Creating a homemade perch for your budgie does not require a crafty gene. You can encourage stimulating exercise for your bird's body and mind with several sticks simply placed across the bars of his cage. Perch supplies are available free -- simply take a walk in the great outdoors.
Measure the cage to choose the right length of natural wood. Any sticks chosen for perches should be several inches longer to fit through the bars of the cage for support.
Choose several sticks from trees that are safe for your budgie, such as poplar, maple, beech, elm, birch or manzanita. Measure the circumference; budgies are comfortable with perches no larger than 3/4 inch in diameter for gripping. Cut the sticks to the desired length using pruning shears, making a straight cut across the end. Trim the other end straight across with the pruning shears, as well; both ends should be flat, with no protruding splinters.
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
Wash the stick with hot, soapy water, using a nontoxic soap and a rag. Pat it dry with a towel.
Place the sticks on a baking sheet and put the sheet in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Watch the sticks closely to make sure they do not catch fire. The heat kills bugs or eggs inside the wood.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Allow the sticks to cool before placing them in your budgie's cage. They should fit through the bars, crossing over to use the cage bars as a support for your bird.
- Wooden dowels may be purchased and used in place of tree sticks.
- Choose different stick diameters to help your budgie exercise his feet; just stay less than 3/4 inch so that they are not too large.
- Hang toys or bells on the perches to stimulate your budgie's interest in climbing.
- Avoid using sticks from trees that you know have been sprayed with insecticides or pesticides, as these can be toxic to your budgie.
Lori Lapierre holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science in public relations/communications. For 17 years, she worked for a Fortune 500 company before purchasing a business and starting a family. She is a regular freelancer for "Living Light News," an award-winning national publication. Her past writing experience includes school news reporting, church drama, in-house business articles and a self-published mystery, "Duty Free Murder."