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Iris and Dawn
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!

Hope you're well. As you may know, I have two female budgies, now both adults. Dawn, the youngest, has very mild special needs due to an improper pedicure. One of her nails, the one on the longest, left toe was cut so short the nerve was destroyed. In the nearly five months she's been with me I doubt it's grown even a bit. Therefore, she prefers thinner perches to play on, and one of her recent discoveries is my floating bookcase over the desk. As you can see in the photo, there're two playgyms around, but she usually prefers the thin metal frame of the shelves to stand and play. She also happens to be a bit of a biter - I know it's basically the calling card of a female budgie, but she's still way above average (partly due to my fault, partly thanks to the idiot breeder - I didn't buy her from him directly, rather a man with a large flock who got a promotionand could no longer care for his large flock of parrots, cararies and finches). Iris, the green budgie, has perfect feet and rarely bits anything other than wood. The frame is metal with layers of paint, since they once belonged to my mother in the 70s. Even if the modern paint isn't harmfull if ingested (which I doubt, it's still paint), the inner layers can't be good and Dawn's beak is very sharp, she leaves marks and indentations that make me think parts chipped off and she may be ingesting a tiny amount. Metals howevre accumulate in the body, so I worry for longterm use. They both love playing on the bookcase, it's like a jungle gym and I'm planning on enriching it with toys for them.

My question is: what can I use to cover the metal frames, so they're still useful to Dawn and her silly foot, but won't be a problem if she swallows a bit? I've seen felt and cotton string used for blind birds or birds with foot problems so they don't injure themselves, but I still worry they'll cause an impaction. Any ideas are appreciated. Thank you in advance!

To be clear, the brownish spots on the frames are not rust, just orange paint, my mother loves the colour, so in places where the blue (my choice) has chipped for whatever reason, you can see that underneath.

Furniture Bookcase Shelf Bird Cabinetry
 

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Iris and Dawn
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You can try and cover the metal with sisal rope or another bird safe rope, but I doubt that would be a good solution. Not only would it be tons of work to cover that much metal, you would have to be very vigilant that it is tight enough, so she cannot reach the metal between the strands. Ofcourse she would be able to chew through the rope as well.

It might be easier to offer her a more attractive alternative that is already safe for her. If you know she prefers thinner perches, maybe you can get her some natural wood perches that are thin and attach those to your playstand? You could even get some branches from a bird safe tree, sanitize those thoroughly and use those. She can safely chew those and you could even add a couple of shredding toys to satisfy her needs to chew things.

There is information available on the forum about which trees are safe and how you can thoroughly clean the branches.
Not comfortable at all with picking branches from outside. I've read all the lists and the guides for disinfection and I still don't trust myself to pick the right tree or sanitize it properly. Shops don't have very thin perches that are natural, only those dowel perches for canaries that hurt budgie feet. The one I bought accidentally and is Dawn's favourite hasn't been in stock for ages and even if it were, I've been trying to figure out how to put it around the room and have come up empty - for now at least. They've got four playgyms, they don't alway go up the shelves, it's a weekly sort of thing, maybe even bi-weekly now that the weather's not great, but I still worry those times.

Don't care about how much work it could be, budgies are a handful already! Just want it to be safe. I'll look for that rope, didn't know they make rope out of that tree, thanks! Ah, constant vigilance, as they say, can we do anything else with tiny floofballs that think they're still a T-Rex? :p I'll try and come up with a better solution long-term.

Thank you very much for your input!
 
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