Is Plywood Safe For Birds?[Practical Answer]

Plywood is a popular material for building houses and other structures. It is also used in furniture, packaging, birdhouses, and many other products. As a result, plywood is found all over the world in many different environments.

But is plywood safe for birds?

If you are a bird owner and you care about your bird, you will as the question, “is plywood safe for birds” before you go ahead and use one for your feathered friend. In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about plywood and the type of safe wood for your birds.


Is Plywood Safe For Birds?

As beautiful as plywood is, it is not safe for your bird. because Plywood is glued with a chemical called formaldehyde, which is toxic for your birds. This chemical can kill your bird if the bird consumes it that is why you should avoid using plywood to build anything for your bird.

If you love your bird and love to entertain it, you want to build him a variety of toys and perches. The first material that comes to mind is plywood. While building your bird a perch or toys can be a fun thing to do, you do not want to use plywood to build them.

Some people might think that it would be safe for birds to live near plywood because it does not contain any chemicals that are harmful to animals. However, there are some concerns about how plywood may affect the health of birds.

What Type Of wood Is Safe For My Birds? [Watch Video]

Plywood is a type of engineered wood product that is typically composed of 3 layers. The outer layers are usually made of some type of softwood and the middle layer is made of hardwood.

Plywood is made up of thin layers of wood glued together with a glue called phenol-formaldehyde resin. It is often used in construction, furniture, and other products.

Plywood can be dangerous to birds because they might get caught in the glue or eat it and die.

The types of plywood vary in their weight and thickness. Plywood’s weight, thickness, and quality are measured by the number of plies or layers it has. The more layers there are, the stronger and heavier the plywood will be.

Plywood that has a moisture content below 18% is considered to be safe for use with birds provided they do not contain any harmful substances like formaldehyde or phenols which can be dangerous to birds.

For instance, parrots will explore their surroundings with their beaks, meaning they can in the process chew the wood used to make their toys and perches. That is why it is important to be careful about the type of wood you use to make their perches and toys.

So, if you must use plywood to make anything for your bird, make sure it does not contain any toxic chemicals.

What Wood Is Safe And Unsafe For Birds?

Types of woods that are safe for birds to chew on include: acacia, apple, almond, ailanthus, ash, aspen, aralia, beech, barberry, bamboo, birch, bottle brush, and butterfly bush woods are safe for your bird provided they are not treated with harmful chemicals.

Wood is a natural material and birds have been using it for centuries. It has been used in their house as well as their perches. But not all types of wood are safe for them to use.

More Safe Woods For Birds

  • Yucca
  • Weigela
  • Weeping willow (remove the back)
  • Vine maple
  • Viburnum
  • Thurlow
  • Sycamore
  • Tree fern
  • Sweetgum
  • Strawberry tree
  • Spiraea
  • Spruce
  • Silk tree
  • Spiraea
  • Sassafras
  • Russian olive
  • Rose
  • Ribbonwood
  • Raphiolepsis
  • Pussy willow
  • Rubber plant (not weeping fig)
  • Poplar
  • Pecan
  • Pear
  • Papaya
  • Palm
  • Orange
  • Olive trees
  • Oregon grape
  • Nut trees (chestnut excluded)
  • Norfolk island pine
  • Heavenly bamboo (nandina)
  • Mulberry
  • Mountain ash
  • Mimosa
  • Mesquite
  • Manzanita
  • Maple
  • Magnolia
  • Madrona/madrone
  • Larch
  • Lilac
  • Kalanchoe
  • Jade plant
  • Hackberry
  • Guava
  • Grapevine
  • Grape palm
  • Ginkgo
  • Hickory
  • Hibiscus Fig
  • Eucalyptus
  • Escallonia
  • Elm
  • Dracaena
  • Date
  • Crabapple

Some types of wood like cedar, avocado, alder, holly, elderberry, and juniper. can be harmful to the respiratory system of birds. This can lead to diseases such as asthma or chronic bronchitis in birds and humans.

Pine is considered safe but not the best type of wood to use for your bird. Other woods like oak and maple may contain toxic chemicals that can be lethal to the birds if they eat them or even just touch them with their feathers because they are so delicate.

More Toxic Woods For Birds

  • Yew
  • Wisteria
  • Witch hazel
  • White cedar
  • Weeping fig
  • Walnut
  • Umbrella tree
  • Tomato
  • Tansy
  • Tobacco
  • Sumac
  • Sophora
  • Solanum
  • Skimmia
  • Sand box tree
  • Rhubarb
  • Rhododendron
  • Redwood
  • Red sage
  • Red maple
  • Raintree
  • Privet
  • Prairie oak
  • Plum
  • Pitch pine
  • Penciltree
  • Pear
  • Peach
  • Oleander
  • Oak
  • Mistletoe
  • Nutmeg
  • Nectarine
  • Myrtle
  • Mountain laurel
  • Monstera
  • Mock orange
  • Mexican breadfruit
  • Mango
  • Lupine
  • Leucothoe
  • Laurel
  • Juniper
  • Kentucky coffee tree
  • Lantana
  • Laburnum
  • Mountain laurel (kalmia)
  • Jasmine
  • Apricot

What Materials Are Toxic To Birds?

Birds are a very important part of our ecosystem. They help to maintain a balance in the environment as they eat insects and pollinate flowers.

Birds also provide us with companionship and entertainment. But, like any other animal, they are vulnerable to the effects of toxins that can be found in their environments.

Many materials can be toxic to birds, but the most common ones are lead paint and pesticides (insecticides).

Lead paint is not only toxic for humans but for birds as well. Pesticides can be dangerous because they contain chemicals that attract insects which will then kill off all the other bugs around them.

Also, when you are buying toys for your bird, you should avoid those with toxic materials such as zinc coating. While plastic and acrylic toys look good, they are not recommended for your bird because they can break them and if they consume them, it can be toxic for them.

Leather materials are also not recommended because leathers such as dyed leather contain dangerous chemicals such as formaldehyde. If they ingest it, it can harm them.

Can You Get Formaldehyde-Free Plywood?

Formaldehyde is a chemical that can cause cancer, asthma, and other respiratory conditions. It can also cause skin irritation and headaches.

Formaldehyde-free plywood does not have this chemical in it and a better alternative is plywood with soy glue which is environmentally friendly and would not produce emissions.

Formaldehyde-free plywood can be hard to find, but some brands offer it as an option.

What Chemicals Are Toxic To Birds

Some of the most common toxins to birds are:

  • Chemicals in pesticides and herbicides, fertilizers, and other gardening products (e.g., weed killer)
  • Pesticides sprayed on crops
  • Insecticides sprayed on fruit trees and other plants
  • Chemicals in paints, paint strippers, glue, and other products used to make homes or workplaces more comfortable or safe for humans
  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine
  • Avocado seed
  • Salt and fat
  • Garlic and onions
  • Apple seeds and fruit pits
  • Heavy metals like copper, zinc and lead
  • Xylitol

The toxicity of a substance is determined by its ability to make cells in the body stop working. Some substances are only toxic if you eat them, but some are also toxic if you touch or breathe them.

Birds are often harmed by toxic substances. They may be poisoned by chemicals that they come into contact with or ingest.

Why Do Birds Chew On Wood?

Birds tend to chew on wood because it is an instinct for them. They are trying to look for insects and they also do this to get their beaks sharpened.

Birds have been chewing on wood for centuries and this is something that has become an instinct for them. It is something that they do to get their beaks sharpened, but it also helps them find food that they cannot see.

Birds will often chew on wood when they are hungry or if there are no other food sources around them. That is why you should feed your bed well to prevent it from chewing on wood.

What Wood Is Toxic Burning?

If you have a fireplace, you may have heard that some types of wood are toxic when they burn. This is true and examples of such food are Rhododendron, Oleander, Sumac, and Poison Ivy.

The smoke from wood fires contains a variety of toxins. The type of wood used for the fire can determine the level of toxicity.

There are many types of wood that are toxic to burn, and some that are not toxic at all. Some woods like the above listed have higher levels of tar and other chemicals that make them more dangerous to burn than others.

These toxic woods will not only cause trouble for humans but also for their pets including birds. So, make sure you know the type of firewood to burn around your home.

How do you stop birds from chewing on wood?

Birds usually peck at wood to get their food. They do this because they are attracted to the insects that are hiding inside, and the sound of the wood.

You can stop them from pecking by putting getting interesting and entertaining toys for them. Wooden toys are better. So, look for wooden toys made with non-toxic materials and buy them for your bird.


Is plywood safe for birds is a common question a bird parent will ask. The answer is that plywood is not safe for your birds. The reason is that plywood is glued together with formaldehyde which is very toxic for birds.

However, some plywood can be used, especially if they have no toxic chemicals. Before you use any plywood for your bird toy or house, make sure to ask your veterinarian.

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