The Top 13 Safe Wood for Budgies You Want To Make Them Happy

Last updated on May 7th, 2024 at 01:16 am

Written by Isra P

Finding safe wood for budgies is a must if you want them to be happy and healthy. These birds have the habit of nibbling every little object they encounter, especially wood, to see if it’s edible, which may or may not be a good thing. You see, some types of wood are plainly dangerous and should be kept away from them. On the other hand, others are perfectly safe for them to enjoy.

Some safe woods for budgies are grapevine, dogwood, balsa, manzanita, birch, bamboo, beech, apple, and sycamore. They are known to provide the challenge budgies need to keep their beaks in good shape. These woods are also perfectly safe and won’t generate toxic oils or fumes that could threaten your pets.

In addition to paying attention to the type of wood, you can’t overlook that even some safe woods can become dangerous if treated with chemicals or have been overrun by pests.

Keep reading to discover the safest woods and what you need to be aware of as you pick them for your pets.

It’s hard to tell exactly why a budgie chews on wood. Still, generally, there are a few reasons that explain the behavior.

Find Nesting Material

Budgies have the instinct to chew on wood to generate nesting material. This is normal as almost all birds behave the same way even if they are captive, which is why they may chew on wood even if they do not have a nest.

Keep Beaks in Shape

Budgies can’t resist seeing a perfectly smooth surface without having to put it to the test. They will take all the bites they can from any wood object to trim their beaks and prevent them from overgrowing. This is an essential step, as having a sharp beak allows budgies to break seeds and shred the food they need effectively.

Have a Good Time

You can be sure that chewing on wood is fun for budgies. It’s great to prevent boredom and reduce stress, which is why you will see them doing it quite often. It doesn’t matter if it’s a toy or a branch from a nearby tree; budgies will gnaw on them and rejoice.

Provide Nutrients

Wood pieces may also have traces of foods containing nutrients that may be absent from their diets, such as calcium, which are crucial for maintaining their health. Insects lurking around in the wooden materials may also become part of their lunch as they get busy keeping their beaks in top shape.

Is It OK for Budgies to Chew on Wood?

It’s perfectly natural for budgies to chew on wood. So it shouldn’t be a problem unless the wood itself is toxic or has been treated with chemicals such as pesticides, paint, or poisonous dyes.

You should always ensure the wood given to your budgie is safe, untreated, and natural. It should also be free from other threats, including pests and microorganisms that could make your pet sick.

Can Budgies Eat Wood?

Budgies don’t actually eat wood. Although they may occasionally ingest tiny pieces of it, that’s not their thing.

A budgie’s system can’t process wood, so when you think they are eating it, they are, in fact, just chewing and dropping fragments of it on the floor. As long as the material is not toxic in any way, it won’t be a cause for concern.

Now, in some rare circumstances, budgies may eat wood, which can be dangerous. Doing so can cause blockages in the digestive tract, leading to serious health issues such as crop impaction, enteritis, and even death.

If you notice your budgie eating wood or showing signs of discomfort or illness, you should consult a veterinarian immediately.

13 Safe Wood for Budgies

There are a lot of woods for budgies you can use to make perches and toys. Although this is only a fraction of them, they will surely be helpful to you (resource).

Here is a list of some of the safest woods you can hope for. They are strong, durable, and best of all, your budgie will be safe while having a joyful time gnawing them.

Keep in mind, though, that pesticides and other chemicals may render safe woods completely unsafe. The same can be said about trees that fungi and bacteria have infected.

1. Grapevine

safe wood for budgies

Grapevine may not be the first wood type that comes to mind when you think about perches or toys for budgies. But make no mistake, while it may be flexible, it’s also quite strong.

Its natural twists and turns provide a unique and stimulating environment for your bird to explore.

Even though it isn’t a hardwood per se, it can be pretty challenging for budgies to go through it.

The main problem with grapevine is that it’s reasonably vulnerable to fungi and bacteria, which is why it is essential to clean it before using it.

2. Dogwood

branches

The colorful and vibrant dogwood is a hardwood that is ideal for perches due to its unique reddish-pink or white color, which can add a touch of natural beauty to your bird’s cage. Its remarkable strength makes it a popular choice among all budgerigars’ owners. The main drawback of dogwood is that it may decay faster than other woods.

3. Balsa

Very few budgies can resist the temptation to sharpen their beaks with balsa (source). This light but popular hardwood is considered one of the favorites among parrot family members.

The main reason is likely due to the fact they can take it apart within a day or two, which is something budgies feel pride in achieving. You must replace it often if you want to keep your budgies entertained, as it also decays pretty fast.

4. Manzanita

manzanita tree

The striking and unique manzanita is a hardwood with a reddish-brown color and a smooth texture. It is an excellent addition to your budgie’s cage for its durability and natural beauty.

Manzanita is one of the most sought-after woods for making toys and perches. It is perfect for all parrot family members, as every part of the tree is safe.

It is exceptionally sturdy and resistant to natural decay, making it one of the top choices for perches that budgies love to bite but can’t break without extraordinary effort.

The intrinsic roughness of the wood will inevitably keep your budgies’ beaks and nails trimmed as they try to put a dent in it. There is a chance your budgie might get bored if it can’t chip away at it, so keep that in mind.

5. Birch

Under normal conditions, birch wood is pretty safe. However, some believe that the salicylates in the bark can pose a problem in large amounts.

So to remove all possible risks, getting rid of the bark is the ideal approach. Unfortunately, even though this hardwood can resist the pecks of budgies quite well, it tends to rot fairly fast when exposed to the elements.

6. Bamboo

bamboo trees

Not many wood types are as popular as bamboo. The yellow-to-white grass, which isn’t technically wood but seems like it, is ideal for toys and perches that budgies love. Its strong and sturdy nature makes it a good option for a perch, while its smooth texture provides a comfortable place for your budgies to rest.

Although it is vulnerable to mold and may decay faster than other wood types, such as manzanita, it’s still pretty reliable.

7. Beech

beech tree

The beech tree is a popular choice for toys and perches alike. Its pale straw appearance is a fine add-on for any cage. Also, this hardwood possesses significant strength that can withstand non-stop pecking and gnawing.

Budgies won’t be able to stop playing with it as it can last a long time before falling apart. However, it may rot if left outside for a long time.

8. Apple

apple wood tree

The crisp and refreshing apple wood is a hardwood that boasts a light color and smooth texture, perfect for budgies to perch on and play with (reference). With its natural sweet scent and sturdy nature, apple wood is a great addition to your pet’s cage.

After manzanita, applewood is the heaviest and strongest wood, which means your pet will have a hard time tearing it apart. Nevertheless, budgies may get frustrated and bored if they don’t see any progress as they try to break it.

9. Sycamore

sycamore wood tree

With its freckled appearance and smooth texture, sycamore is a hardwood that can be a great addition to any cage. In addition, the unique grain patterns of sycamore wood provide a natural beauty that creates an aesthetically pleasing environment.

Its lightweight makes it easy for budgies to work with it. Furthermore, sycamore offers an intriguing balance of strength and durability, which means budgies won’t eat through it as they do with balsa. Still, at the same time, it isn’t hard enough to make them give up on it.

10. Palm

Even though palm is neither hardwood nor softwood, it’s still an excellent material for perches and toys. The tropical and exotic palm provides a comfortable perching spot, and its peculiar feel adds a touch of fascination to your budgie’s cage.

Palm wood is exceptionally strong and won’t decay easily, making it a top choice that could challenge even the most relentless budgie. Still, that strength may cause your pet to get angry at it.

11. Lilac

The fragrant and romantic lilac wood is a hardwood that offers a touch of elegance to your pet’s surroundings, and its smooth texture provides a relaxing location where your budgie can feel at ease.

Lilac wood is highly dense, making it a rival to manzanita in weight and sheer hardness. It’s also durable, so your budgie won’t wear it down quickly. Sadly, like with all other sturdy woods, there’s a chance your pet might hate it because it can’t wreck it.

12. Untreated Pine

pine forest

Fresh and clean pine wood is a softwood used to make toys and perches for budgies. It is often sold as one of the prime materials, although it shouldn’t be used for bedding or cage litter.

Moreover, removing the bark before using it is essential as it can act like glue and get stuck to your bird’s feathers or beak, which is a serious problem.

Pine has medium strength and durability, so budgies shouldn’t have problems getting busy with it.

13. Mimosa

mimosa branches

Mimosa is a light to Golden brown hardwood ideal for making perches. Although it is less popular than pine or apple wood, it’s a fine addition to any cage.

This moderately strong and durable wood is good enough to entertain budgies for a long time. Fortunately, it isn’t as thick as apple wood, so budgies are less likely to get bored with it.

In the following video, you will see which wood types are safe for budgies and which aren’t:

Safe Woods for Perches and Toys
Wood
Strength
Durability
GrapevineHighLow
DogwoodHighMedium
BalsaLowLow
ManzanitaHighHigh
BirchMediumLow
BambooHighLow
BeechMediumMedium
AppleHighHigh
SycamoreMediumMedium
PalmHighHigh
LilacHighHigh
PineMediumMedium
MimosaMediumMedium

Bad Woods for Budgies

Not all woods are budgie friendly. On the contrary, many of them are dangerous as they contain a significant amount of chemicals and other compounds that are detrimental to the health of your winged companion. The following list is just a sample of the woods that should be avoided for making perches.

Cedar

Cedar wood is dangerous for budgies as it can release toxic oils and fumes. These oils are a problem whether inhaled or ingested, as they can cause respiratory problems, skin irritation, and other issues.

Peach

You may think using the wood from peach trees is a good idea, but it isn’t. It contains cyanogenic glycosides, which may release cyanide poison when consumed. In other words, keep it far away from your pet.

Redwood

Redwood is awful news. The wood from this tall tree contains volatile oils capable of harming your pets. These fumes may cause skin rashes and disorders that can disrupt the immune system of your beloved budgie.

Plywood

Plywood is often made with formaldehyde, which can harm budgies if they inhale the fumes. Although it’s considered safe for outdoor aviaries, indoor pets run a high risk of getting hurt by the gases.

Other toxic woods include nectarine, plum, cherry, apricot, and arbutus.

What are Safe Wood Glues for Budgies?

Safe wood glues for budgies include the ones that are not toxic and don’t contain any harmful chemicals. Some examples of safe wood glues for budgies include gum Arabic or honey. Always read the label of any glue you plan to use in your pet’s environment to ensure it is safe.

What to do if you Want to Make Perches from Branches

If you decide to make your own perches from branches found in your yard or somewhere else, there are a few simple steps you must follow to ensure the safety of your budgies.

1. Only use wood that is safe for budgies.

2. Make sure the wood has not been sprayed with pesticides or treated with chemicals.

3. Soak and rinse the branches with water and soap. Don’t use bleach.

4. Bake the wood at 200 °F for 60 minutes if it seems OK. Any sign of insects or mold means you may have to leave it for two hours at 250 °F.

5. To avoid heavy metal poisoning, use stainless steel supports.

Finding safe wood for budgies doesn’t have to be a problem. Understand that they can’t help but chew on almost anything they see. So it’s crucial to provide them with the safest materials you can find for them to nibble on and be happy. Do this well, and you will likely enjoy their company for a long time.

He is the leading creator of featheredbuddies.com, a website dedicated to helping bird owners. For many years, Isra P has cared for budgies and other birds to ensure their happiness and well-being. His passion and enthusiasm for them have led him to a quest to find out why birds act the way they do and how to enrich their lives.