Thursday, May 18, 2006

Affordable Housing

Well it's not woodworking related, but as the funding is coming from my recent tool sale... Yes, I'm looking into a new home for Bertie, my African Grey. At the moment he's in this cage that he's lived in the last 7 years, ever since he was 3 months old (bless).

Well-seasoned applewood branches for perches which I covert for turning... The smooth beech dowel that always gets provided with cages is absolute murder on birds' feet, so I replaced them asap. Was lucky to get the apple; dunno where I'll get replacements. Anyway, at the time it was a pretty standard cage type, the best I could afford, but in the intervening years more notice has been taken of parrot housing and particularly having zinc-free coatings. This is important, 'cos Bertie unfortunately likes to chew on his bars. From a distance they look okay, but the feathered fiend has done his worst and I've been worrying it'll be doing it's worst on his innards too. So I'm looking for a replacement.

If space, and yes, money were no object, I'd be getting him something really palatial. As it is, parrot cages take up more real estate than you might credit so I'm aiming for something a similar size to what he already has. Naturally he'll go into a blue funk at the idea of a new cage, so even if I get one close to what he currently has, it'll be a stressful transition for both of us. The key thing is to make sure PJ, the Senegal, doesn't take posession first! He's already had a cage upgrade when I first got him "pre-owned", which pretty much doubled the size of his living quarters and he took to it like a duck to water. I can see him getting the idea of another upgrade all too easily...

Anyway, I've narrowed it down to two. The more expensive Noo Joisey, er, um, I mean New Jersey, which has the benefit of a similar arched shape. On the other hand that arch does cut down on the head room which has bothered Bertie before now. The pull-out tray looks very substantial, but it doesn't have the (potentially) handy shelf below. Also the bars at the top following the curve look good, but they're tricky for a bird to climb up.

Ignore that flock of 'toos; only a sadist would put even one cockatoo or macaw in a cage that size.

The other is the Orlando, which I'd like to think is a Shakespearean reference, but I fear has probably more to do with Florida. Cheaper, which is a factor, better head room in the corners, but without the seed catchers in place will there be a gap between the body of the cage and the tray? The shelf underneath is nice though.

But do I just warm to that one because of the toys (not included) shown within?

Anyway, it's a total 'mare. With any luck we'll be living with the choice for ten years at least (I hope) so it pays to get it right! And before I get letters; they get as much time outside their cages as possible and they don't have clipped wings. They don't look on their cages as a bad place, but rather as their own particular territory. Which is why Bertie's going to absolutely hate moving...


  1. Ah, presumably you mean in wood? Unfortunately parrot + wood = busy and contented parrot shortly followed by exhausted parrot surrounded by pile of wood chips...

  2. Definately the top one ALF. You have to sit and look at it all day/evening presumably, and that bottom one does look rather er... industrial?



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