Cages and Toys

The cage you choose for your grey should be as large as you can accommodate and afford. Choose a cage that has a powder-coated paint, stainless steel or ceramic dishes, wooden perches and an apron to catch falling debris. Some cages come with perches made of manzanita wood. This is fine for birds that are 1 year of age or older. Young birds should have perches made of soft pine so they can grip better. I prefer having at least one perch in all my cages that is made of pine so the birds can chew it. I buy my perches at a local Home Depot store. I purchase 2" x 2" non-pressure treated white spruce or yellow pine.

Most greys are happy with a cage that is 3'w x 2'd x 6'h. The spacing between the bars should be no more than 1" wide with smaller greys needing 3/4". A slighly smaller cage (2'w x 2'd x 6'h) will be okay if you can not accommodate the larger size. Be sure to also have a free standing perch or playpen for your grey besides the cage.

For young baby birds under 5 months of age, I use a rather small cage to prevent the baby from accidentally hurting itself. I have found the model Hoei-615 to be a good size cage for babies that are just learning to perch. The dimensions are 24"w x 16"d x 28"h. Young birds will often climb to the top of their cages and, not being very skilled yet, will fall to the bottom. A young baby placed in a large cage is an accident waiting to happen!

When your baby is 5 months of age, you can introduce a larger cage. It may take a few days or even a couple weeks before your young bird will get used to the new cage. Let it spend a few hours in the new cage each day. Watch to see if your bird can find it's food and water dishes and is eating in the new cage before leaving it there permanently. Keep the smaller cage to use as an extra cage if you should take your bird on vacation or to a pet sitter's house in the future.

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  California Cage                               Hoei-615

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Greys love toys! I have found that toys made of wood, rope and leather to be among the most favorite ones. Greys like to chew wood so pick wooden toys which are made of soft woods and easy to chew. Most all rope toys are enjoyed including rope perches and swings. Be careful when choosing toys to select toys made for large birds. Some of the smaller toys made for little birds can be dangerous to larger birds who can dismantle them. Also be careful to choose toys with closed c-clip clamps for hanging. Use only stainless steel clips. Others may have zinc coatings which can cause zinc posioning if chewed on. Stainless steel clips can be found at most boat stores and also Home Depots.

Brightly colored acrylic toys are a favorite. Include at least one of those in your greys collection of toys. Be sure to rotate the toys in your greys cage so they don't become bored with them. Hand toys are liked by most all birds including greys. I have a large collection of small toys which I allow my greys to play with on the floor. Most of these hand toys were purchased from the human baby section of the local grocery store. They include: plastic colored keys, wooden blocks, and other assorted baby toys. "Dollar" stores also have a good selection of human baby toys at very inexpensive prices. Be sure to choose human baby toys that are made of hard plastic and that do not have unsafe parts that your grey can dismantle.

When introducing a new toy, do so outside of your greys cage. Most greys will be afraid of toys which they have not seen before. I have found that sitting together with my greys on the floor with the new toys and pretending to play with them usually helps to make my greys get used to the new objects. Wait until your grey is comfortable and playing with the new toy outside of the cage before hanging it inside the cage.

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Wooden toys              

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Copyright 1997, Kim Thomas, Revised - May 97..