Ask Lafeber

Question:

August 1, 2017

Rehomed Gray


I rehomed a 4 yr old female Gray She came in a 23x23x34 cage with 1/2 in perch I tried to replace them with 1 in. perch she wanted nothing to do with it hung on the back of the cage until I removed it. My last Gray was cautious but could work with him as far as adding a swing and different size perches. I would like to get her a bigger cage but after the perch problem how will I ever get her in a new cage with a proper size perches and toys. I only have her 1 week, but she comes on my hand and shoulder and will walk with me, she has a very good temperament Thanks for your suggestions.


Answer:

Hi Ed,

Congratulations on your new bird – I know she is happy to have a good home. As you have only had her for one week, it is far too early to be making any changes to her cage or routine. She needs time to settle in and get used to her new home. It could be weeks, months or longer before you can start to improve her living space. She doesn’t even realize that this is a permanent home yet.

Continue with the bonding process since she will let you handle her. She needs to learn to trust you. A small perch isn’t going to be a problem at this point. You also need to observe how she gets around – there is no one size fits all perch for birds. Her feet may be smaller than your other bird, so make sure the perch is in fact too small before you think of replacing it. When the time does come to replace it, you should consider a natural branch perch – these are available at most pet and bird shops and are generally made from a wood like manzanita or something similar. This will give her different sizes on one perch, which is much better than a round perch that is the same diameter the entire length. You can find perches that go all the way across the cage as well as the type that screw to the side of the cage and only reach about halfway across the cage. Various perches will encourage her to exercise in her cage.

Since you mentioned getting her a larger cage, I would recommend not making any changes to her current cage. When the time comes to buy the larger cage. set it up with perches in various sizes as well as a few toys. Place the cage next to her cage and allow her to come out of her cage and explore the new cage when she is ready. She will take time to get used to it, but soon her curiosity will kick in and she will want to explore this new cage. Place her favorite treats in the new cage to encourage her to enter the cage.

All of this needs to be gradual because she is a Grey, and they tend to take longer to accept new things, and you may not know her history as far as how she has been treated. Don’t think in any set time period – she will set the pace. Just be patient and let her decide when she is ready for something new. She should live a very long life, so if it takes a year for her to move into a new cage, this is nothing compared to her potential life span. The worst thing you can do is rush her or force her, as this will shake her trust in you as well as her confidence.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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