No animal, parrot, dog, cat etc will come to you knowing what is acceptable behavior in your home until you train it to know. Will a baby know not to hold on to that glass coffee table if you have never informed it not to? If you say yes, you must have miracle babies! Just like kids need to be taught right from wrong so do parrots. I can not stress enough how important training is.
An automatic thing for a parrot to do is use its beak and for those cavity-breeders chewing wood is a must. How will your parrot know to not chew the wood of an antique clock but yet you give it toys with the exact same material? Don’t you think that’s a bit of a mixed message? It’s hard because you definitely need to provide them with safe wood to chew and maybe sometimes you would have an item in your household that is made with the same wood. Therefore your precious parrot is going to think that item is okay to chew too. So what can you do?
Sally walks into a clothing store just to waste time before her doctor’s appointment. “Hello?” She turns around in shock because she didn’t pass a sales person when she entered but the sound came from right beside her. No one is there. She turns back and continues to walk but then she hears it again, “hello?” She stops and is fuming because this isn’t funny. A salesperson comes from the back, “Oh, Hi, I’m sorry I didn’t hear anyone come in.” Sally says, “That’s okay but I keep hearing someone say hello, is there another person that works here?”
The old lady pushes her glasses up off of the bridge of her nose and giggles. Sally is getting upset now as she isn’t finding this funny. The old lady walks pass Sally to the corner where there is a small bird cage but what Sally missed, is that inside that cage was a gorgeous little bird so tiny but such a beautiful gray and blue. The Lady says, “I’m sorry it looks like Lucky was just trying to get your attention.” Sally was in awe. Lucky was so pretty and Lucky could speak English! Sally inquired some more about Lucky and the Lady told her that Lucky was free to a good home that’s why she was at the front of the store. The Lady sold Sally on the bird telling her all the good stuff and a bit of lies such as she is low maintenance just needs food and water, change the bottom of her cage once a week and the extra bonus, she talks. Sally thought wow this is amazing! Such an easy pet for her little apartment. Poor Sally knew nothing about birds but the old lady basically told her everything, right? Sally agreed and took Lucky home.
The first week was great and then things started to change. Lucky wouldn’t stop screaming, Sally couldn’t get any sleep so she started covering Lucky’s cage and would keep it covered. Sally went back to the old lady to let her know what was happening.
“I’m sorry but the bird keeps screaming.”
The old lady said, “Oh dear child, the bird needs some attention, you have to take it out of the cage sometimes and just let her relax for a bit and then back into the cage, she’ll be fine.”
Sally went home to do that. The first week was fine and then Lucky started chewing Sally’s things. Sally went back to the store and said, “Oh NO, it Chews!”
The old lady told her buy some perches and you’ll be fine. Sally did just that. It worked for a week and then another issue would arise, this went on for about a month until Sally decided she can’t do this anymore and Lucky was brought back to the store to sit in her small cage and say “Hello” to the unsuspecting customers that came through the door.
This is a situation that many have found themselves in. Educate yourself before getting any pet. If you purchased your bird from a pet store, think back were you told tehy may chew your furniture? I would bet NOT! Anyhow let’s fix your chewing problem. 3 ideas:
1) Do not provide the same type of wood you have in your household for your antiques as appropriate wood for your parrot to chew on as toys.
2) Train your parrot NOT to touch items that are special to you.
3) Remove all your precious items when the parrot is out so they don’t have access to it. (This is the BEST option)
It sucks when people are misled but this happens to people all the time and it’s the parrot that ends up suffering. Chewing/beaking is a part of a parrot’s behavior so don’t be misled, be prepared for it and set your parrot up for success before you set them up for failure. There are a lot of different type of wood perches/trees that your parrot can explore, giving a variety of textures will definitely help with keeping them busy and stimulated. You also want your wood to have some hardness to it so it presents a challenge. Woods that you should never give your parrots are boxwood, oak, yew, black walnut and wisteria. Also any wood that has been treated can not be used either.
I hope this post helps!