How to make a bird play stand
Here is a little break from puppy news…
I recently built a fabulous play tree for my Quaker parrot Franklin and thought some of you might like to know how I did it. So here goes a brief description with pictures of course!
First of all find a dead tree branch. I was lucky to find an entire section of dead tree that didn’t look moldy or buggy but was definitely dead. Cut a portion large enough for your needs and roughly the shape you want.
Then wash it with a mixture of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water, let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse well and let it dry in the sun.
Then cut short branches to fit between the larger branches so that you have a sort of ladder effect. Use non-galvanized wood screws if your bird is a chewer as galvanized products contain zinc – a very dangerous chemical for our bird friends.
Once it is dried and assembled get yourself a cheap plastic planter (I got mine at Lowes for 12 bucks) and a lid to one of those plastic tubs. Cut a hole in the tub big enough to fit your tree truck into. My cut hole was perfect until I tried to fit my trunk into it and broke.it. Ah well, nothing’s perfect. Fill the planter with quckcrete, a fast setting concrete that you can buy in small bags and mix with water. I used a 40 pound bag for my roughly 18 inch by 18 inch planter. I mixed the concrete right in the planter and then when ready, put the lid on and stuck the assembled tree into it. I supported it with a variety of things until it set up a bit then moved it to the garage for a 48 hour period to really harden up. The idea is that the lid will act as a “seed and other thing” catcher. it is working pretty well too by the way!
Once dried move it into place and hang toys and things on it. It has worked wonders for Franklin’s “environmental enrichment program!” He is beginning to play with his toys and ACKing less (in my opinion). I also discovered a great idea on line about helping to meet your bird’s foraging needs…I devised my own cheap system of drilling holes into plastic bottle lids (tops to gallon milk jugs that sort of thing). I drill two holes into the side and strung with twine and tied them to various branches of the tree. Then I put the only seeds he gets anymore into those little “cups”. Not only does it get Franklin “foraging” but it also gets him climbing around his tree more. Before he’d only climb to the top and stay there. Now, every now and then he remembers that I put seeds into those cups and I’ll see him climbing around looking into them. It is great to see him using his body and his brain more…I am very happy with this whole set up!
Good luck making your own contraptions…I should say that this entire project cost me under 20 dollars! Not bad.