The Perches:
No matter what kind of cage you buy, examine the perches closely. Proper perches are made of hardwood, plastic ones are less desirable. The perches should not all be of the same diameter. That places a strain on the bird's feet because they get no chance to use different muscles. Perches are of comfortable thickness if the bird's toes reach around them without the claws touching. But in nature birds do not use only branches of the exact right size. The change from quite thin to very thick branches offers the muscles of the feet the necessary exercise. For resting and sleeping, your parakeet will automatically choose a branch of a comfortable size. Replace at least two of the original perches with three or four natural branches of different thicknesses. Branches from oak trees, alders, poplars, mountain ash, or fruit trees are suitable. Avoid trees that have been exposed to auto exhaust or that have been sprayed with insecticide. Few trees, which are poisonous, are of course disqualified. Branches have to be trimmed to size and solidly mounted inside the cage in such a way that they do not interfere too much with the parakeet's freedom of movement. The branches will be gnawed to pieces in time and should then be replaced with fresh ones. Most parakeet cages come equipped with a swing and often with a ladder as well. The swing usually becomes the bird's favourite spot where it especially likes to spend the night. If you have two birds in one cage you may want to buy a second swing, but make sure the two birds don't get into each other's way when they use the swings. The ladder is a different story. Many birds never make use of it, and it only takes up space. If your bird doesn't use the ladder, take it out. This gives the bird more room in the cage and saves you some cleaning.

E-Mail: berniehansen@sympatico.ca



Hamilton & District Budgerigar Society Inc. 1996