ENCLOSURES & CAGES FOR PET BIRDS

Don’t think of a bird’s cage as a prison. A cage is a safe place and a refuge for your bird. It should be attractive and interesting with lots of safe things for your bird to chew and do.

A bird’s cage should be regarded as a refuge and a safe place, not a prison. A cage should be as large as possible and practical for your situation. Cages should be long and wide (rectangular) not tall and high (vertical). Birds are not helicopters; they do not fly up and down. They fly horizontally.

Cages should be cleaned daily. The best type of substrate (floor covering) is newspaper. Newspaper can easily be changed daily and it keeps the cage floor clean. Newspaper should be placed over any bars on the floor of the cage. The bars are for humans, not birds. Birds like to fossick around on the floor of the cage. The bars are uncomfortable to walk upon. Never use sandpaper sheets on the floor of the cage. The sandpaper damages the bird’s feet and makes them susceptible to secondary infections when they walk in faeces.

Perches

Should be wide enough for the bird’s feet to spread evenly over the surface. They should be made from rough, bark, native trees. (Paperbark, bottlebrush etc.) Rough bark perches massage the feet and give the birds something to chew on. Regard perches as disposable. When the bird has chewed all of the bark off, replace them. Never use sandpaper perches for the same reason as you don’t use sandpaper sheets on the floor of the cage. Shop bought, dowelling perches are too narrow for most birds. Birds on narrow perches are like people with shoes that are too tight.

Cage decoration

Parrots are hard-wired to chew. They need healthy material to chew on to fulfil their foraging instinct and to keep the beak in trim. Plastic and metal toys do not provide suitable ‘chewable’ material. Give your birds green, leafy branches from Australian native trees. (bottlebrush, lemon scented ti-tree, melaleuca, lilly-pilly, banksia etc.) Pine cones and the seed pods from gum trees, bottlebrush, wattle etc. also provide occupational therapy and foraging opportunities for your bird.

Wildfood

The best treat that you can give your bird is fresh, wild seeding grasses. Other wild food includes milk thistle, tropical chick weed, dock dandelion etc.

Cage covers

Birds are prey species and their instinct is to be constantly on the look out for predators. During the day, it is best to part cover a cage to provide a sense of security for your bird.

We sell a wide selection of natural toys made by the Parrot Rescue Centre. These toys are made from native branches and seed pods, naturally tanned leather, and stainless steel wire. They are “bird safe” and are regarded as disposable. They are meant to be chewed and enjoyed. Parrots need to chew to keep their beak in good condition and to satisfy their foraging instincts.

Perches play an important role in maintaining the health of a bird’s beak, feet and claws. They also play an integral part in providing mental stimulation and occupational therapy for your pet. Parrots are “hard-wired” to chew. They need to chew to maintain their beak in tip-top condition.

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