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Need a safe and indestructable perch material.

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Need a safe and indestructable perch material.

Postby Zipy » Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:54 pm

OK, I have 3 cockatiels in a large cage. It came with wooden perches which of course didn't last very long. Would copper water pipe be OK? I know they couldn't phase it. Not toxic is it? I mean we use it every day to get our drinking water through. It is brand new copper, so no lead content whatsoever. (Yeah, I'm a plumber)
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Re: Need a safe and indestructable perch material.

Postby Michael » Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:16 pm

Wow.... :roll:

The whole point is to give them semi-destructible perches cause they are softer on their feet and destroying them gives them something to do. Any type of pipe will be a severe health hazard to the bird as will any wooden dowel because it will damage their feet. Any perch that has the same diameter throughout will be a problem. Think of it like wearing flat rigid metal shoes that you can never take off.

Perches are one of the cheaper parts of parrot ownership. Just let them have fun with them.
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Re: Need a safe and indestructable perch material.

Postby Wolf » Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:56 pm

Hi zipy and welcome to the forum. You sound like you might be new to parrots and we would all love to assist you with any questions that you might have.

Most cages come with either plastic or wooden dowels for perches and they are very bad for a parrots feet. This is because they are usually perfectly round and the same diameter the entire length of the perch. When a parrot has these types of perches it does not matter how they try to perch in a different position the pressure on the foot is always in the same spot. To experience what this feels like all you have to do is spend a couple of hours, if it takes that long, standing on a ladders rungs.

Although I do have some store bought perches in my parrots cages they are designed specifically to wear the points of their talons down just a little bit so that they are not quite as sharp and they vary in both shape and diameter throughout their length. The rest of my perches are all made from bird safe, untreated wood from my own property. Here is a link that has a list beginning on its second page that I have found to be very useful. It contains information about foods, trees, woods, house plants and even household items that are either safe or toxic to our birds. viewtopic.php?f=8&t=12521 I hope that this list is even half as helpful for you as it has been for me.
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Re: Need a safe and indestructable perch material.

Postby Pajarita » Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:20 am

Yep, what both Michael and Wolf said and just one more thing to add to it. Dowels (the perches that all cages bring when you buy them) are not only of one single diameter from beginning to end but they are also VERY rigid so when you use natural tree branches (which are free!), you are not only giving them different diameters (good exercise for their toes, feet and legs) and texture (good for nail 'wearing down') but you are also eliminating a source of hard impact on their joints. If you observe birds flying to a tree branch and alighting there, you will see that they usually perch on small branches and, as the bird puts its weight on them, the little branches 'bounce'. This up and down action is like a shock absorber and eliminates the jarring that occurs when they perch on a hard dowel.

So, please, use natural branches with the bark on them so they can entertain themselves peeling it - and don't choose the ones that are perfectly even and straight, either.
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