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Why Do Birds Chew?

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
Understanding Your Bird's Body Language 
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Why Do Birds Chew? Chewing...natural bird behavior

Ask any bird owner who's replaced window shade cords or rearranged furniture to hide gnawed-on paneling, and they'll tell you that birds love to chew.

Chewing - a normal bird behavior - can be modified or redirected, but never eliminated from your bird's habits. Your bird chews because it feels good, it's fun, and it allows him to learn about the world around him. In addition to being entertaining and mentally stimulating, chewing helps ensure proper beak maintenance and growth.

Cuttlebones In short, your bird will chew on anything he can get his beak on, whether it's his toys or your clothes, furniture, and appliances. His chewing can become a problem, however, if he chews on your personal and valuable items. Uncontrolled chewing can also be dangerous - your bird could chew on a "live" electrical cord, ingest dangerous or toxic materials, or catch a piece of something in his trachea.

Enable constructive chewing

To control problem chewing, keep your bird in his cage when you can't supervise him, and move tempting items out of reach. Give your bird access to a variety of acceptable chewing items.

Rotate your bird's toys on a regular basis (every few days) to provide new entertainment and stimulation.

By providing your bird with fun, engaging, and acceptable items for chewing, your bird will be happier and healthier, and your prized possessions will stay intact.

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