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Free Ranging Bird

Ziekenzie

Walking the driveway
Joined
12/4/19
Messages
154
Hello everyone! Currently, I have a parrotlet (named Esmeralda), who I have had since February. Recently, I have been looking into giving her free range of my bedroom during the day and caging her at night. I want her to live the best life possible, and this seems like a good way to give her a little freedom. I am hoping that some of you lovely people can give me advice of the logistics of some of the most common issues. Right now, I am looking into poop (how to make sure I clean it all up), toys (especially hanging ones), and just general safety. I do have a cat in the house, but everyone is VERY careful to never leave the door open. I was thinking of getting a baby gate and some mesh screening to keep my bird in and the cat out. I know that the cat could probably just it, but it should give some precious seconds if anything happens. Any and all advice is appreciated!

Thank you in advance!
 

haze

Sprinting down the street
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Houston
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Sam
It's generally considered to be a bad idea to free range a bird if you are not in the room to supervise. There are all kinds of accidents that could happen. Birds can chew on cords, get stuck in small spaces, and especially with small birds like parrotlets, crawling into spaces that they cannot escape from and getting lost. I have heard of people who allow their small parrots to be out unsupervised accidentally sitting on and injuring or killing birds who crawled under blankets or pillows. It's just not a good idea. You should be in the room to supervise if your bird is out.
 

sootling

Sprinting down the street
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492
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Ollie (he/they)
I free roam my budgies, so I'll give some insight.

Pros:
-More exercise
-More mental stimulation
-Chaos always
-Birds are free to better their flying and climbing skills, and explore more

Cons:
-Poop
-Destroying stuff
-Chaos always
-Higher likelhood of developing allergies (happened to me)
-Harder to clean

List of things you need:
-Air purifier
-Plenty of cleaning supplies
-Place to store treats, toys, cleaning supplies
-Playstands (optional)
-A way to keep poop off valuable things
 

sunnysmom

Ripping up the road
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I don't think you know your bird well enough yet to know if it could work if you've only had him since Feb. And I think it would be tough to bird proof a bedroom. I would also be concerned about the cat. Although it's not usually recommended, I did let my cockatiel Sunny live cage free during the day. But it was a gradual process. I didn't set out specifically to do it. He also was not a big chewer or a big flyer. I still had all electric cords blocked off where he could not get them and had no other pets in the house. My living room has pocket doors. So I could close the living room off. He had designated play spaces that I put towels or newspaper down for droppings. He also had a sleep cage that he could go in and take a nap. It started because my boyfriend was picking me up from work one day and couldn't get him to go back in his cage. So out of desperation, he shut the doors and left him. Even though it was probably only for 40 minutes I was furious when I found out. From there, we started doing it periodically if we were only running out for a short period until it evolved into him being out all day. I will say Sunny was an exceptionally good bird. I would never do that with any of my current birds. Elvis is too destructive. Scooter panic flies when startled, and Rosie I think would be terrified.

In your case, I think I would worry too that parrotlets are so small that they could get into too many small spaces too. And if other people have access to the room when you're gone, I would worry about his safety also. I appreciate the idea of wanting to do it, but I think you're probably better off giving him the biggest cage you can and just letting him out when you're home.
 

TikiMyn

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It can be done but you need to really know your birds and make serious adjustements. I had a free range cockatiel and two lovebirds when I was a kid in my bedroom. Now my littles have their own free range bird rooms which is easier because it’s just their stuff in there and easier to bird proof. I just clean the floor every day I put down some newspaper but only inside a playstand otherwise they flap it all over the room haha. I would not rely on a baby gate and mesh to keep the cat out, only in addition to a solid door.
 

wwolff

Moving in
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5/25/23
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6
One option is to place a small, easily cleaned mat or towel on the floor beneath her favorite perch or play area. It sounds like you're already taking steps to ensure your bird's safety by using a baby gate and mesh screening to keep her in and the cat out. You may also want to consider removing any potential hazards from the room, such as toxic plants or electrical cords. It's a good idea to supervise your bird when she's out of her cage to prevent any accidents or injuries. Or you could train your bird to come to you on command can be helpful in case she gets into a dangerous situation or needs to be returned to her cage. Consider working on basic training exercises with your bird, such as teaching her to step up onto your hand or perch.
 

Shezbug

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Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen to me. Other people living with you are a huge concern but the cat, a baby gate and some mesh are really what gives me anxiety about this idea.

Birds are inquisitive busy creatures and we generally have many things in our homes and rooms that are likely to be explored and cause future problems…. Bedding, curtains, carpets, electrical outlets appliances and cords etc.
 

donutweall

Walking the driveway
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1/31/21
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152
Right now, I am looking into poop (how to make sure I clean it all up)
This is basically impossible! You can get most of the poop, but you will forever be finding more!!! My mom found cockatiel poo behind the couch years after I moved out :laughing2:

And it doesn't stay clean for long no matter how much time you spend cleaning. Certainly you can manage the main spots, but finding poo unexpected places is a part of having birds! And I don't free range my flock either, they're only out if I'm home.
 

Ziekenzie

Walking the driveway
Joined
12/4/19
Messages
154
Thank you everyone. I am glad I asked on here before rushing into anything.
 
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