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The cage-free pet parrot

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The cage-free pet parrot

Postby miajag » Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:49 pm

In browsing around other forums and talking to other bird owners, I've come across a few people whose birds do not live in cages at all, and simply have free run of the house (or a part of the house). The usual reasoning for this seems to be "I don't believe in keeping birds in cages" (which of course is dumb; if the bird is confined to your house it's still in a "cage," just a really big one). Often these people have some kind of big play gym or tree that is the parrot's main roost, and other stands and stuff around the house.

Obviously I'm not planning on doing this or anything, but I do think it is an interesting idea. Are there any distinct advantages to allowing a bird free run of the house pretty much 24/7? The disadvantages seem obvious -- the entire house (or apartment, etc.) would need to be birdproofed; guests would need to be more careful; you'd always need to be cautious opening doors and windows; poop and other mess could get everywhere, and so on. And of course you'd still need a travel cage to put the bird in when transporting it or in an emergency. I guess what I'm wondering is whether this is something that would be better for a parrot's overall well-being than having it in a cage of reasonable size. It seems to me that it wouldn't, but that could just be my personal bias against having bird poop all over the house and my fear of escaping birds coming into play. Anyone here do this? Experiences?
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Re: The cage-free pet parrot

Postby Michael » Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:11 am

Ok, first off I agree with you that the house is still its cage. The biggest issue with never keeping the bird in the cage is that you have nowhere to put the bird when you need "human time" to yourself without a feathered friend getting in your way. Now if someone has an entire room to dedicate to their bird which is completely safe and properly set up, great. For the rest of us that share our living space this is not an option. My apartment is all one huge room so I must put my parrot away when I am cooking. Furthermore, I really don't trust her and can't keep her out if I'm not able to keep an eye out on her. Basically with many artificial and human created dangers, the birds should not be out unsupervised unless in a sealed bird proof room. I think on a case by case basis, some people may be able to provide ideal conditions for this. For the rest of us, there's a cage and then out of cage time.
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Re: The cage-free pet parrot

Postby MissLady9902 » Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:58 am

Hey miajag,

I think a bird having it's own room is alright but there's not way to bird-proof an entire house. It's not safe. Birds will find a way to get to something they know they're not supposed to have. Wires, light switches, electrical outlets <--- very bad, anything in a kitchen, bathrooms, etc....
It's just not a good idea. Even the most careful person might forget to close a bathroom door and the bird could drown in the toilet, or the door could be left open too long and the birds get outside. Besides all that the bird needs his own place that he knows is his.
And that's how I feel about that! :)
Cathy

Busy beaks are quiet beaks!

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:gray: - Marvin
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Re: The cage-free pet parrot

Postby kimbo » Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:58 am

there is the walking on the floor, mine does and beeps at me as soon as he sees me but i watch him all the time hes out of cage anyway. but if he had free run of house i hate to think.
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Re: The cage-free pet parrot

Postby entrancedbymyGCC » Sun Feb 28, 2010 1:15 pm

How could you sleep without being afraid you'd roll over and crush the bird? How could you cook?

I think right now we are societally hung up on the (IMO, flawed) notion that "natural" is inherently better. Up to a point, we can learn a lot from what is natural, but certainly plenty of urban horse owners compromise their horses' health and welfare by trying to cram a "natural" lifestyle into an environment that just can't accommodate it. I suspect this is an extension of the same kind of thinking.
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Re: The cage-free pet parrot

Postby Lisa » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:12 pm

miajag wrote:In browsing around other forums and talking to other bird owners, I've come across a few people whose birds do not live in cages at all, and simply have free run of the house (or a part of the house). The usual reasoning for this seems to be "I don't believe in keeping birds in cages" (which of course is dumb; if the bird is confined to your house it's still in a "cage," just a really big one). Often these people have some kind of big play gym or tree that is the parrot's main roost, and other stands and stuff around the house.

Obviously I'm not planning on doing this or anything, but I do think it is an interesting idea. Are there any distinct advantages to allowing a bird free run of the house pretty much 24/7? The disadvantages seem obvious -- the entire house (or apartment, etc.) would need to be birdproofed; guests would need to be more careful; you'd always need to be cautious opening doors and windows; poop and other mess could get everywhere, and so on. And of course you'd still need a travel cage to put the bird in when transporting it or in an emergency. I guess what I'm wondering is whether this is something that would be better for a parrot's overall well-being than having it in a cage of reasonable size. It seems to me that it wouldn't, but that could just be my personal bias against having bird poop all over the house and my fear of escaping birds coming into play. Anyone here do this? Experiences?


hello:

It is very interesting what you are saying as where I got my bird, they do have some bigger birds that stay on the tree stands or other type stands and know when it is time to go to bed when the lights are turned off. as for them pooping birds can be taught to poop in certain places, you can teach them to do this, alot of people I have met, teach their birds,to to do this the only diffrence is I have been told never just teach it to go on its portable perch as then they will not go in their cage and then would end up getting sick.

they might have the bird trained to poop in certain areas! just a thought and something I have read and seen

Lisa
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Re: The cage-free pet parrot

Postby Michael » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:41 pm

Kili barely poops in her cage and holds it in. I let her out in the morning and evening (at least) and she flies right over to her flight stand and poops on the newspaper underneath. This is very convenient and lets me clean the cage less frequently. Furthermore it keeps the mess contained in one place. When she is out, she'll normally fly to her stand to poop as well. However, when I leave her in the cage overnight or for some duration she just goes in the cage so I don't have any such problems. I taught her to do this very informally.

Most of the "training" for pooping on the stand was that when I felt a poop was coming up soon (timing), I'd send her back to her perch. The sooner she pooped, the sooner I'd call her back and spend time with her again.
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Re: The cage-free pet parrot

Postby lzver » Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:05 am

Even though the lives we provide for our birds don't emulate their natural habitat in the wild, I like to think that Lucy and Jessie and all of our birds still have it pretty good. Their cage provides them with a safe haven where they know they are safe and is their territory. They have their free time out of their cages on a daily basis, are always offered a variety of healthy and tasty food (if only I ate as healthy as my birds do) and are well socialized and loved.

I fully respect if there are people that allow their birds to be cage free, but I agree with what several others have said. I know if I take my eye off my birds for even a minute, that's enough time for them to get into something they are not supposed to. As much as we try to eliminate as many hazards as we can from their environment, they can be sneaky and find something we never even thought about. I love them too much and would constantly worry about them if I knew they weren't safely in their cages.
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Re: The cage-free pet parrot

Postby CheekyandMalolo » Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:17 am

If there is someone home, our birds are out of their cage. they have free range of the front room/lounge room/kitchen/dining room(it all kinda flows). the 2 boys(princess and red wing parrot) aren't allowed in the rest of the house unless we've got them cause knocking things off tables is their favourite game, and since the red wing parrot is aviary bred, and the princess parrot doesn't leave his side, the stick to their area.
they have a big tree/perch that they hang out on, as well as their cage. the cockatiels and the green cheek conure are 'people birds' and will follow anyone around the house. my young cockatiel Malolo will chase my dad trying to follow him and land on his shoulder. she's a bit in love with him.
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Re: The cage-free pet parrot

Postby Athena&beepbeep'smom » Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:33 am

I've seen the no-cage theory before and it intrigues me because I always want the best for my kids but I'm not sure that's best. I see a lot of problems. First of all how do you keep it safe? Where do you put the bird if you are cooking or if repair men are coming in and out of the front door, etc etc. the only way to limit their movement enough to keep them away from these hazards would be to place them on a stand and keep their wings short cut at all times which I think is way more limiting to their movement and damaging to their pscyhe than a reasonably sized cage. Also, if you still have to put the bird in a cage or carrier to travel or go to the vet etc, aren't you just setting the bird up to be traumatized if he or she isn't used to being confined at all? And finally there are sooo many things I'm willing to do for my birds but step in bird poop in every room of my house all the time is just not one of them. Ick!!
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