What Types of Woods Are Poisonous to Exotic Birds?

Only use a piece of wood that you can positively identify as sage.

Only use a piece of wood that you can positively identify as sage.

While branches make decorative perches, the wrong type of wood can kill or sicken your exotic bird. With such a variety of safe wood for use in the aviary, you can provide your bird with adequate perch wood without compromising her health by using a poisonous branch.

Poisonous Wood

Readily-found wood can be toxic for exotic birds. Avoid wood coming from azalea, rhododendron, apricot, avocado, boxwood, cacao, cedar, elderberry, flame tree, hemlock, holly, horse chestnut, hydrangea, juniper, mango, mock orange, mountain laurel, oak, oleander, peach, plum, redwood, walnut, weeping fig, wisteria and yew.

Contested Wood

Since cherry wood has caused health problems for dogs and horses, some experts advise against using it in the aviary. Others recommend removing the bark, then using the bare wood. Since maple bark can harbor fungi, this wood is not recommended for use with the bark on. Some species of sumac are not safe for birds, so you may wish to avoid sumacs in general. Driftwood can harbor sea critters, animal waste and sodium, experts advise against using it in the aviary.

Safe Wood

Use from trees such as acacia, almond, ash, aspen, bamboo, beech, butterfly bush, crabapple, crape myrtle, dogwood, elm, eucalyptus, fig, fir, ginkgo, hibiscus, hickory, lilac, magnolia, mulberry, pussy willow, spruce, sycamore, viburnum, weeping willow and yucca safely for your bird's cage. To keep your bird safe, only use safe pieces that you know have not been sprayed or chemically treated.

Preparing Wood

Once you've gathered safe wood, sterilize it before placing it in the bird cage. Soak wood in a gallon of water mixed with a tablespoon of bleach for one hour. Dry out the wood in the sun or by baking it in a 250 degree oven for an hour, or until dry. This kills parasites, bacteria and fungi that could sicken birds.

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