If your bird seems sick, take him or her to an avian vet immediately! Check your local phone book or Vet Lookup, AAV, Avian Vet.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Setting the Stage for the Cage

Now that you know how to go about finding a fine-feathered friend and the basics of cockatiel care, your next concern is probably to find out more about how to properly house him or her. Personally, I love my cage. It's my home where I sleep, eat, drink water, climb, play, and preen Miss Prissy. It even has a nice door that folds out into a porch. The Tall One usually opens up the cage while she is in the room, so we have plenty of space and time to fly about and exercise our wings and feet. If you can't let your birds out a lot, you should invest in the biggest cage you can possibly afford and accommodate so your fine-feathered friends can fly around and get their exercise. It is also very important to find a good place for the cage. We cockatiels don't like being cold or sitting in drafts, and we love being where the action is. Keep in mind that we are very social!

* Home Tweet Home... All About Cages. By Anne Johnson, Winged Wisdom Pet Bird E-zine, 1997.

* Cages, Cages, Cages!!! By Sharon Salas, Winged Wisdom Pet Bird E-zine, 2000. Important information about safety considerations when buying a cage.

A cage isn't a cage without perches. While we cockatiels like to play at the bottom of the cage every now and then, we spend most of our time on perches. Make sure that the perches you use are made from wood that is safe for birds. You should provide perches of different thickness to your bird can pick a spot that is comfortable for his feet. Don't use sandpaper-covered perches; your bird's feet will get sore! My personal favorite is the banana-flavored calcium perch the Tall One bought for me. It not only feels good on my feet, it also tastes good and is healthy!

* Perches for Caged Birds. By Holly Nash, DVM, MS, at petecudation.com .

* Bird Cages, Perches, Dishes, and Other Accessories. By Drs. Foster and Smith, Inc., on peteducation.com

I don't like it when the Tall One cleans my cage, but it needs to be done. Once it's nice and clean, I'm happy. Not to mention that a clean cage keeps us birds healthy. You need to be very careful with cleaning supplies, since we birds are very sensitive to chemicals. Good pet stores carry safe cleaners for bird cages. The Tall One uses vinegar, which is a natural cleanser. Anyway, here is a link that describes how to safely clean your bird's cage, and another link about cage liners that help keep the cage clean.

* Cleaning Your Bird's Cage. By Drs. Foster and Smith, Inc., at petecudation.com

* Cage Liners: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. By Carol Highfill, Winged Wisdom Pet Bird E-zine, 1997.

Of course, every cage needs a good cover. We birds do not like being cold at night. Sometimes, a cover calms us down. The Tall One simply uses a nice blanket to cover us, but for those of you who are creatively inclined, here is a link on creating pretty covers for your bird cage:

* Decorative Cage Covers. By Katherine Booth, Winged Wisdom Pet Bird E-zine, 1997.

We will talk about the things that belong in the cage (food, water, toys, etc.) at a later time.

Au revoir!

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