Making play stands and perches ?

Scott199

Regular Member
Hi all, I checked and it seems to be safe but I would like confirmation please.

is normal builders timber safe (non treated obviously)

we have a lathe at work at I enjoy making bits and bobs so thought I would whittle out some perches and maybe make a destructible play stand/area for the CAG to destroy at will.

link to timber, Int untreated, kiln dried Spruce


I happy to use anything but if this is safe then it’s cheap and cheerful and easily replaced.
 

Roz

Regular Member
Been Googling the difference between Pine and Spruce. Seems Spruce is a little softer. I make toys out of untreated Pine. I don't know if Spruce is safe or not - with conifers it is usually the sticky sap that is not good. Would you be able to make toys and stands out of untreated Pine instead to be on the safe side? Being slightly harder it should last a little longer!
 

Scott199

Regular Member
Been Googling the difference between Pine and Spruce. Seems Spruce is a little softer. I make toys out of untreated Pine. I don't know if Spruce is safe or not - with conifers it is usually the sticky sap that is not good. Would you be able to make toys and stands out of untreated Pine instead to be on the safe side? Being slightly harder it should last a little longer!
Possibly if I can easily find it,
Been Googling the difference between Pine and Spruce. Seems Spruce is a little softer. I make toys out of untreated Pine. I don't know if Spruce is safe or not - with conifers it is usually the sticky sap that is not good. Would you be able to make toys and stands out of untreated Pine instead to be on the safe side? Being slightly harder it should last a little longer!
yes don’t see any reason why not, I’ll see if I can find pine, the spruce timber was just local and cheap, so happy to replace often.
 
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Scott199

Regular Member
Just looking through a few places and most seem to say Spruce is safe, albeit in the tree form but I assume safe is safe ??

The only reason I’m still looking as spruce is about the only timber normal places stock (wicks, B&Q, build base etc) in multiple sizes and lengths and as it will be replaced quite often a local timber would be easier, I’m basically designing to be chewed constant by the CAG ( in a hope it leaves our doors and window seals alone, although I do know it won’t happen :rolleyes: )






would you trust these sites ?
 

Roz

Regular Member
Well done for finding the info!! Yes, The Natural Bird Company really know what they are talking about! So yes, I would say use it then! :biggrin: By the way have a look at the toys and stands that the Natural Bird Company make - loads of great ideas there. I get lots of toy parts, perches, toys from them and they even made me a hanging gym.
 

Scott199

Regular Member
Well done for finding the info!! Yes, The Natural Bird Company really know what they are talking about! So yes, I would say use it then! :biggrin: By the way have a look at the toys and stands that the Natural Bird Company make - loads of great ideas there. I get lots of toy parts, perches, toys from them and they even made me a hanging gym.
Hi and thank you, makes me feel better to know for sure and I’ll have a look and see what ideas I get from them.
 
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Roz

Regular Member
I've learned something new too - that Spruce is ok! So thank you for that! :biggrin:
 

nightfly

Regular Member
Registered
I’m basically designing to be chewed constant by the CAG ( in a hope it leaves our doors and window seals alone, although I do know it won’t happen
I had hardwood furniture/trim in our house when I got my CAG. Also, made a ladder out of solid oak for him. As a baby, he couldn't chew either, and grew to ignore anything that looked like those woods. All the toys I gave him, were all dyed some non wood colour, and perhaps a combination of that, and learning early that he couldn't chew finished wood appearing things, set him for life to not want to even attempt.
I've been using construction lumber to make my bird toys for close to 30 years. Spruce/pine/fir tree wood; I take 2x4 lumber, and use my band saw to remove a few mm off each side to get rid of any contaminants (you can use a smaller hand held saw like a Milwaukee model 2420 mini sawzall if you don't have a bandsaw; the purchase price will easily be made up over the years by cost savings in bird toys!). Then cut into appropriate sized chunks / drill holes in them for hanging toys. I only use metal chain that's too small for the bird to get his toes caught in, or leather straps to hang the toys. I use 14 gauge steel wire to bend in order to attach the chains to things like eyescrews in the wood, as my CAG can't unbend steel wire. Just file off any sharp points from the wire you use.
Though I started with birch dowels, now many of my bird's perches are cement, as it's natural roughness helps control the growth of toenails and the bird can rub his beak on it too, to get the shape he wants or to just clean off his beak (you can make them from pouring some cement into food wrap tubes sealed on one end, and then stood on end, and then sticking an attachment bolt deep into the open end before it hardens; just add food coloring to the cement mix while mixing, if you want fancy colour perches). For smaller birds, cardboard tubes of different diameters can be had from hobby & craft shops, and the bolts, washers and wingnuts from any hardware store. Cement perches are easy to clean, last many years, and just brush off with a wire brush, then rinse and bake for about a half hour to kill any germs on it.
Edit: there are contoured cement perches available for sale, and my birds like them. But you can also make these, by squeezing the cardboard tube in various ways and holding it in that shape with a pair of vice grip pliers as the cement hardens. It doesn't have to be perfect, remember branches come in all sorts of shapes, too, in nature. This way, your bird has a variable shape perch to stand on, without switching perches.
 
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dianaT

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Thank you for that, some good ideas there. Many of us make our own toys and play stands.
 

Oli Fry

Regular Member
Registered
My greys also like lengths of approx 1inch square softwood from Wickes etc as perches, as they enjoy chewing the edges off. They also get tons of natural branches of course. I'd agree that chunks of softwood hung on a leather strip are much more popular than commercial toys.
 

DizzyBlue

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Oddly enough we have a wood safe list on forum too

And there is an excellent site that gives a huge list on this link that we also refer members to.

Also you might like a toy safety link as well if your making your own 😊
Also on our Google forum drive

For perch making i would recommend you grab a steel dowel rod to hammer in to end of perch cut to size then large washer on inside of cage bars same on outside and flip a wing but on .... If you have a shop called Wilko nearby (not sure if it's a nationwide shop or not) they sell washers and nuts by as many as you can put in a special plastic bag of whatever assortment you want at a very very reasonable price

Play stand wise a few members have created their own (me included) i sawed off a large L shaped willow branch, bought a square terracotta large plant pot stuck a plastic bag inside the pot and filled it with plaster of paris and pebbles to add weight .... When branch needs replacing i just slide it out of the pot smash the plaster of paris off get rid of branch and pour water on the smashed bits ... It disintegrates and I can reuse the pebbles....
 
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