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PVC - Good or Bad?

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PVC - Good or Bad?

Postby Macayla » Tue Sep 30, 2014 4:36 am

I have heard, read and watched videos on how to make training perches as well as play gyms out of PVC, I have even been to a shop on a breeding farm with a square play pen for the babies made out of PVC (not necessarily intended for playing on, but to make an small enclosure for the babies).

Now, I have done a lot of research on this topic and it seems that there isn't a simple answer on whether PVC is bad for birds or not?

I would like to make a play gym and training perch for my Senegal parrot (she's 4 months old and a chewer) and I would like to know if it would be safe to use PVC and wrap it with something for grip and less direct exposure to the PVC, or should I rather use a non-toxic wood? If so, which wood would be the best for this purpose?

Thanks. :senegal:
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Re: PVC - Good or Bad?

Postby Wolf » Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:01 am

Myself, I prefer natural wood branches to make things for my birds to play with and on. The problem with telling you which woods to use is that I have no idea as to what trees and bushes grow naturally in your area of the world as I live in the mountains along the eastern part of the USA and you live in South Africa. If you could get me a listing of them I would be happy to do a little research and let you know which you can use.
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Re: PVC - Good or Bad?

Postby Macayla » Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:36 am

I have absolutely no idea as to which trees grow here.. I will have to ask around and find out which trees are available to me to cut branches from and make a list that way. I have found lists on websites but they're all overseas sites and even if we get the same trees here, I have no idea which is which. :?
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Re: PVC - Good or Bad?

Postby Pajarita » Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:43 am

I don't use PVC with my birds (if I can score it with a knife, they can chew on it and get impacted or occluded by it as it's not digestible at all).

You can use baobab, buffalo thorn, bushwillow and any pine you can find.

Do not use marula, jackalberry, knob thorn or natal mahogany.
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Re: PVC - Good or Bad?

Postby Macayla » Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:25 am

That has been my concern all along while trying to find out whether it is safe or not, especially since my parrot is definitely a chewer. She will chew anything she can get her beak on. If you Google DIY play gyms etc., there are SO many of them made out of PVC. If it really is bad for birds, how do these bird owners not know it?
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Re: PVC - Good or Bad?

Postby Wolf » Wed Oct 01, 2014 9:41 am

Parrot and bird keeping as a companion animal is still in its infancy and we have a very long way to go, but to be more specific some of us do know and try to let others know. Many people are new and first time bird owners who have little to no knowledge of taking care of birds and so they trust the bird food companies, the bird toy manufacturers, the pet stores and so on. These people don't know to begin with that they need to do their own research to provide for their birds the best that they are able to. And then when they first start to research how to take care of their bird they run into a small mountain of information that is contradictory and difficult to understand. Some of this information is best relegated to the realm of old wives tales { I don't know why it is called that }, some of it is just out dated and although it was what we all went by 20 years ago it is no longer valid in the light of what we have learned since.
There is very little regulation in the companion bird industry and this means that these business can do as they please and it doesn't matter if it is good or bad to them as long as they can make a huge profit from it. This machine is run by money and not morals.
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Re: PVC - Good or Bad?

Postby Pajarita » Wed Oct 01, 2014 11:17 am

Correctomundo! Here in America, we have the lobbying arm of the pet industry (PIJAC) which spends millions and millions of dollars every year so the industry remains unregulated.
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Re: PVC - Good or Bad?

Postby Harpmaker » Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:09 pm

Wouldn't PVC wrapped with something like vet tape be safe? At least if it was only used for structural parts, and natural branches were used for perches.
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Re: PVC - Good or Bad?

Postby Pajarita » Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:03 am

I know people swear by vet wrap but I only use it for the purpose it was created: as a bandage. Anything that is made out of latex and elastic makes me nervous around birds...
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Re: PVC - Good or Bad?

Postby Harpmaker » Fri Oct 03, 2014 5:43 pm

Good point. Wrap with undyed sisal? Palm fiber? Coconut fiber? Corn husks? I'm sure a suicidal parrot can manage to off itself with anything. Mine certainly likes to try. So you have to supervise to make sure they don't unwrap the PVC to eat the plastic or whatever glue they could find. Like toddlers.
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