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Old 01-18-2017, 08:29 PM
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Default Is Sisal Safe?

I recently learned about the dangers of synthetic rope and rope perches thanks to this forum and am currently removing all my rope perches and any synthetic rope in order to lower the risk of injury or illness to my birds. But I have also been hearing people mention that even natural fibres such as sisal string and sea grass can cause impaction as well? I was always under the impression that these natural fibres would simply dissolve and be digested if they were consumed. Lots of bird toys have sisal string in them, so I am concerned. Do you believe this is a dangerous substance to offer to my birds?

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Old 01-19-2017, 05:41 AM
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Default

I recognize that there have been birds that have suffered crop impaction from natural plant fibers but, in my opinion, the risk of that happening is very low.

I currently have nine budgies and three lovebirds and use sisal and raffia in their cages from time to time.
Generally, when they chew on sisal, raffia, palm leaves or sea grass they are simply shredding the material and letting the pieces drop as is evidenced by the pile of shredding on the floor or cage bottom.

Unless a bird is chewing obsessively on a daily basis on the natural plant fibers, I believe they are perfectly fine to use with your birds.
As natural plant fibers, any bits that are ingested will either be digested or passed through the system unless the bird actually ingest an inordinate amount.

Observe your birds' behaviors and use your best judgement.
Natural plant fibers are much safer than using cotton twine or rope. You can also use leather strips when making toys.

Best wishes!
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