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Building a play gym

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ranechild
Posts: 295
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:57 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Building a play gym

Post by ranechild » Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:31 pm

Even before I got Fats I was thinking about buying a play gym to put in the basement rec room so the birds would have an independent place to hang out while my boyfriend and I play computer or video games. But a play gym is more expensive than I can muster to splurge for right now.

I saw in one youtube video (something like "why IRNs are awesome") the guy had taken a perch dowel rod and tied it to string and suspended it. I tried that and hung it from the ceiling since our basement ceiling is unfinished--just joists and cables and a beam and such. Well, that did NOT work. The dowels moved too much and the birds refused to even try. I hung toys too--no way jose.
I thought about drilling holes in the perches and knotting the string through the perches to limit the rotation. But instead i think I'm going to construct a play gym to suspend from the ceiling.
The man at the bird store says untreated pine is fine for the birds. I don't feel like going through the natural branch hassel. So in my design efforts I've come up with a few thoughts...

a poop catcher. It would be nice for the poops not to get all over the carpet and or couch. I think the bottom layer of the gym will be some sort of flat board to catch poop and food. I think it will need a little lip on it. It would be nice if the only connections were on the side so that newspaper could be put down. But I want to try to make it so the birds don't actually want to hang out on that lowest level because then the poops will end up on the carpet. Poop is a funny word. I think I've seen people layer hanging baskets to try to acheive this. Maybe a peice of waterproof fabric?

Ladders are fun. I bought a cheap-o pine ladder that i think I will cut in two or three. but it's only about 18 inches long... if I cut it in half it's 9 inches long. If I mount it on a diagonal the distance between perch levels might be 7 inches or so. 7 inches, Fats doesn't really need a ladder for that does he? well, I think if he doesn't have any help or support at all he could beak up to 6 inches... 7 MIGHT be a stretch. Camo couldn't beak up 4 inches he's so small. I'm not sure whether he would even want to use a ladder....
then again, I think I need to measure how tall the distance between perches needs to be so they can sit up straight in between levels and walk comfortably underneath.

I'm thinking that this will end up something like a 3 dimensional Donkey Kong. Toys where the hammers would be... Food where the princess would be?

I also need to avoid the birds going all the way up to the joists. there's paint and dirt and yuckiness up there... maybe one of those cisel mats? or would that encourage them to go up there? maybe just a piece of cardboard? something sturdy eounch though that I can put eye hook in to hang toys from.

Thoughts anyone?

MissK
Posts: 3006
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:46 pm
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.

Re: Building a play gym

Post by MissK » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:47 pm

Fats can learn to use the rotating perch, though to be nice you might rough it up where the string goes to slow down the slippage. You might have seen Rocky's hanging birch branch when you were here, but I know it was some time ago. Rocky learned to use his just fine (nuts are sooooo yummy!) although I did let him learn it in steps by limiting the movement at first (manually). I also parked a food cup up there for motivation. In short order he was flying to it and just compensating when it moved all wonky every which way. I just put newspaper on the floor under it if he's going to be there.

I like the rotating perch so much I also put one in the cage. I think it just cranks his enrichment up a notch. Once Fats masters it you won't be able to imagine him not dealing with it before. BUT I do think you should rough it up if you;'re using a smooth dowel.

Enjoy building!
-MissK

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Doodlebug
Posts: 316
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:14 am
Location: Suffolk, UK

Re: Building a play gym

Post by Doodlebug » Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:16 am

Theres so much fun to be had building gyms and stands for our fids :)

I keep adding bits to Doodlebugs and its getting to be quite the monstrosity! It's going to end up taking over the world :lol:
Loo :)

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Dixie-1
Posts: 103
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:59 pm
Location: St. David Az.

Re: Building a play gym

Post by Dixie-1 » Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:41 pm

We found these 12 inch by 12 inch plastic grids that snap together and snap onto his cage. It is like a little gym that we can change up from day to day. sort of like an erector set I guess, it has worked out real well for us.
Just takin a break !

Image

MissK
Posts: 3006
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:46 pm
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.

Re: Building a play gym

Post by MissK » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:12 pm

Hey, can you post a link to that so I can see what you mean?
-MissK

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Dixie-1
Posts: 103
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:59 pm
Location: St. David Az.

Re: Building a play gym

Post by Dixie-1 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:50 am

MissK wrote:Hey, can you post a link to that so I can see what you mean?
I am sorry I cant give you a link since Hubby brought it home from the "Flea Market" on the Reservation. Him and his buddy go there to find deals, glad he found this one. So I spent the morning going thru pictures and trying to create a little "montage" of Quinn's playground to give you some idea of what I mean. Hope it helps :D

Image

The little blue "Thingy" in the center is one of the clips that attach to the cage.
Just takin a break !

Image

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ranechild
Posts: 295
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:57 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Building a play gym

Post by ranechild » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:41 pm

so, although I went to the hardware store and bought some pine to constuct the play gym, after reading the story of Hazel last week I am filled with overwhelming self doubt and am afraid that if I bought something that is not what it was advertised to be, Fats will be flying over the darn rainbow bridge.
I am going to wait to see what is available at the Baltimore Bird Fanciers bird show this weekend. if there are lots of cheap perches or finished gyms I will probably go with that.

MissK
Posts: 3006
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:46 pm
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.

Re: Building a play gym

Post by MissK » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:02 am

Hey, I'll see you there!!!!

:D
-MissK

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