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How to Set Up a Birdcage for a Pet Bird

Learn how to set up a birdcage for your pet bird in this Howcast video featuring veterinarian Laurie Hess.


Doctor Hess: So when you set up your birdcage there's certain basic requirements you have to think about.

Obviously, you need to think about, first of all, where in the house is the bird cage going to be? Ideally we want in a place where there are people moving around, there's a lot of social interaction.

Where there's light. Birds like to be in the light. It's nice for them, psychologically, to get sunlight. You have to set it up with food and water dishes in appropriate places.

You don't want to obviously put a food dish on top of a water dish or a water dish on top of a food dish, because things can fall into the dish below.

You want to set the perches up appropriately so that they can climb up and down the cage and get to all the things they need to do.

What other things will we think about, Sarah?

Sarah: I think a lot of the questions people have are about the types of perches that they should have in their cage. A lot of cages just come with the plain wooden dowels.

Which really aren't very nice for bird feet. They can get pressure sores on the bottom of their feet. We really recommend the rope perches. They're nice and soft and they have different diameters so the feet aren't always in the same pressure point.

And you can rope them around the cage. You can do different designs and the bird can climb around the cage. And they're colorful and they look cute.

Another thing that people, I think, try to get a lot of times are the sandpaper perches, which we also do not recommend.

They're also very rough on the feet. And if you're concerned about your bird's nails that much to get sandpaper perches we would just suggest maybe bringing your bird to the vet to get a nail trim.

Doctor Hess: Yeah. Having different perches with different diameters is very important. We liken it to wearing the same pair of shoes everyday. If you wore the same pair of shoes every day you'd probably get callouses or sores on the bottom of your feet.

It's the same for having the same diameter perches. So, having different diameter perches is really good because it changes the pressure points on the bottom of the feet and is much better for the bird's feet.

I think one other comment we want to make is that when you're putting a birdcage in your home, yes you want to put it in an area where there's a lot of traffic, a lot of activity. You want to be careful about putting that cage in the kitchen.

Usually the kitchen is a social hub of the home. But, there are a lot of fumes. Whether it's burning something in the toaster or using Teflon pans that release toxic gasses when they're heated up for birds. It's not great to have your bird in the kitchen.

So, in a family room or nearby room where there's a lot of activity. But I would avoid putting a cage in the kitchen.

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