home made perch

does the bark of pine,fir,birch,& lilac HAVE to be removed? im pretty sure birch should be, but i'm not 100% on that. some people say it's fun & gives the little guys just another thing for them to check out. haveing 2 black headed caiques, the more to keep them courious & busy the better right? but not at the expense of their health or life.

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Dec 18, 2012
home made perch
by: Linda

There is a list on this site for safe wood, so choose type of wood from that. Pine, Fir and Lilac are not safe and will poison your birds. The only kind of pine you can use is the kind in lumbar stores that has been kiln dried and not treated. It is the moisture in the pines and firs and lilac that is poison for the birds. I'm not sure about the Birch, so look at the list here. You can also do a search on the internet about safe wood for parrots. Cherry is also poison though we have used some when we had an old Cherry tree. The wood has to be stored in a dry, warm place for a few years before all the resin is gone or they are also poison.

We use Manzanita, and you can find some of this at manzanita.com if they are still in business. They provide both the raw perch material in any size you need or they can also provide the perches with the hanger bolts and washers already attached. Measure inside cage for correct measurements for this type of perch because if you use outside dimensions, perches will be too long. The washers go on inside and outside of perches with wing nuts on both sides.If you just buy the wood, you will need to find stainless steel 2.5" hanger bolts, washers and wing nuts. The 2.5" may be too long for smaller perches, so ask people at Manzanita.com about that or another pet store.

The Manzanita has one problem that you may have to deal with. When it dries, it sometimes leaves large cracks in the wood. In the smaller diameter perches, this may not be as apparent as in the larger ones, but Manzanita does dry this way, so it won't be a flaw in the wood, and is just the way this wood dries. Years' ago, I talked with a vet about these cracks, and she instructed us to use two part epoxy to fill the large cracks that are large enough for a toenail to get stuck in. You will need to do this outside and you will need to leave perches outside for a week so they can cure out. If you bring them in before 5 days to a week, the gassing out of the epoxy will hurt your birds. Once the two part epoxy is dried and gassed out, it is safe for them, and we've been using this method for many years with no problems so long as we leave them outside for up to a full week. If you have a sheltered area outside or a building that is not attached to the house, that would be great.There are sharp nubbies where little stems were pulled off or broken. You will have to sand these smooth using regular rough sandpaper. Birds can and do cut themselves on these sharp places on the perches.Foster and Smith has these perches too plus other safe wood perches.

When making your own perches, make sure the tree has never been treated for pests because the poison becomes a part of the wood and will poison birds. The same for trees sprayed or treated with fertilizer. Trees near a road or street are also not fit for perches because of car exhaust. It's easier to buy them already made of safe wood with the hardware already installed.

Linda

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