Why do Cockatiels Need a Bird Perch?
An adequate living space and well balance diet are very important things that should be looks into when owning any bird. Not only should your pets living space be spacious, but you should also supply a number of perches for your bird to sit on.
A bird perch is an essential part of of the living space of your cockatiel. Imagine living in a house without any chairs. This would be what your bird would feel like living in a cage without any perches. Just like we cannot live comfortably without chairs, parrots too cannot live comfortably without their perches.
If you watch birds in their natural habitat, you will see that they are always sitting on branches of trees when they are not flying. They also use these branches to sleep on, clean their beaks and nails on, as well as strengthen their leg muscles.
Depriving your bird of a good perch will result in health issues such as muscle cramps and arthritis.
Here is a chewable perch available from Amazon.
It is important to find a good bird cage perch for your bird. The smaller the bird, the narrower the width of the perch needs to be. A big parrot will require the widest width, whereas a cockatiel will need a variety of smaller widths. A selection of different widths will be best, in order to provide for proper exercise of their feet and legs. When your bird sits on a perch, the toes should wrap between half way around and three quarters around the perch. If his toes touch, then the perch is to small and if his feet are flat on the perch, then the perch is too wide.
The material of the perch is the next thing to look out for when buying perches for parrots. Usually the perches are made out of wood such as Manzanita and Citrus. Plastic perches are not an appropriate choice as they are slippery and cannot be used to clean the beak or nails, but can be used sparingly mixed with other types of material. Cement perches are a good choice when it comes to the grooming habits of parrots as they are coarse and don’t wear out easily, as well as keeping the nails short. Again, don’t offer only cement perches, as they can be coarse and abrasive. Ladders are also a type of bird perch and my cockatiels love running up and down on them.
There are no rules that say that perches have to run horizontally across the cage. You can also run them diagonally, so that your bird gets some climbing exercise. It is also a good idea to put some natural branches into the cage, just like your bird would have in the wild. But remember that using a natural tree branch needs caution. You need to have access to pesticide-free and nontoxic tree branches. Then you need to disinfect the tree branches before adding them to your cockatiel’s cage.
After cutting each tree branch to fit into the cage, clean them by scrubbing well with a bleach and water solution (10 parts water to 1-part bleach), rinse thoroughly, and heat each branch for 45 minutes in a 200-degree Fahrenheit oven to kill any insects and/or wild bird droppings.
Here are some more great examples of bird cage perches available online.
This one is my favorite of the bird cage perches, as it has a natural look and is made from natural Java Wood Branches, which are great for your bird with natural, varied diameters to exercise your bird’s feet. Environmentally friendly java wood uses wood from non-fruit bearing coffee trees which are normally removed to make way for new trees Java wood products require no additional treatments.