Cat flap for parrots?

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Hmmm, seen this kind of gaming before...

Parrots are a very fragile creatures, take great care not to forget that singular point as you continue your journey.
What is this gaming you speak of?
 
OP
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I get the impression from your other posts that you already have the outside aviary, where your birds live mostly. And also your birds currently need human intervention to come inside, but you'd like them to be able to enter freely. Is that right?
Almost. The old aviary was dismantled years ago. They used to come in through a window, which I opened whenever they were out there or wanted to go out.

Seems to me that a pet-flap -TYPE- installation probably is indeed best idea.
I shall experiment and see if they can use it. Polycarbonate (extra strong transparent plastic used in posh catflaps) with a home made indestructible hinge might work.

I think it sounds like a great plan. If you find a pet-flap of the right size, and can verify the materials with the mfg, that's probably the easiest way to go. But otherwise if you are handy, or if you know & can afford reliable contractors, seems like it should work fine.
Commercial flaps are not designed to handle chewing, as cats don't do that. Although the cheap ones do shatter when two cats try to use it at once.
 
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How would you keep other animals from getting in as well? Would the flap be elevated or would if require them to walk on the ground? Would there still be a safe/comfortable area for them outside in the event that the door didn't work or something?
They're going from a shed or the house to an enclosed area surrounded by welded mesh. How on earth would an animal get into that? Many people have their birds in such aviaries (without the flap) without problems. I couldn't get into the welded mesh enclosure myself without some pliers!
 

noodles123

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How would you keep other animals from getting in as well? Would the flap be elevated or would if require them to walk on the ground? Would there still be a safe/comfortable area for them outside in the event that the door didn't work or something?
They're going from a shed or the house to an enclosed area surrounded by welded mesh. How on earth would an animal get into that? Many people have their birds in such aviaries (without the flap) without problems. I couldn't get into the welded mesh enclosure myself without some pliers!


That was what I wasn't sure on-- I couldn't picture the setup. I was not sure if they had to leave an enclosed space to get in, or if there was space enough for rats/cats etc to possibly enter. Just wasn't sure what you were planning.
 
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That was what I wasn't sure on-- I couldn't picture the setup. I was not sure if they had to leave an enclosed space to get in, or if there was space enough for rats/cats etc to possibly enter. Just wasn't sure what you were planning.
If cats can get in, birds can get out! So obviously the holes are smaller than parrots.
 

noodles123

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That was what I wasn't sure on-- I couldn't picture the setup. I was not sure if they had to leave an enclosed space to get in, or if there was space enough for rats/cats etc to possibly enter. Just wasn't sure what you were planning.
If cats can get in, birds can get out! So obviously the holes are smaller than parrots.


Yes, correct, but I couldn't picture your setup and some people free-fly their parrots, so I didn't know if you were into that, which is why I asked about the setup.
 
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That was what I wasn't sure on-- I couldn't picture the setup. I was not sure if they had to leave an enclosed space to get in, or if there was space enough for rats/cats etc to possibly enter. Just wasn't sure what you were planning.
If cats can get in, birds can get out! So obviously the holes are smaller than parrots.


Yes, correct, but I couldn't picture your setup and some people free-fly their parrots, so I didn't know if you were into that, which is why I asked about the setup.
Free-fly! God no. If they had clipped wings perhaps, and I was watching. But I don't want to clip their wings, it's cruel.

I know a guy with Scarlet Macaws that actually carries them by hand to an aviary that isn't joined to the house! And they have full wings! Far too risky.
 

noodles123

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If cats can get in, birds can get out! So obviously the holes are smaller than parrots.


Yes, correct, but I couldn't picture your setup and some people free-fly their parrots, so I didn't know if you were into that, which is why I asked about the setup.
Free-fly! God no. If they had clipped wings perhaps, and I was watching. But I don't want to clip their wings, it's cruel.

I know a guy with Scarlet Macaws that actually carries them by hand to an aviary that isn't joined to the house! And they have full wings! Far too risky.




Yeah- not a fan of free-flying either (due to the risk) but some people do it, which is why I was asking. I also prefer to avoid wing clipping..I know in some scenarios, people believe it to be necessary for safety etc, so I'm not always against it 100% but definitely believe that it should be avoided to the greatest extent possible...Even a clipped bird can still fly outdoors, given the proper wind, height or fear-- lots of people don't know that.



I DO sometimes take Noodles outside for like 5 minutes on my porch while holding her toes, but she is a lazy flier and she doesn't mind me holding them...That having been said, even that is definitely not risk-free (as you stated) and if I could get her to wear a harness, I would do that instead.



I can't imagine trusting the environment well enough to just let her fly outside...There's no way. Even if she was trained to fly back, I would still have to worry about everything else out there, like hawks, cars, cats, people, storms etc.
 

Betrisher

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When we lived at our old house (which was even tinier than the one we live in now), there wasn't space for the Beaks to live indoors. Their cage was situated beside the back door (double glass).

My husband cut a round hole in the kitchen wall and the outside cladding. Then, he inserted a coffee tin which had had its bottom removed. This made a nice little 'porthole' through which the Beaks could come. It was easy enough to cut a hole in the cage and fit an acrylic 'blast gate' (sort of like a drawbridge) to the hole.

The idea was that the sticking-out end of the coffee tin fitted into the circular blast gate and all I had to do was to take the lid off the coffee tin and pull a string to raise the gate. The Beaks learned in, like five minutes how to negotiate the coffee tin and gain access to the kitchen. It took a little longer to get them to go back the other way, but really it was only a few tries. I just put some dried paw-paw in the coffee tin and their greed did the rest.

This system was *perfect* for us! I could just leave the gate open all day, since it was sealed to any other animal (or person) and the Beaks could come and go as they liked. Sadly, in our new house it's not possible to do the same thing, since the cages can't fit closely enough to the back wall to make a similar arrangement. (Although I have wondered whether some arrangement could be made with a bit of air-conditioning duct.)

The photo shows the gate disengaged from its coffee tin with Barney modelling (isn't he gorgeous?). :)
 

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Betrisher

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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.

Yeah. Same. About 99% of bird cages in our local shops are galvanised. There is literally no choice. Yet I hear no tales of all the local caged birds dropping like flies. I suppose it's a calculated risk, like allowing children to play outdoors. The likelihood of something terrible happening is not zero, but if the kid is to grow and thrive it's a risk that has to be taken. Y'know?

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.

Have you tried offering them salmon bones? Whenever I open a tin of salmon, the first thing I do is give the soft salmon vertebrae to my birds. They love chewing them and swallow most of what they chew. Since this is a good source of calcium for people, I reasoned it's a decent source for birdies as well. :)

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.

One can indeed worry too much. It's not good for the digestion and certainly not great for the birds in our care. ;)

Did you say you're in the UK? I wouldn't be worrying too much about disease and parasites there. Again, using the analogy of children: they have to experience some exposure to pathogens in order to gain any kind of immunity. You can't (and shouldn't) keep them in cottonwool!

I live in Australia, where the skies are thick with wild parrots, many of whom are vectors for PBFD. It's a real threat here and I have to make sure my cages are not accessible to wild visitors. So far, we've had just one occasion where two wild corellas decided they'd respond to Rosetta's yodelling and came to visit. They nommed up a bit of spilled seed, shrieked at Rosetta for a while and then left. While it was lovely for 'Setta to have visitors, I hope it doesn't happen too often!
 

Laurasea

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Just giving all this a quick read then saw welders mesh! depends on metal used and if galvanized ect.... so be careful!@
Zinc in that can kill your bird. It can be chronic and build up till they die.
Even just mouthing it can be enough as they move around. Anyway I'd be careful, I might link my zinc info fir just FYI
Toxic liver conditions

Toxins from a number of sources may cause hepatic damage in the avian patient. These include the heavy metal toxicoses such as lead and zinc poisoning. It may also include other metals such as copper, chromium and mercury.

Lead poisoning

Lead poisoning is frequently seen in waterfowl, which have inadvertently eaten lead shot from hunting or fishing. Psittaciformes may also be affected, as they will consume or destroy many household items that contain lead. These include

Lead window effects on kitchen units
Lead weights in curtains or blind drawer cords
Lead in the foil used for wine bottles
Metallic cloths used for sanding/polishing metals
Lead paints in older houses
Clinical signs include

Weakness (S-shaped neck of the swan)
Lethargy, vomiting, passage of blood in the faeces (very common in Psittaciformes)
Passage of lime green faeces (very common in raptors)
Chronic non-regenerative anaemia
Seizures
Kidney and liver damage
Death
Diagnosis is by finding blood lead levels in excess of 0.2 ppm (12.5 mmol/L). Those in excess of 0.4–0.6 ppm (25–37.5 mmol/L) are diagnostic. In addition, radiography will often show lead particles as radiodense areas in the proventriculus and ventriculus.

Zinc poisoning

It is mainly seen in Psittaciformes shortly after they have been moved into a new cage (‘new wire cage disease’). Occasionally, the finish of these cages is of a poor quality and a fine powder of zinc oxide forms the surface of the wires. The parrot manoeuvres itself around the cage with feet and beak, and takes in small volumes of this powder on a daily basis. After 4–6 weeks, liver and kidney damage will occur, and the bird may present weak, lethargic, having seizures and with anaemia. Other sources of zinc include some forms of coin, some plastics and other alloys. Diagnosis is made on clinical signs, history and finding zinc blood levels above 2 ppm (2000 mg/L).

Different source
https://todaysveterinarypractice.com/lead-and-zinc-toxicity-in-birds/
They are sensitive to heavy metals (e.g., lead, zinc, cadmium, copper, mercury, iron) in their environment. Toxicity occurs when ingested metal causes harm to the animal. The heavy metals that most commonly cause toxicity are lead and zinc; less common causes are mercury and copper.1,3 Lead is a mineral not normally present in the body, but zinc is present in small quantities.4 Thus, zinc toxicity results from chronic and/or repeated exposure.

Sources of metal include weights (including fishing weights), batteries, pellets, paints, galvanized wire, costume jewelry, ceramics, contaminated material, hardware, post-1982 pennies, stained glass, food/water bowls, galvanized wire cages, and toys.1,3,5 In particular, lead can be found in house paints manufactured before 1978,1 and zinc toxicity most commonly comes from post-1982 pennies, zinc-coated wire, galvanized cages, and/or other metallic foreign bodies.4-6
 
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OP
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Yeah- not a fan of free-flying either (due to the risk) but some people do it, which is why I was asking. I also prefer to avoid wing clipping..I know in some scenarios, people believe it to be necessary for safety etc, so I'm not always against it 100% but definitely believe that it should be avoided to the greatest extent possible...
My god we agree on something.

Even a clipped bird can still fly outdoors, given the proper wind, height or fear-- lots of people don't know that.
It depends on the extent of the clipping. I had one that someone else had clipped, he could fly downhill only. So impossible for him to get a long distance. He did in fact once escape, while I was building a previous aviary and didn't think he'd fly off from the supports I was building, he flew down from it, across one garden, and landed on someone's shoulder, who promptly brought him back! Luckily everyone knows I own parrots.

I DO sometimes take Noodles outside for like 5 minutes on my porch while holding her toes, but she is a lazy flier and she doesn't mind me holding them...That having been said, even that is definitely not risk-free (as you stated) and if I could get her to wear a harness, I would do that instead.
I would never do that! If she got a fright she would easily fly and break loose of your grip before you noticed anything was happening! I have harnesses (feather teathers), and any tame bird will go in them, definitely any bird that will let you hold her toes.

I can't imagine trusting the environment well enough to just let her fly outside...There's no way. Even if she was trained to fly back, I would still have to worry about everything else out there, like hawks, cars, cats, people, storms etc.
The only free flying birds I've heard of are macaws in a country where there's no traffic.
 
OP
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When we lived at our old house (which was even tinier than the one we live in now), there wasn't space for the Beaks to live indoors. Their cage was situated beside the back door (double glass).

My husband cut a round hole in the kitchen wall and the outside cladding. Then, he inserted a coffee tin which had had its bottom removed. This made a nice little 'porthole' through which the Beaks could come. It was easy enough to cut a hole in the cage and fit an acrylic 'blast gate' (sort of like a drawbridge) to the hole.

The idea was that the sticking-out end of the coffee tin fitted into the circular blast gate and all I had to do was to take the lid off the coffee tin and pull a string to raise the gate. The Beaks learned in, like five minutes how to negotiate the coffee tin and gain access to the kitchen. It took a little longer to get them to go back the other way, but really it was only a few tries. I just put some dried paw-paw in the coffee tin and their greed did the rest.

This system was *perfect* for us! I could just leave the gate open all day, since it was sealed to any other animal (or person) and the Beaks could come and go as they liked. Sadly, in our new house it's not possible to do the same thing, since the cages can't fit closely enough to the back wall to make a similar arrangement. (Although I have wondered whether some arrangement could be made with a bit of air-conditioning duct.)

The photo shows the gate disengaged from its coffee tin with Barney modelling (isn't he gorgeous?). :)
He looks like my next door neighbour! Not sure of the benefit to that system, I take it it was to keep your birds out of the house so they didn't come in and wreck stuff? It's no good as a keep the heat in thing though.
 
OP
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Have you tried offering them salmon bones? Whenever I open a tin of salmon, the first thing I do is give the soft salmon vertebrae to my birds. They love chewing them and swallow most of what they chew. Since this is a good source of calcium for people, I reasoned it's a decent source for birdies as well. :)
I don't eat meat (don't like the taste) so I don't have those available. I give them cuttlefish bone, which I assume does the same thing, but I've been told that most parrots don't ingest "that sort of calcium".

One can indeed worry too much. It's not good for the digestion and certainly not great for the birds in our care. ;)
Alcohol reduces worry and improves the digestion. I brew my own so it's 10 times cheaper (no tax! The government doesn't brew it, they don't deserve the money!)

Did you say you're in the UK? I wouldn't be worrying too much about disease and parasites there.
Yes, UK. Although there were apparently some outbreaks in very small areas of some sort of bird flu, because when I tried to arrange a courier to bring birds from the SW of England to Scotland, he refused and said it was illegal to do so. I had to drive there myself!

Again, using the analogy of children: they have to experience some exposure to pathogens in order to gain any kind of immunity. You can't (and shouldn't) keep them in cottonwool!
Agreed. I believe in the USA they're called "free range children", the ones that are actually allowed to walk to school, instead of being driven by a frantic mother in a 4x4 (sorry, ute) which will probably end up running one over one day.

I live in Australia, where the skies are thick with wild parrots, many of whom are vectors for PBFD. It's a real threat here and I have to make sure my cages are not accessible to wild visitors. So far, we've had just one occasion where two wild corellas decided they'd respond to Rosetta's yodelling and came to visit. They nommed up a bit of spilled seed, shrieked at Rosetta for a while and then left. While it was lovely for 'Setta to have visitors, I hope it doesn't happen too often!
I assume you've fixed where they got too close now?
 
OP
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Just giving all this a quick read then saw welders mesh! depends on metal used and if galvanized ect.... so be careful!
It's "welded mesh". "Welders mesh" sounds like something used by welders and not designed for parrots. This is proper caging sold as aviary panels. And I've had blood tests done and they aren't injesting any.
 

wrench13

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Re: bones, quite a few folks give cleaned off, boiled chicken bones to our parrots. Mine LOVES them, and quickly goes thru the bone to get a the marrow. My friend Jim on here gives his Amy a whole drumstick with the meat, and he's 32 yrs old! ( the parrot, Jim's quite a bit older).
 

noodles123

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Have you tried offering them salmon bones? Whenever I open a tin of salmon, the first thing I do is give the soft salmon vertebrae to my birds. They love chewing them and swallow most of what they chew. Since this is a good source of calcium for people, I reasoned it's a decent source for birdies as well. :)
I don't eat meat (don't like the taste) so I don't have those available. I give them cuttlefish bone, which I assume does the same thing, but I've been told that most parrots don't ingest "that sort of calcium".

One can indeed worry too much. It's not good for the digestion and certainly not great for the birds in our care. ;)
Alcohol reduces worry and improves the digestion. I brew my own so it's 10 times cheaper (no tax! The government doesn't brew it, they don't deserve the money!)

Yes, UK. Although there were apparently some outbreaks in very small areas of some sort of bird flu, because when I tried to arrange a courier to bring birds from the SW of England to Scotland, he refused and said it was illegal to do so. I had to drive there myself!

Again, using the analogy of children: they have to experience some exposure to pathogens in order to gain any kind of immunity. You can't (and shouldn't) keep them in cottonwool!
Agreed. I believe in the USA they're called "free range children", the ones that are actually allowed to walk to school, instead of being driven by a frantic mother in a 4x4 (sorry, ute) which will probably end up running one over one day.

I live in Australia, where the skies are thick with wild parrots, many of whom are vectors for PBFD. It's a real threat here and I have to make sure my cages are not accessible to wild visitors. So far, we've had just one occasion where two wild corellas decided they'd respond to Rosetta's yodelling and came to visit. They nommed up a bit of spilled seed, shrieked at Rosetta for a while and then left. While it was lovely for 'Setta to have visitors, I hope it doesn't happen too often!
I assume you've fixed where they got too close now?


Anyone who was born before 1990 was almost definitely "FREE RANGE" by 2020 standards for kids (in 2020, we have a majority smart-phone-toting 6-year olds with more screens and parents addicted to theirs as well..but I digress...)

The point is, a captive bird faces significant environmental stressors and lacks many of the immunity features that come with being a truly wild bird (as a result of captivity)...not to mention native habitat/veg, a natural light cycle on a timer, high humidities, lower toxins in the air (as homes are notoriously unhealthy), and flight of up to 45 miles a day. You can't compare them..Comparing a captive parrot that is allowed to do whatever is not that same as a free-range child....A child (free-range or other) is not kept in the same conditions as a parrot and has far more exposure/stimulation, but also receives a lot of natural/native antibodies from the mothers feeding them and a parrot (hand-weaned) misses a lot of that exposure, PLUS, their parents are 99% of the time already captive, so then they don't even necessarily have the antibodies etc that their native counterparts would (many of which, would be lacking after years in captivity) and the natural bacteria that would be found in native environments is also altered significantly. You can't just take a captive bird and allow it to do all of the same stuff wild birds would do in a synthetic bubble with foreign soil, bacteria, unnatural air-space, captive rearing/weaning etc.

A 1-year-old bird can't just suddenly get exposed to the same stuff as native species in their actual habitats for some of the same reasons that a person can't just jump into boiling water...Yes, that is more physical, but it does go further than that, so hang on...

A free-range child is a normal child born before the internet and cell-phones blew up (and many parents still parent that way, without affiliation to snarky hipster parenting movements), but a "free-range child" ..still got vaccines...still didn't eat raw meat (at least not with permission lol), still knew not to fly kites by power-lines, or walk in poison ivy, or eat poisonous foods etc etc-- these things were taught/known. Toddlers were still somewhat supervised (except when they were eating lead or rolling around in the back seat unbuckled..but, hey! lol--still can't compare a captive bird to a "free range child" or a bird owner to a helicopter parent without extreme examples)...

Providing safety and freedom to some extent can be balanced.


I'm not saying you are all wrong, but it's just not that simple.
 
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saxguy64

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In an effort to get this thread back on track, I have unapproved the last few posts as they added nothing positive to the thread, and had nothing to do with the original question.

Points were made, parties involved have seen them, so let's move on and stick to the question at hand, shall we?

This is really a simple thing, and not a bad idea. We're considering a pass through door, AKA doggie door, or cat door" for the OP's birds to go from inside the house to an ENCLOSED outdoor aviary. Haven't thought about it much, but it makes sense. In my mind, an issue might be in making sure the birds can't get trapped half way through if they tried to back up, but that would be similar with any pet using a door of this type.

While there are some valid points brought up in the discussion, those might be better served in another thread.

Thank you all!
 

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