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Tips on Choosing Bird Perches

September 1 2019

Birds are very charming and colorful little pets. Polly is absolutely hilarious when she’s running, playing, or just hanging out with you. Although your feathered friend should have plenty of free time, she’ll spend a lot of time in her cage. For most of that time, she’ll be on her perches. Birds use perches for standing, sleeping, socializing, grooming, playing, and eating. However, perches are not one-size-fits-all. You’ll need to get the right type of perch for your pet. A McHenry, IL vet offers tips on how to do that below.

Built-In Perches

Most birdcages come with at least one built-in perch. It’s best to just consider this a starter perch. Even if it is a good size and shape for Polly, she’ll need several others.


Choosing the correct size perch is very important. A finch won’t be comfortable on a perch made for a Macaw! If you aren’t sure what size you need, ask your vet.


Variety is the spice of life … and it’s also a good thing to consider when buying perches. Offer Polly a variety of textures. Ideally, she should have some that are synthetic, and some that are made of natural materials.

Foot Care

Perches help keep your winged pal’s feet healthy. Your vet may recommend Manzanita perches, which are particularly good for foot care. Avoid sandpaper and concrete perches, however: these are very rough, and can actually cause injuries.


In the wild, birds hang out on branches of all different types and strengths. That variety gives Polly’s legs and feet a great workout! Birds need perches of varying strengths, with some being more rigid than others are.

Perch Placement

Choosing the right spot is also important. Don’t put Polly’s perches over her food or water bowls. If you do, droppings will contaminate her food and water. Place the perches at different heights. You’ll also want to rotate the perches regularly. Otherwise, your pet may get bored with them! Last but not least, make sure your colorful pet can sit on her perches without her tail hitting the cage.


Keep your feathered pal’s perches clean! In general, they should be cleaned and disinfected every week. This is also the perfect time to rotate Polly’s perches.

Please contact us, your McHenry, IL vet clinic, for all of your pet bird’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!