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Are seashells safe as parrot toys

Expert Question

I was wondering if you could answer a question for me. I am wondering if seashells are save to give me African brown head to play with. I noticed one of the toys in his pen has seashells attached to it. I collected some from the beach, and I was wondering if they are cleaned off properly if they can be used for toys. Thanks for your help! Vicky

Expert Answer

Hi Vicky, Seashells are usually safe for parrots. In fact, ground or crushed seashells are used in some calcium supplements. As long as the shells are thoroughly cleaned, they should be safe to give your bird. I always recommend observing your bird at play to make sure he is not eating any toys or shells. Most parrots simply chew toys to bits, but occasionally one will actually swallow those bits. Needless to say, that is dangerous for the bird! Have fun and thanks for the great question, Vicky.

Ellen K. Cook, DVM
About Ellen K. Cook, DVM

Dr. Ellen K. Cook has been practicing small animal medicine since 1975. In 1998, she rescued Merlin, a six-year-old Moluccan cockatoo with many undesirable behaviours, and soon began focusing primarily on avian veterinary medicine and behavioral issues.

Dr. Cook is a member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians, the International Association of Trainers and Educators, the Animal Behavior Management Alliance, and the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviorists.

She has published numerous articles over the years on avian veterinary and behavioural care, and serves as on online consultant for the World Parrot Trust. Dr. Cook has been teaching basic behavior classes to parrots and their caregivers since 2009, and is the founder of Parrots Anonymous, an organization dedicated to educating those who live with companion parrots.

To book a consultation with Dr. Cook, visit the Cicero Veterinary Clinic at