Healthy feet helps makes healthy birds?

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Complete Psittacine by Eb Cravens
We’ve had a number of questions about what are the best perches as enrichment now is an increasingly popular topic, and owners are concerned they are making the right choices. So we are re-printing one of Eb Craven’s articles from our June 2004 issue, which will hopefully ring a few bells and help to keep your birds’ feet in good condition.

Of all the accoutrements supplied within a cage environment for daily use by our captive birds, none, save fresh food and water, is as consequential as the perch set-up. Think about it - where do most pet and breeder birds spend the major amount of their waking and sleeping hours? On their perches of course!

And for that matter, add a little bit of thought about our birds’ delicate leg and foot structure, many avian species exhibit extremely tiny legs and feet supporting the bulk of their body weight. It falls to us as conscientious bird keepers to provide the optimum habitat for these critical appendages.

Did you ever spend half a day or more walking and standing around on hard shopping mall sidewalks or a concrete floor? Remember how tired your calves, ankles and feet felt afterwards? Or have you spent a few days holding and working with plastic pipe or PVC framing? That material is hard, unforgiving, slippery when damp, and can cause skin irritations. Yet both these substances are commonly used in birdcages.

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