Some of you may already have noticed that you cannot always rely on purchased budgie accessories being 100% suitable and safe for them.
Above all, the ropes and straps used in budgie toys and swings often pose a risk that should not be underestimated.
There are three major problems with this:
- The budgies nibble off protruding fiber and swallow it.
- In long fibers, the budgie can get caught with head or feet.
- During production, substances are used that are toxic to budgies.
Dangers for budgies
Ingestion of fibers
Some budgies not only nibble off the protruding fibers, but also swallow them.
These swallowed fibers can form a veritable ball of fibers in the crop, on which bacteria then accumulate, which can then cause crop inflammation .
In addition, such a ball of fiber can fill almost the entire crop, so that there is then hardly any space left for grains.
Such a tangle of fibers can then only be removed by means of surgery.
Entangled in the fibers
Longer fibers are especially dangerous because a budgie can get caught in them with its head or feet. In the worst case, this can be fatal for the latter.
In contrast to swallowing the fibres, this problem can be easily remedied by shortening long fibres or fringes accordingly so that they no longer pose a danger.
Especially in the case of industrially produced ropes or leather straps that are not naturally tanned, chemical substances are used in the production process that are toxic to budgies. After they nibble on everything, they then also ingest the toxins, even if they do not swallow any fibres.
Problematic ropes and tapes
These are very popular with budgies and are nibbled with pleasure. Consequently, they are also used in most purchased toys and swings.
As long as the sisal fibers are merely nibbled off, they can certainly be used. However, it becomes problematic when individual budgies not only nibble off the fibres but also swallow them.
Many ropes made of e.g. cotton, hemp or jute are usually twisted together and fray when nibbled. As a result, there is a relatively quick risk that the budgie can get tangled or entangled in the fibers. Of course, then there is also the problem of swallowing, just as with the sisal ropes.
Chemical treated ropes or leather straps
It cannot be ruled out that many industrially produced ropes have been chemically treated during manufacture and therefore contain substances that are toxic to budgies.
After budgerigar certainly nibble the ropes, then there is a possibility of poisoning, even if they do not swallow them.
Even with natural raffia, there is a risk that it will quickly become very frayed, which means there is a high risk that budgies will get their feet tangled in the raffia fibers or their heads caught in them and strangled.
Suitable ropes and tapes
Braided cotton ropes
Unlike the twisted cotton ropes, the braided ropes hardly fray at all. I have not yet noticed that my own budgies were able to pull fibres out of a braided cotton rope.
However, even with these you need to make sure that the fibers at the ends of the rope are shortened accordingly.
I personally have been using them for several years and have not had to replace any of them, at least not for my budgies, because of damage or frayed areas.
Naturally tanned leather straps
With leather straps, you just have to make sure that the leather has been tanned naturally and thus no toxic substances have been used in the production.
Seaweed is a natural material and as far as I know the fibers are not a problem. In addition, the seaweed line is relatively stiff, which should minimize the risk of tangling.
Further sources of information:
- Abschnürungen und Erhängen (Birds-Online)
- Eigenschaften und Risiken von Seilen (Welli.net)