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.

Check out other parrot accessories we don’t recommend in this video:  

 

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."

    84 comments

    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
    david

    A safer alternative is a tent that you make yourself. You drape fabric through the bars and tie it at the top but keep it out of the reach of your pet. It’s cozy yet unreachable. Here’s one that’s meant for parakeets but would work on any bird. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cj5aLjuxa7k

    david
    Brysen Rebischke

    I had a friend whos bird loves his little triangle hut and got one for my conure, but will be taking it out of my cage after this and sending this link to her!

    Brysen Rebischke
    Sharon

    My sun conure died yesterday. I found him last night with a bloody wing stuck to the edge of his hut. I couldn’t even see any loose strings, but somehow he was stuck and obviously struggled to free himself. This is the first article I found concerning this topic. He was 33 and healthy. I’m heartbroken.

    Sharon
    Donna

    I too came very close to losing my sun conure of 20 years. He has always had one of these fuzzy tents. This one time I heard this horrible squawking and saw him dangling upside down. I freed him. I feel certain he broke a leg and was in such stress, I was sure he was dying for several days. He survived it but it has been very heart breaking

    Donna
    Ryan

    Just wanted to say thank you for your videos and the work you do for birds in general, I rehomed a Quaker 3 months ago and if it was not for your videos and information I would be lost and my relationship with my bird would be suffering, much love and keep up the good work Xxx

    Ryan
    Melissa

    I sent a comment yesterday about my Nanday conure. Please take out the name of the company if you would like, I was so upset I included it. However, after going to Petsmart yesterday I saw they sell another happy hut from a different company that looked just like the snuggle hut I had purchased that killed my bird.

    Melissa
    Melissa

    Yes, this is the most deadly parrot cage accessory. I am absolutely sick that my Nanday Conure, Pete, who I’ve had for 14 years, strangled to death last night when he got tangled in the fabric that he had chewed on his new ph (PREVUE HENDRYX) snuggle hut. Sadly, I wasn’t around for him and didn’t even know he had suffered until I went to say goodnight and found him hanging. I was not there for my bird I have loved so long, and I will never forgive myself. PLEASE, please don’t buy this product! Conures and other parrots are just too curious to leave the very thin fabric on the bottom of the hut alone which led to his tragic, untimely death.

    Melissa
    Justine

    We saved our sun conure today, due to these horrible bird huts. She chewed the hut causing it to wrap tightly around her neck. My husband and I acting as fast as we could to save her. We cut her loose and she wasn’t normal for hours. Please don’t ever buy this for your bird. We almost lost a family member today.

    Justine
    Cheryl

    I have a Quaker " Lola" got her at 3 months old…bought a green soft fleece type fabric hut for her I think maybe when she was about a year old. She is now six yrs. old and has always loved her hut! She has never chewed on it and sleeps in it at night…I wash it as needed but she plays peek-a-boo with me in her hut and she absolutely loves it and I have never had any issues what so ever with it. “She” is really a “he”, lol! But it does make her more in the mood I think because she’s always doing her thing mostly Springtime and it probably adds to it but other than that for 6 yrs she’s done great with!

    Cheryl
    Gale

    I crochet jute hammocks for my non fabric chewers (my conures and parrotlet), but after seeing them destroy my crochet in seconds, my Moustache Parakeet and Quaker got stuff from the dollar store that is balsa house shaped shelves meant to be painted and decorated, costing $2 for the smallest and $3.50 for the biggest. It gives them something to chew on, and if they destroy it, it’s inexpensive to replace. My birds are healthy and happy and I make all their toys. My conures and others are not noisy because I keep them busy. I sometimes have to look up and check to see they are still alive because they are all so quiet.

    Gale

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