I needed to make some sort of play perch for my alexandrian parrot ,Zuzu.So with I set out to make one from scratch. I know many people are worried about the wood you use and you should be very careful, as some may be poisonous .I used an end of a cable spool, but i found a away to cover it with a layer of clay that covers the harmful area with a natural coating. If, you are unable to get your hands on one of these (which you probably wont, gods know how i found one in our shed ) you can buy a thin piece of wood ( untreated if you can find it) and cut it to shape similar to the one did.The spool just makes it easier.,
So to make one you'll need :
1) One spool end or thin piece of wood
2) Access to a angle grinder or small saw or any other way to cut the wood
3) A marker
4)Dowel equal to the diameter required for your parrot's feet. ( depending on the size, just eyeball how thick or refer to his current perch)
6) Red clay ( dig around your backyard, pretty deep ,sometimes you can find it on the surface)
7) Large brush
8) Water and a mixing bowl
Step 1: Draw the Lines and Cut Them Out
This completely depends on the dimensions of your cage bars and how thick you want the sides of the cage to be. Decide how many bars you want to include in your groves, about 3-4 are good measure the distance between these bars and draw a triangle shape on the wood thats base is equal to this distance.
At the top of the triangle draw a circle equal to the diameter of the dowel used. Then cut this shape out with the grinder or a small saw .Cut out the circle with a jigsaw, if you are not using the spool, that already has holes in it.You can try to find another piece of wood with holes and buy dowels to match.Many home supply stores like Home Depot have one available for cutting wood for free.
Sand these down and make sure the pieces fit . Next hold the trianlges to the grooves and starting at one end of the base mark where the bars of the cage should be grooved. Mark lines about a 1/4 inch long make sure they are equal or it will be lop sided.The base should look some what like a comb, you can add more grooves if you like ,just be sure they fit snugly with the bars.You can make the grooves thicker by running them through the grinder again.
Step 2: Insert the Dowel
Ok so for mine I used a thin stalk of bamboo so the ends hung out a bit and the middle was thicker so there was no need for securing it. If don't understand what i said ,just see the last pic. If you are using a dowel you can use a dab of wood glue or nail it. If the dowel over hangs a bit you can leave it and make so that you can take the perch out anytime to clean it with out removing the whole thing.
Step 3: Installing It on Your Cage
So align the bars of the cage wth the grooves, it can take a couple tries to get it just right ,but it will. Then when you are happy with the spacing feed your dowel through the holes. Then you can secure it or whatever , just leave it if you want, but make sure it's long enough not to fall out.
Step 4: Finishing It and Making It Parrot Proof
Ok so this is a very important step. Take a handful of the red clay and mix it with about a cup of water to make a watery mix, use a paint brush and thoroughly paint the perch and the stands. This will deter your bird from chewing it, even if he tries to taste it at first he will eave it alone as it dries. It is natural for some birds especially macaws, to eat small bits of clay, so it is not harmful.
Note : Make sure you don't get packaged clay or get it from an area that uses fertilizer or pesticides. USE ONLY CHEMICAL FREE CLAY.
The best place for this is in the waaay back corner of your yard or a forest or something unused by people.
Please comment and post pics of your perches.