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Breeding Parrots, Cockatiels and Lovebirds.
                                                 

Perches

Parrots are climbing birds and need a lot of perches. These must be at different heights and must be of different thickness, to be able to exercise their feet.
Make sure one perch is in front of the food and water dish so the parrot will be able to comfortably perch and feed. To prevent fouling of water and food ,never place perches directly above a food or water dish.
Natural branches are by far the best, they cost little or nothing and are good for the parrot's claws and feet, not to mention they stimulate curiosity. Your parrot will enjoy stripping the bark off, like it would do in the wild, and might even find some insects to eat.

Wooden perches can satisfy the need for gnawing of parrot type birds and therefore prevent boredom. Make sure that none of the branches you use have been treated with chemicals, paint or pesticides, that they are clean and not a source of potential bacterial or fungal infections. Neither may the branches have fungi or wood rot.
Some ornamental trees are poisonous to parrots, so the best branches to use are those of fruit trees, willow, hazel or hawthorn. Wooden perches also have the advantage of offering good grip to the bird.
Artificial perches must be avoided, because they are uncomfortable and sharp if gnawed at. Most artificial perches are made of plastics and are ribbed to give the bird better grip. Excrements can lodge in the gooves and are hard to remove.
Fouled perches increase the risk of infection of the footpads of the bird. Fouling of the perches partly can be prevented by not placing them above each other.



When using perches the diameter is of importance. Perches of the same diameter, creates allows the same parts of the bird's footpads to be burdened with it's weight. This can cause pressure points, which can result in inflammation of the footpad.
It is therefore important to use perches of different diameters. Resting on the perch with the smallest diameter may just allow the bird's toenails to touch each other. Yet on the perch with the biggest diameter, the bird could rest with a flat foot.
Especially with branches of a bigger diameter it is advantageous if the perch is oval instead of round. A round perch, forces a constant pressure point in the same place on the foot. While an oval perch, which is flat on top, reduces the pressure point by using more surface space of the foot. This also allows the bird to shift its weight from front to back.

Perches rolled in sanding paper should not be used. These perches are sometimes recommended because of the idea they keep the bird's nails short. Unfortunately these perches seldom or never have that effect.
Instead they cause extra burdening of the footpad's skin by callusing or rubbing away shin layers. Therefore they can cause inflammation of the footpad.
In any case you must regularly provide your parrot with fresh branches to chew on, because it keeps it busy and keeps its beak in good condition.

Cages

Never put a cage: In a draughty place - thus definitely not by a window - because the cockatiel can catch a cold.
Next to a stove or heating - because the changes in temperature will cause the bird to moult unnecessarily.
In full sunlight. Although cockatiels come from a hot climate, they spend a lot of time in the shade and will suffer if they cannot get out of the sunlight. It is ideal if the cage has a covered part so that the parrot himself can choose whether he wants to sit in the sunlight or shade.
If you put a cage in the sun, a cockatiel may develop serious respiratory problems. The bird will start to pant in order to try to cool his blood. Never spray a cockatiel if he is sitting in the sun because this causes the air to become humid and the bird will feel even more stressed.

Birds can feel very vulnerable in a cage. By putting the cage against a wall or preferably in a corner where two sides are then shielded, your parrot will feel much safer.
It is best if the cage is arranged more or less so that the bird is at eye level when you are standing. If the cage is too high the cockatiel will try to become dominant and if it is too low then he will feel vulnerable and may become aggressive or start plucking his feathers.
In general experience equal periods of daylight and darkness. Birds that live in a house living room are exposed to longer periods of light and this may lead to behavioural problems. In such a case it is advisable to cover the cage in order to mimic the natural light patterns of the tropics. This also prevents shrieking in the morning.

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