The Most Dangerous Parrot Cage Accessory

The Danger of Parrot Huts!

I am going to try to do this post without actually mentioning any brand names so as not to incur the wrath of their manufacturers. They tend to get angry when we trash their products. Let’s just say that if you google the words “hut” or “tent” in combination with the words “happy” or snuggle” you will get product results.

The parrot huts look like miniature pup tents. They are made of various fabrics and many are fleece lined. The interior is about 6 inches from the apex of the tent to the bottom – the sides are plush and comfy. It’s the perfect size for a small parrot. Many conures just love them. It is their place of choice for a good night’s sleep and they look cute as can be inside them.

So, the post that follows might be a big disappointment to some small bird owners…

These "happy huts" have two MAJOR downsides:

1. Many birds that use them become very hormonally aggressive. They tend to envelop a bird’s entire body – something that puts many birds “in the mood”.

*****To Get Educated On Parrot Hormones>>> CLICK HERE!<<<*****

2. They are also reminiscent of nesting spots just about the size that a small bird would prefer. These facts might bring the “mood” on during any time of the year, and they are definitely responsible for escalating normal seasonal breeding behaviors in many birds. Conures and Quakers are known for their cage territorialism and the tents are known to increase those aggressions as well.

If the above isn’t enough to make you think again about these products, THIS WILL: They are, without a doubt, the single most dangerous cage accessory on the market today.

Parrot tents have been responsible for more avian injuries and deaths than any other product type sold.

The problem is that they are made from fabric, which is also their attraction for a parrot. It’s what makes them comfortable and warm and alluring. Birds love fabric because it’s soft and pliable. Chewing on it makes it fluffy and plump and a parrot will spend hours manipulating fabric to their own specifications.

Some products are sold with fabric strips inside, sometimes marketed as an attached preening toy, that encourages further chewing. As the fabric is broken down, it exposes smaller strands that get tangled around legs, toes AND necks. When a bird gets caught in fabric strands, they tighten as the bird struggles to free itself leaving no room for it to snip it away with the beak. If the strand prevents blood flow for too long, the result is amputation of that body part. I don’t think I have to elaborate on what happens when a bird’s neck becomes tangled.

It can be difficult to see the level of destruction that takes place inside the small openings. Some people opt to continually trim the excess fray from the fabric, but they can’t control what happens when their birds are in their cage unsupervised. Dangerous fraying can occur in a single afternoon.

This was posted on our Facebook page just shortly ago:

“Just a word of warning to all bird owners, PLEASE re-consider getting any type of [parrot tents] for your birds (especially Conures, as they love to chew on them). I nearly lost my beloved jenday today in one of them (the soft, fleecy type). Her foot became caught up in the newly chewed threads, on the floor of it, and had twisted among some of the threads, and then she panicked, and got her whole head and torso caught under just a couple of the threads. I grabbed the scissors right away, and immediately cut her free, and was able to save her. She’s fine, no harm done. Actually, I was worse off than she! Permanent end to that hut in her cage! But…. was not so lucky last year, when my mom lost her dear conure to a very similar accident with one of those huts, it was one of the stiffer types of these things, that have red and blue cloth, over cardboard. She had chewed around on the front part of the hut, along the edge, and was going after that “one thread more”, when her head became entangled between the threads on the fabric, and the cardboard, and she strangled to death. She died instantly, despite our quick efforts to save her.”

The stories on the internet of similar experiences are everywhere. I know that it will be hard to take away something that your bird loves so much, but don’t make the mistake of assuming that because he has not yet begun chewing on the tent, that it will not do so in the future, especially when they get "nesty" during a particularly hormone driven breeding season.

It isn’t worth the gamble.

Note: As much as we wanted to share real photos from real people of their sleeping birds in snuggle huts, people felt slandered having their names on such photos that they would openly share on a facebook page so we decided to use the product pictures instead from stores that sell these.

Patty Jourgensen specializes in avian health, behavior and nutrition and has been working with and caring for rescue birds since 1987.

HELPFUL RESOURCES:

Why Weighing Your Bird Could Save Its Life

Toys Instead of Tents!

Parrot Training 

Healthiest Parrot Diet

"Every Interaction is a Training Session."

    69 comments

    Amanda

    I’ve seen Marlene Mc’Cohen get her bird these tents made out of something like canvas. Are those better alternatives? I’ve got a budgie who likes sitting under the cage cover, not getting hormonal, and I think she’d like it. I do worry about my other female who is hormonal, especially since we learned the hard way that one bird I adopted turned out to be male.

    Amanda
    Jody Kuchar

    My sun conure got entangled in a tent like thing and injured me trying to get him out (he panicked). You can trim all you like, but they still get into the threads. Also, I have a black cap conure and she would eat the fleece (not good). Don’t use them. And the raffia huts still have some threads on them. I love in a very cold place and I know my birds miss their “wubies” but they are not safe at all.

    Jody Kuchar
    Kym Nord

    I have a hut in my conures cage. (4 years now) I read about how they will chew on it and it becomes so dangerous to them. I used the sleeve from a sweatshirt and recovered the whole hut. I know how to sew and made sure there are no outside threads or material to pull at. Of course I check it everyday as well. He has never chewed on it since. He can still have fun and be safe now. I guess the way they are made so inexpensively is a major problem. My bird is not as destructive as some are, so that definable helps the situation. Kym

    Kym Nord
    El

    Both my conures sleep in a hut, and they only sleep in a hut. What do I do? I’ve tried taking it out but they won’t sleep all night they love to sleep in a dome like atmosphere. They are outside all day so they aren’t around the hut for very long because the hut is inside the house and when I bring them in for the night they go straight to the hut and sleep and then in the morning they go outside. I don’t have issues with them chewing on the hut or messing around with it they only sleep there but I’m still worried. They won’t sleep without it! They’ll stay up till the late AM.

    El
    Kevin

    I just lost my 15 year old female Sun Conure that meaned the world to me! I got home and noticed her neck squeezed tight by the threading of a shredded comfort tent! it was so tight.. my dogs went crazy trying to warn of there bird friend suffering in pain! I had to cut lose from the comfort tent then i still noticed like a knot around her neck so tight it took me 4 minutes to get off.. she died and i am devastated by this horrible design! She has shredded it before and now i know why she lost her 2 nails becoming entagled in this! HORRIBLE PRODUCT AND DEADLY! Kevin Calif

    Kevin
    Starlytte

    Is there a safe alternative? Something that does not cause hormonal & cage territory aggression?

    Starlytte
    Isla

    I have 2 of these tents in baboos (GCC) cage as she absolutely loves to sleep in them at night. However as much as I am gonna feel awful to take away her safe place I am going to have to be cruel to be kind. She’s always slept in one since a baby. Recently she had to have part of her wing amputated which absolutely devastated me, to think she will never fly again I can’t risk any more freak accidents! Baboo is my absolute soul mate. The tents are coming out tomorrow and I am gonna look into straw or wooden huts instead.

    Isla
    Sr Lioba

    Please could you make a recommendation for a SAFE alternative to just for finches?

    Sr Lioba
    Mitch Kersey

    And to the person who said there is nothing wrong with these, and there is something wrong with the ownership, shame on you!! People have lost their pets because of these things.. my sweet Ava died after only having the hut for 5 days!!!!

    Mitch Kersey
    Mitch Kersey

    I’ve been doing research today, after finding my beloved Conure “Ava” dead inside her hut I recently bought her. She was so entangled, we had to cut her out of it. I had no idea this was a danger. How would I? We are devastated, and heartbroken! I see this article was originally posted 8 years ago!! Why isn’t there some class action lawsuit on these things! This is a TERRIBLE thing for these items to be continually sold, and marketed for our birds!

    Mitch Kersey
    Shelley

    Thank you for this warning. My Princess Parrot sleeps in his bird feeder box. I was looking at buying one hammock but won’t now.

    Shelley
    Cynthia

    Thank you so much for sharing your stories and warnings. I have a beautiful little love bird, I just got a new cage for her with some new accessories. I was looking up stories to find where the best place is to hang the snuggle hut and came across your postings. I just threw the snuggle hut in the trash.

    Cynthia
    Sesa

    Any suggestions on what could be used to make the birds more comfortable? Like an alternative to a hut that doesn’t cause mating aggression? Cheers.

    Sesa
    Silvana

    I’ve seen some huts made with felt and hot glue, so no thread at all. Would these be ok?

    Silvana
    Shanen

    I lost my lovebird last week due to this same thing. She had it wrapped around her neck but by the time I found the thread I was too late. She died in my hands just seconds after I cut it off. My six year old son and I lost our baby. We are still heartbroken and very traumatized. I’ve had birds for years and never bought one like we had for Sassy. We won’t be doing this again either.

    Shanen
    John Rice

    Thank you for educating me about the dangers of these super soft little temptations. I would never have known. I suppose the same danger exists when introducing any soft fabric toy into the bird’s cage, be it a little ‘stuffed animal’ or even a stuffed carrot. I will certainly NOT be introducing any of these into my bird’s cage regardless of how many birds enjoy them. An existential threat in my bird’s cage is a deal breaker. John R. Chicago

    John Rice
    Elena

    What do birds sleep on? Suggestions greatly appreciated.

    Elena
    Kendra Turner

    I just now found my sweet love bird dead in the snuggly hut with the string of it wrapped around his neck. He died inside it in a contorted position. I threw away the other one in the cage and his 3 siblings are disoriented. I wish I had read this article yesterday. I’m heartbroken.

    Kendra Turner
    Stephanie Price

    Hello! Any thoughts or experience using organic hemp or linen fabric? I was looking at the fabrics offered on a website called ‘Rawganique,. Thank you! I have a partially blind rescue GCC, Clover, who presents interesting challenges, especially in the evenings.

    Stephanie Price
    Stephanie Price

    Hello! Any thoughts or experience using organic hemp or linen fabric? I was looking at the fabrics offered on a website called ‘Rawganique,. Thank you! I have a partially blind rescue GCC, Clover, who presents interesting challenges, especially in the evenings.

    Stephanie Price
    Kaui

    I loss my pet lovebird yesterday when a thread from this type of hut got caught around the top of his wing. I was not at home when it happened and when I found him he was just hanging on the outside of the hut. I had to literally cut the fabric away from his body then cut the thread from the top of his wing to free him. I am so sad to think of how he suffered to free himself. I will never have one of those things in my bird cages again. Thank you for the posts. It helps to know I am not alone in this tragedy.

    Kaui
    Tiffany

    Well….my Nanday is going to be upset with me but her huts coming out tomorrow. I’m not risking it even though I’ve never seen her chew it. I adopted her 2 months ago and the hut came with her cage from the rescue

    Tiffany
    tj

    Ugh I had some never put back after wash broke hooks glad I didn’t, just been looking at more types guess not now, as my birds do love messing with fabric we’ll stick to rags on sofa next to us for them to destroy :/

    tj
    anon

    this is absolute bs. my conure loved his and he never got caught. maybe check the material and keep tabs on how the hut is faring. maybe you parrot owners need to check the toys inside of the cage more often. ANY toy is capable of killing your bird, you just have to be cautious. these huts are not dangerous, your ownership is!

    anon
    anon

    this is absolute bs. my conure loved his and he never got caught. maybe check the material and keep tabs on how the hut is faring. maybe you parrot owners need to check the toys inside of the cage more often. ANY toy is capable of killing your bird, you just have to be cautious. these huts are not dangerous, your ownership is!

    anon

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