Have you noticed that parrots can’t sit? And that they rarely lie down? That means they spend most of their lives standing on their feet. Imagine then how sore and tired a parrot’s feet would get if she only had one or two plain wooden perches on which to spend her life.
In my effort to provide the best life possible for my birds, I try to offer them a wide variety of perching experiences, differing in size, texture, material and location.
Perches that move, like swings, help to keep knees, ankles & toes strong and flexible; and can help to encourage flapping behavior, which increases cardio vascular health.
Being what my friends call a “crafty person” (which is just a polite way of saying cheep ;)) I’m forever on the lookout for ways to make things myself. I’ve always wanted to make my own spherical swing, you know the kind, rope covered interlocking rings, with tons of play and exercise opportunities. I’ve wrapped single hoola hoops, but never found a satisfactory method for connecting them to form a three dimensional sphere. And I’ve made perches and playstands with PVC pipe used for household plumbing, but this pipe is rigid and will not bend into the sphere shape I was seeking. Then one day while shopping in the electrical department of my local home improvement store, I noticed a roll of electrical conduit, made of PVC, corrugated, so unlike the plumbing PVC would not require sanding or wrapping for a grippable surface, and in ½” and ¾” sizes that were compatible with the PVC plumbing fittings. Most importantly it was Flexible! I’ve made several of these swings now, some for my birds, some for friends, and have found that they have a few advantages I hadn’t initially anticipated. They are very inexpensive to make, very light weight, but can withstand the exuberant play of a Green Wing Macaw, are easy to clean, waterproof and chew resistant.
Here are my instructions for you to make your own Spherical Swing.
- Roll of ribbed PVC electrical conduit, ½” or ¾”, sold under the name Carlon Flex-Plus, Blue Electrical Nonmetallic Tubing
6 PVC crosses, size to match conduit, from the plumbing department
Stainless screw eye(s) 1 for hanging, optional additional screw eyes for hanging toys.
- Your choice of hanging material, such as plastic or stainless chain.
- Measuring Tape
- PVC cutter (buy a good one, it’s worth it!)
5.Add crosses to the other ends of these two first sections of PVC, then two more sections of PVC to those crosses, then add the fourth cross to form a complete circle. Form a semi circles with a cross and two PVC sections, make two.