Bird Safe wood

by james Norris
(Jakarta, Indonesia)

Dear Sir/Madam

I am looking into building some chew toys for my 11 month female cockatoo and would like to know if Meranti wood is safe for birds. The wood belongs to the Dipterocarpaceae family.

Thank you in advance for all your help

James Norris

Comments for Bird Safe wood

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Dec 20, 2010
Meranti wood safe for parrots
by: Linda

James, thanks for writing. I just spent a great deal of time on the net looking for how to answer your question, and still have no answers. It appears that there are many, many species of the Meranti family you named, and the only information I can find relates to the US trees, bushes and plants. There is a list of safe woods here, and I don't think the Meranti is on the list because it is, again, for the US.

Here is what you can do to be sure, and please do this BEFORE making toys out of any of the woods available in Asia. Please call an Avian Vet somewhere in your area and ask about safe woods to use for parrot's perches, toys, etc. Make sure you are speaking with a licensed and trained Avian Vet as a regular dog and cat vet won't know diddle about safe or unsafe wood for birds.

Also keep in mind that any trees close to roads are bad, any that have been sprayed or fed chemicals through the roots, i.e. pesticides, fungicides, etc. are NEVER safe as the chemicals become part of the wood and makes it poison. Any of the fruit trees like peach, cherry, and other ones that have "pits" for seeds are also unsafe as these are a natural source for Cyanide and this includes the wood, leaves and seeds. Apple and Pear are safe woods provided they have never been poisoned. Kiln dried Oak and Pine are also safe--the kind you would buy at a lumber store here in the states. Make sure any wood you get is not pressure treated as this wood is exceedingly poison for birds and other small animals.

I make our Amazon's toys, and we use a variety of wood like the kiln dried pine which is very soft, the kiln dried oak, Birch,and Manzanita is great for Toos as it takes a while to destroy, Walnut is also good as would be Pecan. You may have to go online to get Manzanita, and you can find nice rough pieces at and Rich used to be the owner not sure about now. They harvest the wood from their surrounding areas and it comes natural red or sandblasted--the red is prettier and the birds think so too.

Sorry I could not be of more help, but for local wood, you will need to talk with an Avian Vet in the area before making any choices other than the ones I mentioned. Thanks again for writing, and wish you well in your search,


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