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Cage setup ideas for non-flying bird

Cat Winter

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Hello!

I have quite a large steel cage that I house two cockatiels in (see attached). I had to take Speckeles to an emergency vet, then to a very expensive specialist due to a long-term wing injury that no other vets caught. He had to have the tip of his wing amputated due to necrotic tissue. He has been recovering VERY well and is more active now that he's not getting injections twice a day.

He is in a smaller hospital cage currently, but I want to prepare him to move back to the large one. I am mostly afraid of him falling or getting spooked in the night and catching his stump on hard edges on the way down. These kinds of accidents are what caused him to constantly hurt his wing tip.

The cage itself is about 24"L × 24"W× 50"H.
Any advice helps! Thanks!
 

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Shannan

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I expect he will adapt remarkably well once he gets used to the different balance but I had an TAG who had poor grip and did not fly even though he had full wings (he was also nearly blind) I divided his cage so that he had two different levels and then padded the bottom heavily with paper towels. It meant cleaning his cage many times during the day but its was easy with heavy layers of paper towels. I just pulled out the top layer and added another paper towel. I will attach a few pictures. I also kept perches low and provided a pathway where he could easily access a perch at ground level and then walk up the perch like a ramp. Flat perches also helped a lot. I set them up like stairs. He really really liked his cage set up. I did it basically by moving up the bottom grate to split the cage and using a same sized dog crate tray.
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Xoetix

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I expect he will adapt remarkably well once he gets used to the different balance but I had an TAG who had poor grip and did not fly even though he had full wings (he was also nearly blind) I divided his cage so that he had two different levels and then padded the bottom heavily with paper towels. It meant cleaning his cage many times during the day but its was easy with heavy layers of paper towels. I just pulled out the top layer and added another paper towel. I will attach a few pictures. I also kept perches low and provided a pathway where he could easily access a perch at ground level and then walk up the perch like a ramp. Flat perches also helped a lot. I set them up like stairs. He really really liked his cage set up. I did it basically by moving up the bottom grate to split the cage and using a same sized dog crate tray.
View attachment 440828 View attachment 440829
were the two levels connected? As in, could he go from the bottom level to the top level via a ladder or something to that effect? It makes me wonder about those large two level guinea pig or rabbit cages, where there is a ramp or a ladder to allow first and second-story access.
 

Shannan

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I looked at the chinchilla and two level rabbit cages and for some it might work but I didn't think it was a good fit for Walter. As luck would have it, the cage he had actually had doors on both levels. I had plans to eventually using the flat perches to form stairs to an opening to get to the top level but never got around to it. Also for us, the moving from one level to the other was part of our interaction routine. Since he was nearly blind, with poor grip strength he really could not be out of his cage safely unless I was holding him. He loved to play a game of tag when I went to move him from one level to the other. That being said it could have been easily done by clipping a hole in the grate and sanding off the rough edges and trimming it then placing the platform perches in a stair step pattern or using dowel rods to create a second level loft and then placing a tray or board on the dowels and securing it. The idea being to create levels where he could move up and down but that he could only fall a short space while still getting maximum horizontal space to play. Walter would spend days on the top where he spent a lot of time playing and then nights in the lower session where everything was set up very close. He slept on the floor that was extra heavily padded and next to his heater. Remember he was a very old bird (around 40 years) and had had health problems. I also was hesitant about damaging the grate because the cage is so old it is no longer made and there was no way I could get a replacement grate if I messed up. I should have used the dowel rod idea but mostly I enjoyed moving him from each level every day. (Gosh I miss him so)
 
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