Mixing things up in the birdcage

What do birds need to feel at home? Firstly they need other birds for company – and secondly a suitable, varied living environment. With our tips, you can create the perfect home atmosphere.

Birds need to fly free every day. But because birds generally also need to spend lots of time at home, their living area should offer plenty of space to flutter around and play. If you vary the layout, you can make sure they still have fun, even on days when they won’t be let out to fly freely.

Ornamental birds are not cuddly, but they are lively, curious and intelligent. There are hardly any birds that don’t like playing. That’s why you should take a trip to your specialty store to make sure you have the right toys for your little ones’ home. For example, budgerigars, canaries and cockatiels especially like bells and brightly coloured toys as they can differentiate between the colours. Lovebirds enjoy playing and will be pleased if you provide them with some mental stimulation. They particularly like toys made from natural materials or roots that they can use to act out their natural gnawing instincts. Most birds also love swings. The movement gives them a fun way to exercise their muscles. Some types of birds love to splash around in water, while others like to play with little balls. To find out what your pets like the most, and to keep things interesting, you should keep changing the toys they play with. Only add a few toys into the cage and change them regularly to make sure your birds can try out and master new things.

Because the toys will usually stay in the aviary when you aren’t there, you must make sure the products pose no risk of injury. The toys you give them shouldn’t have any sharp edges. And if you give them cotton toys, such as rings, you should make sure they don’t have any loose ends, as your little darlings could get their claws caught in them. If you are in any doubt, simply trim off any loose ends. The best thing to do is to make sure you always buy bird toys from your specialty store as they only sell safe products.

Perches exercise the muscles

For a bit of variety, you can also make perches out of different materials and with different diameters. Cockatiels, budgies, canaries and parrots will happily sit on perches made of wood, as well as cotton ropes and benches. The different materials and widths are good for your pets’ foot muscles.

To make sure your birds feel at home, they will also need the right litter. Bird sand is the most popular, classic choice and is also the easiest to use for owners. But you can also use corn-based litter or a little hay, which the animals can play with. Of course, you can’t forget the food and drink bowls. The best ones to use are those made from plastic or stainless steel as they are easy to clean, meaning they are particularly hygienic. You can also use flat, glazed ceramics or earthenware, which you can place on the base of the cage. However, food and drink bowls that can be hung on the bars of the cage are better protected against dirt. If you keep the bowls on the floor, they must be cleaned several times a day to make sure they aren’t polluted with bird droppings. Some birds also like using a drinking bottle. But you must check that your feathered friends can really drink out of it.

Important: All types of birds have their own needs that you must consider when setting up their cage. For example, lovebirds require somewhere to sleep where they can retreat with their partner at night. And even the best toys cannot replace other members of their species. Canaries, budgerigars, parrots, cockatiels and lovebirds – here the clue is in the name – must always be kept in groups of two or more. A bird kept on its own will get weaker and can even become ill. Plastic birds and mirrors are no substitute: They will fool your pet, but will not provide the interaction they need. If ornamental birds come into contact with this “toy”, they can develop behavioural disorders, which is why it is better to avoid them altogether. You should always buy a minimum of two birds, meaning you can also enjoy the fascinating social behaviour of these clever animals.

Call into your local store today to discuss your birds’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts