Eddy trashed his cage

by Terry Lawler
(Brooklyn, New York)

We have a cherry head conure - Eddy. Eddy has been with us for ten years now. My husband and I recently took a week long trip to look at fall foliage in Canada. Our daughter who has her own apartment not far from us stopped in to feed Eddy and spend some time with him.

Upon our return Eddy trashed his cage. He picked up each end of his perches and let them drop to the floor of the cage and he disconnected his toys from the top of his cage and let them fall to the floor of the cage. That was three weeks ago.

While he hasn't totally trashed is cage - he still periodically chews his perches, they're wood and we've had to replace one, and he disconnects his toys from the top of the cage. Do you have any ideas on how to resolve this behavior?

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Nov 09, 2009
Eddy trashed his cage
by: Linda

Well, my suggestion is to replace his perches with natural wood branch perches that are attached to cage with hardware. You can find them at most pet shops. Online stores also carry them already made with the hardware. Hardware consists of a hanger bolt drilled into each end and washers same size as diameter of perches on each end one inside and one outside with wing nuts to screw them down on outside of cage. Natural wood perches are best for their feet and legs as they have different sizes all up and down perches.

As for toys, you need hangers that he cannot take down such as quick links or C-clamps. Make sure all hardware is either stainless steel or nickel plated as most of it you find in home repair stores is coated with zinc which is poison for birds. He is actually putting his mouth on the hardware, so make sure perches and toy hangers are made from stainless or nickel plated. You can buy the quick links on the internet as well as the hanger bolts, washers and wing nuts.

The behavior will stop once he realizes he cannot take perches and toys down. Get him some of the shreddable toys on the market today where he can vent his anger and frustration is a safe way. Paper towel rolls cut up lengthwise with a hole about 3/8" around will accommodate white 100% 1/4" cotton rope. This rope can be used to hang easy to make wooden toys as well made from safe woods like birch, manzanita, fruit tree wood. Make sure any wood you use has never been sprayed with chemicals as these become part of the tree and will poison birds. If tree is clean of all chemicals--pesticides and fertilizers, leave bark on and wash and scrub up with hot water and a safe cleaner for birds. Tracie has this out here, so just follow the links.

He will get better once you have his cage set up correctly. Having perches that just slip into place with the grooves in them never work with any of the larger more curious and active birds. Get his cage set up properly, give him some shreddable toys to tear up, and he'll get better.

You must remember, in his eyes, he was abandoned, and birds get mad just like humans do. Make his cage a safe place to be, and you'll have your good boy back. Also, give him some extra attention or extra time outside of cage when you are around to supervise.I'm not advocating spoiling him, just understanding WHY he is behaving this way.


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