Several years, our macaw, Trixie, began lying across her water bowl to sleep at night. This concerned me because she was damp all night, started wearing off the feathers across her chest, and was obviously uncomfortable, because we would hear her whining during the night. As I searched for some type of comfortable perch that she could lay down and sleep on, I remembered a “hammock” that my friend Susan had made for her macaw, Gracie. Susan, who is a painter, used an extra canvas she had, covered it with fabric, and hung it from plastic chain.
(To see Gracie’s hammock http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/2770415 you will need to scroll down the photos on the left untill you see Gracie’s sleeping bed.)
I adapted Susan’s idea to make a more stable platform, which bolts to the side of the cage, and makes a secure spot for Trixie to lie down and sleep.
But even the birds who don’t like to sleep lying down (which is most of them) enjoy these soft platform perches. This flat surface allows birds to stretch out their toes fully, and having a variety of perch sizes and textures is essential to overall foot health.
For birds who have foot heath issues already, such as pressure sores or tender spots on the bottom of their feet, who have arthritis, or foot or toe deformities, these soft platforms provide a much appreciated place of comfort and stability.
Now all my birds from Macaw to Parrotlet each have a least one fleece platform.
Here are directions are the directions on how I make these perches.
(Quick note: the reason I use fleece, sometimes also know as polar fleece, is that is a nonwoven fabric, which means if chewed on it will not fray into strings which can cause entanglement hazards, and it has no loops that toenails can get snagged it)
2 ½” bolts, Washers, Nuts
Drill & Staple Gun
1.Place Canvas frame up to cage bars and mark where you want to place bolts (*if making a very small platform you may only need one bolt, so just center it along one side.
2. Drill holes that will allow bolt to fit snuggly. Push bolts into holes (*if using a small canvas you will need push the bolt from the outside in)
3. Cut 2 pieces of fleece. One large enough to wrap around frame and overlap the edges, the second slightly smaller than the outside edge of the frame. (*for small platforms you will be leaving off the smaller second piece of fleece)
4. Wrap canvas frame, mitering corners, like wrapping a present, and stapling as you go.
5. Push bolts so that you can see where they are, and cut a tiny hole.
6. Push bolts all the way through.
7. Run glue around the backside edge of fleece. Place smaller section of fleece to cover the back. Press firmly into the glue. Check to make sure that all edges are glued down. Allow to dry completely. (*small sizes skip this step)
8. Using your choice of washes mount to cage.
Safety notes: if your bird starts to chew through the fleece, or it becomes soiled, you can remove and replace the fleece. If however you bird starts to chew through the framework, the perch should be removed and discarded. When making the smaller platforms, where the staples are not covered with the second piece of fleece, be sure to place the perches in a location where the bird cannot stand on another perch and have access to the area where the staples are.
*Here is are photos of the underside of a very small platform, showing bolt inserted from the outside in, the nut on the inside, and the bottom left open.
Once again you managed to show us not-so-handy bird people how to improve their enviroment. Easy directions and great step by step photos. Oh! to be one of Laura’s Lucky Flock!
Thank you for this post. My amazon has sore feet and I haven’t been able to find a pre-made hammock or platform perch I think will work. I think making one of these just became my July 4th project.
Great Karen, let me know how it turns out!
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Thank you for this! I have an older, arthritic YN, and I also think my other birds might like this!