Nanday Conure Forum

Message #1229. This is a followup to #1222.

Name:Anna and Boo
Date:Thursday February 5, 2004 4:54:52 pm MST
Subject:Re: homemade fun
Message:I know for sure that manzanita, eucaliptus, maple, liquidambar (sp?), aspen, birch, cork-bark oak, cajeput/melaleuca, and bottlebrush, are safe. Old, thoroughly dried pine branches are also safe, but fresh are not, because of the sticky sap. I have used all of these with my fids. Cajeput, cork oak, bottlebrush, and certain kinds of eucaliptus have a thick layer of shreddy bark, which the birds love to peel off. Makes a huge mess all over, but lots of fun and quiet busy-ness for the birds. Lasts a while, too, because the wood under the bark is fairly hard. Manzanita is very hard and slick, it makes the least mess (hard to chew up) but it's best to rough up the branches a bit so they're not too slippery. It also tends to crack if you dry it out too quickly. The rest fall in between. Moderate mess, and quickly destroyed.

Cajeputj/melaleuca/tea-tree is a pest tree in florida, so if you're out there, cutting them is just fine. I'm in CA, so I get most of my branches from tree trimmers. (If anyone from FL can send me some cajeput branches, I'll be very happy. I'll even pay shipping. Or trade for some manzanita if I get a chance to collect any.)

I usually just wash the branches very thoroughly, I don't bake them. Most are too big to bake anyways *grin*. Never had problems with bird parasites, but the huge branchy multi-trunk tree-thing in my conure aviary does have a colony of wood-boring beetles in it. I don't mind the beetles much, they are interesting critters, so I don't try to kill them. The conures usually intercept any free roaming beetles anyway. But if you don't like uninvited insects, by all means, bake whatever wood you use.

The best way to attach branches to a plastic tray is probably by drilling a hole through the tray and base of the branch, and attaching the branch with a bolt or screw (from underside of the tray). You can then get some stainless screw eyes, attach them to the branches, and hang toys from them. Sounds like a fun project, good luck.

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