Natural wooden branches
make ideal perches for your budgie because they offer a variation
in size and shape which exercises more of the muscles within the
foot and keeps the pressure from always being in the same spot.
Typically, perches should range between 3/8" to 3/4"
for a comfortable fit, however offering a variety of sizes and
shapes will ensure that your budgie gets the exercise he needs
for his feet.
Rope perches can be easily
washed and kept clean and birds love how they feel. Keep
an eye out for any fraying as this can be dangerous if they
get their toes caught or swallow the loose string.
Wooden dowels from untreated wood can also be used, however
keep these to a minimum since they don't offer the necessary variation
Providing a Mineral perch (also concrete or
cement) will help keep your parakeet's nails and beak groomed
so that they don't get overgrown. Make sure your bird has other
wooden or rope perches to stand on because a mineral perch alone
would be too rough on their feet. Avoid the sandpaper perches
which are abrasive and can cause problems for some birds.
Making your own perches
Creating your own custom perches from trees can be fun, giving
you an opportunity to find unique shapes and sizes. It is important
to avoid branches from trees that are considered toxic for birds
and ones that have been sprayed with pesticides or insecticides.
Manzanita is a popular wood used for perches. Beech, Birch, Popular
and Elm are also considered safe. Branches should be thoroughly
cleaned before putting them into the cage. Scrub them well with
hot water and place them in the oven at 225º for 20 minutes,
watching closely to prevent fire. See Resources below for more
Use untreated cotton rope to make your own rope perch. Discard
them if they begin to fray as your bird's toenails can get caught
and cause injuries to their feet or legs.