Since almost all cages are made of wire on all sides, without a solid section, the cage should be positioned with its back against a wall. This will give the bird a greater feeling of security. If possible, position the cage so the bird can see out of a window, perhaps out onto your garden where the comings and goings of other birds will add some interest for your bird. However, do make sure the cage is never in full sun as the bird can very easily become overheated. The cage should be high enough so that the  top perches allow the bird to be at your eye-level when you are standing next to the cage. If the bird is nervous, the height of the top perch should be increased, so that the bird can look down on you. If the cage has a grill just above its floor-tray, this should be removed as it prevents the bird from having access to the floor. The cage floor should be covered with newspaper sheets which are changed each day.

Fit different types of perches

To ensure the bird's feet are exercised properly, there should be a variety of perches in the cage and  these should be of differing thickness. Usually, perches supplied with a new cage are of uniform and  excessive thickness. Parrots have a locking mechanism in their feet when perched which allows them to grip the perch with little effort, but this does not work on thick perches. For a grey, the most  comfortable (top) perch will be about 2cm (3/4 in) in diameter. This allows the bird to wrap its toes  almost right around the perch. Other perches can be thicker or thinner. Perches made from any natural untreated hardwood such as ash, hawthorn, maple, hazel and cherry are suitable.

Rope perches of natural fibres such as cotton, jute or hemp are also beneficial. Softwood and plastic  perches should be avoided. Most birds will chew their perches, and this helps them exercise their beak. With this in mind, perches should be seen as disposable items to be renewed frequently. Since they get dirty very easily, it is useful to have two sets of perches for each cage so you always have a spare set  when needed. Sometimes an abrasive perch is used to keep a bird's claws less sharp. However, greys need fairly sharp claws to grip smooth surfaces properly. If you use an abrasive perch, this should be  placed low down in the cage and not be the bird's favourite or top perch.

Different perches provide different thicknesses and textures for the bird's feet to use and this
helps to exercise the foot and leg muscles. Flexible, semi-rigid perches can also induce
the bird to play by swinging and climbing.

When standing, a bird uses more energy in its leg muscles. If a perch is too thick, the bird is forced to 'stand' and cannot grip the perch passively.

The abrasive perch has a twisted form and
variable diameter which gives the bird a choice
of different places to grip. It should be placed
low down in the cage.


This perch is too thick for a roosting or favourite
perch as the bird cannot lock its toes around it;
some birds fall off these thick perches in the night
as their grip fails.



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