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Budgie parakeets > Talking birds > Parrot cages and stands
Parrot cages and stands
It is well to think carefully before deciding on a proper residence for your pets.
The cage for parrots, especially all large varieties, should be entirely of metal, as their bills are strong and they are quite apt to destroy the wood work; and another reason being that insects are so apt to find a lodging place in the cracks of wooden cages.
Most persons keep their bird in the usual round or cylindrical cages with an arched top, made of either tinned iron wire or brass wire, and these ~ are very good, but personally we think there is no house quite as nice for parrots as the square cages made of brass wire.
They are clean, attractive, and contrast well with the color of all kinds of parrots, especially with green birds. They are often called palace cages and are rather expensive, but there are similar cages made of tinned iron wire which are very nice, but no matter whether you use a round or a square cage, the bird will enjoy life better and perhaps live longer it given plenty of room.
While a Cuban or Mexican Red Head parrot may exist in a 12-inch round cage, still a 14-inch is much more satisfactory. The Double Yellow Heads are ordinarily kept in 14-inch or 16-inch cages, but the larger size is more desirable. If parrots are kept in too small a cage it is not only uncomfortable, but their tail and plumage is quite apt to become frayed and broken and it does not permit them to exercise sufficiently.
It was a common opinion long ago that parrots did not do well in brass cages, that they were apt to be injurious to them, but this is an error. Brass wire cages, especially if lacquered are perfectly safe. The lacquer is a liquid with which the wires of all bross cages are covered for the sake of keeping them from tarnishing.
After being covered with it they are put in an oven heated to a high degree, so that the lacquer is thoroughly baked on. The only case in which brass might prove in injurous is when the parrot fancier makes the error of putting greasy substances in the cage, which in conjunction with the brass forms verdigris, which is of coarse poisonous; but it can easily be seen, and where u cage is thoroughly cleaned even once a week, :t is not apt to form.
There are many persons who prefer to keep their parrot on a stand, similar to that shown in our illustration, instead of in a cage; and some birds, especially the macaws, stay very nicely on these stands and seldom come down from the perch or from the pan immediately under same. By having an oval wire cover which fits the tray under the perch, Polly may be covered up at night or at any time you think best, and it is always well to put this over at night, so that you can put Polly to bed by throwing a cloth over the cover. The brass stands with a brass wire cover for them are the handsomest.
The bird can readily be chained to the perch if found necessary.
There are many persons who prefer to keep their pets in an ordinary round cage. There are many different makes, but all are fairly dood for most parrots. For some old birds it requires a strong
cage made of heavy wire and well riveted or fastened at the intersections to prevent being torn apart. The door also should have a secure fastening. The cups made of cast iron throughly tinned or galvanized are preferable to ordinary tin cups.
Some prefer to remove the swing and put a permanent perch in place, but as a rule the bird enjoys the swing.
A long time ago it was customary to put a wire grating in all cages about an inch above the bottom. This was done for greater convenience of cleaning, but these are largely abolished now, as it is found much better to let the parrot get down and scratch around in the sand and gravel in the bottom of the cage. He thus keeps his feet clean and also consumes considerable of the gravel, which is quite beneficial.
It was also formerly quite an ordinary custom to cover the perch with tin or some other metal to prevent the parrot gnawing its perch, but this is not only necessary, but very injurious to the birds, which are apt to contract rheumatism and other diseases of the feet from standing on cold metal. The perch may be made of any kind of hard, thoroughly seasoned wood. While the smooth, round perches are ordinarily the most desirable, as they are easily cleaned, still there are a number of parrot keepers who now cut out pieces of wood from the limbs of trees about one inch in diameter, leaving the bark an. In an hour's time you could cut out quite a number of perches and as soon as one is badly soiled throw it away and put in a new one. You will find that your bird greatly enjoys this kind of a perch.
Many make the mistake of confining their parrot in a cage with paper spread over the bottom of it instead of sand, and then wonder that theii pet becomes sick. Their feet slip on the paper and grow flat and wasted for lack of exercise.
If your bird is inclined to throw or scatter the seed and gravel outside of the cage, it is advisable to have a fender made of a strip of brass wire cloth about four inches high placed
around the base of the cage just far enough away flom the cage proper to prevent the bird getting hold of it and pulling it out of shave.
Cleanliness is very important, and especially so with parrots. The bottom of the cage should be thoroughly cleaned every day, and occasionally it is well to take the bird out of the cage and thoroughly wash the wires. If washed with soft water and a soft cloth it will not injure the lacquer. Soap is quite apt to stain and finally remove the lacquer from the cages, thus allowing the iron cages to rust and the brass cages to tarnish. Liquid lacquer may be bought in bottles and applied with a brush, and it is a grood plan to hang vour cage after 1acquering over a stove to not only dry it, but to bake the lacquer on.
If through some accident or disease your bird dies, be sure to, thoroughly soak and claan the cage and it is sometimes a good plan to re-lacquer it after cleaning. It is difficult to explain, but by some instinct, birds appear to know when a death has occurred in a cage, and another bird will never do well in such a cage unless it has been thoroughly renovated.
Cage birds of all sorts long for earth more than for anything else. Why not give them a treat by putting a shovelful of fresh "dirt" from the garden into the cage occasionally and let them scratch and dig in it?
While it is true that a parrot is not as active by nature as a canary or most other birds, still they like to have some freedom, and will enjoy climbing over a chair, and it is well to arrange, a room where you can occasionally give them their liberty. Sometimes by clipping the under feathers of one wing it will prevent the bird's flying, and you can allow her a little freedom in the yard but it is well to keep an eye on her, as she has a natural bent to mischief and will delight in tearing everything to pieces.