A Cage is Not a Home

Ideally, parrots and most birds belong in a wide, open space where they can forage for food, pick a mate, build a nest, and get on with the business of being birds. However, due to illness, predation, and poaching, many wild birds do not get to do wild things for very long. In that way, sometimes being in captivity is a better option than extinction.

The ideal cage for a parrot is roomy, not so full of toys that the bird can’t get around, and not in the middle of the busiest place in the house. Also ideally would be to have a sleep cage for the parrot, a play area for during the day, and a flight area of some sort.

Like the My Safe Bird Store web site says, Busy Minds makes Happy Birds! http://www.mysafebirdstore.com/TOYS_BY_SIZE_TYPE-FORAGING_TOYS.html But many of these plastic foraging toys look like the thing mommy put in my cage to kill me to Maynard. I like the paper and cardboard and paper bag things most.

Rarely do people understand completely the space needed for a large parrot. The bigger, the better. I wish I could turn the bedrooms in to aviaries, but the owners might not appreciate that. These are the best accommodations available for parrots, I think. http://www.cagesbydesign.com/t-suncatcherbird.aspx

KW Cages is local to me, and they have the supplies you may need to build your own cage or aviary. http://clover.forest.net/kwcages/index.html

After you get the biggest cage you can afford, and house, think about your maintenance schedule. How much time do you want to spend cleaning the thing? I know in an on-line sense a woman who let one of her finch cages go without cleaning, in the belief that birds suffer from their environment being too clean the same way humans do. No bacteria to fight off means weaker immune systems. I don’t line my cage bottoms with paper, because the birds just make a mess with it. I like to scrape the cage grates and bottoms weekly and about once a month wash it. Ideal for me would be to have duplicate cage parts so I can swap out the dirty ones and replace them immediately with clean. And then have few weeks to find the time to clean what I removed.

Perches for your parrot or any bird are so important, and not something many people understand. DO NOT USE those dowel perches that come with most cages. In the wild, birds perch and roost on branches of trees. Have you ever seen a dowel branch tree? No, because in the wild, trees have the nerve to grow branches that are not the same diameter from end to end, and there’s no smooth covering. Bird feet need the exercise and relief of gripping different size perches, and having a rough surface for traction. I absolutely love this blog because of the photos of the safe trees. http://www.birdtricks.com/blog/how-to-use-natural-tree-branches-in-your-birds-cage/

I came across this awesome cleaner while looking at various safe for birds things: https://www.odorandstainremover.com/store/product_b_cage.html If anyone has used it and would like to comment on it, please do so!

There’s a lot of information on this page, and great ideas, including turning a garage into an aviary, enclosing a patio to be an aviary, and a link to the Parrot Enrichment Activity book! http://www.parrots.org/index.php/forumsandexperts/answers/C9/

Well, it’s Wednesday, and I have meandered without making a real point, but hopefully you had fun and you learned something that will help your parrot companions in the end. See you on Sunday!

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