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new cage help for elderly amazon with special needs

Cybot

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Chris Solomon
I have a senior & special needs orange winged amazon that needs a new cage due to an injury and old age. the bird is older than i am. My parents got her in when they lived in Hawaii at least 5 years before i was born. Suzy (the parrot) is regularly seen by Vet specializing in Avian medicine. according to the vet, due to old age, she has developed arthritis. this was causing her to occasionally fall off her perch, usually while sleeping. the Vet had said to get a rope perch to make it easier for the bird to grip, which we did. things were working well, until one day i discovered the parrot had started to unravel a single section of the perch and had gotten one of her toes caught in the loose string to the point where she managed to sever the toe. previously years ago (when i was like 4 years old) on the same foot, my dad's Blue and Gold McCaw had bitten off part of one of her other toes. Suzy is now no longer able to climb the sides of her cage after her most recent injury, no matter how much she tries. despite her injuries and old age, she is an active bird and loves shredding up the small boxes we give her along with the regular shredding toys. we just need a smaller cage with one or two levels of ramps. I found the midwest deluxe critter nation, but my mom is concerned about the plastic parts, since suzy is an avid chewer. how sturdy is are the plastic parts in this cage? am i better off choosing a parrot cage? if so, which one would work??
 

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MommyBird

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I got a Midwest Critter Nation for an amazon a few years ago. Didn't work, I decided to keep it for budgies in the future.
Pepper is a BFA who has an improperly healed broken leg and trouble moving around.
But just wanted to say I also have an OWA girl who is 51 this year!
So my love to Suzy!

The biggest problem I found is that the bars are not heavy enough and spaced right to support parrot perches of the correct size.
but maybe you won't be using perches?
Plus there is not a pull-out tray for cleaning, no food dish doors, and a bunch of other things I can't remember.
The plastic parts probably would not stand up to an enthusiastic chewer.
Have you tried platform perches? How about ladders?
Cockatoo John @JLcribber is here on the Avian Avenue site, he does custom work and has an Etsy sales site. Maybe something like this would work?
Pine Disk Stairway Perch | Etsy
 

Shannan

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Shannan
I have a 39 year old Gray with arthritis so I understand your dilemma. Walter can climb his cage but you might consider using a wide "flight" cage and then create a series of ramps using bird safe wood. I have my flight cage set up into two levels which I rotate him so that he gets new experiences. One level is very cozy with lots of paper towels for him to sleep on as well as a rope perch which I wrap with vet wrap. The other level is his play level with lots of toys for him to play with. Someday I will replace the floor so that he can use a ramp to crawl down between the levels but for now, I move him up and down to the different levels. As far as the plastic, I would be concerned but all you can do it try it and watch her. Of course give her lots of appropriate toys to chew on and hopefully she won't get into the plastic.
 

Cybot

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Chris Solomon
even in the current cage we don't use the pull-out tray for keeping the floor clean. the bottom bars rusted out and were removed long ago, the cage has since been 're-conditioned' to make it safe for the bird (until her latest injury) as for bowls, we were using bowls that we could clamp onto the side of Suzy's cage and she would use the existing perches to go between bowls. post injury, we removed the perches that spanned the length of the cage and put in a smaller manzanita perch that just attaches to one side. she will sit on that, especially while grazing her food bowls. before she was injured, she was using a rabbit/hamster type water bottle, which was what my parents had used since they got her. now we have a small bowl in the corner of her cage that we change out daily. we have yet to see her drink from it, but she has not died of dehydration, so.... out main issue is that i am starting to get older, and it is difficult for me to bend over and clean the cage. and i seem to be slightly allergic to the dust/dander/etc. that collect at the bottom of the cage, because i start coughing and sneezing while doing the paper changes. not having to bend over and stick my upper torso into the cage to clean it would help. one difference post injury for for the bird, which is also a reason we want a new cage, is she is currently frequently walking through her droppings. we have been giving her frequent baths to wash her off, but ever since her injury she is really gun-shy about me approaching her to pick her up. and boy can she clamp down hard with that beak of hers. when she does so, she bites down and starts grinding to generate more bite pressure/damage. it really hurts as you might know. She still will let me come up and give her head a scratch - as long as it's from outside of the cage and with the doors closed. I hope she will eventually get over the trauma. i was probably traumatized as much as she was when i discrovered what she had managed to do to herself when she got her injury. she has some respiratory issues she has dealt with all her life, so i have learned not to push the issue and get her all stressed out. the new cage is just as much for me as it is for her.

@Shannan - is it possible for an image of the cage setup you have, so i can get some ideas?

this is really the farthest i have gotten in finding a new cage since the bird was first injured. trying to search for cages for that would work on amazon does not provide uselful results. I did find one, but for whatever reason, part way down the page on amazon, where it was giving the measurements, it suddenly started showing artificial trees measurements.
https://www.amazon.com/Yaheetech-Mid-Sized-Cockatiels-Parakeets-Lovebirds/dp/B018VLU7A2

if you think the cage i linked to will work, then i will look further into it. my only worry is about her falling from the upper level and injuring herself.
 

Cybot

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Chris Solomon
I got a Midwest Critter Nation for an amazon a few years ago. Didn't work, I decided to keep it for budgies in the future.
Pepper is a BFA who has an improperly healed broken leg and trouble moving around.
But just wanted to say I also have an OWA girl who is 51 this year!
So my love to Suzy!

The biggest problem I found is that the bars are not heavy enough and spaced right to support parrot perches of the correct size.
but maybe you won't be using perches?
Plus there is not a pull-out tray for cleaning, no food dish doors, and a bunch of other things I can't remember.
The plastic parts probably would not stand up to an enthusiastic chewer.
Have you tried platform perches? How about ladders?
Cockatoo John @JLcribber is here on the Avian Avenue site, he does custom work and has an Etsy sales site. Maybe something like this would work?
Pine Disk Stairway Perch | Etsy
thanks i will look into the person you mentioned
 

Shannan

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Shannan
This is a great article for a set up for a special needs cage that I used for ideas for Walter. I will try to take some updated pictures of his cage tomorrow and upload it for you to see.

special needs cage set up
 

Shannan

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Shannan
Walter's cage is a flight cage that I took the grate floor and moved it half way up the cage to create a second floor and then purchased a couple of dog crate pans to put on the second floor since it is hard for Walter to walk on the grate flooring. I have included a very early picture of the ground floor of his two story flat before I added flat perches, which Walter finds much easier to work with. I also vetwrapped all his perches to make them soft (this also worked well to keep him from shredding his rope perch. I want to add more flat perches. I heavily pad his floor with several layers of paper towels. (Can't use cloth because he shreds it and that is a hazard). I have noticed that he seems to have only a few spots where he uses the restroom. These areas I add extra thick layers of paper towels that I can just pull up several times during the day to keep his cage clean. I did consider a heavy duty rabbit hutch as a possibility because it is wide and not too tall but in the end I just adapted the cage he had. I also make sure that he can get on his low perch at ground level and use that to gain the higher level perches. You could use a series of flat perches to form steps or a ramp like in a chicken coop.
 

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Clueless

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Welcome.

Flat perches would probably help too. Secret spends a lot of time on hers.
 

Blueberry

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I also have an older disabled arthritic OWA. She has a heated perch that has helped her arthritis alot! If she can't perch there is a heating pad for chicks sold at Tractor Supply that may work. I also try to give anit-inflammatory foods. I've tried giving her Senior nutriberries but she doesn't like them. Yours may tho. The senior nutriberries have milkthistle and glutathione that's really good for them. Unfortunately it does have corn syrup in it.

I did have a bird who had trouble perching. I used a baby changing pad at the bottom the of cage to give her a soft area to fall. (I covered the changing pad with paper towels). Shannan looks like she had a great setup! The only thing I'd add is making the bottom softer incase she falls.

I hope this helps. Suzy is gorgeous!
 
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