I recently saw this Twitter “tweet” “Conure with sore foot help”. The link led me to this discussion.
Causes & Actions:
Unsuitable Perches / Standing & Walking Platforms:
These abscesses are frequently caused by unhealthy “perching” conditions, such as plastic perches, sharp-cornered perches, the standard perches that tend to come with cages of uniform diameter, or wire floors.
If unsuitable perches or platforms are the cause, a small reddened area, or sometimes a small shiny patch, can usually be seen on the foot.
Cause of action or preventative measures:
Provide a bird with natural perches with different circumferences and textures
I think this really needs to be elaborated upon because it’s very important.
Also mentioned pedicure concrete perch being used.
Someone said that that should be removed from the cage.
I respectfully disagree with that which I’ll get to in a moment.
First I want to back up and talk a little bit about a bird’s anatomy.
It’s important to understand that birds are on their feet 24/7 and unless in flight and most of our birds are never in flight, they are on their feet 24/7.
More specifically, we need to know that most birds have something called 2 flexor tendons in both their legs.
This tendon enables a bird to lock its foot or both feet around a tree branch thus allowing them to literally sleep on their feet (or foot) without falling off a tree (or perch).
If you and I are on our feet long we begin to shift positions – a bird’s feet are locked down.
Birds also have very few nerves in their feet so the threshold for pain tends to be much higher and may not be self-aware of a foot injury until it becomes more severe.
We’ve seen many bird cages with some sort of pedicure perch used as sleeping perch.
This has a high potential for injury to your bird’s foot.
But don’t toss it out just yet.
I suggest you move it to the inside of the cage door is illustrated here.
The thinking behind this set up is when it comes time to let your bird out he or she will come down to this perch and do a happy dance.
The happy dance is enough time to groom nails and maybe a rub or two of the beak.
Now you’ve made good use of a pedicure perch.
I suggest all parrot cages, have 3 to 4 types of perches. This will cause your bird’s feet, to constantly be moving around a different surface, challenged if you will.
The sleeping perch should be rigid but soft. We like Booda perches because after selling them for many years we know that they are both durable and washable.
More importantly, they are soft on the bird’s feet.
As a side note, they are great for parrots who may be plucking because it gives them something else to peck at.
Your cage probably came with a solid dowel perch – those are fine. But in addition to that hard perch we suggest is a Manzanita perch.
The irregular surface really helps exercise your bird
These come from bushes grown on the West Coast of North and Central America.
If you get a good one it’s is not split but it has been kiln dried. the kiln drying will help these perches withstand prolonged use by the beak of a large cockatoo or macaw.
They come with double end attachments for going from side to side of the cage.
I prefer cutting them in half, yielding two perches (called single bolt) that can be placed in different parts of the cage – once again to challenge the bird’s feet.
They clean up quite nicely with products like Poop Off
By following these simple and economical steps, you should never have to put your bird through any serious foot pain – hope that helps.