DIY bird cage food/water door latch to foil escaping bird

cytherian

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Dec 29, 2020
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The newer cages available today did things right and have spring loaded latch knobs. No way can birds foil that. But it's a problem with the older cages that have the circular hasp just hanging there. No lock.

We'd been using duct tape to keep them shut, because the birds had been a little too clever, figuring out how to move the hasp out of the way and get the doors open. The duct tape works... as long as it remains dry.

We'd had a problem with one of our Eclectus birds. This fine mannered male is rather smart and tenacious. When he wants to get out and feed his mate nearby, he takes a bath, soaking the tape on the door so it weakens, allowing him to pull hard enough on the hasp to free it of the tape! Bugger. :gcc: :18:

We looked into the possibility of retrofitting a spring latch knob, but it would require soldering... and given all the costs involved, it would make more sense to get a new cage.

MEANWHILE... I wanted to come up with something that might work. I'd bought a spring loaded wire with grab ring from a reputable place that ensured the metals were free of nickle & zinc. BUT, I unfortunately discovered the spring is VERY stiff. Not as extendible as I'd hoped. It was too short. So, I went to a craft shop and bought these blanks with holes in them. Using small split rings I was able to create the latch arm. To attach it, I drilled a hole in the hasp.

Here's how it looks:
Fi1vDWj.jpg


He can't move the hasp. And, the spring hooks onto the cage in such a way that it doesn't provoke any interest. The bird wouldn't be able to undo it anyway, because the tension is too strong.

When unhooked, it's easy to gently hook it above, keeping the hasp out of the way as the door is opened/closed. It's not a perfect solution... the better choice would've been just a longer spring wire. But I couldn't find one, for a reasonable price anyway. The ones I'd gotten was like $8 for a pack of 10. Btw, if you look closely in the 3rd panel of the photo montage, you can see the bird's beak as he tries to move the hasp. Foiled!
 
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SailBoat

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Jul 10, 2015
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DYH Amazon
Great solution!

Springs can be weaken by over stretching them. Warning, only weaken in tiny amounts as if you exceed your wanted tension, they are totally unforgiving.

I had tried a number of different means of slow our Amazon's escape. Sadly, he figured out how to disassemble the cage itself! A determined Parrot, unlimited time and...
 
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cytherian

cytherian

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Dec 29, 2020
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Great solution!

Springs can be weaken by over stretching them. Warning, only weaken in tiny amounts as if you exceed your wanted tension, they are totally unforgiving.

I had tried a number of different means of slow our Amazon's escape. Sadly, he figured out how to disassemble the cage itself! A determined Parrot, unlimited time and...
Thanks. Actually, in this setup the tension isn't overstretching, but still firm enough to foil the bird's attempts.

Wow, disassembly of the cage? Had worked the screws like a screwdriver? Nothing a little Loctite couldn't handle, though. ;)
 

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
17,608
9,924
Western, Michigan
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DYH Amazon
Great solution!

Springs can be weaken by over stretching them. Warning, only weaken in tiny amounts as if you exceed your wanted tension, they are totally unforgiving.

I had tried a number of different means of slow our Amazon's escape. Sadly, he figured out how to disassemble the cage itself! A determined Parrot, unlimited time and...
Thanks. Actually, in this setup the tension isn't overstretching, but still firm enough to foil the bird's attempts.

Wow, disassembly of the cage? Had worked the screws like a screwdriver? Nothing a little Loctite couldn't handle, though. ;)

nilock nuts, blue Locktite, specific torque, double nutted. All tried and all failed. NOT RECOMMENDED: We now leave the main door open and for 'us' it's working. As stated Not Recommended!
 

chris-md

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Feb 6, 2010
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Parker - male Eclectus

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Oh those. Parker never got out but I wasn’t crazy about them.

Can you simply tighten the screws so they don’t move as easily? I kept mine loose all the time since Parker didn’t mess with them but I definitely had room to tighten if need be.

Of course, for all this effort your putting into this, would it be better to simply just get a new cage the better secures the bird?
 
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cytherian

cytherian

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Dec 29, 2020
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nilock nuts, blue Locktite, specific torque, double nutted. All tried and all failed. NOT RECOMMENDED: We now leave the main door open and for 'us' it's working. As stated Not Recommended!
Amazing he was able to foil all that! Crazy. In this cage setup, the screws are on the outside. No way for a beak to reach.

Oh those. Parker never got out but I wasn’t crazy about them.

Can you simply tighten the screws so they don’t move as easily? I kept mine loose all the time since Parker didn’t mess with them but I definitely had room to tighten if need be.

Of course, for all this effort your putting into this, would it be better to simply just get a new cage the better secures the bird?

Trouble is, if you tighten the screws on the disk hasps, you have to loosen them to open up the water dish door every time. Screwdriver required. I suppose a screw knob could be installed instead of the original screw and then you just loosen/tighten as required. BUT... if you don't tighten enough, the bird can leverage enough strength to slide it open. At least in this setup, there's absolutely no way he can escape.
 
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fiddlejen

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Mar 28, 2019
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Granted my birds are smaller.

But I use these - in various sizes - as external clips on all openings, both for extra security and also a more visible reminder that I can check to easily make sure everything is properly closed.

28932eb8-e09b-4299-95e7-69ae040ab83b_1.9ece6879b438d3f2ad953795c2dfdbcb.jpeg
 
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cytherian

cytherian

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Dec 29, 2020
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Eclectus
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Granted my birds are smaller.

But I use these - in various sizes - as external clips on all openings, both for extra security and also a more visible reminder that I can check to easily make sure everything is properly closed.

28932eb8-e09b-4299-95e7-69ae040ab83b_1.9ece6879b438d3f2ad953795c2dfdbcb.jpeg
Claw clips -- great idea!
 

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