Let us take a look at the important equipment you’ll need to care for your feathered friend. From cages and perches to toys and bowls.
It is important to know that pet birds require a large amount of equipment. The good thing is, most of it is easy to obtain. The major thing to keep in mind is safety. Choosing equipment for your bird can be seen as buying for a small child, and some questions need to be asked: Are the colours from safe dyes? Is there a choking hazard? What is this made of, and will it hurt the pet bird if he swallows some of it?
Your bird will be spending the night in the main cage, and perhaps most of his days too. It needs to be large enough for him to spread and flap his wings. As for finches, width is more important than height, because they tend to fly across but not up. Parrots are known to climb, so height is just as useful as width for them. You need to know that choosing a rectangular cage is a great idea because it feels more secure to the bird. Ensure that the spaces between the bars are the right width for your bird’s species to prevent a head or foot being caught between bars.
A travelling cage is the second cage to have, to allow you visit the vet with your bird in it. It is also an option when cleaning the main cage.
Having a variety of perches would be a good idea and they should be wide enough that the bird’s toes do not overlap around them. For most birds, one could start with a minimum selection of a natural-wood branch-type perch, a rope perch, a wooden ladder (a textured plastic one will do for small finches, but wood is better), and a swing.
A good general-purpose cleaner for the cage and toys is plain white vinegar diluted half-and-half with water. You can use any mild dish soap for the food and water containers. If the messes are really tough, and there are organic stains on the rugs, walls, furniture, and so on, an enzyme cleaner in a spray bottle will do an excellent job.
I f you must need other cleaning equipment, plain white paper towel and a bottle brush are what you should go for. If you are ill or your immune system has been compromised, rubber gloves and a face mask may be a wise precaution.
There are two main types of dishes for pet birds: the hopper and the bowl.
You should be aware that hoppers that fit through the bars of the cage are good choices for canaries and budgies. They have the benefit of reducing evaporation, for water, and reducing mess, for seeds and pellets. It is hard for a bird to hurt or drown himself with a hopper, which is why hoppers are used for farm fowls that are less intelligent such as domestic turkeys. It is the belief by some people that their pets won’t foul the water with food or droppings if a hopper is used, but that is not true. You need to clean the hopper every day.
You can use a heavy ceramic or metal bowl, it is a perfect water dish for conures and similar birds that like to play with their food and dip their heads in their water. Of course, this makes a whole lot of mess and this requires you’ll have to clean it every day. You will find brackets which hold bowls inside the cages, to keep the water dish off the floor and to keep it from spilling. They help prevent your parrot from throwing the bowl around.
It’s okay to use two anda water bowl and a hopper. You really can’t have too much water available for your bird, as long as it isn’t too deep.
Lots of birds enjoy ‘foraging toys’, puzzle toys that reward your pet bird with food. They possess the benefit of mimicking the kind of work a wild bird is expected to do which is to find his food, this brings about a productive mental stimulation. Foraging toys are out there in many sizes and levels of difficulty, made for many kinds of pet birds.
The food itself is worthy of an article on its own – You can check out our tips and advice for making sure your bird gets the right food and nutrition.
Do not forget your bird needs a bird bath. If you must bathe your bird in your bathroom, a shallow plastic basin can be just alright. There are commercial bird baths in stores out there and they are available for the many kinds of pet birds. You could use a spray bottle with a ‘mist’ setting; it makes a nice shower for birds who enjoy it: cockatiels and some finches.
Chew toys are important for the hook-billed birds in addition to foraging toys. Destroying wood and wood-like objects is very vital to them, for showing off and for personal amusement. Toys made of twisted paper, wood, cardboard, and plastic are designed with different types of birds in consideration.
If the natural habitat of a bird is in thick foliage, ensure that at least the cage has enough toys to hide in.
‘Preening’ toys are supposed to be pecked at and groomed, just like some children like to play ‘hairdresser’ with a doll. Similarly, many birds like to have a warm cuddly toy to huddle up to. Evidently, a cockatoo’s snuggle toys will be bigger than a canary’s.
You should have it in mind that a good cage will be the biggest initial investment in getting your bird’s equipment, and replacing the toys will surely follow. Howbeit, it shouldn’t be a hard task to find all the right bits and pieces. The next step should be to check out the particular needs of your bird’s species, and be sure to have everything in place.