Even though we’ve been having some unusually warm November weather here in New England, we’re well aware that one of our harsh winters is fast approaching, and now that we have both a “baby” (our seven month old Timneh) and an “older” bird with health issues (our ten year old “UnCape” parrot) living in our drafty house, I’m more aware of things like ambient room temperature and providing warmth for their special needs.
All my birds sleep in designated “sleep cages” – travel cages or small dog crates – in our bedroom. Not only does this help with cage territoriality (and it makes cleaning in the morning easier since they’re not there to “help” yet!), but it also ensures that they get to spend their nights in the warmest room in the house. These small cages are equipped with each bird’s favorite type of perch and either a tent or something to snuggle to up, depending on each bird’s preferences. (Having the tents only available at night in the sleep cages gives them a safe place to sleep without encouraging nesting behaviors.)
But with winter approaching, and the potential that Miss Dolly the “UnCape” may be arthritic – along with her healing bumblefoot and weak foot & leg muscles – because she lived for ten years on macaw-sized concrete and dowel perches, I’m considering other options. She spends her days (and nights) on rope perches, preferring them to the various wooden ones, and it’s my understanding that the ropes are easier on a bird’s feet than other types of perches. I’ve been thinking about getting her a heated perch for her daytime cage, but she takes anything attached to the outside of the cage that she can (maybe) reach as a personal challenge, and I’m concerned that she will somehow get to the cord and/or break the mounting hardware or the perch itself.
So I’m exploring other options that don’t involve moving day cages into my already packed little bedroom. I’m certainly open to creative suggestions!