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Old 03-14-2019, 01:56 PM
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Bird safe ropes?

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I don't think my bird would eat a rope, but just in case, I am wondering if there are any fibers that would be digestible...It seems like there are mixed opinions out there regarding hemp, coconut, leather etc.


What rope, if any, would be safest in the event that some were to be ingested inadvertently?
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:25 PM
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Re: Bird safe ropes?

jute, hemp, leather, etc. Nothing is ever going to be 100% safe. just keep an eye on things and if you see potential hazards, take care of it.
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Old 03-14-2019, 04:51 PM
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Re: Bird safe ropes?

I wish there were one that was better than the others- It's not like she doesn't have toys...It just makes me paranoid. Thanks!
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:58 PM
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Re: Bird safe ropes?

The Rb's skinny little feet and nails get hung in most ropes, so I pretty much avoid them all, except for when I'm right there, up close and personal. I guess that's unusual, but there ya go. I use poly rope to string beads and toys...
https://www.mysafebirdstore.com/prod...2&product=9303
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:55 AM
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Re: Bird safe ropes?

I've noticed that our larger birds (Alexes and Corella) do far better with 'bigger' ropes (eg. the thick cotton rope used on many perches and boings) and the smaller ones don't. I use small jute or hemp for the Lovies and paulie rope when I can get it. I use mainly sisal for the Beaks and 'Setta because I can get very large gauge rope cheaply form a wholesaler. I've used cotton piping cord (from the haberdashery department) and it's OK until the birds wear it away a bit. Then, it becomes a tangling hazard, so I don't really use it any more.

The best thing I've ever done with rope has been to string it loosely across the cage as a swing and to hang it with one free end from the roof so the birds can swing from it. They absolutely *love* doing this and give me many hours of fun watching them.
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:35 AM
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Re: Bird safe ropes?

Sisal rope is what I have been told to use, not too sure on it personally but it seems to be billed as a safe rope with easily breaks if toes get caught
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:46 AM
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Re: Bird safe ropes?

That's where I'm torn---I need something safe, but something that is either too tough for her to chew on or something digestible...and I am not sure it exists. I know that ropes can be a lot of fun for them and I need something to make her toys etc (she prefers rope to stainless when it comes to hanging wood)--That having been said, she likes to chew/mouth things (like leather, her feathers, my hair etc) and although she always spits it out, I am not sure that I trust her:

A few months ago, I gave he an almond in the shell, and she ate a few tiny bits of it (the shell)! Ever since, I have been worried that she might do the same with non-food items or other non-digestible materials when I am not around to notice. I am afraid that if she accidentally ingests enough little particles of junk that she will end up with a blockage years later.

Currently, she is shredding a sea-grass foraging wall and she has made piles of seagrass everywhere...I can tell she isn't eating it, but it just seems impossible to spit out all of the tiny little fibers, even though I'm pretty sure she does her best...I think about myself eating sunflower seeds in the hull lol...Even if I try to spit it out, inevitably, some fibers get swallowed....then again, she is a parrot and I'm not, so maybe I'm over-thinking it?

I mean, if you think about it that way (my worries above), really nothing is safe, but birds need to chew...So am hoping that in small enough amounts, certain fibers will eventually breakdown internally without producing blockages.

Last edited by noodles123; 03-15-2019 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:16 PM
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Re: Bird safe ropes?

We cannot pack them in cottonwool all their lives, tempting as it is.
(cottonwool is really indigestible btw)

so after you've done your homework ... just hope for the best and let them have fun.
(keeping an eye on things is always a given of course esp. in the beginning )
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Old 03-16-2019, 03:29 PM
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Re: Bird safe ropes?

Imagine a cockatoo in the wild, shredding bark off trees to pull out insect larvae and get to the fresh shoots growing underneath. Australian cockies get to shred tea-trees and bottlebrushes and those are seriously fibrous, as are the bloodwoods (a kind of gum tree with stringy bark that pulls off in long fibrous strips) and ironbarks (another gum tree with plaques of ironlike bark).

I get to watch the wild flocks stripping trees all the time and I promise you, they ingest an awful lot of fibrous stuff you wouldn't want to be feeding them! They crack open pine cones and will nom up piles of casuarina nuts which contain lots of woody, nutty bits (just like almond shell). The wild cockies will descend on the trees in a street and strip them bare, then move on, leaving a thick carpet of broken branches and general frass for the householders to clean up. They go through tonnes of fibre and tough woody stuff every day, yet they''re healthy and happy and keep doing it, so it can't be all that bad for them.

I'd say steer clear of cotton rope because it quickly erodes to become a thick, cottony mess and doubtless contains microfibres that could easily compound in a bird's gullet or crop to form a thick, indigestible lump. Hemp and sisal are coarser and stiffer and far less likely to 'fluff' as cotton does (although a swing I recently made for 'Setta has turned into a bad wig, owing to her tender preening of the cut ends of the rope). I just use common sense. If the rope is beginning to fray, I watch it and remove it when I judge it's getting unsafe. My main worry is not the birds swallowing rope, but getting their feet caught in it and potentially breaking a leg!
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