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#255837 - 06/23/14 03:52 PM Safety of U2 and cattail water-plant  
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 30
AOK Offline
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AOK  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 30
South/Central Oklahoma
We have a ~5yr male U2 (Louie, per se) that occasionally will reach out and grab a small piece of a cattail from a 'bucket planter' as we walk past it on front porch. He just wants to grab at things plant-like, and the cattail planter is near the front door. He'll lunge and grab off a tip (maybe inch or two at most) of a leaf, but does not seem to try and actually eat it; just seems to want to feel the texture as he rips & destroys the piece and then laughs heartily that he snagged a piece against our attempts at keeping him far enough away. Like a feathered smartie-butt, its almost like a game he has developed, sigh.

Of course, we get it out of beak ASAP (with no fuss from Louie, fwiw) and do our best to keep him out of it's reach, but at times it seems like his neck and legs can triple in length instantly, LOL. He's only gotten a piece off three, maybe four, times, and planter-bucket has been relocated to a lesser-travelled part of front patio. There are none of the brown fussy-ish seedhead-things (yet) upon the plant, and am curious about that part of plant and the possible use as something to rip & destroy now and then. That part of plant is absolutely of-limits, of course, unless I'm shown that its known to be safe (in moderation at most, of course).

I want to find out (and Google is little help here), and I do have several lists from links on this Board re: safe-v-unsafe *woods* - but not finding much on the 'grasses', so to speak.

Where do cattail's leaves fall under toxicity worries (and not meaning to ask about it as a food source/additive whatsoever, for sure, unless my ignorance is enlightened otherwise, etc).

The particular plant I refer to is pictured here:
Google image results of cattail-type in question

Thanks for input, and also if anyone has list(s) of herbiferous-type plants that are no-no's (like diffenbachia, etc), I'd love the URL's to keep at hand as well (just in case). I appreciate everything learned here over last year and half - could not do it without this Board (!!!).

#255838 - 06/23/14 05:03 PM Re: Safety of U2 and cattail water-plant [Re: AOK]  
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 79
Rescue M2 Mom Offline
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Rescue M2 Mom  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 79
Colorado
Parts of the cat-tail are edible, and many species of bird will eat them. The bushy part isn't what is normally eaten, but birds frequently use cat-tail down in their nests.
If he isn't eating them, I wouldn't be too concerned.

Note that cat-tails are an excellent water filtration plant, so they can be loaded with high levels of nitrogen, phosphorous, and other pollutants if removed from a polluted environment. I used them specifically to lower nitrates in a backyard koi pond.

If this is a dried arrangement, dried cat-tails are frequently sprayed to keep the tail intact, and that would worry me.

Kim


Nothing is so strong as gentleness,
Nothing so gentle as real strength.

Saint Francis de Sales
#255840 - 06/23/14 06:13 PM Re: Safety of U2 and cattail water-plant [Re: AOK]  
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 30
AOK Offline
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AOK  Offline
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South/Central Oklahoma
Thanka, Rescue M2 Mom That is kinda what I was presuming, but always gotta double-check.

FWIW, these 'tails' have been in same pot for approx 5 years (or more - I know, just too lazy to divide and/or repot 'em just yet, LOL!) and I got the starter 'tails at a small size from some pet store that kept its water nice and clean, so pollutants would be minimal if any at all. They've been cut-back a number of times, so the biomass turnover has been happening; great point though, for sure.

Again, thanks for the reassurances and train-of-thought :-)

#255954 - 07/12/14 11:51 PM Re: Safety of U2 and cattail water-plant [Re: AOK]  
Joined: Aug 2005
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jm47 Offline
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jm47  Offline
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***

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 5,852
central Iowa
I don't have toos, but I do have a tiel and a sun conure. They both enjoy live plants. Don't tell them, but most of the plants are really "theirs". The dracaena species and date palms (grown from seeds of dates I use for cooking) are yummy, in their opinion. Sometimes I cut off the dry leaves, wash and soak them, and play around basket-weaving them, and let the birds turn the (usually rather odd-looking) results to mulch. Sometimes I tuck a few raw whole oats into the weave. They have potted plants in their cages, or near enough that the leaves poke through the bars and are within reach at all times. They also like to nibble at citrus seedlings, which are safe, and make their breath smell nice. A cockatiel can devour a 2-year-old date seedling in 20 minutes, so plant plenty of pits!
Any plants that survive long enough (4 or 5 years) to get too big for our apartment get donated to the local zoo, specifically for the parrot cages.

Last edited by jm47; 07/12/14 11:52 PM.

Jody

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