The days of keeping birds in wrought iron cages are all but over. Today, you can house your bird in luxury accommodations and match the style of any room in your home. New materials such as acrylic and powder-coated bars are being combined with beautiful woods to create custom made cages that compliment your home’s décor.
The cages of yesterday made no attempt at matching anything but the local penitentiary. Now, with a little imagination and a few pennies in your pocket, you can design a home for your bird that will create an “environment,” instead of a mess.
The traditional bar cage allow food, feathers, and dropping to leave the cage – forget about carpeting! New designs are not only more attractive, they are functional as well, and allow you to keep a cleaner home. Many of these cages come with accessories such as ventilation units. Some birds, like cockatoos, emit a dusty substance as a result of preening, and that dust can get into the air and cause allergies. (How chic are you when you’re sneezing?) Lighting units inside the cage display your bird in all of his splendor, and keep him healthy in the darker months of the year.
If wood is not your thing, some units combine the traditional bars with acrylic fronts, allowing for maximum viewing of your beautiful bird and giving him ample climbing space. Add a few lush, non-toxic potted plants to the scene, and you can recreate a tropical heaven. Remember that your bird may want to use the plants as a snack, so always supervise your feathered friend when he’s outside the cage. Live in a warmer climate? Turn your backyard into a Mediterranean paradise by ordering a bird gazebo or habitat, complete with ceiling fan to cool your bird in the summer months. Add a fountain and flowering vines, and you’ll think you’re in Athens. If you live in a colder climate and you still want an outdoor scene, order your aviary complete with a heating unit and ventilation.
Playgyms are not only all the rage, they are a necessary part of your bird’s well-being. Today you can buy towering playgyms made from natural driftwood or twisting manzanita branches. Gone are the days of stripped pine, plastic and metal. You can also let Polly roam in style in a mess-free activity center made of acrylic and wood. Be aware that you may have to replace wooden playgyms more often, but they are far more aesthetically pleasing than the standard T-perch.
Birds need not be relegated to a back room any more. Today they can reside in style in “cages” you will be proud to display among your finest furniture. Most importantly, your bird will appreciate being part of the family once more.
By Nikki Moustaki