Cages from hell and cages from heaven……….

Ideally I would like to see all parrots in a cage from heaven, but this sadly is not so.

Let me tell you a little story about 1 of the 1st house visits I made. The people were concerned that the gold and blue macaw was having a few problems, and at first glance I could see exactly why. He was in a cage that was so small he could not even stretch his wings a little bit. The cage was old and rusty and this macaw was to say the least “ticked”.. They knew very little about this beautiful bird and as well as being heart broken I nearly lost a finger trying to love him a little. I suggested that they give him to a bird sanctuary. I just hope they did.I think of him often as I look at my scarred finger.

Some birds have to spend their whole day while you are out at work and your cage better be the one that comes straight from heaven……….. Lots of space for him to stretch his wings, can climb around the whole cage and can play with the toys that you have hung for him to play with. A dish of clean water for him to drink when he gets thirsty. You can leave a little bit of food but if you follow my diet advice this is not so important.

Perches in the cage should be made from branches found in your fruit trees, they should be different thicknesses, curved ones are good, use your imagination and put in more than 1. Birds like to chew and modify their own branches so don’t have a fit if your bird starts chewing and gnawing branches that you have just put in. Let your bird make it comfortable for him to stand and perch on.

Toys are a must, to keep your bird active and fit, in body and in mind. Don’t hang so many that they get in the way of his climbing around the cage. Toys should be changed every couple of weeks so the bird stays interested in the toys. Colourful toys are good and there are some toys on the market that you can hide food in, try these and see how clever your bird is!

The 7th heaven cage, is the cage that can be left open all day, so that your bird can go in and out when ever he wants to. Its got toys, it has got natural perches, and clean water. This is not always possible and I do understand this – just do your best, open the cage as soon as you get home and leave it open until it is time to go to bed.

Your bird’s cage is his place to retreat to when things get hectic in the house. He needs a place where he feels safe. He needs a place to hide away from lots of people and noise, so make it a happy place for him to retreat to.

Sam my husband’s African grey and sprog, my jenday conure, are out of their cages all day and half the night, only because I do my work from home and I can interact with them when ever I retreat to my veranda for a bit of relaxation. Next to their cages are things for them to play with and in. Sam has the wood box where he goes to chew up the pieces of wood and on some days the box as well. He also has a straw magazine rack that he can perch on and chew up, he spends a lot of time on the rack.

Sprog has a 3 tier straw basket that he can play in and climb up and down on. He also has a magazine rack where he likes to sit and chew.

If you are working at home, try if you can to give your birds as much time out of their cages as you can. This is good for them, they will be happier and there won’t be too much screaming for attention.

Birds are precious, and we really do need to make them as happy as they can be. They like music and t.v. so try and keep them in the rooms where you spend most of your time. My office is just off the veranda and the birds love singing along when I am playing cd’s. Not that their singing is something I understand but they enjoy making a noise.

If this is all a bit of heaven, you can only imagine what a cage from hell looks like………

I have seen birds in tiny cages that are just plain cruel! I have also seen dowling perches that just do nothing for exercising the birds feet. Worse still, the bottom of the cage is lined with sand paper and perches too, to keep nails short and in good condition. Can you imagine walking around on sand paper all day, would you like to try it….. I didn’t think so, so why inflict this on your bird.

Rusty water dishes and food dishes are so dangerous, yet some people just don’t see the danger, they just keep filling them up and think their bird is whistling so he must be happy..

Some people can’t be bothered to buy toys, so the birds are bored and lethargic. Even home made toys are better than no toys at all.. If you are short of cash then try making your own. Just make sure that they are safe, no wires sticking out and no wool or string hanging that they can get their nails caught in.

If your bird is stuck in a cage that is too small, with no toys and rusty food dishes he is soon going to start bad habits that need a parrot behaviour therapist to sort out.

Give your bird a cage from heaven and he will stay healthy, happy and your best friend!
It is mostly common sense, look at your cage through new eyes and fix what needs fixing. If you have a heavenly cage…….. well done, your parrot will love you for ever.

As I close, I would urge you to go to the contact page of my web site and join up. Your details are quite safe with me, we can talk to each other and you will get my monthly news letter which is packed full of ideas and things to do with your bird. I always try and cover important stuff I think you should know. I try to make my articles personal, so that you see what I do with Sam and Sprog.

I hope that you have found this article useful, if you have any ideas of your own that other parrot owners might find interesting, let me know.

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