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UPB mission statement
We strive to provide you, the client, with the best quality hand-reared pet parrot available. We do this by providing the parent birds with the best environment possible to live in, the best fresh foods and pellets to eat and the most stress free life possible. All our baby birds are raised with their siblings, fully socialised with adults, children and animals. We stay in touch with clients for as long as they deem fit. We offer 24/7, lifetime support by email and telephone, as well as our exclusive web based forum. All our babies are bred by us, raised by us, and sold by us. We do not supply pet shops or other hand rearers
The old adage of "as big as you can afford" is still the best advice we can give. However, big is not always good and here we aim to give you advice about what a cage needs to offer the parrot, as well as features that make life a whole lot easier for you, the owner.
Most sources will state that a cage should be twice the size of the parrots wingspan. ie you could fit two birds in side by side, with their wings fully open. This is quite true, but rarely do they mention the height of the cage! The height of the cage is critical to both the welfare of the parrot, and to the welfare of the owner. A cage should be high enough for the owner to be able to see the parrot, and the parrot have a good view of what is outside the cage. Parrots are great climbers and will use every inch of the cage so a cage with lots of height will provide a great deal of exercise, both mental and physical.
Another vital part of the cage is the bar spacing. The bars should be strong enough to prevent the parrot from chewing through them, or bending them, but should also be thin enough to allow a good view in and out of the cage. The spacing should not be enough for the parrot to be able to get his head through the bars. This could lead to the injury, or worse, of your parrot. The bars should also be far enough apart for the parrot not to feel boxed in and for you to see your new pet.
Cages should have a removable tray at the bottom of the cage. It should not entail taking the cage off the base, its much better to be able to slide out the tray rather than disturb your parrot. Any major operation at cleaning time could end with the parrot resenting the cleaning process and becoming a problem. If the cage has a play gym on the top, its also a good idea to have a tray on the top of the cage. This prevents droppings landing on the parrots toys, in the food and water bowls and covering the perches.
The main thing to think about is how are you going to feed and water your parrot. Clip on pots are great, but you must open the door of the cage to refill them and to clean them. Much better are swing feeders. With swing feeders you have no need to open any doors and therefore reduce the chance of escape. At this point, we should also mention the pots themselves. Crockery pots were used for decades, they are easy to clean and easy to disinfect. On the down side is obviously their weight and the positioning of them within the cage. Plastic pots are much better. Again easy to clean and disinfect, they can also be placed in a dishwasher to aid the cleaning process. They are inexpensive and easy to obtain but can be chewed or even destroyed by an over enthusiastic parrot. Even better, in our opinion, are stainless steel pots. They have all the benefits of plastic but are indestructible. The downside is they cost more than plastic, but in the long run, work out better. Cages with play gyms on the top are useful. They provide a good platform for training as well as playing, and keep all the mess in one place. They also extend the parrots feeling of security, being close to their own cage-space.
Another very important factor, shape is something that is usually thought of as more of an aesthetic issue for the owner than the parrot. This is totally untrue. The shape of the cage is vital for the health and well being of your parrot. Round cages should be avoided at all costs. There are no corners for the parrot to hide in or to retreat to for a quiet half hour. We have all seen the disturbing pictures of traumatized bears, tigers and lions in tiny cages in zoo's, circling endlessly round and round, getting more and more mentally unstable. This is exactly what happens with parrots in round cages. Square, or oblong cages are best. They provide corners to hide in, and a lot of surface area to climb around. While the most popular cages are upright oblong cages (higher than wide), the truly best shape is a cage that is wider than high. This cage will allow the parrot to fly/jump/hop from perch to perch while still allowing a degree of climbing up and down.
Points To Remember
The cage will be home to your new parrot for years to come. You must ensure he will be comfortable in the cage for long periods, it should be big enough to keep him amused and give him a space to explore. The cage must also make life easy for you. You will be feeding, watering and cleaning the cage every day, without fail, for a considerable number of years. The cage must suit both your parrot, and your, needs!
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