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Old 05-19-2017, 03:20 PM
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Foliage?

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So, I've been reading about how a lot of people like to cut fresh branches from trees and hang them, leaves and all, for their birds to shred. This is especially common in Australia and the U.K. I mean, I get it in Australia, since they have all sorts of yummy plants and trees such as eucalyptus, peppermint tree, umbrella (is it umbrella tree?), bottlebrush, grevillia, wattle, etc.

However, it's kind of sketchy in North America and the UK. Like, ash, apple, elm, and cottonwood, for example, can apparently be given to your birds "raw", with the leaves still on? What do you guys think? I suck at keeping everyone entertained, so I was wondering if you guys thought it would be safe to give them some fresh apple tree branches (no pesticides, pollution, etc.) with the leaves still on to destroy? Should I eat some leaves and bark first just to be safe? Like, if the leaves aren't edible, I'd hope they'd be smart enough to not to ingest them. I don't know. But, you don't see wild animals poisoning themselves, or eating a bunch of stringy plants, causing their guts to get tangled. What do you think? I mean, we trust our birds not to swallow the toys they shred. Dogs swallow stuff all the time, but mentally, they're about as developed as a 30 day old wolf pup.
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Old 05-19-2017, 04:23 PM
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Re: Foliage?

Trends come and go, and some of them need to go faster than others.

Lets face it, there is nothing that brightens up a room like a bunch of bugs that are flowing off all those wonderful leaves and out of that pretty bark! The designers that come up with some of this stuff use a ton of chemicals before any of that stuff shows-up for those wonderful photos. And, just as quickly that stuff is back out of that home prior to the owner suing them. Aaaaa, the goings on behind the photo shots!

Yes, it is always nice to be able to just load a bunch of stuff on and in a cage to call it good and be off doing none Parrot stuff! And to add a little fun to this process, what happens with a branch of Poison Ivy comes in with the others or those leaves or branches that are rated as not Parrot Safe. Sure, why not!

I work hard a locating 'Parrot Safe' branches, remove their bark and clean them before bring them into my home! I am always amazed at the stuff I find when I am cleaning those branches. And, if you live in an ever increasing number areas in the Great White North, you can no longer cut Red Oak during that part of the year that is not cold!

The number of dangers that a nice leaf or fresh bark can bring to you, your Parrot and your home - to me, its just not worth all the problems.

Can you do it, yes! Have fun! Enjoy nature in your home!

Last edited by SailBoat; 05-19-2017 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 05-22-2017, 08:32 PM
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Re: Foliage?

Hmm, I guess I'll just wait for my Eucalyptus gunnii seeds to come in, then. I was growing this other species last year, but they died when my mom didn't water them while I was away. I'll either grow the gunnii as an annual or a perennial, I don't know yet.
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Old 05-23-2017, 04:29 AM
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Re: Foliage?

The thing with apple is it is prone to a fungal/mildew on the branches and I would be unhappy putting this in a birds cage. Willow I understand can be used but please research extensively before using. How do you wash off a large branch sufficiently.
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Old 05-24-2017, 12:28 PM
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Re: Foliage?

Well, I've had a huge apple tree branch in there since last year. It's gigantic, and I spent at least 2 hours pressure washing it, scrubbing it, and washing it with soap. Then I let it dry in the sun for several hours before spraying it with bird-safe disinfectant. Then I strung it up in the aviary. The branch was near some poison ivy, so I did a paranoid, radioactive decontamination-level of sterilization. I also scrub it several times a month with a microfibre cloth and Pet Focus cleaner. It's warm and dry in the aviary, so I don't worry about mildew or mould growing on that branch. However, when I had the kākāriki in quarantine, I found a bunch of mould growing under the newspaper ontop of the tray on the bottom of the quarantine cage! I completely freaked out, especially since I'd changed the newspapers less than four days prior.

But as for a fresh branch with leaves on it, I don't really know how you'd properly clean it. From what I can tell, people just go out, chop off a branch, and stick it in with their birds, which I find gross. What if wild birds touched it or something? I don't really care about bugs being on it, but I'm freaked out by the thought of the different pathogens on the branch. I guess with eucalyptus, you wouldn't really have to worry as much since the eucalyptus oil would kill quite a few of those nasties. Maybe soak it in some sort of food-grade disinfectant, then thoroughly rinse?
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