So you're setting up your Parrot's cage and want to optimize the use of space with awesome perch placement, size and type. So where to start? Here is an in depth guide to get the best use out of your Parrot's cage space, while simultaneously creating a adventurous jungle gym that will provide hours of fun, exercise and comfort for bed time.
Having a number of perches of different diameters is highly recommended. In the wild, tree branches are all different shapes and diameters, this exercises the bird's keeping them healthy and strong. Another interested fact is that birds prefer to sleep on a thicker perch than they spend the majority of their day on. Similarly to a pillow allowing our necks to relax when we sleep, a think perch allows your bird's feet relax after a busy day of playing.
Tip: Try placing you birds think "Sleeper Perch" in a back corner of their cage. This is the most comfortable and relaxing place for hem because it's where they feel most safe.
When selecing perches for your bird's cage, there are few different types and materials to choose from. Each has its benifits and it is recommended to use a variety of these to create the most enriching environment for your bird.
Wood: Such as treated hardwood, manzanita, jave wood, dragon wood and the like are all common perch choices. The natural woods usually come in unique shapes and changing diameter. This is great for a birds feet. When choosing a wooden perch, take into account the size that would be appropriate for your bird in particular. Another thing to note is that some woods are softer/harder than others. If you have a bird who chews through wood in seconds like a Cockatoo or Amazon, consider using very hard woods like manzanita.
Rope: Rope perches are great because birds can grip onto them easily, you can usually bend and shape them into whatever position you desire, and they are not easily chewed up. The only downside to rope perches is that they are a little harder to clean as rope absorbs moisture.
Sand: These are perches with rough outer coatings, designed to keep your bird's nails under control and reduce the frequency of grooming. If you have a bird who's nails grow quickly, this is a great option.
Mineral/Vitamin Perches: These perches are made to be eaten. The outer coating is made of a mineral block of your choosing, usually a multivitamin or calcium supplement. A great way to give you bird more movement options while at the same time giving them health supplements.
This is where you, the bird owner, get to have a lot of fun and be creative. Setting your bird's cage up can changing it up every few months or so can be a great way to keeping your bird stimulated mentally and promoting exercise. Again, you will need to asses your own birds personality and needs. For example, if you have an older bird that can't quite move around as easy as they once could, make sure to place their perches in spots that give them the easiest access to food, water and toys. On the other hand, if you have a young bird with endless energy, place their perches in places that require them to climb and move to get to their toys and food. Your bird should be able to stand comfortably on a perch while playing with toys, but don't be afraid to make them climb to get the the food. This will give them plenty of exercise and keep them from standing in one place eating all day long (Which, for some breeds like Amazons, can lead to obesity if their diet is not closely monitored).
I hope this was helpful, please watch the video and refer to the pictures for examples and suggestions on perch placement and cage setup.
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