Solution for a foraging platform?

hiriki

Well-known member
Oct 19, 2014
169
298
Chicago, IL
Parrots
(Birdie - Jenday Conure)
(Elby - lovebird)
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(Gorou & Liberty - Ringneck Doves)
Hi all!

I have a conure with flat feet and a cockatiel, both of whom prefer to eat on flat surfaces (like the floor of the cage). I got a large wooden platform to feed the disabled conure but the problem is, she poops on it :/

I made fleece covers for it that attach with velcro but the problem there is that it's so hard to keep up with changing them, washing them is a huge pain in the ass because if I don't pre-soak to loosen up the poop then my washing machine ends up caked in bird poop after the wash, etc etc. The fleece covers weren't the solution I'd hoped. And after I ran out of fleece covers and left the platform uncovered for a day last week there's now seeds and bird poop completely caked into the velcro and on the wood and UGH!

I was wondering what solutions people have contrived for ground feeding foraging birds, I was thinking of maybe lining a basket with paper towel and filling it with Nutriberries & foot toys and hanging that? Any ideas would be appreciated.
 

Owlet

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Oct 27, 2016
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Colorado
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Lincoln (Eclectus), Apollo (Cockatiel), Aster (GCC)
Unfortunately I don't believe there is a terribly easy solution to this. I think it's great that you've taken it upon yourself to raise the disabled conure.

The only solution I can think of is switching to newspaper or butcher paper that you can change regularly with ease. I don't know how to have the platform set up but you could tug the edges under it and/or tape the edges of the newspaper under the platform so it doesnt slide off.
 

LeeC

Supporting Member
Jun 5, 2019
298
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329
Harrisburg, PA
Parrots
Timneh: Grady;
Senegal: Charlie;
Sun Conure: Peaches (deceased)
Senegal: Georgia
Peach-fronted Conure: Milton (foster)
Brown-throated Conure: Pumpkin (foster)
Senegal: Fletcher
Senegal: Ivy
Hi all!

I have a conure with flat feet and a cockatiel, both of whom prefer to eat on flat surfaces (like the floor of the cage). I got a large wooden platform to feed the disabled conure but the problem is, she poops on it :/

I made fleece covers for it that attach with velcro but the problem there is that it's so hard to keep up with changing them, washing them is a huge pain in the ass because if I don't pre-soak to loosen up the poop then my washing machine ends up caked in bird poop after the wash, etc etc. The fleece covers weren't the solution I'd hoped. And after I ran out of fleece covers and left the platform uncovered for a day last week there's now seeds and bird poop completely caked into the velcro and on the wood and UGH!

I was wondering what solutions people have contrived for ground feeding foraging birds, I was thinking of maybe lining a basket with paper towel and filling it with Nutriberries & foot toys and hanging that? Any ideas would be appreciated.
I thought this was quite creative.
Link to video on Facebook:

Screenshot from that video:
1663037201410.png

I suspect it is a stainless-steel cooling rack for baking.

I concur with @Owlet , this is a challenging situation. I had a blind Sun Conure for a year. (I adopted him from my local rescue/shelter. He was old, with heart disease, per wellness blood labs and the necropsy a year later. He was completely blind--no light sensitivity at all.) He split his time between perches and the cage bottom. I kept that grate (stainless-steel cage) as clean as I could, so he would not step in his own droppings, just what hit the grate bars. I put a ceramic dish on the grate, in a corner, with foraging foods for him. I did try white butcher paper over the grate--but that was terrible. He stepped in, and dragged his tail through, his droppings. That experiment ended in about an hour.

Ultimately, I just spot-cleaned his grate often throughout the day.
 

LeeC

Supporting Member
Jun 5, 2019
298
Media
2
329
Harrisburg, PA
Parrots
Timneh: Grady;
Senegal: Charlie;
Sun Conure: Peaches (deceased)
Senegal: Georgia
Peach-fronted Conure: Milton (foster)
Brown-throated Conure: Pumpkin (foster)
Senegal: Fletcher
Senegal: Ivy
@hiriki , here is one other option for consideration. If the parrots just want to eat flat-footed, instead of giving them a really large flat surface, like an entire cage bottom, just create a dish holder with a flat rim.

I search Amazon for 'elevated dog dish' to give the general idea.
1663105133739.png


Here is a crude CAD model of a platform 8" x 8", with a 10-ounce "coop cup" in it, to proper scale.

Top view; they could stand flat-footed and eat of the dish
1663105193979.png


Underside:
1663105251328.png


You can buy wood "rounds" at a craft store, home center, or online, to make a round one.

You just need to make a hole that would hold a dish nicely, with a coping saw, or a large hole saw. Perhaps you are handy, or know someone who is.

You could make something like that to mount in a cage, but it would take up a lot of room.

Perhaps cut dish holes in a wood tray table?
1663105672967.png
 

Cottonoid

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Feb 20, 2022
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I keep the area around my parrot's playstand (on a table) padded with a blanket in case he falls. I put down old pillowcases on top for poop protection because they're easier to clean. Maybe using a smoother fabric like that would help for the platform?

I've also used a little glass food storage container upside down on the bottom of my bird's cage to make a raised area. Maybe something like one of those basket-style casserole dish holders upside down would work? I like your basket idea, too!
 
OP
hiriki

hiriki

Well-known member
Oct 19, 2014
169
298
Chicago, IL
Parrots
(Birdie - Jenday Conure)
(Elby - lovebird)
(Bitty - Cockatiel)
(Gorou & Liberty - Ringneck Doves)
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #6
Thanks everyone for the suggestions!

Here's a pic of my girl "helping" me work that shows off her silly feets nicely.

IMG_0084.jpg


She's sitting with me right now, no idea I'm conspiring to improve her cage! Lol.

@LeeC I actually have something similar in my dove cage--I couldn't make it on my own (I'm hopeless with diy) but I might be able to rope my dad into helping me make one for Birdie. It wouldn't solve the issue of them pooping on the wood, but if I get the right kind of wood it'll be easier to clean.

Thanks for that suggestion, I literally don't know why it didn't occur to me seeing as I've done it once already for my doves... d'oh.
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
3,021
5,439
Hi there,

I had a Quaker who had a bad leg and foot. I ended up wrapping the cage grate in a chuck pad and changing it every 2-3 days.

I also gave my Quaker a ladder to perch and sleep on, and a corner perch that was like a wooden shelf.

I had a big heated perch that I wrapped in vetwrap. It was about 1 1/2” diameter so big enough for her to lay on it on her tummy.

I would consider a bunny or rat cage with ramps between levels.
 

LeeC

Supporting Member
Jun 5, 2019
298
Media
2
329
Harrisburg, PA
Parrots
Timneh: Grady;
Senegal: Charlie;
Sun Conure: Peaches (deceased)
Senegal: Georgia
Peach-fronted Conure: Milton (foster)
Brown-throated Conure: Pumpkin (foster)
Senegal: Fletcher
Senegal: Ivy
Hi there,

I had a Quaker who had a bad leg and foot. I ended up wrapping the cage grate in a chuck pad and changing it every 2-3 days.

I also gave my Quaker a ladder to perch and sleep on, and a corner perch that was like a wooden shelf.

I had a big heated perch that I wrapped in vetwrap. It was about 1 1/2” diameter so big enough for her to lay on it on her tummy.

I would consider a bunny or rat cage with ramps between levels.
What is a chuck pad?
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
3,021
5,439
What is a chuck pad?
A chuck pad is a plastic backed disposable (hospital) bed liner. Has a thin mesh over the top layer, then a fluffy tissue layer, then plastic backing. Otherwise known as pee pads or puppy pads. I bought in bulk on Amazon.

I tried wrapping the grate in a towel but I don’t have my own laundry machine so washing them wasn’t practical.
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
3,021
5,439
Thanks everyone for the suggestions!

Here's a pic of my girl "helping" me work that shows off her silly feets nicely.

View attachment 44072

She's sitting with me right now, no idea I'm conspiring to improve her cage! Lol.

@LeeC I actually have something similar in my dove cage--I couldn't make it on my own (I'm hopeless with diy) but I might be able to rope my dad into helping me make one for Birdie. It wouldn't solve the issue of them pooping on the wood, but if I get the right kind of wood it'll be easier to clean.

Thanks for that suggestion, I literally don't know why it didn't occur to me seeing as I've done it once already for my doves... d'oh.
I think she might enjoy a foot check and then massage with a bit of coconut oil. My old birds and bird who had bad feet liked that a lot and it let me inspect their feet for hot spots, too.
 

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