Cotton ropes – good or bad?

Cotton ropes - good or bad?
braided cotton rope

To put it in a nutshell. There is no absolute budgie-safe rope, but only ropes that are more or less suitable or poor.

The biggest risk, however, is the budgie owner who uses these cotton ropes completely unthinkingly and is unaware of the potential risks.

To protect the budgie from harm, it is therefore important to know what to look out for or what to control.


Budgies tend to nibble off protruding fibres on ropes, but this is not the real problem. However, then there are birds that not only nibble them off, but also swallow them.

As a result, over time a ball of fibers can form in the crop, on which, on the one hand, bacteria can collect that can trigger crop inflammation and, on the other hand, with increasing size, can almost fill the entire crop, leaving hardly any space for grains.

Such a fiber tangle can then only be removed from the goiter by means of surgery

Faserknäuel aus dem Kropf

Twisted or braided rope

Unlike many other types of rope (e.g. sisal, hemp, etc.), there are two varieties of cotton rope, twisted and braided, which have different degrees of suitability for use in budgie accessories.

Seat rope frayed

Twisted cotton ropes

If the budgie nibbles through one or more fibers of these, this very easily shreds and, due to the manufacturing process, relatively long fibers stand out, which invite nibbling or even offer the danger of tangling with the feet.

Braided cotton ropes

Braided cotton rope

Here, too, it could be possible that a budgie chews through individual fibres. However, due to their manufacturing technology, these tend to fray much less and the fiber parts are still very short(at least initially).

However, if defective ropes are not replaced, budgies may eventually fray them by pulling individual fibers out of the braided structure.

Possible alternatives

Leather strap
  • Leather straps: with these it is important to make sure that they are naturally tanned and non-toxic.
  • Seaweed tape: This is very quickly chewed through and is therefore not suitable for swings, etc. rather.


Even though braided cotton ropes are less risky than twisted ropes, they still need to be checked regularly for damage. As soon as there are fibres that can be nibbled off, this can become dangerous for budgies, which also swallow fibre parts.

I myself have not been able to find a single damaged braided cotton rope, but this does not necessarily mean that it is the same with other budgies.

The most important thing is to be aware of the “fibre issue” in order to be able to recognise emerging problems and dangers at an early stage.

You can find more information in the menu under Ropes and tapes .

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