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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Your Budgie's Health


Your Budgie's Health Learn about avian health and vet care. This forum does not substitute for veterinary expertise.
Thread Description:How to get a budgie to start chewing on stuff

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  #1  
Old 06-18-2015, 05:07 PM
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Default He needs to chew!

Hello!

Clouds doesn't seem to be a chewer. He's got a eucalyptus tree, natural perches, a wooden mini-gym and we've tried several shredding toys but he doesn't seem to get any chewing urge. Likewise, he completely ignores his cuttlebones and mineral bell.

I've got heaps of pinecones so could try that if it's recommended, although not sure they're safe or if need to treat them in any way before I give them to him?

Do you guys have any suggestions on good 'chew starters'?

I know that they're all different but I notice that his beak is starting to get longer and I would rather save him the trouble of getting the vet to trim it.

As a background reminder: Clouds came from an aviary, is 6-7 months old, has been with us for a month only, is currently treated for scaly face mites and we're still working on his seeds addiction.

Many thanks for your help

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Old 06-18-2015, 05:30 PM
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OK, this is going to sound weird but birds do like to mimic their "flockmates" which is what you now are to Clouds.
Try taking a clean piece of cuttlebone, a new perch or whatever and pretend you are chewing on it where he can see you. Make happy, excited noises as you do this. It probably won't happen the first time you do it (or maybe even the 10th) but if Clouds sees you doing this regularly, he'll probably decide he should try it too.

If you haven't done so, try giving him one of the yucca bird-kabobs. They are a bit softer than the wood perches but might get him started learning to chew. Again, you can play with the kabob -- even "nibble" it with your thumb and index finger, swing it, "nibble" it with your fingers again, etc.
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Pine cones are listed as safe for budgies but may have the pine "pitch" in or on them which can be a real mess on birds' feathers. If you have some, make sure they aren't sticky and haven't been treated with any pesticides. You can heat them in the oven at around 150 degrees F for 45 minutes (make sure they don't catch on fire) to ensure they are completely dried out before giving them to him.

Another idea is to take a TINY bit of honey, rub it on one of his perches, then roll it in millet seeds (from a piece of spray millet) and place it back in his cage. He may start chewing the wood when he tries to get the seeds.

Smearing just a teeny bit of natural pnut butter (w/o sugar and/or preservatives) on a perch, the kabob or a pinecone is another thing you can try.
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  #3  
Old 06-18-2015, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by FaeryBee View Post
OK, this is going to sound weird but birds do like to mimic their "flockmates" which is what you now are to Clouds.
Try taking a clean piece of cuttlebone, a new perch or whatever and pretend you are chewing on it where he can see you. Make happy, excited noises as you do this.

Yes...do this.....and please make a video of it to share with us...
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  #4  
Old 06-18-2015, 06:51 PM
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So I'm going to start chewing wood? Sure, no problem. What could be more reasonable? I can't wait to start.

And of course I'll make a video of it. But only under one condition: that next month's competition is 'what is the craziest thing you've ever done for your budgie?' (with photo or video evidence). That way at least I'm sure to win.

I've got a washed pinecone in the oven. Just a call to my dentist and we'll get started.

Seriously, thanks for all the advice Deb. I'm definitely giving them a go
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Old 06-18-2015, 07:39 PM
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Here goes.
Can anyone tell me if Clouds looks interested or if he's just having a laugh?

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Old 06-18-2015, 07:41 PM
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and here is what I did with the pinecone afterwards (still pretending to chew on it every so often).

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Old 06-18-2015, 08:10 PM
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Loved the video!
He has been with you only a month and is also being treated for scaly mites - I'd give him more time.
One of my budgies didn't chew on anything for at least 2 months after I brought him home.
Maybe start with a much smaller pine cone? Maybe he will never be a chewer, but it's still too early to tell.
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Nika View Post
Loved the video!
He has been with you only a month and is also being treated for scaly mites - I'd give him more time.
One of my budgies didn't chew on anything for at least 2 months after I brought him home.
Maybe start with a much smaller pine cone? Maybe he will never be a chewer, but it's still too early to tell.
Thanks for sharing that. I'd never thought that either his recently new arrival nor the scaly mites would be relevant.

I do hope he become a chewer as i really would prefer he never needed a beak trim... So fingers crossed. And I'll keep pretending to eat wood for a while anyway
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:22 PM
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VERY well done, Dee!!

I do think Clouds was expressing a bit of interest as you were demonstrating how to chew the pinecone.
Now that you have it all yummy for him, I'm hoping he'll take a little taste and decide it might be worth trying.

Remember it's going to take some time. Sunny didn't try chewing much of anything for a month or so after he came to live with me and he was only around 12 weeks old when I got him. Now he loves to chew his toys.
He has a wicker wreath he particularly loves to chew on.

You definitely get karma (x3) from me for all you're doing to try to help little Clouds have the best life possible!!
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by FaeryBee View Post
VERY well done, Dee!!

I do think Clouds was expressing a bit of interest as you were demonstrating how to chew the pinecone.
Now that you have it all yummy for him, I'm hoping he'll take a little taste and decide it might be worth trying.

Remember it's going to take some time.

You definitely get karma from me for all you're doing to try to help little Clouds have the best life possible!!
Thanks Deb, that's a lovely comment.

Yes I thought too that he was curious about the proceedings but I wasn't sure whether the thought was 'Oooo, I'd like to try that...' or 'What in the skies is my human up to this time?'

One thing for sure: I am having a lot of fun with this bird
as I was trying to explain in another thread, there is so much more satisfaction in meeting their needs than trying to have them meet ours!

(But not getting a lot of work done today I'm afraid).
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