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Old 01-09-2021, 07:32 AM
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Cat flap for parrots?

I'm looking for a way for my birds to have a heated indoor area, and an outside area, which they can go between by themselves, but without the expense of all the heat going through an open hole. A cat flap is the perfect solution for cats, but what do we use for birds? Would they use a catflap? Is there anything they would prefer?
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Old 01-09-2021, 10:50 AM
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Re: Cat flap for parrots?

Where you live has a great effect on when one would want to have a Parrot driven lifestyle of entering or exiting the home. Cold or very Warm weather, and/or stormy weather would suggest that such free choices would be problematic for the Parrot.

In addition, the size of the Parrot comes into the equation as a flap of weight would limit some.

There is a general problem with the two way effect of a flap. Aside from letting a pet in and out of your home, other animals can also use it!!!

Today in my neck of the woods, it's a wonderful Sunny day, but far too cold for my parrot to be outside. In addition, we live in an area in which five Red Tail Hawks claim as their flight training are for their young. Outside time is a No Way here.

Commonly, outdoor enclosures are assembled using galvanized metal posts, poles and fencing. Galvanizing is a process of applying Zinc to the surface of steel. Zinc is a Heavy Metal and is deadly (Heavy Metal Poisoning) to Parrots.
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Old 01-09-2021, 10:56 AM
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Re: Cat flap for parrots?

Quote: Originally Posted by SailBoat View Post
Where you live has a great effect on when one would want to have a Parrot driven lifestyle of entering or exiting the home. Cold or very Warm weather, and/or stormy weather would suggest that such free choices would be problematic for the Parrot.
Giving them their own choice seems the best thing to me. When they feel they want to be warm and dry, they go in. They don't have to do what I think is right. I can't tell how comfortable they are.

Quote: Originally Posted by SailBoat View Post
In addition, the size of the Parrot comes into the equation as a flap of weight would limit some.
Greys, Amazons, Cockatiels, Lovebirds. Mainly the Greys and Amazons I'm thinking about, since the hole for the others would be smaller and waste a lot less heat.

Quote: Originally Posted by SailBoat View Post
There is a general problem with the two way effect of a flap. Aside from letting a pet in and out of your home, other animals can also use it!!!
It would be between indoors and an aviary, so not letting anything else in that can't get through the mesh.

Quote: Originally Posted by SailBoat View Post
Today in my neck of the woods, it's a wonderful Sunny day, but far to cold for my parrot to be outside. In addition, we live in an area in which five Red Tail Hawks claim as their flight training are for their young. Outside time is a No Way here.
I'm not sure what you're talking about here. Obviously I don't let my birds fly off outside! They'd fly away! I'm talking about into an enclosure.

Quote: Originally Posted by SailBoat View Post
Commonly, outdoor enclosures are assembled using galvanized metal posts, poles and fencing. Galvanizing is a process of applying Zinc to the surface of steel. Zinc is a Heavy Metal and is deadly (Heavy Metal Poisoning) to Parrots.
I've heard of that, yet almost every caging you can buy (especially here in the UK) is Zinc, not stainless steel. I got worried when someone else said the same as you so took one of my Greys to the vet for a full blood test. He said there was negligible Zinc in his system, despite him climbing on a zinc aviary all day.
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Old 01-09-2021, 11:05 AM
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Re: Cat flap for parrots?

With enough knowledge, thinking and engineering and most importantly training of the parrots, this MIGHT work. Aviaries can be had, at least here in the US, off Amazon, with aluminum cage panels. But an all bird egress and access seems a bit much. A cocky or smaller is not going to have the same strength to open a flap as a amazon or grey ( and maybe not the smarts to do it). Hey knock your socks off, it may be a whole new enterprise for you!

I'll watch!
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Old 01-09-2021, 11:21 AM
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Re: Cat flap for parrots?

Quote: Originally Posted by wrench13 View Post
With enough knowledge, thinking and engineering and most importantly training of the parrots, this MIGHT work. Aviaries can be had, at least here in the US, off Amazon, with aluminum cage panels. But an all bird egress and access seems a bit much. A cocky or smaller is not going to have the same strength to open a flap as a amazon or grey (and maybe not the smarts to do it). Hey knock your socks off, it may be a whole new enterprise for you!

I'll watch!
I might try some sort of home made flap (an off the shelf catflap would probably be torn to pieces) - I think a piece of polycarbonate (they make the expensive catflaps of this, it's scratchproof and shatterproof, for the more violent cats) hinged with a knitting needle attached with p-clips should be indestructible. It will be transparent, so they can see the other side and want to go through. I'll encourage them to do so and see if they'll do it on their own.

I'm not concerned about the zinc since my vet said they weren't ingesting it. They don't chew it, they just climb on it.

It's mainly the greys and amazons I want to give a flap to, the smaller ones won't waste much heat with a smaller hole.

I'm surprised nobody's invented one, I can't find one on google anyway.

P.S. What is a "Blonde haired Queens wife"?

Last edited by hucker; 01-09-2021 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 01-09-2021, 12:30 PM
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Re: Cat flap for parrots?

YOU MUST BE CONCERNED ABOUT ZINC-- EVEN MOUTHING IT IS VERY DANGEROUS...I'm not kidding, parrots have died from just licking it enough times (and it doesn't take that many)--If your vet is a certified avian vet and he/she ran panels and did x-rays etc and REALLY looked into this, that is one thing, but I have never met a CAV who says, "it's cool, they aren't eating the zinc, just licking it.."





I'd be nervous about what you could make any of these enclosures out of.... I mean, a parrot on a heated porch etc is still very dangerous without supervision (1. the walls/woods etc = not safe....2. the heater itself often contains toxic chemicals like teflon/ptfoe/pfoa/pfcs)



I know people have bird-rooms, BUT I don't agree with leaving them alone in there (out of the cage) for more than a very short period--- there is just too much that they could chew or lick...For instance, drywall, paint, treated woods or any metal that is not stainless...



It's a cool thought, but it just makes me very nervous for a number of reasons...plus, a bird hanging out unattended in a yard/in the grass (even if covered with stainless steel mesh or some sort of fiber like they use at zoos) is at higher risk for infection with a variety of parasites and viruses.
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Old 01-09-2021, 12:40 PM
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Re: Cat flap for parrots?

Hey Hucker, its a nod to my wonderful wife ( who visits here every now and then ) who is from the NYC borough of Queens ( y'know, Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Staten Island and lastly Queens). It throws off a lot of folks from the UK who wonder.. The 19?? is cuz to this day she changes that all the time, LOL, insisting she is still 39.
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Old 01-09-2021, 12:45 PM
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Re: Cat flap for parrots?

Quote: Originally Posted by noodles123 View Post
YOU MUST BE CONCERNED ABOUT ZINC-- EVEN MOUTHING IT IS VERY DANGEROUS...I'm not kidding, parrots have died from just licking it enough times (and it doesn't take that many)--If your vet is a certified avian vet and he/she ran panels and did x-rays etc and REALLY looked into this, that is one thing, but I have never met a CAV who says, "it's cool, they aren't eating the zinc, just licking it.."
I've had bloods done and there's virtually no zinc, nothing like the toxic level. And they don't even lick it, they just climb occasionally. If zinc was such a problem there wouldn't be 90% of aviary panels made of it, I think it depends if it's coated or properly galvanised. The only problem I have is getting enough calcium into them, I cannot get any bird of any species to take any calcium medication unless I administer it by dropper! They won't touch any food that I've added it to. And since they have huge water containers that they also bathe in and dunk their biscuits in (which is really cool to watch), putting calcium in there would make me bankrupt.

Quote: Originally Posted by noodles123 View Post
I'd be nervous about what you could make any of these enclosures out of.... I mean, a parrot on a heated porch etc is still very dangerous without supervision (1. the walls/woods etc = not safe....2. the heater itself often contains toxic chemicals like teflon/ptfoe/pfoa/pfcs)

I know people have bird-rooms, BUT I don't agree with leaving them alone in there (out of the cage) for more than a very short period--- there is just too much that they could chew or lick...For instance, drywall, paint, treated woods or any metal that is not stainless...
Wow, you worry too much. I dread to think what rules you have for your kids. I bet you do the wash your hands before eating routine.

Quote: Originally Posted by noodles123 View Post
It's a cool thought, but it just makes me very nervous for a number of reasons...plus, a bird hanging out unattended in a yard/in the grass (even if covered with stainless steel mesh or some sort of fiber like they use at zoos) is at higher risk for infection with a variety of parasites and viruses.
I used to have loads of them outdoors, attached to the house, some stayed out most of the time, some went out occasionally, I'd usually leave the window open for them to come and go as they pleased. There was food in the house and in a shed. Never had one catch anything. It's not like they're in direct contact with the wild birds.
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Old 01-09-2021, 12:48 PM
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Re: Cat flap for parrots?

Quote: Originally Posted by wrench13 View Post
Hey Hucker, its a nod to my wonderful wife ( who visits here every now and then ) who is from the NYC borough of Queens ( y'know, Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Staten Island and lastly Queens). It throws off a lot of folks from the UK who wonder.. The 19?? is cuz to this day she changes that all the time, LOL, insisting she is still 39.
Yeah that's not the meaning of Queen I was thinking of! I didn't know there was an area by that name. I'm from the other side of the big pond. Women have this thing about age. Another thing people seem to be edgy about telling you is their income! My colleagues used to think I was asking something personal like their breast size. I pointed out I could easily see their wage from the last job advert for that line of work!
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Old 01-09-2021, 12:51 PM
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Re: Cat flap for parrots?

Quote: Originally Posted by hucker View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by noodles123 View Post
YOU MUST BE CONCERNED ABOUT ZINC-- EVEN MOUTHING IT IS VERY DANGEROUS...I'm not kidding, parrots have died from just licking it enough times (and it doesn't take that many)--If your vet is a certified avian vet and he/she ran panels and did x-rays etc and REALLY looked into this, that is one thing, but I have never met a CAV who says, "it's cool, they aren't eating the zinc, just licking it.."
I've had bloods done and there's virtually no zinc, nothing like the toxic level. And they don't even lick it, they just climb occasionally. If zinc was such a problem there wouldn't be 90% of aviary panels made of it, I think it depends if it's coated or properly galvanised. The only problem I have is getting enough calcium into them, I cannot get any bird of any species to take any calcium medication unless I administer it by dropper! They won't touch any food that I've added it to. And since they have huge water containers that they also bathe in and dunk their biscuits in (which is really cool to watch), putting calcium in there would make me bankrupt.

Quote: Originally Posted by noodles123 View Post
I'd be nervous about what you could make any of these enclosures out of.... I mean, a parrot on a heated porch etc is still very dangerous without supervision (1. the walls/woods etc = not safe....2. the heater itself often contains toxic chemicals like teflon/ptfoe/pfoa/pfcs)

I know people have bird-rooms, BUT I don't agree with leaving them alone in there (out of the cage) for more than a very short period--- there is just too much that they could chew or lick...For instance, drywall, paint, treated woods or any metal that is not stainless...
Wow, you worry too much. I dread to think what rules you have for your kids. I bet you do the wash your hands before eating routine.

Quote: Originally Posted by noodles123 View Post
It's a cool thought, but it just makes me very nervous for a number of reasons...plus, a bird hanging out unattended in a yard/in the grass (even if covered with stainless steel mesh or some sort of fiber like they use at zoos) is at higher risk for infection with a variety of parasites and viruses.
I used to have loads of them outdoors, attached to the house, some stayed out most of the time, some went out occasionally, I'd usually leave the window open for them to come and go as they pleased. There was food in the house and in a shed. Never had one catch anything. It's not like they're in direct contact with the wild birds.



Yeah, I do tell people to wash hands before eating, as there is a global pandemic. Growing up, I drank out of garden hoses and swam in lakes/ponds, literally covered myself entirely in smelly pond mud and pretended to have a spa, ate vegetables without rinsing them, played with lead toys etc.. I eat expired food and often drink well-water...I've also jumped off cliffs and worked with people with leprosy-- (LOL- those 2 things don't go hand -in-hand, but they popped into my head when you said I worry too much). I am not as cautious as you think. Each to his own-- I am just saying, parrots are more fragile than humans and many die in the wild before maturity- which leads to survival of the fittest...You don't get that natural selection in captivity.


You would probably be surprised at all that has gone wrong over the years with various parrots on this forum and at my vet's office.

Last edited by noodles123; 01-10-2021 at 11:22 AM.
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