Choosing Safe Natural Perches
Now that we have all the spring cleaning out of the way, why not take advantage of adding some natural tree branches to your bird's cage or play area.
Natural tree branches can provide foot exercise, simulate movement, and provide lots of chewing fun. I leave the bark and even leaves of my weeping willow whenever possible. The birds love peeling off tender new shoots of green from the branches. Stripping every inch of bark off is a fun activity especially for my large parrots.
Try to choose branches with no visible wild bird poop or other stuff. Make sure anything you choose you know for certain has not been sprayed with any kind of pesticide or fertilizer.
Small branches can be washed with soapy water or a mixture of vinegar and water in the shower, tub or a sink, rinsed well, then placed on baking sheet and baked in over at 250 for a couple of hours to kill bugs and germs.
Larger branches can be washed off outside with a hose or power washer, rinsed well, then laid in a safe location in the sun for a day. The sun is amazing at killing bacteria and mold and can be as effective as bleach without the toxicity.
Branches can be stuck between bars in the cage at any angle that fits. Birds are not particular that their perches be straight or aligned. Birds also don't care if the branch is of the appropriate size. I have watched my hefty male Amazon Ronnie walk along a small branch that actually seemed to give a little under this weight. He treated it as a vine to maneuver across exercising his toes as he gripped. I've watched my smaller conures sit atop a large branch as if it were a resting platform for them.
If the branch is large and heavy, you can insert large screws into the ends that will fit between the bars of the cage. If you are handy with tools or have a helper that is, the ends of the branches can be shaped into slats that will fit better into the cage. If nothing else, pile some branches securely on top of the cage or play area and watch your bird have fun.
Here is a list of a few tree branches that are considered safe to help you get started.
MAPLE (DO NOT USE Red Maple)
**Pine is often listed as a safe tree but beware of any sap as that could be a problem for your bird.