For the proud owner of a brand new budgie cage, here’s some bad news right at the start. The accessories supplied with the cage can usually be removed and “thrown in the bin”, as they are almost always either unsuitable for the species (e.g. perches made of hardwood or plastic) or simply unsuitable (e.g. plastic accessories).
Only species-appropriate natural wood perches should be used in a budgie cage to prevent problems for the bird’s feet, such as ball ulcers and too long claws.
There are a lot of reasons that speak for perches made of natural wood.
- Due to the varying thickness and uneven structure of the natural branches, the same areas of the bird’s foot are not always loaded.
- Natural branches can easily bounce and thus protect the joints.
- Claws and beak wear off naturally.
- By grabbing the bark, the bird still absorbs valuable ingredients as a nutritional supplement.
Where can I get natural wood perches?
- You can Make them yourself
- You can buy them:
- turned hardwood perches or plastic perches
Unfortunately, such unsuitable perches are attached to many bird cages. Since these have a completely uniform structure and thickness, the same areas of the bird’s feet are always stressed, which sooner or later can lead to inflammatory bunion or other problems. In addition, these cannot bounce at all (hardness/two-sided attachment) which can lead to excessive stress on the joints. Imagine jumping repeatedly on an unyielding stone floor or on a slightly springy wooden board (e.g. diving tower in a swimming pool).
- Perches with sandpaper coating
Unfortunately, perches with sandpaper coating or similar are still offered. Instead of shortening the claws (they are usually too thin for this), these damage the bird’s feet. If you have any doubts about this, you can try walking barefoot on sandpaper for a longer period of time.
Drinking and feeding bowls
Even if plastic cups are always included as accessories in the cage, they are rather inadvisable for hygienic reasons. These develop, especially with increasing age, fine (often invisible) cracks in which germs can settle.
Therefore, stainless steel bow ls or glass bowls are more advisable. These can also be easily sterilized, if necessary, with boiling water or in the oven. Plastic cups usually do not survive such a procedure unscathed.
For budgies, stainless steel or glass bowls with a diameter of about 7cm are suitable.
Since one should plan as a rule for each budgie an own feeding bowl, in order to avoid unnecessary quarrels, offers itself here the use of a Feeding bar with the appropriate number of bowls.
Sources of supply for suitable bowls:
- Bird shower (Feeding bar)
- Bird dream (Feeding bowls & feed bar)
- Water bowl with seat board
- Stainless steel bowl
This does not belong in the budgie cage
Nest boxes or other nesting opportunities
Anything that is suitable for nesting, whether it is a nest box, a sleeping cave or even a coconut half of the right size, will encourage the female budgie to lay eggs and sooner or later you will have offspring.
Raising young birds does not belong in the hands of a layman, but should in any case be left to experienced breeders.
➔ Private or living room breeding?
This accessory in the cage is dangerous
Deer holder (spiral)
The spiral deer holders may seem practical at first glance, but the budgies may try to get to the food or deer leftovers through the top opening and then get completely stuck inside.
Example: Millet spiral
The budgie in the picture could be saved, but only because it was found in time and the owners had appropriate metal cutting tools to free it from it.
Feed dispenser with refill opening
Food dispensers that have an opening at the top for refilling the food may be convenient, but they pose a great danger to budgies. If they try to reach the food through the opening, they can get their heads stuck in it and usually cannot get out.
Mirrors & plastic birds
Although mirrors and plastic birds have already been classified as cage accessories in violation of animal welfare, you can still buy them in many pet stores and online stores.
These are dangerous for budgies because they can lead to crop inflammation.
As a rule, a budgie tries to feed the artificial bird or its mirror image and thus keeps choking up food from the crop in vain. Sooner or later, the constant regurgitation can lead to irritation of the goitre mucosa and eventually to goitre inflammation, which can be fatal if not treated quickly.
- Toys in which they can get their toes or head caught (long strings or tassels / loops / rings / etc.)
- Toys where theycan swallowsmall parts (e.g. bells open at the bottom) or chewed off pieces (e.g. plastic).
- Toys on which they can get poisoned (e.g. painted / artificial colors).
Example: Bast threads
This toy was bought in good faith in a pet shop and almost became the undoing of a budgie because it got caught in the raffia strings and they wrapped around its neck in the process.
➔ Dangerous accessories in the cage
Additional sources of information
- Gefahrenquellen (Birds-Online)