plays with it in her mouth and then drops it. I believe he will be just fine if you put the perch back in

Cool... thanks so much. I'm sure he'll appreciate that. He really likes it.
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Old 10-24-2016, 09:26 PM
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Star is correct -- keeping the perch in the cage is just fine.
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Old 10-25-2016, 12:58 PM
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Great... thanks so much Star & Faery. Back in it goes.....
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Old 10-31-2016, 05:11 PM
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Default Video of budgie potentially eating bark

Hi ---

We visited this is another thread which is now closed. In that thread, I decided to put the fir perch with lots of "flakey bark" back in the cage.

Immediately Biz decided to go to town on it. I observed what he was doing, and wanted to get your thoughts. With some pieces it looks like he's just playing with the pieces and spitting them out, and with others I can't tell if he's eating them or not. Some pieces I didn't see fall out. Perhaps you see something different...?

I think I'm concerned because I'm trying to to convert him to pellets and I wonder if he's eating bark because he's hungry [ even though I'm also supplementing with seed, and he is eating his pellets... well, to a degree. ]

And, I'm having visions of ingesting splinters.

I realize his whittling of that branch (is he carving a statue?) is probably great for his beak. Yet, he doesn't eat bark on the other branches because they're not covered in the really flakey bark like this one. He chews on the others, but they don't seem as much like "lunch" as this one does.

Video:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/y467w0au3c...ranch.mp4?dl=0

Thanks....!
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Old 10-31-2016, 05:40 PM
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It's hard to tell if all the bits fall out because Biz probably picks such small pieces off, we can't really see them very clearly.
I don't *think* a budgie would eat bark but just be sure to make sure while Biz in transitioning he is getting enough seed and fresh veg so that he isn't hungry. Perhaps until you are happy with his pellet transition, you could remove that branch for a short while to ease your concerns.
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Old 10-31-2016, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Therm View Post
It's hard to tell if all the bits fall out because Biz probably picks such small pieces off, we can't really see them very clearly.
I don't *think* a budgie would eat bark but just be sure to make sure while Biz in transitioning he is getting enough seed and fresh veg so that he isn't hungry. Perhaps until you are happy with his pellet transition, you could remove that branch for a short while to ease your concerns.

Yeah... I have a tendency to worry about him a lot. I hate to take his fun away... but perhaps I will wait. Or, I've also considered whittling the bark off and sanding it a bit.

He has other branch perches he chews on and that's good, I just keep worrying about his insides filled with undigestible splintery bark flakes.

I give him fresh vegetables multiples times a day which he loves (yay), and millet for training, and 2 teaspoons of seed on the bottom of his cage. He's improving in that sometimes he'll eat the pellets instead of the seeds. But not always consistently, but that's probably the right direction.

Thanks!
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Old 10-31-2016, 07:27 PM
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I don't think that Biz would rather eat bark than pellets. Plus, in general, birds aren't predisposed to eat bark, even if they're hungry. It would be the equivalent of us taking a bite out of our wall when we ran out of food, which aside from the obvious issues with that, would not be overly nutritionally beneficial.

Sometimes when my girl is shredding a kabob or a perch I get pretty convinced that she's eating it, but she's probably ingested very little, if any, of it.

When I saw my girl eating pellets for the first time, I took away her seed entirely for two or three days so she would get accustomed to eating pellets consistently and then re-introduced seeds back into her diet afterwards. That seemed to work well for her because otherwise she just would never really get the feel for pellets since she ate all her seed first and then only picked at the seed. Perhaps that would work for Biz, too? He'll probably pout without his seed at first (Mallorn did ) but after a bit he'll get used to it.
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Old 10-31-2016, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by StarlingWings View Post
I don't think that Biz would rather eat bark than pellets. Plus, in general, birds aren't predisposed to eat bark, even if they're hungry. It would be the equivalent of us taking a bite out of our wall when we ran out of food, which aside from the obvious issues with that, would not be overly nutritionally beneficial.

Sometimes when my girl is shredding a kabob or a perch I get pretty convinced that she's eating it, but she's probably ingested very little, if any, of it.

When I saw my girl eating pellets for the first time, I took away her seed entirely for two or three days so she would get accustomed to eating pellets consistently and then re-introduced seeds back into her diet afterwards. That seemed to work well for her because otherwise she just would never really get the feel for pellets since she ate all her seed first and then only picked at the seed. Perhaps that would work for Biz, too? He'll probably pout without his seed at first (Mallorn did ) but after a bit he'll get used to it.

I'm such a first time owner stressing about everything. You're right, it's just not what they do. I went in even closer on this and put him on the perch right in front of my face and I held my hand underneath to see how much of the bark was dropping. ... I think you're right.... (& everyone else in that thread before was right).... like a kabob..... he's just having a grand old time shredding it and destroying the branch. All the little flakes when into my hand, and when I offered him the flakes to eat them, he wasn't interested. So, since he doesn't have a kabob right now (although he has some other shredders but nothing as "soft" as this perch or kabobs...) I put it back in.

I'm lucky he is a chill bird, because he doesn't pick up on my worries. He's relaxed.

That's great advice about backing off on the seed for 2 days and go pellet & fresh food only. I think he's eating enough of both (pellet & fresh) to go for 2 days with no seed. ... What I've been doing most recently is only offering seed very late in the day. Like at 7pm. Sprinkled on the bottom of the cage. That way pellets & fresh food are the only option until the last possible hour.

That seems to be working because by the time the seed goes down he doesn't eat that much of it. It's not like he gobbles up as much as he can. He'll go in once or twice for a bit... but doesn't eat it like he's ravenous or dying for it. [ Also, I've given him a few millet training treats from hand during the day, so he's getting that too. ] I'm going to see if tomorrow can be totally seed-free to determine if he pouts.

He seems really happy lately. He is chirping and playing all the time, seems really relaxed and he's been trying to talk. I can't understand anything he's saying but seems like he's trying. I hear him mumble & practice... and I'll hear muffled phrases but I've no idea what he's saying. Not a clue.

Many thanks... !
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