Are Wood Toys Safe For Cockatiels?

Are Wood Toys Safe For Cockatiels?

Cockatiels are fascinating pets, and as a responsible owner, you want to provide them with toys that are both stimulating and safe. Wooden toys are a popular choice for many bird owners, but are wood toys safe for cockatiels?

Wooden toys can be a great enrichment for cockatiels, providing them with mental stimulation and exercise. They also have many other benefits for cockatiels like sharpening their beaks and shaving down any excess.

However, not all types of wooden toys are safe for cockatiels to chew on, and some are even toxic. Therefore, it’s essential to choose the right type of wood to ensure the safety of your cockatiel.

Some types of wood that are safe for cockatiels’ toys are bamboo, maple, and elm. Balsa wood, applewood, and manzanita wood are also durable varieties that cockatiels enjoy playing with. Pine, eucalyptus, and elm can also be used if they are not treated or lacquered.

All these types of wood are safe for cockatiels because they provide unique textures to explore and play with.

Also, it’s important to avoid toxic hardwood when choosing wood toys for cockatiels. Woods such as azalea, elderberry, flame tree, ground cherry, hemlock, yew, and wisteria should be avoided as they can harm your cockatiel.

Whether you want to purchase or DIY wooden toys for your cockatiel, ensure that you choose materials that are non-toxic and safe. Wood toys colored with vegetable dye are usually safe, but it’s important to check that the dyes used are non-toxic.

Avoid using materials with wax coatings, as they can be harmful to your cockatiel.

By choosing the right type of wood and materials for your cockatiels’ toys, you can provide them with a safe and enjoyable form of enrichment.

What Wood Is Safe For Cockatiels?

What Wood Is Safe For Cockatiels?

The texture, softness, and composition affect how your cockatiel chews, tastes, and enjoys the wood.

Here are the safest and best types of wood for cockatiels:


Willow trees are a common and safe choice for cockatiel toys and perches.

As long as Willow belongs to the genus Salix, it’ll be safe for cockatiels. The natural compound salicin found in willow bark is known to be converted into salicylic acid within the body, making it a natural form of aspirin.

Salicylic acid is a precursor to acetylsalicylic acid, which is what we know as aspirin. Willow’s salicylic acid has been utilized as a pain reliever, as per Cell ProliferationOpens in a new tab..


Bamboo is considered one of the safest and most durable woods for cockatiels. If you are choosing the branches yourself, select bamboo with the grooves intact.

In the process of crafting commercial bird toys, certain companies opt to sand the wood down, thus removing any grooves present. This technique is aimed at simplifying the toy-making process. However, these grooves will be beneficial for maintaining the beak.

Balsa wood

Balsa wood is a type of hardwood that is known for its low density. Despite being surprisingly light, it can still support weight, making it ideal for a cockatiel’s perch and toys.

Balsa wood is non-toxic and safe for your cockatiel to chew. However, it is a softwood, so a voracious chewer could consume it in a matter of days.

You’ll have to replace the wood regularly, but a cockatiel will immensely enjoy this type of wood.


Maple wood is a type of soft hardwood that is available in a wide range of varieties. You’ll often find it used to make small and medium-sized bird toys and perches.


The elm tree is a popular choice for those seeking ample shade, as its characteristic drooping branches create a wide and expansive canopy. Due to the shape and size of elm branches, they are ideal for cockatiels.

Elm is the type of wood that is safe for cockatiels’ toys. This wood’s exceptional strength results in long-lasting perches and sturdy toys. You won’t need to change them as often, even with a persistently gnawing cockatiel.


Pinewood is a type of softwood. Because pine is so popular, it’s easy to find and is commonly used to manufacture medium-sized perches for cockatiels.

When gathering pine, it’s important to be cautious of the resin that may be present on the branches. While not toxic, the resin can stick to your cockatiel’s feathers and be hard to remove.

Pine is a safe type of wood for cockatiels’ toys, but not pinewood shavings. Pine shavings, when utilized as bedding, have the potential to be ingested by birds, causing digestive problems like constipationOpens in a new tab..


Eucalyptus wood is abrasive enough to sharpen cockatiels’ beaks and keep them entertained.

Even the leaves can be given to your cockatiel as a part of its regular diet because eucalyptus has antibacterial properties.

The Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical BiomedicineOpens in a new tab. has reported that eucalyptus leaves possess natural antibiotic properties that can combat infectious diseases.


Applewood is more substantial, rendering it suitable for medium and large perches.

This can be a problem for cockatiels that like to chew on softer wood. Your cockatiel may get bored or frustrated by the thickness of this type of wood. 


Manzanita is a highly durable wood that is frequently utilized in the production of bird perches and toys due to its exceptional strength. Due to its strength, it’s widely used to produce large perches.

Also, the manzanita has spindly, twisting branches, making it great for cockatiels. Cockatiels will enjoy walking up and down it and chewing at its different angles.

Since it has an uneven and bumpy surface, most cockatiels love to peck at the texture.

Wild cockatiels favor Manzanita. During the spring and summer, the branches of this tree attract a diverse array of bird species.

They can remove the bark and consume the liquids within. In the fall, you may discover hook-billed birds, like falcons and eagles, grooming their beaks on the hardened wood.


Beechwood is a safe and durable wood choice for cockatiels. It’s a hardwood often used for creating medium to large perches and other bird toys. Unlike softer woods, beechwood is less likely to splinter and break, making it a safer option for your cockatiel.

Beechwood is also non-toxic, so you can feel confident that your cockatiel won’t be harmed if they ingest tiny amounts of it. However, it’s always important to monitor your cockatiel’s chewing habits and replace any toys or perches that show signs of wear and tear.

One of the benefits of beechwood is its natural resistance to bacterial and fungal growth. This means that it is less likely to harbor harmful bacteria that could cause illness in your cockatiel. Additionally, beechwood has a smooth surface that can help maintain your cockatiels’ beak health.

What Wood Is Unsafe For Cockatiels?

Certain types of wood are not safe for cockatiels to chew or ingest. Here are all of the unsafe, toxic woods for cockatiels:

  • Azalea
  • Elderberry
  • Flame tree
  • Ground cherry
  • Hemlock
  • Yew
  • Wisteria

Can Cockatiels Chew On Wood?

Cockatiels are known to be enthusiastic chewers, and chewing on wood is a natural behavior for them.

In the wilds, cockatiels chew on branches to maintain their beak’s length and shape, as well as to forage for food.

Chewing on wood also provides them with mental stimulation and alleviates boredom, stress, and anxiety.

However, not all types of wood are safe for cockatiels to chew on. Some woods, such as azalea or cherry, can be toxic and harm your cockatiel’s health.

Therefore, it’s essential to choose the right type of wood such as manzanita or willow, that is non-toxic and safe for your cockatiel to chew on.

See Also: Can Cockatiels Chew On Cardboard?Opens in a new tab.

Can Cockatiels Eat Wood?

Cockatiels are known for their love of chewing on wood, but can they eat it? The answer is no, cockatiels do not eat wood. Instead, they break it down into small pieces and discard it.

Chewing on wood serves a dual purpose for these birds, as it helps maintain their beaks and provides them with a playful activity.

While cockatiels do not eat wood, they may accidentally swallow small pieces while chewing. This is relatively harmless as long as the wood is safe and non-toxic.

However, ingesting large quantities of wood can cause health problems, such as chokingOpens in a new tab. or blockages in the digestive system. It’s also important to ensure that any wood in your cockatiel’s environment is safe and untreated, as some types of wood can be treated with harmful chemicals and pesticides.

Is Wood Glue Safe For Cockatiels?

Is Wood Glue Safe For Cockatiels?

When it comes to making toys and perches for your cockatiel, it’s important to choose the right type of glue. While there are several types of glue commonly used for wood, not all of them are safe for your cockatiel.

Wood glueOpens in a new tab., for example, contains toxic chemicals that can be harmful if ingested. If your cockatiel were to chew on an object glued with wood glue, it could potentially block its stomach. However, wood glue is considered non-toxic when dry, so if you use it, ensure it’s completely dry before allowing your cockatiel access to it.

Super glueOpens in a new tab. is another type of glue that can be dangerous for cockatiels. While the glue itself is not deadly, the fumes from the liquid form can be harmful to your cockatiel’s respiratory system. Once the glue is dry, however, it becomes inert and won’t pose a risk to your cockatiel.

Hot glue from a glue gun is often formulated to be non-toxic, making it a safer option for cockatiels. However, it’s important to remember that hot glue can still be dangerous when wet or not completely dry.

Wood Glue Alternatives

If you’re still concerned about the safety of glue for your cockatiel, there are alternatives available.

Elmer’s glue is completely non-toxic and safe for small children to use, so it won’t harm your cockatiel if ingested.

Cornstarch pasteOpens in a new tab. is another option that is made of harmless ingredients and is ideal for lighter projects.

When creating toys and perches for your cockatiel, it’s best to use non-toxic and bird-safe alternatives whenever possible. Stainless steel screws, natural rope, and untreated wood are all great options that your cockatiel will love to play with and chew on.

Overall, while wood glue may be a popular choice for making wood toys, it’s not safe for cockatiels. But, if you do use it, ensure it’s completely dry before allowing your cockatiel access to it. Otherwise, consider using a non-toxic alternative to keep your cockatiel happy and healthy.


Wooden toys can provide great mental stimulation and exercise for your cockatiel, but it’s important to choose the right type of wood to ensure their safety.

Safe and non-toxic woods such as bamboo, maple, willow, balsa wood, elm, pine, eucalyptus, manzanita, applewood, and beechwood, are great options, while toxic woods like azalea, elderberry, flame tree, groundcherry, hemlock, yew, wisteria should be avoided.

Cockatiels enjoy chewing on wood, but it’s important to monitor their chewing habits and ensure they don’t ingest large quantities.

When it comes to glue, wood glue, and super glue are not safe for cockatiels, but non-toxic alternatives like Elmer’s glue and cornstarch paste can be used instead.

Cockatiel Enthusiast

My name is Bojan. I have been around Cockatiels for the past 7 years. I love writing about Cockatiels and helping people understand how these beautiful birds live, what they like, and how to provide them the best possible care.

Recent Posts