Monday, November 21, 2016

Bird Cages and a Recommendation for Bourkes

Naturally the bigger the bird, the larger the cage. However, take into consideration how your bird lives. Some fly, some climb. Some chew, some do not. Finches can live in lovely wooden cages, but hook bills can't. They'll chew through the posts, both damaging them and escaping.

Toys like these are necessary for a happy bird.
Tall cages are excellent for climbing birds like Lineolated Parakeets or Splendid (Scarlet-chested) Parakeets. Wide cages are better for birds like Bourke Parakeets that need to fly and do little climbing.

Too often I've seen Bourkes housed in pretty cages that were too narrow for them to fly in circles. The result is that the strength of their wings weakens and they don't remain adequate fliers. While out of their cage they may lose control in flight and crash exhausted to the floor, or only take short flights from here to there because they know they cannot do more. A once-a-day flight out of their cage is healthy for them, but not enough. They need to be able to fly when caged.

The minimum-sized cage for a pair of Bourke Parakeets is 18 inches wide, 30 inches long and 18 inches wide. We recently decided to take advantage of a discount on several of these cages so that they can be offered to buyers of our birds.  It saddens me to say that the local pet shops and marts we've visited do not carry bird cages that are sufficient in size ... only "pretty." Very sad. Fortunately, they are available on the internet.

This cage has a large door and a smaller one in the middle of it.

We also purchased duplicates of the toys and swings our birds have, along with everything else that is necessary. We don't plan to profit from the cages. We simply want the birds we sell to go to healthy homes, so the complete set-up is $65. This same cage is available online in different colors, and usually for a higher cost. All of ours are black.
This is one of our set-ups, ready to go. Different sized perches, toys, swings, cuttlebone and mineral block are essentials. In addition to water cups, it's wise to add a water bottle on the side of the cage. The one in the photo is plastic because recently we've not found them in glass. However, glass water bottles are preferable to plastic ... the water stays fresher longer.
Although not shown here, we like to line the bottom
of the cage with newspaper, not in the tray, but on the floor.

The new cages came with an additional side door. Very low to
use for a nest box, but might work, depending on the pair.

Birds love spray millet. However, much of what is pre-packaged in grocery stores and even pet shops, is often old. Small isn't a problem, but graying millet indicates it's not fresh. California Golden spray millet is shown below next to some that was given to us with a rescue Bourke. She was being fed this. I put it outdoors at our bird feeder and the wild birds ignored it. What does that tell you?
The package had two left of four sprigs that were gray and dry ... actually looked worse than they do in this photo.

Make sure the millet you buy is golden in color.
Old millet will appear grayish.
Peace & Blessings!

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