How Many Perches Should Be In A Birdcage?

Birds are one of the more popular pets for people to own. Some of the most popular birds to own as pets are the cockatiel, parakeet, and parrot. Each of these birds requires different cage setups for them to live happily and comfortably. One of the often asked questions is, how many perches do I need to set up for my bird?

When setting up your bird’s cage, you should aim to place 3 to 5 perches inside. The number of perches you will need to put into your bird’s cage largely depends on the size of the bird and its cage. For example, parakeets and cockatiels are smaller species, and thus you will be able to place more in their cage. At the same time, parrots range in size and can be pretty large, making less room for perches.

As you continue to read this article, we will be discussing how to set up your birdcage correctly and how many perches you should aim to set up. Not only that, but this article will also be discussing what type of perches are the best kinds to use.

Perches Are An Essential Part Of Your Bird’s Overall Health

Perches are a very integral part of any birdcage and your bird’s health. Parakeets, cockatiels, and parrots spend their entire lives on their feet, even when they are sleeping. With that said, providing perches for your birds to stand and move around promotes good joint health in their feet. 

Perches in your bird’s cage provide them with not only places to relax and sleep but also access to food and water. Perches will also give your bird much-needed exercise, provided they are spaced appropriately throughout the cage. The perches you place in the cage will also offer a social platform for your birds to hang out together. Two birds sitting side by side shows a relaxed and healthy relationship between birds.

How many perches should be in a birdcage?

When it comes to setting up your bird’s home, you should consider the size of the cage itself and your bird. Your bird must have a reasonably large cage to give your birds enough room to fly around and land on different perches. With that said, the larger your bird is, the fewer perches you can realistically set up in their cage. 

However, pet experts recommend that a bird have at least three different types of perches to maintain your bird’s foot health. Having many perches allows your bird to hop or fly between them, giving much-needed exercise. In addition, two perches should be utilized to give access to food and water, with the third perch serving as a resting place. 

As previously stated, the amount of perches your bird’s cage will need depends on the size of the bird and its cage. Smaller, more active birds like finches or parakeets will have more room for more perches. Not only that, but these small, very active birds have the dexterity to fly around their cage and perches, allowing you to place more of them. 

Larger birds like macaws and parrots will be more confined, lowering the number of perches you can place. However, unless their cage is massive, they will give these larger birds the room to fly around to different perches like the smaller, more agile birds can. 

What Types Of Perches Should I Use For My Bird?

Giving your bird a variety of perches is just as important as the number of perches in your bird’s home. In addition, giving your birds different angles and textures to stand on promotes good joint health in your bird’s feet. 

While having straight and stiff perches is okay for your bird to use, only providing this type of perch can be detrimental to their health. Birds can develop arthritis in their feet or develop a worse condition called bumblefoot. Bumblefoot is like a pressure sore on your bird’s feet where the skin and muscle of their feet will start to wear away.

Bumblefoot and arthritis can be avoided by giving your birds different types of perches to land. Below are some of the perches you can place in your bird’s cage to keep them happy and healthy.

  • Wooden Dowel Perches: A wooden down perch is probably the most common perch that comes with your bird’s cage. This straight and the hard surface can be stood on and even chewed. However, it can become uncomfortable for your bird after standing on them for extended periods. With that said, this is the type of perch described above. While it is okay to have one of these in your bird’s cage, provide them with other types of perches to stand on.
  • Plastic Clip-On Perches: These perches are much like the wooden dowel perches above. However, they are much cheaper and tend to come with cheaper cages. With that said, plastic perches are easy to take out, completely washable, and can be whipped down with a towel and placed back into the cage. However, larger birds might find plastic perches uncomfortable to stand on. 

  • Rope Perches: Rope perches are a great addition to any birdcage. They offer a flexible and more comfortable perch than wood or plastic perches. Not only that but rope perches can be placed in interesting ways allowing your bird to move around the cage differently. Rope perches are also flexible and are a great way to keep your bird’s feet healthy. However, you will need to keep an eye on the rope’s condition. As the string gets used more, it will start to fray. The frayed fibers can entangle your bird’s feet, and if ingested, can cause blockage.

  • Natural Tree Branch Perches: Natural perches are possibly the best option for most birds. They replicate what your bird will naturally stand on in the wild. They offer a stiff yet comfortable perch for them to stand on. Not only that, but if the branch has multiple segments, it will give your bird a good exercise. Furthermore, if the branch has bark on it, your bird will have loads of fun peeling it off.
  • Sand Perches: A sand perch are used as a nail file of sorts for your bird’s nails. Keeping your bird’s nails under control will prevent excess nail growth and unneeded scratches on your hands and arms. With that said, a sand perch should only be used temporarily and should never be in the center of the cage, nor should it be the highest perch. Leaving a sand perch in your bird’s cage can irritate your bird’s feet.

Something to keep in mind is the diameter of the perches you place in the cage. The perches will need to be appropriately sized for your bird. Placing perches that are too narrow can lead to the development of arthritis over years of use. 

Perches should be anywhere from 9 to 15 millimeters for small birds like finches and parakeets. Whereas larger birds like macaws and parrots should have much thicker perches, up to 60 millimeters 

Final Thoughts

The amount of perches you place in your bird’s cage depends on the size of the bird in relation to its cage. The bigger the cage compared to the bird allows for more perches to be placed. With that said, pet experts recommend that you install at least three perches that are different from each other. Placing different kinds of perches allows your bird’s joints to stay healthy and removes the risk of them developing arthritis and bumblefoot.

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