Choosing Bird Perches

January is Adopt A Rescued Bird Month! Polly may not be as popular as Fido and Fluffy, but she is very cute and charming, and can brighten up any home. One thing that is very important to your bird’s health and happiness is making sure that she has plenty of perches. An Ellicott City, MD vet offers some advice on this below.


Material is one thing you’ll want to consider. Keep in mind that, in the wild, birds sit on all sorts of branches: big ones, small ones, thin ones, thick ones, etc. That variation gives your feathered friend a good leg and foot workout, helping keep her fit and healthy. It’s important to provide different types of perches. Generally, perches made from wood are going to be best. However, we don’t recommend using rough perches, such as those made from sand or cement, as they can cause injuries to Polly‚Äôs legs or feet. Ask your vet for more information.

Dowel Perches

Many bird cages come with dowel perches. This will do for bringing Polly home on Day One, but you’ll want to replace them with better perches ASAP, as these can cause bumblefoot and other issues.


Size is also a factor. As a rule of thumb, Polly should be able to fit her claws about three quarters of the way around the perch. The perch should also be at least as long as her wingspan. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.


Setting up Polly’s perches isn’t exactly rocket science, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Don’t put them directly over her dishes, as she’ll soon contaminate her food and water with droppings. Also, don’t put them too close to the cage walls or ceiling. You want your winged pal to be able to stand up and flap her wings.

Changing Things Up

As the saying says, variety is the spice of life. This definitely is something to keep in mind when caring for your bird. Rotate and rearrange Polly’s perches regularly. You may find that a good time to do this is when you are giving your pet’s cage a good cleaning. This should happen about once a week. Wash and disinfect the ‘used’ perches, and replace them with fresh, clean ones.

As your Ellicott City, MD animal clinic, we’re dedicated to offering top-notch care. Please contact us anytime!

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