The world of interior design doesn’t stop at the bird cage door. Choosing the appropriate bird cage for your pet bird is just the first step to keeping it content. The next step is to use "feathered feng shui” techniques to set up the cage so that the bird feels comfortable and safe, both day and night.
Feng shui is an ancient Chinese system of aesthetics that asserts that design can be used to receive positive energy. When it comes to bird-cage design, use your species’ particular needs and quirks to best set up perches, sleep areas, food areas and play areas to create the most positive experience possible.
Read on to discover the best way to set up a cage for the majority of birds, as well as tips on how to make your bird’s cage species-specific.
Lories, fig parrots and hanging parrots, which are all nectar-eaters, need even more specific cage feng shui than their seed-eating cousins.
"Lories are one of the most active species kept as caged birds and need more free space in their cage,” said Donna Garrou, owner of birdStuff in Orange, California. "It’s important not to overcrowd the cage. One essential item is a large, shallow dish for bathing because lories normally bathe daily. It’s also important to have toys and furnishings that can be kept sanitary, as everything will be regularly hit with droppings.
"Lories love a boing rope to run up and down on. Toys with chain and bells should be made with stainless steel so they can be washed frequently. These items take a bit more effort to find and cost a bit more, but are well worth the effort because they will last forever and be safer for the bird. Lories also have a love of color and drama, so bright and colorful plastic toys will be a hit. Fig parrots enjoy the same items on a smaller scale, but will want a bit more hiding spaces and a lot of tiny branches.”
"In my opinion, the most important factor for setting up a cage for canaries and finches is to allow space for flight,” said Greg Burkett, board-certified avian veterinarian and owner of The Birdie Boutique in Durham, North Carolina. "I place the perches at either end of a long cage higher than the perches in the middle of the cage so that they can have the maximum amount of flight space. Specific setups are determined by the species. For example, the wydah finch has a long tail, so the setup needs to accommodate that to keep it in good condition; place perches away from the sides of the cage so that when the bird turns, it does not brush its tail along the bars and damage the feathers.”
"Most people think to include a swing for a canary, but they need much more than that,” said Garrou. "A solitary male canary loves to sing, but also must stay active in order to avoid becoming overweight. All canaries should have at least three toys and will spend a couple of hours each day playing with them. The key is to offer toys with rope, sisal or fibers that are easily unraveled or shredded. Toys with dried grass or palm are especially appreciated, as are toys with tiny bells. This will not prevent the canary from singing, but will actually make him sing more, because he will be active and stimulated in his environment. Most finches also appreciate canary toys.”
Want to learn more?
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