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Dear Parrots magazine,

No metal please!

I have been breeding Greys and Amazons for over 15 years now with some successes and some, inevitable, failures, which is what the hobby is all about. I have always placed great emphasis on as natural an environment as possible, and particularly with nest boxes.

Over the years I have read many articles and am saddened at the not uncommon use of metal trim around nest boxes and particularly around the entrance hole. Breeders clearly use this trim to protect the boxes from being chewed and destroyed. This is completely against their natural behaviour, as in the wild these parrots would chew their way into a nest hole in a dead tree.  I believe this is very important and what I have often done is to fix some old scraps of timber partly across the nest hole, just so they can’t quite get in. This then stimulates the chewing procedure, which apart from being natural instinct to them, produces a naturally chewed entrance hole.

We must let these birds chew the nest boxes and if it means in time, we have to buy new ones to replace them, then so be it. I loathe seeing metal pieces on nest boxes, which will never be found on mine. I also think attaching metal fixings may well deter breeding success.

Peter MacFaddon, by email



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