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How bird friendly is your bird’s cage

I make up words when it suits me – who doesn’t?

I no longer read books. I read the biggest dictionary I could find and now in my spare time I keep rearranging all the words into stories that I like in my head. To that end sometimes there’s just not enough words in the dictionary to explain every thought.

A word I coined a dozen years ago is “Cagescaping.” If you’re a seasoned caged Bird keeper you know the word’s implications. If you’re a novice, it’s important to learn that the interior of your birds cage is mission critical to your birds overall well-being.

Cagescaping allows you the freedom to work within your bird small environment much like zoos build species specific environments for our viewing pleasure. One of our goals is to help you understand things like the distance of a perch from the back wall of the cage is determined by the length of a bird’s tail.

Learn more about this fun project

In other words if you put a perch on the side of the cage, close to the back of the cage, and the bird has a long tail, the bird will use the perch less because when it’s on that perch its tail bangs the back of the cage. Whereas a short tail bird is perfectly happy with a perch that is close to the back of the cage because there is no friction. The general consensus of bird toy size is to have bird toys sized to the species of birds. Logic would dictate that you wouldn’t put a 10 pound 24 inch long wooden toy in a cockatiel cage. Put it into a large aviary and you have a landing area for almost any size bird.

There are no rules. It’s you and your creativity. In some of my meanderings below we talk about our cockatiel’s leg injury and neutralizing her cage so that what she would stay on the bottom of it more in order to reduce stress on her leg.

 

cagescape design certified by cockatiels with temporary disabilities act

Now that she’s healed the cage has to be fully redecorated, cagescaped. I can’t tell you how many times we hear ‘I don’t want to change anything in my bird’s cage because it will upset him or her.’ To those people we sentence their car radio to be stuck on one station, NPR National Public Radio.

We will tell you cagescaping best practices dictate that you rearrange your bird’s entire cage at least once a month. This will challenge your bird mentally and physically which is essential to the overall health of caged birds.

Think of cagescaping not in terms of attaching perches, swings, ladders and accessories to the bars of the cage. Think of it as remodeling your home. With birds though, it’s more about function than design.

One of our bedrooms is also a de facto photo studio for the some of the products you see on our site. Popcorn our cockatiel probably doesn’t cognize that mom and dad have a big birds store with the bunch of bird stuff in another room waiting to be photographed.

While putting her “healthy bird” cage design back together I happened to have this Buri Palm toy. It’s really meant for bigger birds but I grabbed it and realized instantly how effective it can be in her cage.

The question was, “would she engage it?” After tweaking some perches and placing it where I did the answer was a resounding “yes.”

This picture illustrates a toy that’s bigger than the bird but she comfortably accesses it from several areas of her cage. I know, I’m thinking of doing this for a living.

 

slowly getting all of her toys and accessories
back to the upper part of the cage where they belong

From the news we learn

that the government or the phone companies or some agency is listening to all of our conversations. That’s great but it’s kind of like trying to drink water from a firehose. We’re pretty transparent here, We will even offer up the transcripts of our conversations. Plus our stuff is lot more interesting than government conspiracy theories, especially if you’re a caged Bird keeper.

You

Hello, You guys not only have the best products, but also great advice. Here’s a question…..We have a 25 year old, female Umbrella Cockatoo. I recently met a woman, who has a 12 year old male Moluccan. She said, “We should get them together for a play date”. Neither bird has had contact with other cockatoos, although my bird does have a Maltese dog who she adores (and likewise). Both birds are sweet and friendly, but I have reservations, given the larger size of her bird and that he is a male. Should we let them meet? And if so, how?

Thanks, Ling

what could possibly go wrong?

Us

Supervised visits only. Ideally they should start on separate stands and you two can have tea or coffee and observe nearby. They should not be forced together or left in a room alone until you know if they will get along.

Let us know how it goes.

Catherine Tobsing

Feathered factoid check needed please

Last week one of our social media posts had the brain exploding headline – Rainbow lorikeets eating meat leaves bird experts astonished. This taught us something we didn’t know about lorikeets – the darn fruit slurpers are carnivores just like us.

“I ordered mine medium rare”

I tend to walk my bicycle because I don’t have time to get on it so Catherine will notice things like this line in the aforementioned article “He also puts out seed for vegetarian birds like galahs, king parrots and the lorikeets.”

Because I’m spending most of my time right now building a bold new look for WindyCityparrot.com desktop and mobile, I don’t have time to fact check this.

Does anyone know with absolute certainty if Rose breasted cockatoos and King parrots are in fact true vegetarians or will eat meat one available?

Eight in one mite protector has been banned from Windy City Parrot

More than 50% of our products end up for sale based upon request from caged bird keepers. We had gotten a few inquiries about this mite protector product and brought in a small quantity.

 

Sales of the product have been mediocre but several of our customers reached out and expressed the sentiment that this product is harmful to our birds. We love money but we love our birds more.

I needed to go above my pay grade for answer to this question so on Popcorn’s most recent visit to Dr. Byron (our board-certified avian vet from Animal House of Chicago Catherine brought a packet seeking the doctor’s sage wisdom.

“Not very effective and has the potential to harm a bird” That’s all we needed to hear. We thank everyone for their input on the subject.

We are looking at alternatives one of which is from Vetafarm out of Australia. If anyone has use this product please email [email protected] with your input.

Flighted bird safety warning

In a recent episode of “As the world turns around our cockatiel Popcorn” she had sustained a foot injury (see some words about this above) and basically needed to be “grounded” so she wasn’t jumping on and off perches adding stress to her injured leg.

We made a halfhearted attempt at clipping her for her own good and chopped off 4 secondary flight feathers on the either way. About a week ago she began her molt and I saw one one or two of the cut feathers on the floor understanding that the other half dozen were under the better some piece of furniture.

In any case as I walk around the apartment muttering like an old man, “there’s freakin’ feathers everywhere!” I noticed she stayed on her cage more and didn’t follow me around.

Catherine had mentioned this about her diminished flight ability but although I normally listen to her EVERY word, somehow that conversation escape me. The conversation got resurrected we both watched or missed her target of the computer monitor.

the good ole days before the molt when mantle landings were like commuter airliners

This is when we realized that the rest of the chopped off flight feathers were not under furniture but still part of her wings and upon investigation those were about all that were left in the middle of the molt.

Once again the bird is the teacher. We now know to watch the activities of our bird during a molt because the diminish flight activity could result in an accident.

Can the Hagen Prime be given Eclectus?

You

Eclectus are EXTREMELY sensitive to vitamins. They CANNOT be given the MAN MADE supplements. ALL vitamins MUST be organic

Us

we advocate not to give eclectus vitamins at all organic or not because of their elongated digestive systems. The only way to know if your bird is vitamin deficient is to get a blood panel workup at the vet

Pellets work well but if you;re having trouble converting you might like this Eclectus mix from Volkman.

 

Can Older Parrots Learn New Tricks? Yes and No!

Steve hartman, one of the most knowledgeable parrot breeders on the planet, helps us understand our adult bird’s psyche, providing answers to why we may fail our bird’s due to our lack of understanding about their intellectual development.

 

baby catalina macaws

In the article Steve is asked Is the training of adult birds is nearly impossible?

To provide a correct answer it is necessary to ask two questions.

  1. Can a properly raised parrot be a great pet and continue to learn to fit in with the family for life?
  2. Will many pet parrots be difficult to deal with and untrainable as they become mature adults?

The answer to both questions is YES. Read more

written by mitch rezman

approved by catherine tobsing

   

Mitch Rezman

He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they visited monthly birdie brunches in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground.Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care.He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis.He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.

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