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 her to learn about the world around her. In addition to being entertaining and mentally stimulating, chewing helps ensure proper beak maintenance and growth.
In short, your bird will chew on anything she can get her beak on, whether it's her toys or your clothes, furniture, and appliances. Her chewing can become a problem, however, if she 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 her, and move tempting items out of reach. Give your bird access to a variety of acceptable chewing items.
- Cuttlebones offer essential minerals such as calcium to help strengthen the keratin that makes up your bird's beak.
- Chew toys, such as Parrot Piñata All Natural Bird Toy and KnotRageous Hanging Bird Toy contain bird-safe rope, wooden blocks, plastic beads, and more to condition and exercise your bird's beak.
- Treat toys, such as the Treat Pinatas or the Treat Cage with Toys encourage chewing and offer a rewarding challenge.
Food items which require time and effort to consume - nuts in the shell or uncooked pasta - are ideal.
- Special perches designed for chewing, such as Manu Mineral Perches provide essential minerals and help condition your bird's beak.
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.