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5 Hints And Tips For Your Parrot Cage

May 14th, 2011

african grey parrot cage

There is a mass abundance of information out there about parrot cages, their shapes, size’s, colours and styles, I thought I would put this article together to offer a few hints and tips and the basic’s I have learnt over the years to help you to decide which cage is best suited to you, your parrot and your home.

1. Size Counts

Firstly the most important factor is the size of the cage the best rule to go by is the bigger the better, and where you are planning on keeping your parrot to ensure you have enough space for it. The cage needs to be big enough for your parrot to be able to freely spread it’s wings have a flap about for exercise, on the other hand if the cage is too big it could cause a problem to smaller parrots, for instance if you had a cage big enough to house a macaw the bar spacing will be far too big for a smaller parrot such as a Timneh Grey meaning there’s a high possibility its feet and head are caught and panic could cause untold damage, any good pet shop that sells cages can help you with information on the size of the cage you should be buying to suit your parrot.

2. Maintenance

Also to consider when buying a cage is it easy to keep clean and maintain. The best type to look for are the ones with a pull out tray to make cleaning the bottom of the cage a lot easier. Also another great feature which make life a lot easier are food and water bowls that are replaced without opening the main door of the cage with the possibility of letting your parrot out, they are cheeky things and often take advantage of an open door, this type of water bowls have their own small doors and as I say really is a neat feature.

3. Positioning your Cage

The cage should be kept in a position where your parrot will feel safe which is away from drafts such as windows which can make your parrot too hot if left in direct sunlight, another really important factor to think about is if you put your parrot cage in front of the window you could be leaving yourself wide open to being broken into and having your beloved parrot stolen which unfortunately really does happen a lot. Your parrot is worth lots of money and thieves often target parrots these days and would rather steal your parrot than a big heavy appliance like a TV, you may think that it would be hard to steal a parrot but once covered over with something a parrot becomes quiet and still.

Also consider placing your parrot cage somewhere that you and your family will pass and visit a fair number of times a day, parrots are social animals and love to be part of the action and have contact with you and the family so the living room would make a great place, ideally your cage should be placed in a corner of the room that is well lit so your parrot has some security of knowing that it can’t be approached from the back of it’s cage and/or one side which gives it the feeling of safety.

4. Toys & Amusements

You need to think about what toys you are going to put inside the cage for your parrot’s amusement, African greys love playing with toys and can amuse themselves with toys for a long time, simple things like a rope can keep them happy for many hours or something as simple as a wooden toy that they can chew with a bell which rattles when moved (Make sure it’s not so noisy that it irritates you). There are so many toys out there you just need to make sure that they are safe and can’t get caught round you birds neck or have tiny bits that can be swallowed (just like a small child), check any toy you buy carefully and if your not 100% sure it is safe DON’T buy it. Once you have some toys you can always rotate them around in the cage to keep them amused and as soon as one becomes too damaged such as a rope being shredded into bits remove it, our African grey Reggie must have been shredding his rope toy when we were out as when we came home he had it all tied round his feet and was sat on the bottom of his cage, for this reason we now remove any toys that get a little tatty.

5. Perches

You really need to consider the type of perches you use in your cage, the perches that usually come with a cage as standar are not really ideal and should be replaced with something more appropriate as soon as possible, something like java branches or branches from fruit trees such as pear, apple, hazelnut or even willow tress can all be used as long as you wash them down first and let them dry before placing the in the cage. This will provide your parrot with different thickness of perches, I also highly recommend a placing a concrete perch in the cage near the food or water bowls to ensure your parrot uses them, this will help to keep your parrots nails trim and beak under control as they like to rub it on the perch, I use more than one in the cage near the bowls as I mentioned, you can even get them in different colours and sizes, these are sold at most pet shops and each pack should have what size bird it is most suited too, just use your intuition to work out what size is best.

If your planning on letting your parrot out of the cage a lot (which you should!) you can consider buying your parrot a play gym, there are many good play gyms out there on the market, the one we use is the Java parrot tower which is great as it is on castors and has a big tray that catches all the dropped food and droppings, best of all the java branches can all be taken off to be cleaned, also you can move them about and add rope and sandy perches to help keep the parrots nails down. Our African grey Reggie sometimes stay out for days on end, he is very good and will just sit and play on his parrot tower, have a fly about from time to time but always returns back to his tower, he hates being in his cage though I would not recommend leaving your African grey out when you’re not around unless your 100% sure it will not get into trouble or fly down and chew things (Read the home hazards for Greys article), I am home all day long so am never far away in such cases, if we go out at all and no one is at home then we put him away. Reggie has been trained over the 12 years we have had him and even now sometimes gets over excited and flies down when he wants some extra attention!

Cage Hints and Tips Summary

  • Get the biggest but most appropriate cage for your parrot that you can fit into your home
  • Choose a cage that is easy to maintain, check the bowls can be changed in their own doors and their are pull out trays, make sure you clean your cage regularly
  • Position your cage in a safe position away from drafts, hot/cold areas and always ensure it’s not on show to the outside world in case of theft
  • Always fill your cage with toys to keep your parrot amused but always ensure they are in good condition to keep your parrot safe
  • Dump those standard perches, replace with Java or safe tree branches and concrete perches near their bowls for ongoing nail/beak maintenance

About the Author

Written by Paula Dansie of the African Grey Parrot Centre ™

This article may be duplicated in its full state but the above link must be retained, if this article is found duplicated anywhere on the web without the link preserved then legal action will be taken and your ISP will be contacted.

So You Want A Grey – Are You Sure?

January 13th, 2011

Just wanted to put a few thoughts down for anybody that is looking around trying to decide whether to buy an African Grey or not.  If you can TRUTHFULLY answer yes to these questions then go ahead and look for the Grey of your dreams.  If there is one TRUTHFUL “No” amongst your answers then do a bit more research, ask a few more questions and then try again.

African Grey

1.  Are you prepared to have a permanent toddler in your home for the next 50+ years?  

2.  Parrots make a mess, an endless mess on walls, floors even ceilings!  Can you cope with mess?

3.  Noise.  Parrots make a noise, they scream, whistle, shout make the same noise over and over and over again until it could drive you insane.  Are you prepared for perpetual noise?

4.  Cost. Parrots cost a fortune, not just the initial outlay but ongoing, toys (parrots destroy toys, that’s on their job description) food, the best food is pellets which can be expensive, around £30 every six weeks for one parrot. Plus of course all the other things, veg, fruit, pulses, vet bills, insurance, carry cage.

5.  Space.  Do you really have the space for a parrot?  I mean….REALLY have the space, don’t just say “Yeah, it will fit in that corner over there!”  they should have a big cage, the bigger the better, then they like to fly around as well, out of cage time means they need space to play, space to have toys out and play, space to just be a parrot.

6.  Do you want a parrot that can talk?  If you answer yes to this one, what about if it doesn’t talk?  What if all it did in the way of noise was to imitate your microwave all day, shout and scream at it’s toys, didn’t want to talk to you at all…..would you still love it?

7.  Are you prepared for your parrot to not like you?  Greys are like people, they have their likes and dislikes, maybe you like the parrot, but what if it doesn’t like you?  What if it loves your partner?  Would you still want it?

8.  Holidays. Can you make arrangements for your parrot to be looked after properly when you have to go away?  

9.  Time.  Do you really have time to look after a parrot?  They need an awful lot of attention, just like a child, they like to play and interact with people.  They are not an ornament to be kept in a cage 24/7 with food and water added so that it eases your conscience.

10.  Other pets.  Do you have other pets, a cat or a dog?  Do you have the space to let the parrot out and shut away your cat or dog while the parrot plays for an hour or two?  Do you have the time to dedicate to each of your pets?

11.  If you have answered yes to all of the above questions, then ok, you might be ready to have a parrot, but if there is the slightest doubt in your mind, stop and think it over again.  Do you really want a parrot to love and care for, probably for the rest of your life, or do you just see other parrots sitting, talking, playing and you think you want one like that?

There are far too many parrots on the rehoming roundabout, people buy them with all the best intentions and then the novelty wears off, or they come up with an excuse to pass them on.  Sometimes of course it is inevitable that a parrot has to find a new home, but I firmly believe that most obstacles are surmountable and usually with a bit of compromise here and there, there is no need for rehoming. Would you get rid of your child because the novelty wears off, it makes a noise, it’s expensive, it makes a mess, you have to make arrangements for holidays?

Just think over and over again, do you really want this sort of committment.

Written by Pat (Plukie –  Moderator on the forum)

Disadvantages Of Having Parrots For A Pet

July 31st, 2010

Parrots can be pretty hard to take care of. Unlike other pets that can be left alone in their cages, parrots are restless creatures who you have to check up on a couple of times every day. Here are just some things that parrots can do to your home.

1. Disadvantages Of Having Parrots For A Pet : Parrots can be pretty messy

If you are the type that would like the house to be spotless, try to reconsider getting a parrot or any pet for that matter. Parrots can be really messy, even a small parakeet.

Their food can be flung everywhere even when they are inside the cage. Your floor can be filled up by pellets, seed, and nutshells. Sticky foods may also be plastered on the walls, on the bars of the cage and even at the ceilings. Foods will literally be everywhere.

Another problem that you may have are their poop, which you really have to clean everyday. And they are not that disciplined to only poop in one place. They actually poop everywhere, in bars, in their food dish and even with the toys that you give them. They may even poop in between bars, which may end up on the floor and sometimes even on you.

If you have a cockatiel variety or the grey breed, you will also have to contend with the powder that they have on their feathers. The feathers will stick everywhere. So, you really have to dust everyday.

Because of this, you have to scrub the cage, their dish and the whole of the area at least once a day to prevent bacteria from settling in and of course the bad smell.

2. Disadvantages Of Having Parrots For A Pet : Parrots chew on everything

Parrots love chewing wood. In fact, owners of parrots often give them wooden toys to play and chew with inside their cages. Parrots however are not satisfied with just these toys. When they get the opportunity, they will chew on everything that they get their hands on. They will puncture your clothes, your furniture, even your books.

This can be really frustrating especially if you are the type of person who wants a clean house. Parrots are not recommended in homes that have dainty and fragile furniture. They should also not be placed in areas where they can break things and chew on antiques.

Be careful with wearing jewelry because they will sure to grab it or chew it. Parrots love shiny things. They can claw the stone right out of your favorite jewelery

About the Author

This content is provided by Low Jeremy. It may be used only in its entirety with all links included. For more information on Pet Parrot & other useful information, please visit pet-parrot.articlekeep.com

How To Disinfect A Bird Cage

June 19th, 2010

Before setting the bird into its lodging you should disinfect the cage to ensure there are no unwanted germs.

Even if your bird cage is new, and the perches are ecologically clean, they should be disinfected carefully. This operation is called carbonation, because a disinfectant gas for burning is used, gas for cigarette lighters can be used but it can be quite expensive.

How To Disinfect A Bird Cage : Now lets to proceed

  1. Wash both the bird cage and the wooden sticks with soap and hot water.
  2. Leave them to dry well, especially the sticks because they get soaked with water and drench.
  3. Prepare the gas and a cloth with which to put the gas over the perches and the bird cage. It is compulsory to put gloves (surgery or household gloves), otherwise you hands will smell awful.
  4. Slightly damp the cloth and carefully rub the bird cage and the perches everywhere. Now the bird cage and the perches are absolutely ready to be completed and to put the bird inside.

The disinfection is very useful for the bird because when it steps on the carbonated perches, a part of the gas gets soaked into its legs and then when scouring themselves it goes on their feathers.

It is good at least once or twice to clean the perches with gas and to change them. That is why I told you in the beginning to provide yourselves with wooden sticks.

To clean the bird cage with gas is more difficult, because you are supposed to have a spare lodging for the bird, where to put it temporarily. Nothing prevents you from cleaning the bird cage periodically with a cloth damped with gas without washing it with soap.

About the Author

Written by Paula Dansie of the African Grey Parrot Centre ™

This article may be duplicated in its full state but the above link must be retained, if this article is found duplicated anywhere on the web without the link preserved then legal action will be taken and your ISP will be contacted.

Interacting With The Amazon Parrot As A Pet

June 19th, 2010

More and more people want a parrot for their pet. But not everyone fully understands how complicated it is to have a parrot in your house, especially if it’s an Amazon parrot. You must have a lot of patience and a lot of spare time to rightly breed and socialize your new pet. And of course, you must have a very good financial condition to properly maintain an African grey parrot in good conditions.

Interacting With The Amazon Parrot As A Pet : Early training is key

First of all you must know that Amazon parrots can be very aggressive pets. They can not be compared with cats or dogs. Why is that? Because Amazon parrots have very strong personalities. For you to have an obedient pet you must control him by setting rough rules and limitations. Of course these aspects are not true when we talk about a 3-month-old Amazon because at this age they all are sweet and cute. The attitude problems will develop later when hormonal changes will appear. This will happen when the parrot is 4 or 5 years old. The hormone level changes at this age because the parrot reaches sexual maturity. Because parrots are flock animals they will consider you their flock and will become very possessive with you and his territory if you will let him. So if your pet was not well bread when he was young, you will have lot of difficulties when he has reached his sexual maturity.

If you want to discipline your pet you must be very strict with her and you must handle the bird every day. If your pet is a baby parrot you will not have any problem handling her. You just have to be very patient at the beginning and handle him very careful every day, slowly, as to allow you to touch him all over. If your parrot is afraid of you, don’t rush him. Go slowly, with patience, from where he will let you to be touched. The toes are in many cases a good place to start. One thing is for sure: he will let you to touch him when he will begin to adapt to the environment. This can take weeks. You must be very patient and not push him more than he lets you. This can be a long process. Sometimes it can take weeks until he will let you touch one toe.

When you succeed touching him every where, you must go further. If you don’t want your new pet to become a one person bird, you must present him to every person in your family or friends and encourage every one to slowly touch him. In this way he will integrate perfectly in to your family. Also show him his new territory: the entire house, room by room. It is also recommended to let him alone a few times a day so that he gets used to being alone.

If he is your only bird pet, you will represent for him his new family or his new flock. You must become his new parent and show him how to behave, how to play with toys. Also, in the same time you must show him his place in the flock. As a baby the Amazon will slowly begin to chew you finger. At first it will be like a tingle but as he grows it will turn into full bites. So my advise to you is not to encourage him to bite your finger by telling him”No bite”. Do not expect your Amazon to react immediately to your request. Do not forget the Amazons are very stubborn birds. You must be very convincing and very patient in the same time.

Interacting With The Amazon Parrot As A Pet : Avoiding being bitten

An Amazon parrot should also be stick trained because they have a very powerful personality and he is very hard to handle especially if is a mature parrot and is during the breeding season. In this way you will avoid some very bloody bites on your hand and arm.

You must show your Amazon parrot his place into the flock. Do not encourage him to dominate you. For example do not encourage him to climb on to your shoulder. If you will do this, your parrot will think that that is his territory and he will protect it from any person will try to approach. Also if you will want to get him off your shoulder, he will respond aggressively and even bite you from your shoulder or even worse from your eyes. So be very careful and show him who has the controls.

About the Author

Written by Paula Dansie of the African Grey Parrot Centre ™

This article may be duplicated in its full state but the above link must be retained, if this article is found duplicated anywhere on the web without the link preserved then legal action will be taken and your ISP will be contacted.

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