Introducing myself and a cage dilemma (long)


New member
Sep 18, 2015
Hi everyone,
I have a 20 year old Jardine's parrot named Gertie, have her since she was 8 weeks! Before her, the only birds I'd had were budgies (not to minimize those wonderful little ones! It was after the devastating death of my 8 year old budgie, Ariel, from egg binding, that I decided I wanted a bird that could live longer).

Gertie's a great companion, quite the clown, and very affectionate, loves to cuddle. She says a few words, including my name, but mostly imitates sounds, e.g. the phone, the microwave beeping, the squeaking of the blinds going up and down, and has applied the sounds to their appropriate emotional expression. For example, the sound of the blinds is kind of whiny, and she makes that sound when she's, well, whiny. The microwave is when she's insisting on attention. Then she has her own little happy tune for when she's happy. She watches TV with us and laughs when we, or the characters, do.

She's in great health, though in her early years she survived a dog attack (neighbor's dog got into our yard when I, stupidly, had her out on a stand; I dived for her and got her but the dog got a small section of her wing; I live with the guilt forever. Several years later, she developed an infection that also almost got her. But for the past 10 years she's had no problems! She eats a diet of Harrison's fine pellets with a sprinkling of Volkman seeds, plus a mash of veggies, fruits and grains I keep frozen from ice cube trays and heat up every day, adding fresh lentil sprouts. Treats are a peanut in shell or an almond.

She has an Animal Environments cage that is as old as she is, a good size bottlebrush playstand (too bad Wayne stopped making them) downstairs, a new sandblasted manzanita tree stand upstairs, and also a new hanging grapevine wood playgym (Exotic Dreams), waiting for the IV pole I ordered to hang it on. So I'm also writing because I just got her a new Freedom Cage and it has problems. We recently did some big home renovations (kitchen and 2 bathrooms + painted the whole house), and I wanted to give Gertie the best life she could have in her golden years (Jardine's can live to be 30), especially after what happened to her in her early ones. I also recently got the McCollough deluxe steam cleaner after reading about it here. I read here and elsewhere about cages and decided on the Freedom Cage in powder coat as the best option my husband and I could afford. Mark at Freedom Cage told me they had some powder coats still in inventory that were made in Pakistan, but that they now only make SS.

I unpacked the cage parts today and discovered a fine reddish dust on various places. I steamcleaned and got most of it off, but not all. It looks like it settled in the cage parts from the factory after powder coating; it's in the boxes too. Yuck! I HOPE IT'S NOT RUST!!!! There are also lots of nicks in the powder coat, especially at the joining places. I've attached some pictures, which I've just sent to Mark at Freedom Cage in an email. I really wanted this cage to work. I absolutely want the external feeders, loved that about the AE cage ( which was always too small - - 16 " × 20 " with a dome-top ). The FC is 24 " × 24 " but also has good vertical space, goes almost to the floor.

Anyway, do people think I should send it back? I'm thinking I'll probably have to, told Mark if it's rust, I can't keep it.

Thanks for reading this lonnng post! I look forward to future exchanges on this great forum!


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New member
Oct 12, 2010
Rosebreasted Cockatoo, Congo Grey, MRH Amazon, Lovebird
Do contact the manufacturer but I recently had an old, antique cage repowdercoated in white and it had a couple of spots that were slightly pinkish. The company told me it was something that happened when the powder coating was baked too hot, too long, and while a bit unsightly, it's not dangerous. In my cage's case, it was just a couple of spots and I just lived with it (what's perfect anyway?). I hope yours is something similar and not anything noxious. The places that seem to be missing the powder coating could probably be touched up. Most manufacturers will send you a little bottle of touch up paint if you ask them.

Otherwise, that looks like a really nice cage. I hope it and your bird thrive another 20 years.


Supporting Member
Jan 19, 2014
College Station, Texas
Red Bellied Parrot /
Ruppell's Parrot /
Bronze Winged Pionus /
English Budgie
Hi, and welcome to the forum. I also have a Poicephalus parrot who has been with me all of his 21 years! Robin, my Red Bellied. Jardine's are beautiful birds. Please post pics when you get a chance :).

I've never seen anything like the discoloration on that cage, but then I've only ever had dark color powder coated cages. That is rather unsightly, but doesn't look like rust. I don't care what it is, even if it's not harmful, I don't want anything I bought brand new looking like it shouldn't. But that's just me ;).


Well-known member
Sep 12, 2012
Mitred Conure - Charlie 1994;
Cockatiel - Casey 2001;
Wild Caught ARN - Sylphie 2013
If you have room for one, I would recommend returning the cage and purchasing a larger one from somewhere else if you have to. :)

Considering how big jardines are, I wouldn't recommend a cage smaller than 32 x 23 for them.


New member
Sep 18, 2015
  • Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses. I've decided to go for stainless steel. Freedom Cage offered me a stainless version of the same cage, so we're getting it. I'm relieved to get a lifetime warranty, easier cleaning, and especially no worries that Gertie will chew on powder coat. I'm posting an album of pictures of her (didn't know whether any pics can be included in regular posts), if anyone would like to see a 20 year old gorgeous Jardine's!

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