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Perches and Your Parrot

Parrots have what are known as Zygodactyl feet. This means they have the first and fourth toes of each foot directed backward and their second and third toes face forward. This arrangement of toes allows for greater proficiency in climbing and perching and grabbing and maneuvering objects like food.     

Apart from when a bird is flying, it is standing on its feet all the time. Many companion parrots have their wings trimmed, or are caged for periods of the day and are therefore unable to consistently fly.  It is therefore vital that our bird’s feet are well cared for. As our companion parrots can be on their feet up to 24 hours per day, having the correct perches can make a big difference to the overall health of their feet.

In their natural habitat, parrots climb and move around on natural wood branches. The bark on natural wood branches helps to trim their nails and beaks.  The varied diameter of natural branches also assists to keep their feet well exercised. Offering your parrot a range of perches with varying diameters at different levels within their cage is vital.  When choosing perches, it is important to select a perch size that is appropriate for your bird. Generally, your bird's foot should rest comfortably around the top half of the perch. The perch should not be so small that your bird’s foot wraps the entire way around. The perch should also not be too wide causing your bird to be unable to grasp it properly.

Natural branches make the best perches for companion parrots. When choosing natural branches for perches only use branches from trees that you know have not been sprayed with insecticides or pesticides. To avoid introducing diseases from wild birds into your bird’s cage, the natural branches should be cleaned and disinfected prior to introducing them to your bird’s cage. 

Parrotbox offers a large variety of perches in different textures, sizes and diameters for your pet bird including natural wood, rope and mineral perches (cement and calcium).  Cement pedicure perches help to soothe your bird’s feed, prevent feet cramps and other complications while naturally trimming your bird’s nails. Calcium perches are perfect for trimming nails and beaks and are a great source of iodine. To see our full range of perches head to 

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