A cage to a bird
is a place for security. A cage is where they will establish it as
their territory and feel safe and is where they will sleep. Birds
should be kept in a cage when you are not present in the home or if
you are too busy to supervise them. A cage should be able to
accommodate the bird, several perches, at least 3 bowls which
consist of 2 food and 1 water bowl and of course a few toys!
What type of
finish or coating is best on cages? Powder coating is generally most
common and is usually pretty durable and easily cleaned. Stainless
Steel is a long lasting life time finish but does require more care
to keep it looking nice and sometimes is not easy to clean. Powder
Coating comes in a variety of colors.
There are a few
Cage Manufactures to choose from, and depending upon what size
and type you want and mostly the cost of the cage will determine
what you purchase. Cage pricing is not cheap but keep in mind that
it is your pet companion's place of security and well being. Try to
keep in mind too not to go too cheap as many of those type are
thinner gauge metals and are more flimsy and will not hold up for
long lasting years to come. Bar spacing is very important too...
Pionus can have one inch spacing with no problem of getting their
head stuck in between the bars. If you go too small of spacing, then
their wings tend to get caught in between the bar spacing. Dome tops
are not always good as the bars that run up towards the top center
come together into a narrowing graduated space making it easier to
get caught in and hard to place a play area on top of dome topped
cages. I like built in play tops already made onto the cage, it's
safer and easier to deal with and looks nice. Some newer cages are
made so the play top comes off and you can place the play area else
where for the time being. New cages should be washed first before
On the outside of the cage
the bird should have a play top area or a play stand or T-Stand area
to play on and have toys on it. This helps to give them another spot
to be in so they do not tire of their cage. Think of it as you sleep
in your bed but you would not want to stay in your bedroom all day
long! So when your bird is able to be out of their cage this gives
them something to look forward to. Some people do set up another
cage just for the bird to sleep in these would be called "sleeping
cages". There is nothing wrong with using them but it does take more
space and the sleeping cage can be smaller because the bird is only
in it for the night. You must be in position though to transfer the
bird to the larger cage in the morning as you would not want your
bird cooped up in the smaller sleeping cage all day long! You
can use the carriers like what are known as cat carriers, and mount
a perch in it and adding in optional water or food is your choice.
Cage Time... you should allow your Pionus a certain amount of time
in the cage time and a certain amount outside of cage time. By the
way, many people seem to think that when their bird acts up or bites
they stick them back in the cage as s form of "time out" or as a
"punishment" for what they have done, but in reality, birds do not
see it that way and often because they do feel their cage as being a
sense of security... they do not learn from their mistakes of being
punished or time-out gestures!
Cage size for a
Pionus should be no less than 24"x24"x30" of inside measurements and
this would be the smallest you would want to go and it would not
provide enough room if you plan to lavish them with lots of fun time
within the cage. Ideally, 30" to 40" wide by 24" or 30" deep and
about 30" to 36" high of inside dimensions would be great! This
would more than provide ample room for several perches of different
diameter sizes and textures and many toys! People love to add in
Boings into the cage as well so this takes room or the rope perches
add a lot of comfort too! You may also want to add in an extra
optional dish/bowls too and place them where they are not perched
over the feed and water areas.
When a bird is in
its cage, he/she should be able to spread their wings out fully
without beating them up when flapping to exercise... they should be
able to stretch wings out comfortably if needed. All cage area
should be free of hazardous items such as loose quick links that
hang the toys or frayed ropes.
Cage should be
kept cleaned and should be an everyday occurrence but often the busy
life style has that left for week-end duties for many working
people. If you can clean by changing papers and tiding up the cage
at least two to three times a week then that should not be so bad.
Washing the cage should happen more often than it does too, but
there again, if washed at least once a month with a good soapy water
and disinfectant will be good, rinsing the cage well and letting it
dry, perches should dry before your bird rests on it.
Cage should be
place in a good location away from high traffic areas. Try not to
place in drafty areas, such as near a door that leads to the
outside, it can be drafty plus a good way for your bird to suddenly
escape to the great outdoors or do not place in front of a window
opened up often. If you have children place cage where your kids
will not be bumping into the cage when playing.
wonder if two birds can be kept in one cage... the answer is yes as
long as they get along well enough. The double cages are great too
to accommodate more than one bird. I have several of the double
cages where the one is on top of the other which is all one
unit and works out well and I have found that the birds in the lower
section do fine and it use to be said that birds in the lower
section feel insecure, but I have not found that to be true at all.
The double cages are a great way for taking less floor space in
Covering the Cage
- This does add privacy and helps for your Pionus to go off to sleep
quicker. Although most Pionus are earlier to bed parrots as a
rule. Usually by 6 or 7 PM they want to turn in for a nights rest.
If in a room where lights and activity is at then covering the cage
maybe most helpful. I cover some of my Pi's and they tend to like it
and they know when they get covered it means good night! Covering
the cage will also provide warmth a little too in the winter time.
The cover you choose can be most anything. I usually use sheets or
very large towels. You can buy cage covers made for cages as well or
have them custom made. I cover only 3 sides of the cage, I do
not like to have my birds to be in total darkness so covering only 3
sides helps to have a little light into the cage. I also use a near
by night light which helps to prevent some night freights so birds
are not as likely to thrash through the night. It is your choice on
as whether to cover the cage or not.
Birds need toys...
they need stimulation. They need to be entertained and kept busy!
There are pre-made toys to buy, there are bird toy parts that you
can buy to make your own bird toys... there are many things within
your home to find that are safe to let your bird play with too!
Always have the right size toys for the bird you have, do not have
toys too big nor too small for your bird, because then it can be not
so safe if too small or too big, plus they may not play with the
toy. Birds love to chew on things that are chewable and you need to
provide it. You can offer them both destructible and
non-destructible items. If a bird can not destroy something then
they can loose interest in the toy. Have both hanging type and foot
toys. Foot toys are considered something smaller that they can hold
in their foot to play with but this type of toy means you will be
having to pick it up a lot as they will drop it! As a rule, birds do
not swallow pieces of wood or plastic that they chew off of
something, but it can happen from time to time.
Toy safety is
always the key thing with toys. Birds have been known to get caught on
toys and hang themselves and if left long enough, it can end up
being fatal. I will list toys safety below so be sure to read
it. Birds love to chew woods, plastics, cotton ropes, paper, well
they love to chew on most anything but not all things might be good
so be aware!
Some Good Reasons why Birds should always be Supervised when playing with toys.
Take every measure of precaution when it comes to toy safety, don't under
estimate a bird's chewing capabilities.
Always be sure items are bird
safe and is recommended for birds. Check toys regularly for hazards.
I can not emphasize enough to you about the safety of
ropes. Keep ropes short, if ropes get untied you either need to re
knot the rope or cut the excess off. Stringy ropes are great for
birds getting caught in. The most safest cotton rope is the
Supreme Cotton Rope™. With rope toys watch for
excessive fraying if the length is too long, cut or re-tie knots in
A bird can get a foot or body entanglement in the rope and may not be
able to free its self with out you're help.
Watch for all things that have
been chewed on that the bird somehow can not get caught or hurt on it.
Make sure if your bird wears
leg band, that the leg band can not get caught on some part of the toy.
Never give your bird Styrofoam
of any kind to chew on as a toy, it can kill them if ingested.
Many things can kill a bird if object are ingested, but Styrofoam is a
If given paper towel or toilet
paper rolls to a bird, watch carefully especially with small birds such as Love
Budgies as they have been known to get stuck in them if the tube should
stand up on end and die due to suffocation
known that they were in the paper roll.
Cut the length of the roll so that it is short so they can keep
their footing when playing with the tube.
Hanging toys should be hung so
that it can't come off with the weight of the bird if its hanging from
Most birds do not eat wood
pieces but still watch them carefully to make sure what it is they do
with the pieces.
Preferably do not use wire to
secure toys to the cage, many times birds get the wire loose enough
the leg band caught in it and can't get away. Remember, if a bird can't
get its foot or leg loose, they panic
and will chew their foot off to
Always put yourself in the
position of 'What if I were bird, what would be a hazard to myself?'
There are many times
that you will put something in position and think it is safe, but only
later to find out that it's not safe at all.
If a toy looks like it may not be safe then remove it
and replace it with another one, or perhaps some of the pieces on it can
be used towards another toy that you can make.
Don't flavor wood pieces when
making toys, it is not a good idea. Birds may want to eat it if it
tastes good to them.
'Zinc' plated quick links may not be good for your bird, but as a general rule
birds don't mess with the link being that it
is at the top of the toy or at the top of the cage. Stainless
Steel links are non toxic.
I personally do not worry about it, in all my years of using Zinc Plated
Quick Links, I've never had a problem. Use 'Stainless Steel plated' or
'Nickel' plated as an alternative is you are not comfortable using zinc
plated items. Zinc is considered to be toxic to birds, to
read more go to this link outside of our website, a new window will open
Split key rings that are used to hang the toy are
dangerous, if the bird splits apart the ring they can get their
tongue or toe caught between where it splits. Split key rings
should not be used on any bird toys. Wooden Clothes pins
that have the wire spring on them are
dangerous, too. For an clothes pin alternative use the wooden peg
type. Certain fabrics that fray easily,
the strands will entangle the bird.
When looping ropes, wire or
anything else that requires a loop, make it small enough so the bird can
its head stuck in the loop and hang its self.
Screws - a bird can get its leg
band caught on the head of the screw and may not be able to free its self,
this is common
in an aviary. Perches and such things that are screwed together as
the bird chews on the wood exposing the screw shaft, it can be a hazard
as it can poke or jab them or they can fall or fly into it.
Replace the wood when this happens or remove the exposed screw.
A bird should be given the
appropriate size toy for the size of the bird species that it is.
Don't give a Cockatiel a Amazon size toy. If its too big they may get
hurt on it or they may not even play with it. Please use common
sense when it comes to birds and their toys.
When closing 'S' hooks or 'O' rings on a toy be sure
that they are closed very tightly, this will prevent leg bands or the
getting caught in the opening.
You should always do a periodic check on any type of hardware or other
toy parts that contain openings. For large birds if the gauge of
the ring is not heavy enough the large birds can open the rings.
This item should NOT be bought
for bird toy
Take a look at the safe
Supreme Cotton Rope that we use in our toys and sell.
This is the only type of
Paulie Rope you should use when
making your bird toys, or buying toys. If it's not the 'Odyssey
Paulie Rope', you should not use any other poly ropes that you may
find in hardware stores or markets, they are not bird safe. Stay
out of the Hardware stores when it comes to ropes, none of those stores
carry the type of ropes you need to make bird toys with. I also do
not approve of the Sisal Ropes, I find them to have very entangling
fibers and would not recommend them at all. The same goes for twines of
any type, do not use any twines. The 'Supreme Cotton Rope' and the
'Odyssey Paulie Rope' are manufactured for the same company, they have
set out to have one of the most safest ropes when it comes to bird
safety. It is true they are the best by far, it is safety that we
want for our birds! I have tested the 'Odyssey Paulie Rope' and
the 'Supreme Cotton Rope' with our small and large birds and they like
it and it does what it is meant to do when it is torn apart, these
are two great items that have proven the ultimate safety to me.
They are two superior products and I would highly recommend them to any
one to use in bird toy making, you can also purchase these two items on
Plastics should not be brittle type plastics that you
give to birds as they can shatter. You have to be able to the
difference between, hard, soft, brittle plastics. We do not sell
any types of brittle type plastic items. The Straw Beads at right are
fine for the birds.
Remember, safety comes from being monitored, nothing in this world is
one hundred percent safe.
You can purchase our Toy Parts on our main website here...