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Being IN vs being ON his cage

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Being IN vs being ON his cage

Postby Bultaco » Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:33 pm

Our double yellow is 22 years old and he's been with us since we hand fed him as a baby.

Throughout his life, he has rarely been "locked" in his cage, which is a good, "compromise" size for a kitchen-located cage. I know.....don't start on me, though. We LIVE in our kitchen, so he does, too; always has and always will.
(See the cage in this video of Michael's to get an idea of the size: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73Czh7bEgR0)

Here's my concern: we're getting to an age where carrying his cage outside for cleaning is becoming less and less of a reality, simply based on its weight and awkwardness.

And the problem is, since he is almost ALWAYS on TOP of his cage, hanging his butt over one edge or another (except when he's inside eating/drinking from his bowls) he virtually ALWAYS poops down the side of the cage. It DOES have those 'poop catchers' that project from the sides, down at the level just above the cleanout tray...but, as all of you who own an Amazon and one of these cages know, the poop very often ends up slipping and sliding and doing the Slinky routine all down the bars on the side of the cage.....rather than floating or flying though space down to the catcher!

So, what I'd like to do is either a) close his door with him INSIDE....or, b) replace his cage with a "T" stand with bowls at each end.

My wife won't hear of the "LOCKING HIM IN HIS CAGE" solution...and she's not that wild about option b. ("What will he do when he WANTS to be inside???") I can't win.

Any suggestions?
You can call me Scotty
Better to have one and not need it than to need one and not have it!
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Re: Being IN vs being ON his cage

Postby Michael » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:22 pm

Neither. The best solution is both! Have the bird in the cage when not home or unsafe/inconvenient to have him out. And have him on the tree stand when you are home. Never have him on top of the cage because as you’ve discovered this leads to problems. My birds are either in the cage or out. Practically never on top.
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Re: Being IN vs being ON his cage

Postby Pajarita » Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:53 am

I have a pair [male/female] of zons that don't live in a cage, they live cage-free in the birdroom and, although they use one cage for nesting during breeding season, they use another one for eating [the food is actually put on top of the cage as it has a flat top] but, the rest of the time, they are on the platforms or branches. But I also have another pair [both female] that live in a cage in my dining room and they are also out all day long, going inside for only their dinner and sleeping and yes, I well know the poop drips on the bars running all the way from the top to the bottom you are talking about! Their cage is not so big that it cannot be taken outside BUT it is big and heavy and the power-wash we use on it can only be done when my husband is home [not often] and when the weather allows it so I end up having the same problem you do. What I do is the following: every morning, I scrape the dried up poop with a paint scraper from the 'poop catcher wings' and any other flat surface and, on the round parts [like the bars] I use a stripping brush [the kind that looks like a giant toothbrush with steel 'bristles' and which is normally used for stripping finishing off carved wood furniture]. Once I get all the 'thick' stuff out, I spray it thoroughly with a mixture I make myself of warm water, a splash of dish detergent and a drop or two of Clorox which I allow to soak for a couple of minutes while I remove the paper at the bottom, empty whatever fell on the tray under it, and then wipe first with a 'scrubby' pot sponge and second with a dish towel [I save the old ones for this and just throw them in the washer machine after but you can use paper towels, too]. It's a bit of extra work every day but, once you get used to the routine, you do it real quick and the cage comes out very clean.

This would allow you to keep his routine exactly the same as it has been for 22 years but, if you want to definitely get rid of the cage [I am with your wife and would NEVER consider keeping him inside the cage], I would put a metal platform hanging from the ceiling right above his cage and start putting the food and water there [the birds that live cage-free in the birdroom use platforms all the time] until he gets used to it and, when he does [you can't do it the first day you see him going up there, you have to wait for him to do it consistently every single day for, at least, an entire week], simply take the cage away but, as Michael pointed out, you would still need some kind of enclosure for him when you are not there...
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Re: Being IN vs being ON his cage

Postby Bultaco » Sun Dec 16, 2018 3:35 pm

Michael wrote:Neither. The best solution is both! Have the bird in the cage when not home or unsafe/inconvenient to have him out. And have him on the tree stand when you are home. Never have him on top of the cage because as you’ve discovered this leads to problems. My birds are either in the cage or out. Practically never on top.


Your answer SOUNDS ideal...but may I ask for a little bit more detail?

1. Sounds as though you're Ok with his being "locked up" when we're away (or friends/relatives come over with their dogs?)
.....and...
2. With your dual-housing proposal, where does feeding take place? INSIDE the cage? On the T-stand? Both?

Do you happen to have any photos (or could you "stage" one) or illustrations of the type of dual-apparatus setups? (Yes, in fact I AM trying to "gather ammunition" to make my case......but I'm doing it with the experts, so I don't feel badly about it. I AM, after all, only trying to make life more harmonious for Garcia (DY) and the person who does the cleaning! :-) (Just tell me when I'm' being a pain!)
You can call me Scotty
Better to have one and not need it than to need one and not have it!
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Re: Being IN vs being ON his cage

Postby Bultaco » Sun Dec 16, 2018 4:04 pm

Pajarita wrote: What I do is the following: every morning, .............

I would put a metal platform hanging from the ceiling right above his cage and start putting the food and water there [the birds that live cage-free in the birdroom use platforms all the time] until he gets used to it and, when he does [you can't do it the first day you see him going up there, you have to wait for him to do it consistently every single day for, at least, an entire week], simply take the cage away but, as Michael pointed out, you would still need some kind of enclosure for him when you are not there...


Thanks for getting back.
I have to admit though, you started to lose me as soon as I read the part of your answer that explained what you do EVERY DAY!

I realize that having a pet, (especially a bird) is a "labour of love"......but, wow! YOU ARE DEVOTED!

Your 'alternative' solution sounds like I'm drilling a hole in my kitchen ceiling so I can install a hanging platform. Then taking the cage away.....but then putting it back because he needs a cage as well!

Maybe I could cut straight to Michael's suggestion, put the t-stand right beside the cage, and improvise something that prevents the bird from being able to climb to the top of the cage. (Like one of those squirrel baffles used to prevent the four-legged critters from crawling up wild bird feeder poles.)

Are there no one-bird-owners out there that ever confine their bird to a cage......EXCEPT when it's standing on your shoulder or on your arm? Or owners that have a bird with no cage whatsoever? (Just the t-stand? Or something else? Like a tree in the middle of the room? LOL)

I realize I may be coming off sounding like the Grinch here, but, I have to find a way to keep 10 ugly, daily poops off the bars of this guy's cage.
You can call me Scotty
Better to have one and not need it than to need one and not have it!
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Bultaco
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Flight: No

Re: Being IN vs being ON his cage

Postby Michael » Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:20 pm

Bultaco wrote:Your answer SOUNDS ideal...but may I ask for a little bit more detail?

1. Sounds as though you're Ok with his being "locked up" when we're away (or friends/relatives come over with their dogs?)
.....and...
2. With your dual-housing proposal, where does feeding take place? INSIDE the cage? On the T-stand? Both?


Look, in my book, I explain the behavioral benefits of having a cage + stand type of a set up. The cage is for the bird to be independent and self sufficient in while the stand is for the bird to be out and interactive. The balance between the two is up to the family, circumstances, etc. Being on top of the cage or being in the cage are less different than you'd think!

A separate stand from cage means different place (preferably entirely different room), different lighting, different things going on, etc. The bird will have double the space, activity, and entertainment by having a stand in addition to the cage.

I'm not going to get into how it helps the bird-human bond, bird behavior, etc right now because that's covered in the book. But this is the way I've lived with birds ever since I've had them. Cage is for the bird to be in when it can't be out. Bird stands (and humans) are for having the bird out.

As for food, best to feed wherever the parrot wants to be least. For most birds, that is the cage. However, if the bird is cage bound and doesn't like coming out, then I'd feed it on the tree. Basically feed wherever you need to coax it to go to.
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Re: Being IN vs being ON his cage

Postby Bultaco » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:09 pm

Michael wrote:
Look, in my book, I explain the behavioral benefits of having a cage + stand type of a set up. The cage is for the bird to be independent and self sufficient in while the stand is for the bird to be out and interactive. The balance between the two is up to the family, circumstances, etc. Being on top of the cage or being in the cage are less different than you'd think!


Thanks very much for your further explanation, Michael. I'm starting to grasp your logic...and I finally realize after all these years, that cages like mine, with built-in, wrap-around poop catchers (like this one https://tinyurl.com/yap2uuu2) are just plain BAD design. They're MADE with the assumption that your bird will be walking around the top of the cage, letting feces fly!

I'm also starting to appreciate the psychology of the cage+perch concept. Guess I'll have to buy the book to get the FULL story.

Thanks again!
You can call me Scotty
Better to have one and not need it than to need one and not have it!
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Bultaco
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Location: St. Catharines, ONTARIO, Canada
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Re: Being IN vs being ON his cage

Postby liz » Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:02 am

Bultaco wrote:Our double yellow is 22 years old and he's been with us since we hand fed him as a baby.

Throughout his life, he has rarely been "locked" in his cage, which is a good, "compromise" size for a kitchen-located cage. I know.....don't start on me, though. We LIVE in our kitchen, so he does, too; always has and always will.
(See the cage in this video of Michael's to get an idea of the size: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73Czh7bEgR0)

Here's my concern: we're getting to an age where carrying his cage outside for cleaning is becoming less and less of a reality, simply based on its weight and awkwardness.

And the problem is, since he is almost ALWAYS on TOP of his cage, hanging his butt over one edge or another (except when he's inside eating/drinking from his bowls) he virtually ALWAYS poops down the side of the cage. It DOES have those 'poop catchers' that project from the sides, down at the level just above the cleanout tray...but, as all of you who own an Amazon and one of these cages know, the poop very often ends up slipping and sliding and doing the Slinky routine all down the bars on the side of the cage.....rather than floating or flying though space down to the catcher!

So, what I'd like to do is either a) close his door with him INSIDE....or, b) replace his cage with a "T" stand with bowls at each end.

My wife won't hear of the "LOCKING HIM IN HIS CAGE" solution...and she's not that wild about option b. ("What will he do when he WANTS to be inside???") I can't win.

Any suggestions?



I cut a piece of heavy ply wood a little larger than the cage top.
That prevents the bird from pooping down the cage. Just keep paper on the floor around the cage. Keep paper on the ply wood too as well the bottom of the cage.
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Re: Being IN vs being ON his cage

Postby Pajarita » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:34 am

Quote
Thanks for getting back.
I have to admit though, you started to lose me as soon as I read the part of your answer that explained what you do EVERY DAY!

I realize that having a pet, (especially a bird) is a "labour of love"......but, wow! YOU ARE DEVOTED!

Your 'alternative' solution sounds like I'm drilling a hole in my kitchen ceiling so I can install a hanging platform. Then taking the cage away.....but then putting it back because he needs a cage as well!

Maybe I could cut straight to Michael's suggestion, put the t-stand right beside the cage, and improvise something that prevents the bird from being able to climb to the top of the cage. (Like one of those squirrel baffles used to prevent the four-legged critters from crawling up wild bird feeder poles.)
Unquote

I am devoted to them [I am, after all, a bird lover] but then, the only way to keep a parrot healthy and happy is through A LOT of devotion which means a lot of work and sacrifice because their needs are so very different from ours. I work four straight hours every single morning to clean and feed all my animals [I have more than just the old ladies cage to clean]. But, if all you have to do is one single cage, it would only take about 10 to 15 minutes from beginning to end, that's all [take out bowls, scrape, spray, take papers out, wipe, dry, put new papers and voila, clean cage!]. It looks like a lot more complicated and involved than it really is, especially if you do it every day.

My platform suggestion was so you could have the 'alternative' right above the cage and only take the cage away when the bird is used to it which would enable you to put papers on the floor to 'catch' the poop, making the cleaning just a matter of throwing out the dirty papers and replacing them with clean ones. And yes, it does require a hole in the ceiling but a simple butterfly hook would work just fine and people make holes in the ceiling to hang plants all the time. The only problem I see with this is that you would not have a safe place for the bird when you are not there and birds are never safe in a human room on their own.
Pajarita
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Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Flight: Yes

Re: Being IN vs being ON his cage

Postby nightfly » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:11 am

If you're handy you can do this: Buy clear lexan 1/8" sheet, here's an example, but if you have a local plastics industry they will probably sell it much cheaper, and may even cut it to your size and bend the ends for you, too, using their commercial heat devices)

https://www.amazon.com/Lexan-Sheet-Polycarbonate-Thick-Nominal/dp/B004YG6FNM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1545926474&sr=8-2&keywords=clear+lexan+sheet+1%2F8

cut to match your preferred width (usually about an inch wider than the side of the cage) and a little longer than the length of the side of cage and add a few inches. You will need to use a heat strip https://www.amazon.com/BriskHeat-XtremeFLEX-Plastic-Bending-Heater/dp/B0095ZGN8Y/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1545925872&sr=8-8&keywords=plastic+heat+bender
to bend the top of the sheet to slide onto the top edge of the cage, and drill two holes into the sheet a about 5 inches from the top. Bend the plastic sheet at the top about 1" at a 45 degree angle, then again a second time another inch or so down. This gives you a 90 degree top to the clear plastic sheeting. There are various heat strips available, and when using them, use cloth or leather work gloves so you don't burn yourself. They are surprisingly easy to use.
Now mount a set of hook ended bolts (also available at your local hardware or big orange or blue home box store)
https://www.amazon.com/National-Hardware-N221-713-2163BC-Stainless/dp/B000BO7BLQ/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1545926131&sr=8-5&keywords=hook+bolt to the top end of the side bars of the cage. I like stainless steel hardware, but you can just use galvanized I suppose. Mount two a few bars down, a few inches from the front and back of the cage. How long the hook bolt should be will depend upon how far away from the cage you want your clear plastic protective sheet to be. Hooks facing upwards, the clear plastic sheets are easily removable from the sides of the cage for washing either outdoors or indoor shower/tub. You can also mount one on the back of the cage as well. The 90 degree turn essentially either slides over the edge of the top of the cage, or you can cut it to slide into the top space above the top bars. I recommend lexan because acrylic can easily chip off and cause a sharp edge which can endanger your birds.
Leaving the bottoms loose allows just tilting them away to change food/drink bowls.

You can also purchase a simple flat sheet of 4x4 lexan to keep under your cages to catch whatever drips down; once dry, a stiff paint scraper on a stick can loosen all the stuff up and you can just vacuum it all into a vac with a hepa filter to keep it out of the air.

I would have posted pics but am again moving, this time to Arizona with my gray and pionus.
Toby 28 y/o African Gray, Max, 26 year old White capped pionus. Me, old retired guy.
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